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What's worse -- refined simple sugar or sugar substitues?

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Old 01-21-2009, 09:51 PM   #16
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Personally I think stevia, raw honey, raw agave, maple syrup, molasses, and sorghum syrup are okay is moderate amounts (in other words, small amounts.) From the research I've done, it seems these sweeteners don't affect your immune system the way refined sugar does. I do have to say though, I can't use stevia -- too bitter.

I do use sugar on occasion, but I buy the unbleached kind and don't use it very often. Certainly not every day. I don't have blood sugar or craving problems, so I feel it's okay for me to have as a treat.

I don't use artificial sweeteners though. In my mind, they are just as bad (if not worse) then regular sugar. This is just my opinion, of course. I don't judge others based on their decisions for their own body.

Artificial sweeteners cause problems for me. Ones I was not aware of until I stopped consuming them. I attribute my former problems with bad pms, headaches, and extreme tiredness to consuming artificial sweeteners. I feel artificial sweeteners are toxic. At least, I feel they are to my body.

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Old 01-21-2009, 10:23 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by kaebea View Post
I think we also have to realize that even though so many mgs/kg/day of say splenda might be proven safe according to the researchers, we are also exposed to an onslaught of other chemicals in our modern world and together all these toxins are going to have some kind of net effect on our bodies.
However, it's noteworthy that even things that your body needs can be poison to your body - take for example, iron. Iron can be highly toxic in a certain dose, but your body needs it. Now, your body doesn't need a sweetener, but that's not to say that it's realistically feasible to actually poison yourself with it. But again, to each his own.

However, all of this talk makes me think of this:

http://www.dhmo.org/

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Old 01-22-2009, 07:15 PM   #18
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Heh heh, I was actually pondering this for a moment at work today
many things can be beneficial to the body up to a certain level, after which they could potentially reach toxic levels, including water. It's possible and quite deadly i hear to overhydrate.

I think the difference, in my eyes anyway, is that real nutrients are actually giving the body something that it can use. They are absorbed and used as building blocks and actually become part of the body.
Now, i have read this and it is quite common thinking in holistic health care circles, but, for non-nutritive substances, in order for the body to break them down, process them and rid them from the body, you actually get a net LOSS of nutrients. So a diet high in refined white sugar could actually rob someone of nutrients thus contributing to a deficiency.

I'll have to look into that too and see if i can find any sources, but in know i've read it multiple times and it makes sense to me.
this thread is going to really make me have to do some homework...
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Old 01-22-2009, 09:30 PM   #19
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I just wanted to add that I saw the other day on the Today Show (or GMA) that a mainstream dietician was recommending getting off both sugar and sugar subs to detox the body, and get rid of the sweet cravings. So maybe both are bad ????
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Old 01-26-2009, 10:05 AM   #20
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i traded in sugar for agave nectar over a year ago. it is the same in calories, but it does'nt spike your blood sugar and then result in a crash later. agave nectar is taste neutral, so i also bake with it. i don't think sugar eaters would know the difference.
i also bake with brown rice syrup sometimes, but it is more like sugar on the glycemic index. you would get the crash later.
i think stevia tastes awful.
i do go off the wagon with sugary foods, but i dont have sugar in my home. im convinced that sugar is really evil.

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Old 01-28-2009, 04:14 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by IngridonWW View Post
I just wanted to add that I saw the other day on the Today Show (or GMA) that a mainstream dietician was recommending getting off both sugar and sugar subs to detox the body, and get rid of the sweet cravings. So maybe both are bad ????
I think if you want to end sweet cravings then you absolutely have to get rid of both. Then you start to retrain the palate. I've done it at times and my husband did. My skinny husband went on (modified) atkins for a few weeks just to see what the fuss was about. He for some reason considered himself an ideal test case. Anyway, he cant stand artificial sweeteners so he just went sweet free. He used to put a lot of honey in his oatmeal, now he uses none, etc.
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Old 01-28-2009, 04:25 PM   #22
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Well I agree you can definitely retrain your palate. I used to use sweet n low in my iced tea. Then I started to decrease the amount and now I don't use it at all for iced tea or hot tea.

I buy all my soy milk unsweetened.

For me, most often, the decision between artificial/natural comes from when I buy something or I'm making something purposefully sweet. I've made recipes that called for sweetener and cut the sweetener down. Or sometimes I make chai tea and want it to be a little sweet. I don't feel I NEED sweeteners but I'll still use them sparingly.
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Old 08-03-2009, 07:58 PM   #23
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http://www.innvista.com/health/nutri...et/saspart.htm
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Old 08-03-2009, 09:52 PM   #24
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I do firmly believe we can train our bodies as to what we like and can live with over time. As I changed my diet- it was awful before. I lived on white pastas and sugars (places I didnt even know they snuck white sugar into!). As I began eating more fruits (espectially fruits) and nuts I noticed I didnt desire the crap I did before I crave fruits now!!!!

As far as the artificial sweetners I believe sweet n low dangerous because of the chemical compounds. I heard it causes brain tumors. But im sure that and splenda etc cant be healthy because of the fact it isnt natural its manmade. For my sweetners I use either stevia, honey, or agave. All because they are completely natural. Stevia is from a herb as far as I have been told. I actually like stevia using a couple a day on fruits etc. But I agree with what someone said about white sugar that its evil. It really is for our bodies, complete poison. I believe white sugar and flour turns to pure fat in our bodies over time. Its not the food God created for us therefore causes harmful effects. IMHO.
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Old 08-06-2009, 11:04 PM   #25
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I'm still trying to figure out how I feel about sugars. Ideally I'd eat nothing but basic whole foods ala hunter-gatherer - veggies/fruits, nuts/seeds, lean protein, and eggs - and skip the grains, processed grains, roots, and all sugars/sweeteners. Unfortunately I don't find that to be a maintainable way to eat, and I need to be realistic about the nutrition I can stick with in the long term.
If you look at the whole prehistoric-man logic, it makes sense that we generally crave sweet foods - the theory being that they weren't so easy to come by when we were still in hunter-gatherer mode, so we would have gorged on them when they were available to store fuel (i.e. fat) for the leaner times.
So, I think we need to recognize that sweet things should be enjoyed in limited doses - it's the gorging instinct that's a problem IMHO, whether that's on real sugars (which is a main contributor to my extra weight), or the same volume of their artificial substitutes.
Currently I've ditched all my artificial sweeteners (sugar-free pancake syrup was the last to go, I was hanging on to that one), and eat limited doses - less than a tablespoon a day - of less processed sugars like honey or agave.
Now, rather than having a 1/4 cup of sugar-free syrup on my pancakes I drizzle on 1/2 tbsp of honey. I'm trying to focus more on savoring the sweets, and so far it's working.
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Old 08-07-2009, 12:25 AM   #26
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For the people that say Stevia is bitter, it might depend on what you get. I got some powdered stevia once that was a bit bitter. But I've tried others and it wasn't bitter at all. And if you use to much stevia, it can be sooo sweet it's bitter. I'm using something now that's part pure cane sugar and part stevia. Only 5 cals per packet.
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Old 09-18-2009, 06:55 PM   #27
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Well, I try to avoid both. I rarely eat sugar substitutes anymore and have found now that I avoid them that when I do have something with them (like a yogurt), the food tastes horrible -- like a chemical stew. Bleh!

When I want something sweet during the day, I try to have a piece of fruit. In the evening, when I'm close to going to bed, if I want something sweet, I will have some dark chocolate or a frozen fruit bar. If I have sugar earlier in the day, I crave it all day long, so I save it for the evening when I'll sleep away any cravings that might arise. I find this is true of milk sugars also. If I eat yogurt and drink milk during the day, watch out!
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Old 09-18-2009, 06:57 PM   #28
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Although.... I do put a drizzle of agave nectar on my oats in the morning along with a handful of blueberries. I recently bought agave nectar with maple extract in it -- yum! Tastes just like maple syrup without the sugar spike.
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Old 09-19-2009, 05:21 AM   #29
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I guess it is all very individual. Sugar doesn't give me spikes and crashes in terms of energy and I do use it in a restricted way - tsp in my coffee, a cookie or piece of chocolate as snacks, etc. It's actually a good way for me to end a meal by having a *little* piece of something sweet. It's like a "seal" to the meal and it takes away the need to continue to eat.

I feel the nasty after taste of most AS so really hate them and almost never use them. The only exception for me so far is the Zero coke which tastes to me almost like regular coke. So I do drink a little of that from time to time (not a lot because I also believe that AS can't be healthy for you).
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