Sugar Alternatives, good or bad?

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GGreen
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Sugar Alternatives, good or bad?

#1 Postby GGreen » Sat Sep 16, 2006 10:42 am

Like stevia, good or bad for you?

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Odidnetne
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#2 Postby Odidnetne » Sat Sep 16, 2006 10:52 am

I'm wary of those no-calorie sweeteners, I think that there is too much money in the low-carb and diabetic industry protecting it for real research, plus anything that's no water and has no calories shouldn't be consumed, in my opinion.

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#3 Postby GGreen » Sat Sep 16, 2006 11:15 am

True that, however stevia is not like aspartame or other harmful sugar alternatives developed by some company to make money, it is a natural plant. Now, whether this sweet plant that is sweeter than sugar is harmful is questionable.

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#4 Postby Odidnetne » Sat Sep 16, 2006 11:33 am

GGreen wrote:True that, however stevia is not like aspartame or other harmful sugar alternatives developed by some company to make money, it is a natural plant. Now, whether this sweet plant that is sweeter than sugar is harmful is questionable.


I'm not 100% familiar with Stevia though, does it have calories?

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#5 Postby GGreen » Sat Sep 16, 2006 12:43 pm

Odidnetne wrote:
GGreen wrote:True that, however stevia is not like aspartame or other harmful sugar alternatives developed by some company to make money, it is a natural plant. Now, whether this sweet plant that is sweeter than sugar is harmful is questionable.


I'm not 100% familiar with Stevia though, does it have calories?



It has zero calories

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stevia
http://www.healthrecipes.com/health_stevia.htm
http://www.stevia.com/SteviaArticle.asp?ID=2415

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#6 Postby _raVen_ » Sat Sep 16, 2006 12:52 pm

Stevia has been used for hundreds of years by indigenous People in South America and in Japan with no ill or side effects. It is the FDA which won't allow it to be sold as a "sweetener" (but as a supplement :roll:). Most of this has to do with the long arm of the Sugar and artificial sweetener industries, whose lobbies are about as powerful as the cattle and dairy industries.

Now, large amounts of anything isn't "good"; so, I would probably not consume a cup of the stuff per day.
Good thing is *very* little is needed. for some, it may take getting used to; others, like me, may really like it.

I use it daily in my green smoothies. Good in iced tea too, if you need a sweetener.

For recipes, it is best combined with another natural sweetener, like sugar, for better taste results.

In recipes with citrus, it is also enhanced greatly -- lemonade or iced tea with lemon, for a couple examples.

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#7 Postby michael » Sat Sep 16, 2006 12:59 pm

Stevia is 100% natural. It has sort of fallen into the "too good to be true" category of nutritional supplements because the FDA, working on behalf of the sugar and artificial sweetener lobby has given it a nebulous rating for safety. To this day, it cannot be labeled as a sweetener, even though that's exactly what it is sold as in other industrialized nations.

Stevia has been used by native Paraguayans for centuries and in Japan, whose people are wary of any artificial ingredients, it has been the sweetener of choice (along with xylitol) for a couple decades now. The anti-stevia crowd was so worried about this natural, nutritive, non-caloric and diabetic safe alternative, that it actually strong armed the FDA in attempting to BURN all books related to stevia. That's how much they felt threatened by stevia...

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#8 Postby Kathryn » Sat Sep 16, 2006 2:04 pm

I remember when, right after I bought a book on sweetening with stevia, they were taken off the shelves. (&@#$ the FDA!

Stevia is also good for helping prevent dental decay, as it has natural antibacterial properties.

I like to add a liquid flavored stevia to water (Wisdom Herbs makes it in orange, vanilla and chocolate/raspberry). Just a few drops will do.

It's funny to see some of the stevia in the health food store: if you get the powder, it seems a bit expensive, until you look at the label, and see that it has over 100 servings (and a teeny, tiny scoop in to measure them out!)

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#9 Postby veganpotter » Sat Sep 16, 2006 2:49 pm

I bought mine on ebay...equal to 450 packets for 18 bucks...I gave half of it to my mother and I still have a bunch left and its now been over a year. I'll probably get more in november. I love it!!!! Its great for light sweetening but not if you want something super sweet...so if you want super sweet food I suggest getting it modestly sweet with stevia then using agave or raw sugar to do the rest...its not so pricey if you no where to get it

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#10 Postby chesty leroux » Sun Sep 17, 2006 7:43 am

i used to use stevia in my oatmeal and stuff, it's ok, it has quite a distinctive aftertaste. And when i tried to bake with it, it was a disaster. But i felt better using it then all the chemical stuff.
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#11 Postby veganpotter » Sun Sep 17, 2006 2:10 pm

Thats where I stop using it. I add it in really small increments up intil I know if I add anymore the after taste will kick in...thats when I use raw sugar but preferably agave to do the rest...when I do it right I never even notice(well I do but thats because I made whatever I'm eating or drinking)

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#12 Postby Kathryn » Mon Sep 18, 2006 10:22 am

Don't forget date sugar as well: made solely from dried, powdered dates. It tastes especially good in baked goods that have tropical flavors (coconut, pineapple) or are a bit more substantial (coffee cakes) because of its distinctive flavor.

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#13 Postby veganpotter » Mon Sep 18, 2006 12:42 pm

I always forget about date sugar because I never have any...and just breeze by it in the grocery store. My mother makes some mean zuchini bread and carrot cake with date sugar and the non-hydrogenated Tofutti cream cheese(that means its healthy cream cheese)

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#14 Postby lmmy » Wed Sep 20, 2006 6:47 am

Which sugar alternative? No-calorie ones or ones with calories? In the latter case, maple syrup = good, blackstrap molasses = good, agave = semi-good (environmental destruction is tied to it), fructose = not so good, HFCS = bad. Those are all that I know of.
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#15 Postby veganpotter » Wed Sep 20, 2006 8:09 pm

I love maple but I will only eat it if I go out occationally...its far too wastefull. It takes 50 gallons of sap to get one gallon of syrup...far too taxing on the trees for my tastes


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