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How Well Do You Really Know Your Artificial Sweeteners?

If you have an insatiable sweet tooth, you're in luck. At any given grocery store, there are aisles stocked with sweeteners, both natural and artificial. Some of them claim to be low fat while others are zero calorie - but what does it all mean? Here's a breakdown of what you're stirring into your coffee every day.

"Sucralose can intensify your coffee more than sugar can."

One of the most popular artificial sweeteners, sucralose can intensify your coffee more than sugar can. In fact, the National Institutes of Health noted that it's 600 times sweeter than table sugar, so go easy when dumping it into your drink. Over the course of 20 years, it went through rigorous testing before it could be approved for consumption. Today, it's commonly added to food and drink for dietary purposes.

Made up of amino acids, aspartic acid, phenylalanine and a small amount of methanol, aspartame is another popular artificial sweetener. It combines substances that are naturally present in a variety of foods and forms an ingredient that's about 200 times sweeter than table sugar. Once aspartame breaks down in the body, it's then absorbed into the blood. It's the preferred sweetener for 200 million people worldwide and is included in more than 6,000 products.

So many types of sweeteners; so little time.So many types of sweeteners; so little time.

Depending on which brand of saccharin you choose, the sweetener could be anywhere from 200 - 600 times sweeter than sugar. It's been a popular choice since its creation more than 100 years ago and is included in many different foods and drinks. Although it was controversial when it was first developed, it's since gone through rigorous testing and is now deemed safe for consumption across 100 countries worldwide. But, beware - it's not for use in baking or cooking, and it can have a bitter taste that you might find unpleasant. Test it out in small amounts before potentially having to throw away a perfectly good cup of coffee.

With no calories, chemicals or carbohydrates, stevia originated in South America and parts of Central America. Unlike other sweeteners, stevia is made from a specific plant that naturally produces the substance. It's great choice for those looking to instantly sweeten their coffee or tea without the spikes in glucose. You can find the substance in powder or liquid form, and if you're trying to be fancy, you can even find it in leaf form.