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-   -   Splenda substitute (http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/food-talk-fabulous-finds/287640-splenda-substitute.html)

2feelbetter 09-17-2013 08:27 AM

Splenda substitute
 
I currently use splenda with my coffee in the morning. I want to try a different substitute something for lack of a better word a little more "healthy"

Thanks;)

kaplods 09-17-2013 11:51 AM

I'm not sure science can tell us which sweeteners are healthier than others. Some have a reputation as being more healthy, or less, but if you really dig into the research and can evaluate the strength of the evidence (which requires a background in research methodology) the waters only get muddier and muddier.

Stevia has a reputation for being healthier and safer, but there's been very little research on stevia and some of it is disturbing especially women who are trying to conceive (or not trying to avoid it). In rodents, stevia is linked to reproductive birth defects in the male offspring of female rats and hamsters who were given stevia during pregnancy. Essentially, sons may be born with small genitalia and/or impaired fertility.

Maybe this doesn't happen in humans. Maybe it does.

Xlitol (birch sugar) is also considered "more natural" because it does occur naturally in fruits and tree sap. It's about as processed as white sugar, but contains fewer useable calories. It also can have a laxative effect, though this varies considerably from person to person and by dose.

Agave nectar is a highly processed, high fructose syrup, so it isn't any better than HFCS, despite it's healthier reputation.

Personally, I think the best strategy is to use multiple sweeteners for several reasons. 1. It's likely to minimize the risks of any one. 2. You can usually use less by blending sweeteners. For many sweeteners, combining them makes them sweeter (essentially 2 + 2 = 5). 3. Flavor profile. Some sweeteners just taste better in some uses than others.

The downside is that doing so is initially costlier than using only one.

Mrs Snark 09-19-2013 03:58 PM

I use stevia and was about to recommend it... but now that I've read Kaplod's post... I may just have to give it up and learn to either:

1. drink my coffee black, or
2. spend a few calories on a tiny bit of real maple syrup (I'm vegan, so I don't do honey).

Drats, Kaplods, why must you be so knowledgable!?! ;)

kaplods 09-19-2013 05:37 PM

LOL! I'm an insatiable reader.

Even so, I don't think you should take anything I said as an indictment of all or any sweetener. Personally, I consider splenda, xylitol, stevia, and all the other low-cal sweeteners, even the much maligned aspartame safer for my body than any real sugar, even natural sugar from fruit.

I think the primary problem with all sweeteners from fruit sugar to aspartame to maple syrup is a matter of dose.

I'm diabetic, and have other health issues that are made worse by "real" sugars. For several years I kept detailed symptom logs and learned that wheat and sugar aggravate
My symptoms. Artificial sweeteners do not.

Most of the scariest claims about artificial sweeteners are untrue or grossly exaggerated, or attributed to all of the sweeteners, when the research only found a link to one.

Many entirely natural foods have a higher incidence of effects and worse potential reactions, but no one blinks an eye or warns you to never eat those foods because some people will have a reaction.

For me "real sugar" such as from maple syrup or even from fruit, tends to make me hungrier. Artificial sweeteners too, but too a lesser degree.

Also, as I mentioned I use small amounts of a variety of sweeteners and work at decreasing my overall intake. I do not do well with moderation when sugar is involved

Mrs Snark 09-19-2013 06:30 PM

Food for thought, thanks for the further info!

Annik 09-23-2013 11:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kaplods (Post 4842137)
I'm not sure science can tell us which sweeteners are healthier than others. Some have a reputation as being more healthy, or less, but if you really dig into the research and can evaluate the strength of the evidence (which requires a background in research methodology) the waters only get muddier and muddier.

Stevia has a reputation for being healthier and safer, but there's been very little research on stevia and some of it is disturbing especially women who are trying to conceive (or not trying to avoid it). In rodents, stevia is linked to reproductive birth defects in the male offspring of female rats and hamsters who were given stevia during pregnancy. Essentially, sons may be born with small genitalia and/or impaired fertility.

Maybe this doesn't happen in humans. Maybe it does.

Xlitol (birch sugar) is also considered "more natural" because it does occur naturally in fruits and tree sap. It's about as processed as white sugar, but contains fewer useable calories. It also can have a laxative effect, though this varies considerably from person to person and by dose.

Agave nectar is a highly processed, high fructose syrup, so it isn't any better than HFCS, despite it's healthier reputation.

Personally, I think the best strategy is to use multiple sweeteners for several reasons. 1. It's likely to minimize the risks of any one. 2. You can usually use less by blending sweeteners. For many sweeteners, combining them makes them sweeter (essentially 2 + 2 = 5). 3. Flavor profile. Some sweeteners just taste better in some uses than others.

The downside is that doing so is initially costlier than using only one.

Kaplods,

The controversy about stevia is cooked up by the artificial sweetener companies.

In fact, it has been used for centuries in South America and more recently, for decades in Japan. Many tests have been done -- particularly in Japan -- to test for safety and none bear out the claim that stevia is a toxic substance.

The real culprits are the artificial sweetener companies who recognise the threat that something like stevia presents. They realise that when people learn about stevia and its efficacy as a safe, natural sweetner, things like aspartame get dumped. And so they have extensively lobbeyed organisations and government agencies such as the FDA to block endorsement of stevia as a safe food product. Governments and agencies are susceptible to the lure of pockets being padded.

Hemp (low thc marijuanna) is a popular crop where I live. Hemp producers here have been working hard to have this product put into the production market. It's potential uses are amazing. For instances, hemp can be used to produce a material that is strong enough to be used in the manufacturing of automobiles.

Guess who's fighting the development? Plastics manufacturers. Why? Once people get on board the hemp wagon, this natural, healthy, sustainable, not offensive to the environment product is going to drive plastics companies right out of business.

The lobby of the plastics industry is strong and there is money behind it. Ditto with aspartame, splenda, and all those other kinds of companies.

I realies that sharing one article does not settle the facts. But for the sake of contribution, here is an article that speaks to the safety of stevia.

Stevia Sweetener: Toxic or Tastey

I personally have been using stevia in nutritional ways for years. It does not cause blood sugar spikes as aspartame can do. When I started using stevia, it could only be marketed in Canada as a skin care product. It was available only in health food stores ... in the skin care section. I started using it as a sweetener in my tea at the recommendation of my health care practitioner. Recommendation was not just for sweetening purposes but also because it helps regulate blood sugar levels in the body.

Now that's changed.

Funny thing: all the dangers that are known and proven about aspartame, etc -- it has never faced the obstacles to being sold as a food product such as stevia has. Follow the money, follow the lobby, you get the picture.

The centuries of use of stevia in South America = speaks for itself.

Annik

kaplods 09-24-2013 12:36 AM

The stevia studies I referred to were not "cooked up" or in any way endorsed or connected with sweetener manufacturers. At least one was done before stevia was even legalized as a sweetener in the USA.

There are many natural food products used for hundreds of years in apparent safety that were found to have adverse health effects no one ever tied to the herb. Who would think to tie stevia use by a pregnant woman to her sons having smaller than normal genitalia?

Especially since stevia's traditional users were men on hunting trips if I'm recalling correctly.

I dug deeper into the artificial sweetener research than anyone I've met yet. I've read dozens of the studies and hundreds of the abstracts. I've read critiques and critiques of critiques of the research on all sides.

To get at anything resembling the truth on this issue, you have to really dig deep.

Annik 09-24-2013 06:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kaplods (Post 4847169)
The stevia studies I referred to were not "cooked up" or in any way endorsed or connected with sweetener manufacturers. At least one was done before stevia was even legalized as a sweetener in the USA.

There are many natural food products used for hundreds of years in apparent safety that were found to have adverse health effects no one ever tied to the herb. Who would think to tie stevia use by a pregnant woman to her sons having smaller than normal genitalia?

Especially since stevia's traditional users were men on hunting trips if I'm recalling correctly.

I dug deeper into the artificial sweetener research than anyone I've met yet. I've read dozens of the studies and hundreds of the abstracts. I've read critiques and critiques of critiques of the research on all sides.

To get at anything resembling the truth on this issue, you have to really dig deep.

To say that it can affect the size of men's genitals is classic fear mongering.

The kinds of stevia that I'd be wary of are the brands that are being doctored by the multi-nationals for God knows what reason (eg, Cargill now producing Truvia which has stevia but with xylitol added. Why?)

Stevia's traditional users were all kinds of people...for food and even shamen wo knew of its medicinal properties for treating blood sugar imbalances.

BiasStarfish 10-27-2013 09:11 PM

I don't personally know too much about the sugar/faux sugar debate. But I do know that I can't have anything in the family of splenda, sucralose (sp?), aspertame, etc. Aspertame and fake sugars send me off the edge and I end up sick as a dog. Aspertame Intolerance as my dr has labeled it... or something to that degree. My mom also has it. The smallest thing even - the whipped cream on my frappachino gave me a headache and made me nauseous after just one drink (apparently the baristas at a certian coffee company were out of the reg type and didn't think it was nessecary to let me know this minor detail).

This rxn of mine makes me EXTREMELY hesitant to try any of the new 'natural' zero cal sweetners out there. I (well... my friend) found Nectresse. I was hesitant, but she brought a box in for me of the individual packages and just asked me to try it instead of my raw sugar for my morning coffee. NOTHING! NO REACTION! I FINALLY FOUND A NO CAL SWEETNER THAT DOESN'T DO BAD THINGS TO ME! HUZZAH!


So. Summary of this post?

What about Nectresse? Made by Splenda, claims to be more natural (Monk Fruit).

tammyinwv 11-10-2013 07:10 PM

Once I started making smoothies, I bought a box with packets of raw monk fruit. Its a sweetener thats made from monk fruit. Taste pretty good. I refuse to use artificial sweeteners. If I had to, I would use real sugar or do without.

Wannabeskinny 11-11-2013 09:18 AM

Kaplods I can't believe how much time you've wasted in researching this when common sense tells us to do without. What's the purpose of finding which one is a little less bad than the other? I guess I see it a little differently, I'm not willing to entertain my sweet tooth or fool it or appease it in anyway. My sweet tooth can curl up and die for all I care. The only thing I try to allow it (when I'm not off on one of my binges sadly) is one piece of dark chocolate every day. It makes me happy, it's in moderation and at least the chocolate carries a minute benefit.

For me it's not worth even debating about it. I quit all alternative sweeteners and I couldn't be happier or prouder. It was very hard. I would say it was 2 months of torture. Well worth every moment of it. Artificial sweeteners not only affect our body but our brain too, I remember quite clearly when the fog lifted shortly after I quit. Best feeling in the world. Every once in a while I enjoy a diet cola but I have to be cautious because whenever I find myself binge eating there are trails of diet soda that have led to it imo.

Don't pander to your body's need of sweetener. You can and should do with out. And by doing so you will allow your body to really enjoy the flavors of real fruit. There is something quite lovely about bitter coffee/tea if you allow yourself to taste it. In fact, it's sad how our present day culture has completely rid of the bitter profiles in food. I've learned how to enjoy bitter food and appreciate its flavor on its own. It doesn't need an antidote.

laurlaur429 11-24-2013 06:55 PM

While I still can't wean myself off of Splenda, I've started using vanilla almond milk in tea and coffee because it's slightly sweet and reduces how much extra sweetness I have to add. I understand your dilemma though!

Munchy 11-25-2013 12:45 PM

I use agave since I use just a bit in my tea every morning, and it's the easiest and fastest to pour in my morning rush :dizzy:

I love honey, but it doesn't squirt as nicely! LOL

2feelbetter 11-25-2013 06:56 PM

Well this past week I just stopped using splend altogether. I always us coffee mate amaretto flavor in my coffee and it's pretty sweet so I just decieded the other day not to add the splenda and guess what I don't miss it. One day I added sugar because about once a month I just like to use sugar in my coffee.


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