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LOOKING for: What sweeteners do you use?

LifeIsSweet
21 years ago

Sugar, brown sugar, honey, fruit or juice concentrates, or artificial sweeteners like Splenda, Equal, etc...

I used to use Equal and Sweet'n'Low, but the past few years I've just been using regular sugar. I'm very wary of using artificial sweetening chemicals, and have heard that they could be more harmful than natural sugar. I'm afraid I'm rather ignorant on the subject, though... are some artificial sweeteners actually natural??? I have heard from several sources that Splenda is good.

I've been thinking about this a lot, and would like to know what others (you) use, and why, if you don't mind.

Oh, by the way! I have type 1 diabetes, use needle injections 4x/day, and do not follow a strict "diabetic" diet. Instead, my goals are to eat healthy, natural foods, and count carbs (balance insulin). However, I do believe in worldly *treats* once in awhile!

Thank You : ) Holly

Comments (22)

  • sharlanet
    21 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I'm also diabetic and have recently started using Splenda. I think it's great! It doesn't have the bitter after taste like some of the others and can withstand heat in baking.

  • dotpy
    21 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    i had been using aspartame for years but starting reading about how bad it was so I switched to splenda which is surely more expensive. today I was reading on line that the aspartame scare was a hoax. so now I don't know what to believe. the splenda is good except for the price.

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  • MEMA_WI
    21 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Have you heard of or tried Stevia? It is an herb. It is very sweet and all natural. I am not diabetic, but just found out that my mother is. I have been trying to reduce sugar intake for a while now. Aspartame and NutraSweet just don't taste good to me and all of the stuff I hear about them scares me a little. So I started looking for a natural sweetener and found the stevia. You can use it in green plant form(which are hard to get started) or you can buy it prepared at natural food stores. It is a little pricey( about $4.50 for a box of 50 little packets), but tastes good and actually can help prevent tooth decay(by reducing plaque).

  • susan_in_nc
    21 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I use splenda and something real nice about it is that you can cook with it. It also measures the same as sugar, so you don't have to convert or do unnecessary experiementation.

    Susan

  • monica2001
    21 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I am not allowed sugar, but I bake a lot because I like something sweet to end a meal. I have heard Stevia is great, but have not found it yet. I use about 1/2 splenda and 1/2 real sugar - BUT only allow a little. I sometimes bake with some applesauce (for bulk in recipe), splenda and sugar. Also, don't forget about dates & raisins. I make great sweet breads just by adding cut-up dates, cinnimon (sp), nuts and just a little sugar on rolled out dough. Sometimes I'll add cream cheese also. Then I roll the dough into a loaf, let rise really high and bake. If any is left over, it makes yummy toast. You don't need to make your own dough, (I do because I cannot have white flour) you can use frozen. It's just as good. Have a great holiday. Monica in TX

  • Marie_TX
    21 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I used to use quite a few artificial sweeteners, many in the "phenyl . . ." category. I developed a cancerous brain tumor and in March of 2002 I had surgery. My oncologist recommended only regular sugar, brown sugar, molasses, or similar, natural, products. Read the ingredients. If your sweetener contains a chemical you don't know, look it up on Google to see if FDA has a report on it. Also, if you are using excessive amounts [I was drinking a diet cola every day] then investigate the ingredients. Also, if you chew gum, read the ingredients and check them out. I was chewing the icy mint type of gum, and it has suspicious ingredients. Believe me, you don't want to go through brain surgery. -- Marie

  • Bethintokyo
    21 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I use splenda -- it is really good, tastes like sugar and can be substituted in most recipes (the ice cream I tried to make with it was disgusting, however!). Apparently it does not raise your blood sugar levels in the way that other sweeteners do. It presumably has its dangers, and I don't wish to nullify those concerns -- however, I remember all the dangers sugar has, too!
    I have used stevia, and grow it in my garden, but for me it DOES have a different taste, and it's a bit tricky to get the measurements right.
    What I would love to find is a sweetener that tastes like brown sugar or molasses. Any ideas?

    Beth

  • Terrapots
    20 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Several years ago I bought a sweetener in brown sugar flavor. It was either aspartame or saccharin, I don't remember, maybe they still make it. Why not just add a little bit of black strap molasses or just molasses to your artificial sweetener, a little bit will go a long way. Also, I just discovered if you use two types of sweeteners together they augment the sweetness with less sweetener.

  • luv4pets
    20 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I am using the Splenda as well and even though it still carries an afertaste it is a lot better than the rest of the artificial sweetners.
    Angel~

  • yellowhair
    20 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    What about honey? Is it considered a "natural" sweetener?

  • teri2
    20 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Pure honey is a natural as you can get, isn't it? Out of the hives and into the bottle. But I see on my bottle of Kroger brand honey the words, "Warning: Do not feed honey to infants under one year of age." What's that about?

    Teri

  • puc13
    20 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Teri2 - infants can have allergic reactions to honey (don't know exactly why) happened to me, can be fatal

  • compumom
    19 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Does anyone else get incredible bloating and gas from Splenda? I had to kiss it bye bye after too many "incidents"!

  • gardengardengardenga
    19 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Babies under 1 year old are suppose to be nursing from their mother and not neccessarily eating food yet. The honey is too potent for the baby and I have heard and seen mothers dip pacifiers into honey and plug it into the kids mouth to shut them up or to give them a treat. This will rot out their teeth, if they have any and will upset thier stomach. Infants are fragile systems, mothers should nurse their babies for at least 1 year to 3years...and why we think cow'smilk is better than human milk is beyond me. I wonder what baby cows are suppose to drink? Cows milk is designed for the growing needs of a calf, not a human...human milk is designed to prepare a human for life! I believe it is essential!

  • simgirl
    19 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    The reason infants are not supposed to have honey is that it is unpasteurized. It can--and does--contain much bacteria, which for an adult digestive system is generally no big deal. However, if you are immunocompromised, you are also supposed to avoid honey--for the same reason.

  • abreeze
    19 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I recently heard Dr. Ted Broer say on TV that even Splenda is a harmful artificial sweetener. I wish I remembered what the ingredient was, but I don't! He strongly recommends Stevia. I've been using it for years. I wait until I've finished cooking before sweetening the food in the container. I've never tried baking a cake, pie, or cookies with it, but I have sweetened baked apples with it.

  • cattknap
    19 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    There are problems with Splenda.....but obesity causes more problems. I think the key is to not overdo the splenda - use a minimum of it. Here is an interesting website on problems with splenda:

    Here is a link that might be useful: problems with splenda

  • Terrapots
    19 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    We need to chill out on seeking better ways of sweetening our foods. When we like something too much we overeat and there's a rumor going around that Americans are too fat (I find that hard to believe!LOL). White flour and potatoes are just as bad as sugar and here's the worst news---besides diabetes, sugar helps you get wrinkles faster. Read one of Dr. Perricone's books on this. Aspartame, splenda and stevia use have forced me to eat the real stuff. When I do, I really savor the few bites I eat and find it satisfies my appetite better than stuffing myself with a big serving of "low calorie" which leaves me hungry anyway. Then I have to eat something to get rid of the aftertaste.

  • RuddMD
    19 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Has anyone heard of a sweetner called "Whey Low"? I started the South Beach diet about a month ago and noticed the folks on the South Beach forums singing it's praises.

    Moderation when eating sweets is definately the key. This time of year all the goodies are hard to resisit.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Whey Low Web Site

  • meg_va
    19 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Wheylow ROCKS!!!
    I use it when I bake and it doesn't have the bitter after taste that other sugar substitutes have.
    It also doesn't affect my blood sugar. I LOVE it!!

    Meg :)

  • rosieo
    19 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    12 Questions You Need to Have Answered Before You Eat Splenda
    From Janet Starr Hull's Health Newsletter, December 2003

    The following interview was conducted with Janet Starr Hull on the safety of sucralose found in Splenda.

    Q: What exactly is Splenda?

    A: In a simple sentence, you would just as soon have a pesticide in your food as sucralose because sucralose (Splenda) is a chlorocarbon. The chlorocarbons have long been known for causing organ, genetic, and reproductive damage. It should be no surprise, therefore, that the testing of sucralose reveals that it can cause up to 40 percent shrinkage of the thymus: a gland that is the very foundation of our immune system. Sucralose also causes swelling of the liver and kidneys, and CALCIFICATION of the kidney. Note: if you experience kidney pain, cramping, or an irritated bladder after using sucralose in Splenda, stop use immediately.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Q: So sucralose is not found as a natural compound in nature, like real sugar?

    A: Absolutely not. No sugar molecule is compounded with chlorine anywhere in nature.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Q: Do you know how it is made in the laboratory?

    A: I found this information from a statement from the manufacturer, actually. 'Sucralose is made from sugar, but is derived from sucrose (sugar) through a process that selectively substitutes three atoms of chlorine for three hydrogen-oxygen groups on the sucrose molecule. No artificial sweetener made in the laboratory is going to be neither natural to the body nor safer than unprocessed sugar', they claim.

    People need to stop searching for excuses to eat all the junk food they want without penalty. In the long run, no one benefits from this product but the corporations.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Q: The corporate researchers claim that the chlorine atoms are so tightly bound; they create a molecular structure that is exceptionally stable under extreme pH and temperature conditions. Do you agree?

    A: They are testing these conditions in lab rats, and these types of corporate studies have forced and 'selective' results, in my opinion. Aspartame research is the proof of this!

    Test these chemicals on a child and see how stable it is--but that would be cruel. So, why then do we buy it and give it to our children? I don't buy into manufacturers' claims when it comes to human beings using ANY man-made chemical. Plus, I have learned over the past 25 years of aspartame research to value independent research above that which is funded by corporations.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Q: The corporations say sucralose is safe.

    A: They said the same thing about aspartame, and look at the rampant disease and obesity taking over America since aspartame was put into the food supply over 20 years ago.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Q: Can sucralose cause cancer?

    A: Any animal that eats chlorine (especially on a regular basis) is at risk of cancer. The Merk Manuel and OSHA 40 SARA 120 Hazardous Waste Handbook states that chlorine is a carcinogen and emergency procedures should be taken when exposed via swallowing, inhaling, or through the skin.

    It all depends upon how much you use and how often, your present and past health status, and the degree of other toxins you are putting inside your body. Good luck with this one ...

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Q: Sucralose has been thoroughly tested, they claim. Actually they have stated that sucralose is the most tested food additive in history. I quote, " ... more than 100 studies on the safety of sucralose designed to meet the highest scientific standards have been conducted and evaluated over the course of 20 years. "

    A: I don't believe that for a second. They stated verbatim the same thing about aspartame. We are looking at the same scenario in so many ways. As with NutraSweet, no human studies, corporate payrolled researchers, selective result reporting, government involvement and personal financial interests and controlled media. I will say that sucralose is not as dangerous as aspartame.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Q: Splenda is approximately 600 times sweeter than sugar. How can that be?

    A: As I stated before, the product is a forced product, not a natural sugar the body uses for fuel. People forget that sweetness is a by-product of foods--a bonus so to say. Forced sweetness, revved-up sweetness, and artificial sweetness--all altered foods that are a trap for people to get addicted to the sweeter tastes. People with eating disorders, children who are just learning about food, and people with illnesses are all being 'sold a bill of rubbish' in my opinion.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Q: The manufacturer claims sucralose doesn't react with other substances in the body and is not broken down in the body.

    A: They claimed the same thing about saccharin, even though I feel saccharin is the only artificial sweetener with true merit. To answer your question, if the body is digesting properly, anything you put into the body will be assimilated. If it happens to be rancid, the stomach will throw it out immediately by vomiting or diarrhea. It is totally out of the realm of biological science to think the body will not immediately attack a toxic chemical. Henceforth, migraines from aspartame and diarrhea from Splenda.

    Now, to add a note to this: if the body is fed an indigestible product such as plastic (like in margarine) that it is incapable of dissolving through normal digestion, it will pass through undigested (if it doesn't get stuck in the gall bladder, that is.) So, if sucralose is indigestible due to its laboratory compounding, then we have yet another serious health problem to consider, don't you think?

    Technology is great, but we sure don't need to be eating it!

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Q: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and government food authority committees and the Health Ministries in countries such as Canada, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, Argentina, and Brazil have confirmed the safety of sucralose. So have the countries of Colombia, Peru, Venezuela, Uruguay, Romania, Lebanon, Qatar, Bahrain, Pakistan, Tajikistan, China, South Africa, and Tanzania. What do you think of all these countries confirming Splenda's safety?

    A: The history of aspartame has unfortunately proven that individuals within government agencies cannot and should not be trusted to make such empowering public decisions behind closed doors.

    Now, re-read this list of countries ... Mexico, Jamaica, Tajikistan and Tanzania? These are the countries in which Splenda is now marketed? (See the final question.) As an international geographer, I can comfortably say that these countries are not nations with the same technology and mass marketing strategies to be compared with the United States. These countries are more concerned with birth control, food staples, hostile take-overs, and drought--not diet sweeteners. Compare apples to apples.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Q: Is sucralose safe for children?

    A: The manufacturer actually made this statement for disclosure: "One should note, however, that foods made with low-calorie sweeteners are not normally a recommended part of a child's diet, since calories are important to a growing child's body."

    Pay attention ... Children should not be encouraged to grow up on fake foods. But just like cigarettes and alcohol, do what I say and not what I do? And we wonder why the younger generation is angry, ill, and ridden with ADD/ADHD and diabetes?? How many kids do you see taking a sip of mom or brother's diet cola?

  • rosieo
    19 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Xylitol is becoming very popular:
    The body does not have an insulin reaction when using xylitol, so this makes is good for people with diabetes, hypoglycaemia and for low-carb dieters.

    Xylitol prevents tooth decay.
    Xylitol reduces plaque formation on the teeth, it increases salivary flow to aid in the repair of damaged tooth enamel. It may help prevent osteoporosis. Xylitol stops the development of strep bacteria in the mouth and intestines, it has 40 percent fewer calories than sugar but is just as sweet as sugar, it also has 75 percent fewer carbohydrates than sugar.
    Xylitol has been the subject of more than 1,500 research studies.

    Xylitol is produced from Birch bark, corncobs & blueberry skins.

    Its chemical profile is different from sugar, though it looks like sugar and tastes like sugar. The xylitol molecule contains five carbons and five hydroxyl groups. This makes the sugar alcohol of the pentol type. Five-carbon sugar alcohols are antimicrobial, they do not support the growth of bacteria. Xylitol actually destroys streptococci and other bacteria, both in the mouth and in the intestines. Six carbon sugars, sucrose (table sugar) support the growth of streptococci and other bacteria.

    Xylitol is metabolised differently to sugar and even different from other sugar alcohols (such as sorbitol). Xylitol is a natural product that regularly occurs in the glucose metabolism of humans, other animals and some plants.

    Xylitol is easily metabolised and does not raise insulin levels. About 1/3 of the xylitol you eat is absorbed by your liver, the other 2/3 goes to your intestines where it is broken down by gut bacteria into short-chain fatty acids that are used by the body (mostly in the liver)

    The Physical & Chemical properties of Xylitol

    APPEARANCE: White, crystalline powder
    ODOUR: None
    BOILING POINT: 126c
    MELTING POINT: 92c to 96c
    CALORIFIC VALUE: 2.4 calories per gram

    Xylitol is said to help in the prevention and treatment of the following:

    Diabetes; osteoporosis, low bone mass; tooth decay; Candida albicans ( yeast infections) it can also help in related health problems, High insulin levels, have other effects in the body; high cholesterol, heart disease, hypertension, some fertility issues, polycystic ovary syndrome, is said to frequently feature insulin resistance.

    Xylitols insulin connection;

    Xylitol does not raise insulin levels and does not raise cholesterol levels, It is said to be safe for people with diabetes and people with high cholesterol and triglycerides levels.

    Xylitol ranks as a 7 on the glycemic index, indicating that it requires only tiny amounts of insulin to be completely metabolised.

    Xylitol assists insulin in getting into the target muscle cells.

    Xylitol is low in calories

    Xylitol has a slow, steady energy release.

    Xylitol will keep you body from going into ketosis ( abnormal levels of ketones in the body) because it helps the body to use fats and to balance insulin levels.

    Xylitol reduces carbohydrate cravings and helps curb binge eating.

    Xylitol is said the help middle ear infections in children

    Xylitol is recommended as part of a healthy diet to clear up yeast infection and as part of your diet to prevent yeast infection (Candida) Jonathan Wright, M.D.

    Xylitol is possibly good nutrition for athletes.

    Xylitol as an antioxidant is just starting to be explored

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