Nutrition and Labeling - Sugar Substitutes...Do I or don't I?




sfbrown01
01-24-2013, 09:52 PM
I have read all kinds of contradicting reports from respected resources... but I just can't see the logic in giving up Splenda.

I am diabetic, so anything with actual sugar (anything with carb calories) affects my sugar and makes me react negatively with my meds (Victoza and Metformin). But so many reports say that artificial sweeteners make your body react like it is sugar anyway. Just like on The Biggest Losser, all the trainers hate real and fake sugar...but quitting everything you love in a non-controlled manner (i.e.REAL LIFE) is a recipe for failure in my opinion.

So my question is one of opinion. Real sweets in moderation are probably okay, but what about your everyday sweetening? (coffee, teas, drinks)

And before anyone mentions Stevia in any form... I have yet to taste ANYTHING with Stevia in it that didn't taste horrible from aftertaste. Please share if you know of a Stevia brand that doesn't have that menthol-ish, bitter aftertaste! :?:


PinkWaterfall
01-25-2013, 02:36 AM
I LOVE my sugar subsitute!
It helps me drink enough water every day (in teas) and stops me craving actual sweet things (like chocolate).
I'm sure that drinking tea with sweetener is better than me not drinking enough water and eating chocolate.

I guess it depends on how your body reacts. If you are losing weight and feeling good while drinking it - then don't stop.

I'm sure everything has been reported as being "bad" in the media... eating too much of anything is bad. As long as you aren't consuming too much, I think you're safe :)

amandie
01-25-2013, 02:43 AM
I use splenda, the kind you can bake with, just about daily. Usually just for a couple cups of coffee in the am. Like Pink said, I think it's fine as long you are not going too crazy with it, lol.


sfbrown01
01-25-2013, 10:31 AM
That was pretty much my consensus, I just was curious about other people who don't use sugar. I was so excited about stevia... and it was a huge let-down for my taste-buds. Thanks for the input! I am nowhere near giving up my Pepsi Max or splenda sweetened drinks!

Skellig19
01-25-2013, 05:39 PM
I am a Splenda girl! I bake with it and put it in my tea and coffee. I also routinely drink diet soda (Vanilla Coke Zero is my favourite! I make trips to the US specifically for it since we don't have in Canada). I have no problem with sugar alcohols, sucralose, maltodextrin, or aspartame. I find the lack of study on Stevia a little disconcerting but have had some in moderation. I don't mind the flavour of Truvia and used some in simple baking. I don't think I'll buy more though. I prefer Splenda.

I find the food fear-mongering that goes on in our society truly and deeply infuriating! Especially when it's something they "heard somewhere" or "read it in a magazine". So frustrating!

jefferzzzz
02-10-2013, 08:04 PM
I too use Splenda "in the bag" for cooking and baking. I couldn't stand to not have some of sweetener.

Stripes 237
02-12-2013, 02:44 AM
That stuff is terrible for you.

I advise you to ask your doctor about this.

Diet products may or may not assist with weight loss - some actually act as appetite stimulants - but they are NOT healthy and should be avoided.

The Diet Pop may not have calories, but will stimulate your appetite and increase your risk for cancer. If you need a pop THAT badly, just drink a sugar pop.

Seriously. Ask your doctor.

tiawyn
02-12-2013, 03:12 AM
I am an advocate against using sugar substitutes. Natural sugar is something that your body can break down and use. I understand those people who have diabetes because before prior diagnosis, the person went on a sugar overload and overwhelmed the body with sugar and your body doesn't know what to do with it. However, this does not mean that artificial sweeteners are the route to take, in my opinion. I understand that diabetics are able to have SOME sugar/carbs in their diet, and that should be the boundary that you should follow. Anything more should not be consumed.

As for "lack of research," a quick Google scholar search turned up a whole host of peer reviewed journal articles of empirical research on the effects of artificial sweeteners. The one that I read covered a few bases of the effects of artificial sweeteners such as the lack of a "I am full" enzyme, increased BMI in both youth and adults, increased sugar dependency, and limited energy resulting from consumption.

The explanation of Stripes237 on how they "heard somewhere" (Skellig19) on how diet sodas stimulates appetite is explained in this article. It basically says that normal food has a built in indicator that is broken down in your digestive system and sends a signal to your brain saying that "I am full," basic A&P (anatomy and physiology). In diet sodas, not only does it not have any calories (the number of calories contribute to the strength of the "I am full" signal), but the ingredients itself, namely artificial sweeteners, do not have the signal indicating to stop eating/drinking.

For arguments sake, since water does not have any ingredients in it, there are several ways the signal goes into your brain. But the most reliable one is the one at the start of your intestines measuring the caloric intake and the necessary chemicals to trigger your brain.

Dunno if this link will work, but this is the article that I cited in this post.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2892765/

Suzanne 3FC
02-12-2013, 11:52 PM
I used artificial sweeteners for more than 20 years, including using Splenda since it hit the market. I was fine for a long time and I thought those that advised against artificial sweeteners were nuts. I also spent 4 years extremely ill, under the care of two neurologists and I spent many thousands of dollars on tests and medications without a clear resolution. My problem turned out to be a reaction to Splenda. - To clarify, it was a reaction to sucralose, the artificial sweetening ingredient in Splenda.

If I really want something sweet, I'll take real sugar any day. However, I retrained my sweet tooth and rarely eat sweets - it's been a few months since I've had anything with added sugar. I eat fruit :)

I also don't touch so-called natural sugar substitutes. Don't need them, don't want them.

Skellig19
02-13-2013, 06:17 PM
I used artificial sweeteners for more than 20 years, including using Splenda since it hit the market. I was fine for a long time and I thought those that advised against artificial sweeteners were nuts. I also spent 4 years extremely ill, under the care of two neurologists and I spent many thousands of dollars on tests and medications without a clear resolution. My problem turned out to be a reaction to Splenda.




There are 3 ingredients in Splenda. Do you know which caused your adverse reactions or was it the product as a whole? I find this interesting as I haven't found any evidence in the studies I've read that suggest reactions to Sucralose, maltodextrin, or....I'm blanking on the last one. I have seen allergic reactions to aspartame (or rather phenylalanine). I'm not saying you are wrong by any stretch but I'm interested in understanding how you came to the conclusion your neurological problems originated with Splenda.

My main problem are the people who tell me artificial sweeteners will kill me while calmly smoking a cigarette. They have zero studies to back up their claims and yet insist that the diet soda I am drinking is pure poison. This is the main source of my frustration with food fear mongering.

Suzanne 3FC
02-15-2013, 09:13 PM
There are 3 ingredients in Splenda. Do you know which caused your adverse reactions or was it the product as a whole? I find this interesting as I haven't found any evidence in the studies I've read that suggest reactions to Sucralose, maltodextrin, or....I'm blanking on the last one. I have seen allergic reactions to aspartame (or rather phenylalanine). I'm not saying you are wrong by any stretch but I'm interested in understanding how you came to the conclusion your neurological problems originated with Splenda.

My main problem are the people who tell me artificial sweeteners will kill me while calmly smoking a cigarette. They have zero studies to back up their claims and yet insist that the diet soda I am drinking is pure poison. This is the main source of my frustration with food fear mongering.

I guess I should refer to my problem as a reaction to sucralose, and not specifically the Splenda product. I'm sorry for the confusion!

We narrowed it down to sucralose after an elimination test, followed by about 8 months of experimenting to see if my symptoms came back when the sucralose was periodically reintroduced into my system. It also appears that my problem is not unique and many people have reacted to the ingredient in the same or similar ways. For the record, saccharin has the same effect on me.

I'm sure plenty of people will never experience a problem from consuming ingredients like this. However, they are relatively new and long term effects may not be known yet.

I now live on a 'real food' diet. I cook from scratch using all natural and organic ingredients and I'm pretty strict about it. There are very few things that I buy prepackaged, such as roasted seaweed and tamari sauce. However, I feel better than I have in my entire life. My energy level is through the roof, and I just turned 51 :)

berryblondeboys
03-04-2013, 11:51 AM
I just blogged about this today. I had no freaking idea that a. splenda has calories (and carbs) per packet. b. that Stevia is mostly erythritol and it's probably where it gets most of it's sweetness and c. what erythritol is and how it differs from other sugar alcohols and that d. you can buy erythritol separately.

I JUST started baking low carb. I had been just plain skipping all breads, cakes, etc for me, but now that I realize I can't even take a mini break from eating low carb without raising the sugar craving beast from the depths of my brain, then I need to find alternatives that are low carb.

I don't eat packaged foods (like hardly anything), so I was dumbfounded at finding how misleading labels are. And I'm sure I just hit the top of the iceberg with that "truth or untruths" in labeling. I think, for the most part, I'll be sticking to my completely homemade, low carb stuff, but to find even that sweetners aren't accurately labeled was shocking!

Skellig19
03-04-2013, 06:51 PM
I just blogged about this today. I had no freaking idea that a. splenda has calories (and carbs) per packet. b. that Stevia is mostly erythritol and it's probably where it gets most of it's sweetness and c. what erythritol is and how it differs from other sugar alcohols and that d. you can buy erythritol separately.

I JUST started baking low carb. I had been just plain skipping all breads, cakes, etc for me, but now that I realize I can't even take a mini break from eating low carb without raising the sugar craving beast from the depths of my brain, then I need to find alternatives that are low carb.

I don't eat packaged foods (like hardly anything), so I was dumbfounded at finding how misleading labels are. And I'm sure I just hit the top of the iceberg with that "truth or untruths" in labeling. I think, for the most part, I'll be sticking to my completely homemade, low carb stuff, but to find even that sweetners aren't accurately labeled was shocking!

Must be different in the States than in Canada. My Splenda packets are labelled clearly with carb info. They do say they contain zero calories but I think that's because once it's below a certain amount of calories, they can say it has zero. It's like fruits and vegetables are zero points in Weight Watchers but if you have an epic tonne of them, they will eventually count as points (in Splenda I believe this comes from the maltodextrin and dextrose and not actually the sucralose, which our bodies don't absorb).

Baking with sugar substitutes and trying to keep it low carb is so freaking difficult. I haven't found anything that can give the same kind of bulk that granulated sugar can (no matter how much applesauce I use!). If you have any really successful recipes, I'd be interested if you posted them!

friaya
04-10-2013, 08:56 PM
I don't recommend splenda, it contains a substance called aspartame which is harmful to health
http://www.livestrong.com/article/447584-what-are-the-dangers-of-splenda-sucralose-and-aspartame/

L J
04-11-2013, 01:54 AM
I used artificial sweeteners for more than 20 years, including using Splenda since it hit the market. I was fine for a long time and I thought those that advised against artificial sweeteners were nuts. I also spent 4 years extremely ill, under the care of two neurologists and I spent many thousands of dollars on tests and medications without a clear resolution. My problem turned out to be a reaction to Splenda. - To clarify, it was a reaction to sucralose, the artificial sweetening ingredient in Splenda.

If I really want something sweet, I'll take real sugar any day. However, I retrained my sweet tooth and rarely eat sweets - it's been a few months since I've had anything with added sugar. I eat fruit :)

I also don't touch so-called natural sugar substitutes. Don't need them, don't want them.

I had a similar experience, only to aspartame (Equal). I began having horrible migrane headaches, and shortly after those started, seizures. After multiple terrifying episodes, thousands of dollars at the neurologist and (the kicker) losing my drivers liscense for a year because of unexplained seizures, the right neurologist figured out it was a reaction to Equal. I had always used real sugar, until I decided to lose weight about 10 years ago...

I will say this - this was before Splenda came out, and since it has I have accidentally consumed things with Splenda twice. Both times I had, within hours, the same migrane headache that the Equal used to give me. No seizures, but it appears to affect me similarly.

I hate that my coffee costs me 75 calories a cup (1tsp sugar, 1TBSP Heavy whipping cream) but it sure beats migraines and seizures. I envy those it doesn't negatively affect.

Icamp2
05-04-2013, 04:29 PM
Have you thought of cutting out the sugar altogether? I was a 2-3 diet coke a day drinker and 1-2 pkts splenda every morning in my coffee. I eat healthy and whole foods but this was my one "chemical" that I didn't care about. I am "prediabetic" and the Dr. encouraged me to switch from sugar to splenda.

Well, this last December we had a snowstorm and I didn't leave the house for ten days. In that time I didn't have one soda and had coffee with cream only. I didn't have a choice.... but it was the best thing that could have happened.

Going cold turkey was awful at first but... I lost 11 pounds and in that time frame my headaches and heartburn disappeared completely. I was shocked. I went back to work a few days later and had a diet coke (first one in 3 weeks by then) immediately had a headache and stomach cramps again.

For a long time I just assumed that was part of the job/life whatever... It is very clearly linked to sugar substitutes.

I now enjoy my coffee with cream only and the benefit is I drink a limited amount, I am satisfied with 2 cups instead of 6. I drink water constantly instead of soda...

SO, not really what you were asking but maybe considering giving it up completely for your health. See how you feel...

mimsyborogoves
05-04-2013, 08:46 PM
I guess I'm the odd one out of the bunch, lol. I've used artificial sweeteners my whole life and so far haven't had any adverse effects, including the whole "they stimulate your appetite" thing. They don't "stimulate" anything for me. They just make my food/drinks taste better without adding the calories. I guess I kinda have one of those "guts of steal" things -- my body can handle consuming just about anything without any ill effects. If this is you, and you don't have problems with consuming it, then I don't see why you shouldn't carry on as you are. If you start having ill effects from it though, then of course, limit your consumption or cut it out completely, just like you would anything else that your body didn't agree with.

Keep Moving Forward
05-06-2013, 12:09 PM
I quit using Equal a few months ago & I don't have those intense sugar cravings nearly as much as I used to. I think it definitely made my body act just the way refined, white sugar would, which is so so so bad for me especially with my insulin resistance. (Also, I think my Native American heritage lends a particular susceptibility to sugar addiction & insulin resistance, must remember to research that.)

I love using Stevia & organic coconut sugar, or raw honey. Stevia doesn't taste weird to me at all, I put it in my coffee & oatmeal pretty much every morning.

Ahri
05-11-2013, 02:32 PM
I used to drink diet Coke (almost a liter every 2 days.. bad, I know) and always used Splenda or Equal in my coffee. I was having terrible migraines during that time. I haven't had aspartame in 3 months now and my headaches are few and far in between. I'm not sure if stevia is a good sugar substitute if you're diabetic but it'd be worth looking into.

cfan
05-29-2013, 10:20 AM
Honestly, I don't like non-natural sweeteners. I grew up using domino...before this trend. But now knowing about these things... I use the most natural thing I can use for sugar...HONEY. I put it would in my teas. If I have to use sugar in a recipe I use that or normal white sugar... I am Leary of "sugar derived from a leaf"...not truly sugar....

Skinnyminnie Wannabe
06-07-2013, 02:14 PM
My two cents' worth -

My mom was Type 1 diabetic so we always had stuff with artificial sweetener available for her and regular sugared stuff for Dad and me. When I was a teenager and throughout my 30s and into my 40s I would switch back and forth with using artificial sweeteners vs. sugar. And the switch from sugar to artificial would be nasty until I accustomed to the taste. Or switching back at first sugar would seem syrupy and sticky.

But in my 40s and now my early-50s I came down on the side that the artificial sweeteners are just too . . . artificial to be good for you. Sure, there's controversy depending on which study you read, and I can't claim I avoid all bad chemicals in foods though I definitely include more organic stuff that I did in the past.

I just don't want to be the human guinea pig when there's a choice to avoid it, and with sweeteners the choice is easy enough to implement. One simply avoids the diet sodas, gelatins, yogurts, whatever product it is. And reads the labels for the terms such as aspartame or sucralose (which manufacturers can sneak into foods where you wouldn't expect it - I saw sucralose the other day as an ingredient in bagels of all things).

Also, I have transitioned with regard to beverages to unsweetened. I will use stevia on occasion but here lately I haven't bothered with it. I drink unsweetened green tea most of the time, take my coffee black, and don't buy soda - I've gotten past the point where I miss it.

When I was young I would never dream of having a savory meal without a sweet drink (soda, or sugared or sweetened tea) but now I can drink plain tea or even water and it's okay. You have to know I am a picky eater and this was a big deal for me, but I'm glad I was able to become more flexible in this area.

musicalchick
06-07-2013, 11:56 PM
I have stopped using splenda altogether and now use stevia in the raw.

Sheena82
06-11-2013, 04:48 PM
I cut sugar or sweetner in my tea completely, occassionally have a diet coke.

To be honest i'm pretty happy with sugar free coffee etc, if i want something sweet i'll opt for the full fat/sugar option. I found it hard at first but quickly became accustomed to it, milk now tastes quite sweet by itself.

As to whether sweetner is harmful i'm not sure. My father is a diabetic whos used sweetners etc for years, he quit them recently and seems convinced his insulin/glucose levels are more stable.

I quit because i was trying to wean myself of sugar, dont think i had any health problems with any sweetners

Mama Whitty
06-20-2013, 03:28 PM
I gave up diet soda 3 months ago. I feel so much better and hopefully will reap the benefits of it. I do drink one regular can of coke daily. Otherwise it's water or unsweetened ice tea. At first it was so hard, especially after 10 years of drinking it. Now I don't even miss it. For me the stopping point on aspartame, was that I would never let me children drink a diet soda so why should I? I see so many kids drinking them and it freaks me out.

ringmaster
06-25-2013, 01:04 AM
I've gone off and on with the sweeteners... I mostly use splenda since that seems to be the "safer" one of the bunch. For me, if having a tea or coffee or a food sweetened with a packet of splenda means not eating a piece of cake, cookie, etc... then I think the trade off is worth it.... both probably have ingredients that aren't so good for me, but it just seems like the sweetener will be the lesser of the evils since it won't make me gain weight.

There is also a sweetener out called xylitol It's supposed to be natural and actually good for you and your mouth/teeth by killing any bacteria and preventing it from sticking to your teeth. This one does have some calories in it but is supposed to be safe for diabetics.

I have given up diet soda though mostly because of all the other chemicals in it...I read it also damages your bones and teeth in the long run too. I can say my teeth look, feel and are so much healthier thanks to giving up the soda, and that's saying alot because I'm still a hardcore coffee and tea drinker. I think it's been going on almost a year since I've had soda! Now if I do drink it tastes weird... I don't miss it at all.

kaplods
07-09-2013, 07:20 PM
I've gone on and off artificial sweeteners and I've waded through the research and the hype. I've concluded that all of them are safer than common household products many folks give no thought or would refuse to give up: cosmetics, fragrances, cleansers, disinfectants, sanitizers, plastic containers for storing or heating foods and beverages, teflon cookware (especially on high heat), trans fats in microwave popcorn, chemicals in paints, carpets, furniture, and fabric, prescription and nonprescription medications...

I rarely use personal fragrances and when I do, it's a body spray rather than perfume or cologne, as strong fragrances tend to trigger headaches and asthmatic symptoms for me. I don't wear makeup very often, and when I do, I choose mineral make-up (avoiding those I've found irritating).

I think many people would wade through radioactive waste before using artificial sweeteners simply because human perception is such that a risk factor is taken more seriously and assumed to Be a greater threat if it is swallowed rather than if it is absorbed through the skin or breathed in.

For myself, I'm satisfied with the choices I've made, including the choice to use artificial and natural sweeteners. Many sweeteners have a synergetic relationship with other sweeteners, in that the total becomes greater than the sum of it's parts.

It means you can often use less sweetener, if you use two or more sweeteners in combination than you would using the sweeteners separately.

I'm using less sweeteners than ever before, but I'm ok with the amounts I do use.



I

tommy
07-09-2013, 09:22 PM
kaplods (as always) makes some excellent points. I don't have any reaction issues with Splenda which is the only artificial sweetener I use. If I want some quick pickle that needs a hit of just sweet - I add a dash. I suppose I use it more like a seasoning. Right now my favorite marinade involves Bitter Orange Marmalade (just a tsp), fish sauce, lime juice and zest along with garlic and herbs. That bit of sugar in the marmalade is worth it for the flavor the sum of it imparts. Using artificial sweeteners as a food group I do not think is wise ;)

DietLisa
07-12-2013, 10:40 PM
Anyone tried Stevia or Truvia before?

mrainy
07-13-2013, 02:08 PM
When using Xylitol, one thing to be aware of is that relatively small amounts of it can kill dogs (ingestion of > 0.1 gram/kg). They don't metabolize it the same way that we do.

http://www.petpoisonhelpline.com/poison/xylitol/

http://www.petwellbeing.com/blog/xylitol-dangerous-for-dogs

I have tried to get away from using artificial sweeteners in things. It did take a while, but now fruit is all I need to add to my plain yogurt and sweetened yogurt tastes gross to me. I still use a small amount of demerara sugar on my oatmeal, which is just somewhat less refined cane sugar. Haven't managed to give up the diet sodas yet, darn it.

CherryPie99
07-15-2013, 12:14 PM
Anyone tried Stevia or Truvia before?

Yes, Truvia is what I use. My DH is an obsessive researcher and he tells me as far as sweetners go, it's the most natural and safe and so that's what we use.

Snoofie
07-20-2013, 09:22 PM
I don't recommend splenda, it contains a substance called aspartame which is harmful to health
http://www.livestrong.com/article/447584-what-are-the-dangers-of-splenda-sucralose-and-aspartame/

Splenda does not contain aspartame, and that article doesn't claim that it does. Splenda is a brand name for sucralose, which is totally different from aspartame.

KayMaxim
08-23-2013, 01:36 AM
I read about a study that found women gain more weight using artificial sweeteners that just using sugar.

For me I found that diet soda actually made me really hungry. That was aspertaine.

sebastine
08-23-2013, 02:01 AM
Nah. Go with nature.

SoMuchFattitude
08-23-2013, 07:39 AM
I'm using truvia in my coffee and have cut out diet soda. I have noticed the difference in my huger now that I'm not drinking 3 diet sodas a day.

MauiKai
08-23-2013, 10:08 AM
Artificial sweeteners are poison IMO. I wouldn't touch any of them. Sugar isn't much better really. Your best bet is to cut it out. Your taste buds will eventually recover from the overload and you won't miss it.