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TOPIC: Splenda, Stevia, Truvia, Honey?!

 
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February 26, 2011 3:29 PM
I've been using a HUGE left over box of single packet splenda but im starting to wonder if that could have anything to do with plateauing when i was on WW. I keep hearing many good things about Stevia, but im not sure if i should switch, or just bite the calorie bullet and start using honey to sweeten my green tea. im trying to cut out any drinks that contain sugar (or any other chemicals ie diet coke, crystal lite) that could slow my progress. What are your thoughts? If you live in Washington (like i do) where do you buy stevia if i do switch?
February 26, 2011 3:37 PM
Ditch the Splenda for sure. Stevia and honey in moderate amounts are okay.
  2710687
February 26, 2011 3:39 PM
To get actual stevia rather than the not just stevia plant try your local health-food stores, they should at least be able to tell you where to get it.
  3335912
February 26, 2011 3:40 PM
I've done some research on splenda and it has more in common chemically to pesticides than it does to table sugar. Stevia and honey, and organic sugar in moderation all the way!
  2592870
February 26, 2011 3:47 PM
I agree with everyone else here. Get actual stevia, raw honey or raw agave nectar from a health food store.

Stay away from Truvia and Purevia.
February 26, 2011 4:00 PM
thanks everyone. currently doing my research on what to switch to; raw agave or raw honey
February 26, 2011 4:16 PM
I definitely recommend agave syrup. You can get in dark amber or light amber I buy it by the gallon it is cheaper and I just refill a little bottle. It has 1/3 of the calories of honey and you use it one to one like you would a teaspoon of sugar. I have found ketchup and lemonade at the health food store both using agave nectar as the sweetener.

The only trouble I have had is in baking. I didn't account enough for the extra liquid. It tastes great in coffee, tea, or on strawberries ect. Even if you use plain yogurt and want it a little sweet. Stevia can be bitter or too sweet and I have heard that you have to worry a little about the processing. I don't recommend artificial sweeteners because they are known to be carcinogenic.

Hope you love it!
February 26, 2011 4:19 PM
I like Truvia. It doesn't have a bad aftertaste like Stevia. Stevia is so sweet whereas Truvia is close to sugar. Not sure why someone posted to stay away from Truvia, but it comes from the Stevia plant as well.
February 26, 2011 4:19 PM
I like Truvia. It doesn't have a bad aftertaste like Stevia. Stevia is so sweet whereas Truvia is close to sugar. Not sure why someone posted to stay away from Truvia, but it comes from the Stevia plant as well.
February 26, 2011 4:47 PM
I am a food scientist and nutritionist and I will help to sort out any questions/fears you may have about artificial or natural sweeteners. First of all, make sure to do real research from scientifically reputable sites. Too much nonsense is propogated out there by gossip or opinion style websites tauting that aspartame is used to clean car engines and that since sucralose (Splenda) contains Chlorine, that it must be deadly. This is all ridiculous. Let me first clarify one thing...just because something is "natural" does not make it necessarily safe. For example, supplements found at healthfood stores are NOT regulated by the FDA, but people go bananas over them because they are all "natural", while the same people scoff at ingredients on labels such as niacinamide (vitamin B3), ascorbic acid (vitmain C) or acetic acid (vinegar). See how a chemical-sounding name can make these harmless things sound scarier?? This is why supplements like fat burners are later pulled from the shelves for giving people heart attacks later...there are no researchers testing to ensure beforehand that there are these side effects. Also, there is no real definition for what makes something natural. Companies come up with their own definition of what is deemed "natural" as this is a current trend in the food industry that has no real support. To clarify further, there is no regulation on whether something is natural or not and different companies may define this differently. Food additives are tightly regulated and go through extremely stringent and intense testing before they are approved. This can occaisionally span decades of research with thousands of groups trying to solve these safety problems. With that said, some healthfood supplements are generally recognized as safe and can be taken with confidence and some approved additives, while deemed "safe" by the FDA should be consumed in moderate quanitities and not over-used.

Truvia and Purevia are both sweeteners containing Stevia derivatives mixed with sugar alcohols and bulking agents or flavoring. Bulking agents are necessary because these things contain much higher sweetness per gram as compared to sugar, so to make the measurements equivalent, more carbohydrate needs to be aded to basically take up space. Stevia on its own is extremely bitter and not very palatable other than just being sweet, so I assume that the flavors may be trying to make the Stevia more palatable. Stevia is the sweetener most recently approved for use in foods, however it has been used for years in other contries while being safe and also sold in the USA as a supplement. Sucralose has been researched for a couple decades and has been found to be safe. The backlash from aspartame and saccharin has for some reason now moved on to sucralose because everybody just wants a scapegoat to all gang up against. These artificial sweeteners have been shown to be safe with a multitude of research studies and it baffles me why peolple still think they are "poisonous" or "toxic". With this in mind, one should still practice moderation with all these. To my disappointment, food companies are loading these into everything, so although you think you are not consuming them very often, you are most likely consuming much more of them than you think. I think a good option would be to go 50:50 with sugar and splenda or honey and splenda (or truvia, stevia, lo han guo, purevia, aspartame, or whatever) to lower calories if that is your biggest concern. I think its smarter to use artificial sweeteners if it is the only way you can ditch some sugar calories and lose weight from obese or overweight to become a healthy weight, beause this is a bigger immediate risk to your health. If you are trying to do away with sweeteners all together, I think just lowering the amount of sweeteners you put in things slowly is a good way to gradually wean yourself off of sugar/sweeteners. I personally LOVE honey in tea and only use about a teaspoon per cup. I feel like the sweetness of the honey brings out the flavor in the tea and I would prefer this and just eat the calories.

Overall message:
-Be smart
-Do your research (not from bogus opinion sites)
-EVERYTHING in moderation (remember, even things like vitamin A are toxic at high enough levels)
February 26, 2011 5:13 PM
Try to cut out sweeteners at all...I know it's hard, but worth the reward.

Anytime you bite into fresh fruit and taste it's fruity-fresh delicious sweetness is is worth the effort.

If you sweeten up your life with sugar or any other artifical thing you will miss on the pure taste of fruites sweetness and feel tempted to resweet even your fruitsalad for example.–What a crime!
February 26, 2011 5:29 PM
I would cut out the splenda, I had a big box of it too and got rid of it. Personally I use honey, since it is a natural raw sugar, or agave nectar> Just thought that I would put in my two cents.
  3923333
February 26, 2011 5:34 PM
QUOTE:

Try to cut out sweeteners at all...I know it's hard, but worth the reward.

Anytime you bite into fresh fruit and taste it's fruity-fresh delicious sweetness is is worth the effort.

If you sweeten up your life with sugar or any other artifical thing you will miss on the pure taste of fruites sweetness and feel tempted to resweet even your fruitsalad for example.–What a crime!




Totally Agree...
February 26, 2011 5:40 PM
when I use anything it's honey (raw or with the comb) or raw sugar

I've tried most artificial sweeteners and I don't like the chemically taste. i can tolerate stevia and agave but one packet of sugar in the raw or a half a teaspoon of honey are usually just enough for me and I don't sacrifice more than 20/25 calories max
  3985089
February 26, 2011 7:02 PM
Thank you for all of the info jweirsma!!
  1687303
February 27, 2011 1:29 AM
Just as a side note......just because the FDA approves something does not mean it is a clean food. I eat clean as well as a ton of other people, not sure if you are, but processed foods, table sugar, or any artificial sweetener is not considered a clean food because it is not from a natural state...meaning it is so far from nature that man has taken all the nutritional value out of it. So really, anything with no nutritional value is off limits for me.
Another thing about artificial sweeteners is that it tricks your brain. Basically, they make you feel more hungry.
I hope this helps clarify any other concerns.
February 27, 2011 11:20 AM
princesschikee,

I agree with you. Just because something is approved as safe to eat, we still have the responsibility to decide what to put into our bodies and lots of excess sugar is not necessarily the best thing for anybody. I realize what you are trying to get across with eating "clean" and of course that is the best way to eat. Fresh fruits, vegetables, grains, lean meats, everything organic and as minimally touched as possible. However, you state that table sugar is not from a natural state, but in fact it actually is. It is a produced from sugar cane, which is grown and does not come from a lab. If you mean that it isn't in it's grown form, then yes you are right...but we must remember that raw sugar is also processed...just maybe to one less step of 20 that white sugar goes through haha!!! Basically anything other than a fruit or veg picked from a garden is probably processed to some degree, but this isn't always a bad thing. In addition, I see what you are saying about those artificial sweeteners and sugar having no "nutritional value", but actually sugar does have nutritional vlaue. It contains calories through simple sugars (sucrose breaks down to fructose and glucose) and any source of calories is a source of nutrition. This is why artificial sweeteners are called "non-nutritive sweeteners"...because they have no calories; the name non-nutritive does not imply a lack of vitamins and minerals, but just that it does not supply the body with fuel, calories.

Processed foods get such a bad wrap, but the term processed is so mis-used. Processed foods often conjure up images of labs putting testubes of chemicals and other junk mixing into food, but a processing step can be anything. Do you know that fruits and vegetables are processed? They are!! They are sorted and washed. These are processing steps. Do you know why your milk is safe to drink? It is from pasteurization. Pasteurization sounds scary and sciencey, but it is really just a mild heat treatment for a certain number of time that reduces pathogenic bacteria. This is why I think it's crazy when people drink raw milk!!! The udder of a cow could have fecal bacteria and other contaminants on it, so why would anyone want to risk getting very ill from drinking milk that has been untreated?? The thing is, the term "raw" invites an image of coming straight from the farm and being untainted, this is why it is so popular right now. I feel strongly that the food industry, government, and health educators do a poor job of really promoting health truths or if they do, this information is overshadowed by whatever newest fad is going on at that certain time, which tends to get much more press.

You are also right about the artificial sweeteners possibly tricking your brain. There is research out there that has found that the presence of artificial sweeteners sends a signal through the taste buds that the body should be expecting a dose of glucose soon (and calories), however, when those calories don't show up later, the body gets confused and thinks something is missing, so it overcompensates by craving more sugar later. This is the hypothesis and there is research that both supports and refutes this, so maybe we will see one day what will happen!!!

Great points to bring up!!
February 27, 2011 6:09 PM
QUOTE:

thanks everyone. currently doing my research on what to switch to; raw agave or raw honey


We use both in our house for different things.

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