Nutrition and Labeling - Artificial sweeteners

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01-16-2009, 10:53 PM
I have yet to find an artificial sweetener that does not give me headaches or heart palpitations. Am I better off to use real sugar sparingly and just recalculate points? I have a terrible sweet tooth and need to figure out how to satisfy it without the side effects. Ideas???

01-16-2009, 11:01 PM
Agave nectar is a great substitute for sugar since it's low on the glycemic index, but it does contain calories.

01-16-2009, 11:08 PM
Do you use it in equal amounts to what the recipe calls for, or are the directions on the bottle?

01-16-2009, 11:19 PM
anja - I dont do artificial sweeteners, I just control my portions of sweets. My sweet tooth is stimulated by artificial sweeteners, if I remove all sweets for a few days then I am quite happy with small amounts.

Suzanne 3FC
01-16-2009, 11:51 PM
I've retrained my tastebuds so I don't sweeten things like I used to. I drink my tea plain, etc. When I do sweeten, I use agave nectar. It's very sweet and tasty, has the same amount of calories as honey. Since it is a honey-like liquid, it isn't always a good substitute for granulated sugar if used in baked recipes.

01-17-2009, 04:10 AM
I've recently finally gotten used to Stevia - but I buy it mixed with xylitol, in a little shaker called Nirvana or something. It's great. Low calories, non toxic. (But if you're like me, it might make you a little gassy if you use too much).....

01-17-2009, 11:27 AM
Well, I usually suggest Stevia or Xylitol. Stevia is an herb, and Xylitol is actually a sugar but has very little effect on blood sugar, which is why sugar is bad in the first place. I haven't tried the Agave Nectar yet but I've read good things about it. I'd just stay away from the blue, pink or yellow packets. I also vote for real sugar in small doses over the fake stuff. Fake sweeteners stimulate sugar cravings. Your body is too smart to be fooled by the likes of them! Bwa ah ah... I might also try that Nirvana thing, I never thought of mixing Stevia and Xylitol together. Genius!

01-17-2009, 02:33 PM
I use agave or honey to sweeten my oatmeal (only 1 teaspoon) and don't sweeten beverages (coffee, tea -- I drink them without milk too.)

For baked goods I use real sugar, but I use less. Typically you can reduce the amount of sugar in a recipe by 1/3 without it effecting the outcome. I also, almost exclusively, use whole wheat pastry flour instead of all-purpose in my recipes.

I make a point to make things smaller when I bake too. For cookies I use a 1 Tablespoon cookie scoop I got from pampered chef. That way, one cookie is usually only 60-100 calories (manageable for me.) If I make too many, I take them to work or freeze the excess.

You can bake with honey and agave, but you have to reduce the amount of honey/agave versus sugar (they are sweeter) and you need to reduce the other liquids in the recipe by 1/4 cup or so. It can take much trial and error to get it right. Baked good made with honey and agave burn easier too, so you should reduce the oven temperature as well.

01-17-2009, 04:16 PM
Am I better off to use real sugar sparingly and just recalculate points?



01-17-2009, 06:50 PM
i second the "yes" vote for real sugar as opposed to something that's giving someone headaches and heart palps!!!!!!

Raw Honey has the added benefit of providing minerals, vitamins and antibacterial properties.

01-17-2009, 11:53 PM
Thanks to everyone who replied. I am new to this site and you are all very kind and most helpful.

01-18-2009, 04:03 AM
I might also try that Nirvana thing, I never thought of mixing Stevia and Xylitol together. Genius!

It's called Stevia Supreme - the brand is Nirvana.

It IS genius! I like the taste much more than Stevia alone - as I find it intense.

Suzanne 3FC
01-18-2009, 02:57 PM
As a pet owner, I don't like the idea of having xylitol in the home, so combining it with other sweeteners and making it more common in the kitchen makes me nervous. Xylitol can be deadly to dogs.