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Old 08-09-2006, 12:58 AM   #1  
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Question Atificial sweetners

Well, I am slowly trying to incorporate as many super foods as I can. Yes, I still drink diet pop, and crystal light...but I am curious to what you all think about the artificial sweetners? I know Nelie has cut them out completely. The main reason I use splenda...is because I have a huge amount of weight to loose and there is no calories. From some of the reports that I just read online is that they really not that good for you in many ways. Should I just use regular sugar? I guess I answered my own question because I have eliminated sugar from my diet with the exception of splenda. Curious to know what you guys think...? I may just have to weed it out of my diet completely. Arrrrrrgggggg!


Edit to add: The entire reason I am bringing this up is because the last two times I have had "sugar free" foods like recees peanut butter cup, and tonight I had "sugar free" coffee frappe, I had terrible bowel issues. I don't react to splenda that way....so am assuming it is the Sugar Alcohol in those sugar free items. Interesting, eh?

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Old 08-09-2006, 01:04 AM   #2  
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I have pretty much eliminated them, I still love non fat sugar free vanilla lattes. Just can't give them up!
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Old 08-09-2006, 01:10 AM   #3  
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I'm not an expert on the subject, but I use appx 2 Splenda packets a day in my cup of tea. Sometimes, I'll use a little honey instead, depends on my calorie count for the day. Eventually, I'm going to work the Splenda out of my diet completely. No need for it. Good luck to you too!

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Old 08-09-2006, 01:14 AM   #4  
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I avoid Splenda and pretty much all artificial sweetners altogether. My father in law is a chemical engineer. We asked him about Splenda specifically, and he said he would not eat it. Other stuff he has said he would maybe avoid if possible, but a little bit now and then wouldn't be too bad. With Splenda, he said avoid completely. (Of course, this was a couple of years ago, I was trying Atkins, and I had just bought a huge bag at Costco. Doh!).

I think you will get used to things that are sweetened naturally the longer you go without the artificial stuff and the white stuff added. I know when I'm off sweetners and most added sugar, plain old fruit begins to be so much sweeter I am always surprised.

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Old 08-09-2006, 01:16 AM   #5  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rabbitt
I avoid Splenda and pretty much all artificial sweetners altogether. My father in law is a chemical engineer. We asked him about Splenda specifically, and he said he would not eat it. Other stuff he has said he would maybe avoid if possible, but a little bit now and then wouldn't be too bad. With Splenda, he said avoid completely.
Okay, no more Splenda for me, effective immediately! A chemical engineer??? Yeah, his opinion is good enough for me!
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Old 08-09-2006, 01:48 AM   #6  
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I definitely stay away from sugar alcohols like malotol and xylitol because the cause "sever intestinal distress," but ironically, olestra doesn't cause me any problems though (I avoid it anyway because chips, even fat-free are a trigger for me).

I'm trying to reduce my use of sugar-free sweeteners, because I'm finding that the less "sweet" my diet is, the fewer carb cravings I have.
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Old 08-09-2006, 02:04 AM   #7  
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I've never had any effects from artificial sweeteners except stuff with sugar alcohols. Those I avoid like the plague because they upset my stomach too.

I don't use Splenda even, I think it tastes far too much like a chemistry set because it tries TOO hard to be like real sugar. I use Equal and Sweet N Low or I use agave nectar. Yeah, the cactus juice! I put Equal in my oatmeal, grits and cereal, Sweet N Low in my tea (I'm a southerner, don't even talk that blasphemy about unsweetened tea!) and agave nectar in my hot teas and ocassionally my cereals and oatmeal too. I really MUCH prefer the agave nectar whenever possible... not only is it actually natural "sugar", but it has a low glycemic index and won't spike your blood sugar. It has about 60 calories per tbsp and it's so rich, you won't need anymore than that. I also use granulated fructose in dessert recipes instead of cane sugars. It also has a lower glycemic index, but is about the same calorie count as cane sugar but I find that I need less of it because it's pretty sweet. It, of course, is just fruit sugar. It acts just like the real thing in a recipe and NO ONE has ever noticed and I've been cooking with it at get-togethers for years!

I have a sweet tooth beyond belief and I've never been able to curb it. The best I can do is find ways around it and I end up liking processed white sugars less because the other kinds of sweet flavors seem superior. Now I can even taste how fake that stuff is!
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Old 08-09-2006, 06:24 AM   #8  
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I completely avoid artificial sweetners.. I always have. I don't trust them and don't like the taste either. Every once in awhile if I make a mistake by not paying attention to labels and buy something I can tell by the first bite that something is wrong. I recently did that when I was in a hurry selecting yogurt. I gave all the new yogurt I had just purchased (23 cups of it.. minus the one I had opened) to a neighbor.

In addition to not trusting it (the number one reason I avoid it), and not liking it (the number 2 reason), I also believe that foods that have added sweetners and flavors especially artifical flavors contribute to the obesity problem that we have. We've conditioned our taste buds to very strong sensations of sweet so much so that many of us don't taste the sweet in natural foods. I think it also makes our dopamine receptors go haywire so we require even more sweet things. When I cut down even on sugar ..added to products or in my recipes at home.. my taste buds really started to come alive.
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Old 08-09-2006, 09:53 AM   #9  
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I always thought Splenda was the better of all the sweetners???

I don't use or want sugar in anything else but I do use it in my Tea (or coffee when/if I drink that) I am trying to get used to plain tea but having a hard time, it seems so bitter otherwise. 1/2 to 1 pk of splenda in a large cup of tea is all I need.

What is so bad about splenda verses the others??
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Old 08-09-2006, 11:01 AM   #10  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jayde
We've conditioned our taste buds to very strong sensations of sweet so much so that many of us don't taste the sweet in natural foods. I think it also makes our dopamine receptors go haywire so we require even more sweet things.
My thoughts exactly, Jayde! Well said. I try to go without any sweeteners at all. Occasionally I'll go for the real thing and have some dark chocolate once or twice a week, but I don't keep sweet items in the house.

The only artificial sweetener I keep in the house is Stevia. It's an herb (all natural), and it has a bit of fiber in it. I find mine at local health food stores/co-ops.
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Old 08-09-2006, 11:14 AM   #11  
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I have one diet soda a day, if I want it. Beyond that I try to avoid it. Splenda has a horrible aftertaste to me, and I can taste the chemicals for hours. BLEH!!! I've been beyond pleased, though, with apples...and fresh pineapple is nice too...

Basically when I want something sweet I try to get natural sugars. The end.
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Old 08-09-2006, 11:20 AM   #12  
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You already mentioned that I cut them out But I've also cut out natural sweeteners for the most part as well. I do eat my dark chocolate that has sugar in it but really other than that, I don't eat sugar.

As a result:
I don't drink sodas - a good substitute is club soda with a squeeze of lemon or lime. My normal drink is unsweetened iced tea or water.
I don't chew gum - I enjoy gum but oh well
I don't eat candy, ice cream, cookies or other sweets.

I do have to say that I have never felt better since given up sweeteners. I did switch to Splenda and Stevia for a while before I gave them up but I don't trust Splenda and even though I think Stevia is safe, I rather not use any.

Also, if you use artificial sweeteners, there is some discussion that it still spikes your insulin production which results in you eating more or being hungrier.
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Old 08-09-2006, 12:53 PM   #13  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandrah
I am trying to get used to plain tea but having a hard time, it seems so bitter otherwise.
Hi sandrah! Try different teas. I just tried Earl Grey tea since starting this, and find that it has a very mellow, smooth taste. When I drink regular decaf Lipton tea, it tastes quite bitter! Also, something I just thought of, if you like milk/cream in your tea, try adding a little vanilla soymilk. I think I'll try that this afternoon. And honey is good as well. Or maybe just a squirt of lemon? I'm also looking forward to trying to grow my own tea leaves (lemon verbena in particular) and brewing fresh tea that way. When I had it before, it was not bitter at all. Just lemony and refreshing!

Just some ideas! We're in the same boat...
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Old 08-09-2006, 04:00 PM   #14  
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I think that you'll find everyone (including food chemists) will give you different answers to this. The bowel issues are caused by the sugar alcohols: malitol, sorbitol, etc...those I avoid like the plague since they have a similar effect.

Real sugar, honey and molasses, HFCS, give my horrible cravings and were the FIRST things I eliminated completely when I changed the way I ate.

I used to use a lot of agave nectar, but the price has gone sky high and it's hard to find.

Stevia takes like chewing on aluminum foil to me. Aspartame give me migraines and keeps me awake for hours.

For the first two years of weight loss and maintenance, I used no sweeteners except agave. This really limited my life, because I need more (portable) protein . I can't take "real food" to work for my 10 am meal, but I can use a shake or a protein muffin. Enter spenda. It had no affect on my cravings or weightloss/maintenance, and my experts (my father is an organic chemist, my step-father is an inorganic chemist and my dd is a chemical engineer who was working as a food chemist) saw no problems with it.

So I really think you have to decide for yourself what you can and can't live with. You'll find internet research declaring artificial sweeteners completely safe, and other experts who tell you you or your offfspring will have three heads covered in tumors.

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Old 08-09-2006, 06:09 PM   #15  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olivia627
Hi sandrah! Try different teas. I just tried Earl Grey tea since starting this, and find that it has a very mellow, smooth taste. When I drink regular decaf Lipton tea, it tastes quite bitter! Also, something I just thought of, if you like milk/cream in your tea, try adding a little vanilla soymilk. I think I'll try that this afternoon. And honey is good as well. Or maybe just a squirt of lemon? I'm also looking forward to trying to grow my own tea leaves (lemon verbena in particular) and brewing fresh tea that way. When I had it before, it was not bitter at all. Just lemony and refreshing!

Just some ideas! We're in the same boat...
Also try rooibus tea--red tea. It's very smooth, not tart at all, and no bitterness. I am extremely sensitive to bitter/tart flavors due to brain injury, and I can drink red tea without anything in it. It's Celestial Seasonings..um, lemme check...Madagascar Vanilla Red. There's also a rooibus spice tea (like a chai). They have other flavors on their website, but none that I've tried.

Oh, btw, the red teas are caffeine free.
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