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Sugar Substitutes...Do I or don't I?

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Old 01-24-2013, 09:52 PM   #1
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Default Sugar Substitutes...Do I or don't I?

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!
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Old 01-25-2013, 02:36 AM   #2
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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
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Old 01-25-2013, 02:43 AM   #3
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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.
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Old 01-25-2013, 10:31 AM   #4
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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!
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Old 01-25-2013, 05:39 PM   #5
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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!
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Old 02-10-2013, 08:04 PM   #6
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I too use Splenda "in the bag" for cooking and baking. I couldn't stand to not have some of sweetener.
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Old 02-12-2013, 02:44 AM   #7
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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.

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Old 02-12-2013, 03:12 AM   #8
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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/
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Old 02-12-2013, 11:52 PM   #9
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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.
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Old 02-13-2013, 06:17 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Suzanne 3FC View Post
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.
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Old 02-15-2013, 09:13 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skellig19 View Post
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
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Old 03-04-2013, 11:51 AM   #12
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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!
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Old 03-04-2013, 06:51 PM   #13
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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!
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Old 04-10-2013, 08:56 PM   #14
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I don't recommend splenda, it contains a substance called aspartame which is harmful to health
http://www.livestrong.com/article/44...and-aspartame/
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Old 04-11-2013, 01:54 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suzanne 3FC View Post
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.
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