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Natural vs Artificial Sweeteners

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Old 04-22-2008, 02:59 PM   #1
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Default Natural vs Artificial Sweeteners

Since I am very insulin-resistant, my doctor opened my eyes to the world of artificial vs natural sweeteners. She also told me that Splenda, Equal & Sweet & Low are some of the worst things you can put in your body if you're insulin-resistant. The basic chemicals of sucralose, when broken down, all but halt your metabolism and make you crave more sugar. I'm not surprised really.

She also mentioned that i look into buying Xylitol or Erythritol sweetener since they are naturally-derived from fruit sugars, take a long time for your body to metabolize, and have nearly no impact on blood sugar level. They're not lab-created and much better for you in the long run.

Anyone else have any experience with natural vs artificial sweeteners?
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Old 04-22-2008, 03:10 PM   #2
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Yes. Anything with artificial things (astarame, Spelnda, etc) will make me hungrier, and while it does not raise blood sugar it does raise insulin! After this raise your body does a nosedive, just like if you ate real sugar (The Patient's Guide to PCOS). I use stevia in small amounts and it tastes great. Also, any products I buy with xylitol taste good, too, but can bother my stomach. Stevia has no negative bowel effects, but if you use too much it tastes bitter. A pack of stevia about as big as a pack of Equal lasts me about a week. I use 2 very small shakes of the packet, then save the rest for later. You can probably get 5 cups of coffee out of one small pack.
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Old 04-22-2008, 06:20 PM   #3
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I'm another stevia fan! I've used it for baking, in seltzer, in hot and iced teas...and it's fantastic. If you use too much, it can taste bitter, but if you buy a quality product and just add a little at a time until you know how much tastes "right", it's perfect! I have both the powdered and the liquid concentrated form. I like both versions, and a single bottle lasts a LONG time because of how concentrated it is.
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Old 04-22-2008, 06:39 PM   #4
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Sugar alcohols like xylitol and erythritol can upset some peoples stomachs. I have heard a xylitol and stevia mix tastes pretty good though. I got off the artificial sweeteners not because of the PCOS but because I just don't think they're healthy for anyone...

Stevia I wasn't a fan of. My coffee/tea didn't taste the same. Those are the only places I use sugar so I just use the real stuff when I do. Things still seem to working for me! My advice would be to try a few of the natural sweeteners and see what you like the taste of. Get off the artificial stuff if you can.
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Old 04-22-2008, 10:53 PM   #5
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When I first tried Stevia about 6-7 years ago, I didn't know that it was super strong. The local health food store had a basket of them loose for a nickel. I bought a handful and the next morning I poured two packets on my cereal, thinking they were just like Sweet-N-Low. I would have loved to have seen the look on my face when I took a bite!

I think my favorite sweetener ever was Somersweet, but WOW did it give me gas. That was right after my husband and I married, and talk about a short honeymoon.
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Old 04-23-2008, 10:22 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennifer 3FC View Post

I think my favorite sweetener ever was Somersweet, but WOW did it give me gas. That was right after my husband and I married, and talk about a short honeymoon.
HAHAHAHA!!!


Has anyone ever tried Sun Crystals?
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Old 04-23-2008, 10:26 AM   #7
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I use Sun Crystals in my coffee and to make chocolate. No problems here!
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Old 04-23-2008, 10:35 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoulBliss View Post
I use Sun Crystals in my coffee and to make chocolate. No problems here!
Have you ever used it for baking? I've been in a no/lo-carb diet for about a week and I am craving sugar somethin fierce!!! LOL

I thought maybe if i made brownies or something with sun crystals or xylitol it would help... any baking advice?
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Old 04-23-2008, 10:37 AM   #9
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I don't bake anymore. I am LOW CARB and vegan. No starches except vegetables for me! No brownies I could make would be low enough in carbs.
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Old 04-23-2008, 12:25 PM   #10
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Default Agave Nectar

I almost forgot- agave nectar!

This sweetener does have calories (about 60) but it tastes better than stevia and the calories serve to curb your appetite since your body is placing calories with the sweet taste.

I need to try to make cupcakes with agave nectar. There's a recipe in "Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World"- absolutely the greatest cupcakes ever, even if you're a carnivore.
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Old 04-23-2008, 04:36 PM   #11
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This discussion is really interesting. I have a few questions. Is there such a thing as Diet Pop or even Crystal Light type mixes made out of any of the natural sweeteners? I just don't think I can give up 'sweet' beverages!!
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Old 04-23-2008, 05:13 PM   #12
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I have found I like the stevia. You only have to use a little or WOW is it sweet. It seems ok for baking and that is what I really wanted it for. You do have to experiment a lot to find out how much to use.
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Old 04-24-2008, 10:45 AM   #13
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I haven't found any 'diet' drinks sweetened with the natural sweeteners yet, even at Whole Foods! Their diet drinks contain sucralose or Splenda- talk about selling out!

Once in a while I do have a diet cola (like maybe once a week). My roommate keeps the pink Crystal Light around and whenever I have a glass I'm ravenous and dizzy like 20 minutes later- it's the chemical sweeteners. And, artificial sweeteners do cause a raise in insulin (but not blood sugar), which also promotes fat storage and hunger.

I love my Diet Pepsi, and when I have it once a week I remember to tell myself that I'll be hungrier than normal after I have it. As long as I know what's going to happen I can prepare and not eat too much. But seriously, how hard is it to just put agave nectar or stevia in a drink instead of a chemical? The big corporations need to use their head. But I guess the chemical ones are cheaper. :P

Actually this summer I'm going to make homemade iced tea and keep a pitcher in the fridge, and put some stevia in it. That should curb my craving for those cold, flavored summer drinks.
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Last edited by Michelle125 : 04-24-2008 at 10:47 AM.
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Old 04-24-2008, 03:31 PM   #14
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We have to buy a tea maker at least once every two years lol. We wear the thing out. I have just gotten use to drinking tea with no sugar. It is amazing how good something tastes when you aren't covering the taste up with sugar lol.
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Old 04-24-2008, 03:47 PM   #15
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I've never heard of a tea maker- is it easier than using the stove? What my mom always did was take 10 teabags and boil them in the least amount of water possible, making a super strong tea (about 2 cups). Then she'll pour it into a gallon pitcher and add cold water to fill it up.
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