Is Stevia worth it? What's your favourite not-sugar sweetener?

2

Replies

  • jennifer_417
    jennifer_417 Posts: 12,346 Member
    At first I only tolerated it to save calories, but now I actually prefer Sweet 'n Low in my coffee. Real sugar in coffee now has an odd "dull" flavor to me. As for baking, I think Stevia tastes good. I'm not much of a baker, but my roommate is, and I think she'll frequently swap out half the sugar for Stevia, and I can't ever tell the difference.
    Also, I believe it is recommended for those in Diabetes territory to shoot for a more low-carb diet, so I think that's a good call for you.
  • DrEnalg
    DrEnalg Posts: 650 Member
    At first I only tolerated it to save calories, but now I actually prefer Sweet 'n Low in my coffee. Real sugar in coffee now has an odd "dull" flavor to me. As for baking, I think Stevia tastes good. I'm not much of a baker, but my roommate is, and I think she'll frequently swap out half the sugar for Stevia, and I can't ever tell the difference.
    Also, I believe it is recommended for those in Diabetes territory to shoot for a more low-carb diet, so I think that's a good call for you.

    Almost without exception, as far as I'm aware, replacing sugar with artificial sweeteners is highly recommended if you're diabetic. Of course, you could just avoid sweet food altogether.... but why do that? :smile:

    The other thing to do is avoid refined flour, and replace it with whole-wheat flour, or things like almond meal, flax meal, oat bran flour, etc.
  • rhtexasgal
    rhtexasgal Posts: 571 Member
    Monk fruit sweetener (orange packets) is my favorite because it does not have that weird after-taste that Stevia sometimes has. I use it for both hot and cold stuff. Stevia is ok for cold stuff, IMHO.

    I also use a product called SugaVida in my coffee. sugavida.com/benefits/ It is natural from a tree. I used to order it through Amazon but recently found it at my local HEB Grocery store. It is full of nutrients, particularly a host of B vitamins along with potassium and some other trace elements. It is best in coffee and is has a caramel-like taste that you can detect through the back of the tongue. I have yet to bake with it though.

    I will still use straight up sugar (albeit organic) for baking because it provides the best consistency to baked goods.
  • jgnatca
    jgnatca Posts: 14,465 Member
    _John_ wrote: »
    jgnatca wrote: »
    Can_Do_Gal wrote: »
    OP, if you're thinking of cutting sugar to reduce your blood sugar, you may want to look into the effect of Splenda, aspartame, etc on blood sugar. It's my understanding that they have no calories, but still raise blood sugar as much as sugar. Stevia, otoh, has no calories and no effect on blood sugar. I use stevia regularly, though not in baking. I think it's one of those things you need to get used to. I used to find it odd, but now it seems normal.

    No they don't. Otherwise we'd have a whole bunch of very sick diabetics on our hands. Those of us who regularly test our blood sugars are acutely aware of the effects of various foods on blood sugar levels. Artificial sweeteners do nothing. Carbohydrates on the other hand, like potatoes, breads, and rice, oh my.

    This isn't always true. I have several diabetics in my family. Two of them had to give up diet soda because it was spiking their blood sugar. The others can drink it just fine. I have no idea what makes the difference, but it doesn't work the same for everyone.

    I'm assuming this is a diet soda consumed while fasted spike and not a random measurement at an unspecified time after potentially differing meals/meal timing.

    I'm not sure what qualifies as "fasted", but yes, when they drink soda not as part of a meal.

    The diabetic's life is regulated, as we attempt to take over a metabolic function that for regular people, just happens. "diet soda consumed while fasted" means something specific in diabetic-land. This means the diet soda was consumed, say, two hours after eating when the stomach is empty, and then 1-2 hours later the blood sugar is tested and found elevated, as found when sugar is consumed. @_John_ is expressing justified skepticism here.

    Insulin dependent diabetics are extra vigilant, as they count all the "carbs" in a meal and adjust their insulin accordingly. Miscount the carbs and the blood test afterwards is not going to be pretty. Real carbs are counted, never fake sugars.

    So a diabetic will know very quickly (within hours) if a fake sugar has the same effect on the body as regular carbs. They don't. This is always true.

    What your relatives may have been expressing @Need2Exerc1se is a noted spike in blood sugar after a meal, when consuming diet soda as part of a larger meal. There is no way such a testimony can point to the diet drink as the cause.
  • MollyJE19
    MollyJE19 Posts: 67 Member
    edited October 2015
    I use stevia in coffee and tea. At first it tasted weird and left an aftertaste, so I added a small amount of sugar to it. Eventually I cut down and then eliminated the sugar and now stevia tastes fine to me. There is a product called Truvia that is part sugar/part stevia that claims to be good for baking but I haven't tried it. I also put stevia in plain yogurt, along with fruit. That also took a little getting used to but now I love it and I can't stand sugary yogurt anymore.
  • Yi5hedr3
    Yi5hedr3 Posts: 2,696 Member
    Stevia is really the ONLY choice for a safe, natural, non-sugar, non-chemical sweetener. Use it. :)
  • ladipoet
    ladipoet Posts: 4,180 Member
    This isn't always true. I have several diabetics in my family. Two of them had to give up diet soda because it was spiking their blood sugar. The others can drink it just fine. I have no idea what makes the difference, but it doesn't work the same for everyone.

    Amen to that @need! OP you are porbably just going to have to try a few different sugar substitutes and see how they taste to you. Also listen to what your body tells you about it. Some people are very sensitive to certain sugar substitutes. I like and use the following: liquid sucralose (same thing as splenda); liquid stevia, Swerve, erythritol, and Just Like Sugar. Find what works for you and stick with that!
  • rankinsect
    rankinsect Posts: 2,238 Member
    edited October 2015
    I make diet sodas with a mix of ace-K and sucralose. I think the combination has a pleasant taste without a strong aftertaste. (This is also the mix of sweeteners in Pepsi Max, my favorite store-bought drink).
  • kathy0224
    kathy0224 Posts: 43 Member
    according to a European study, Splenda reacts just like sugar in the blood stream in 1/3 of the population. i am prediabetic as well & noticed that Splenda causes the spikes in my blood sugar just like sugar. when I asked my dr about it, he didn't know about it, the next month I brought him the article. In baking I use sugar, just less of it. in coffee sugar because I dont like the aftertaste of synthetics, in iced tea it is sweet & low & in diet drinks it is nutrasweet.
  • Nikkei74
    Nikkei74 Posts: 48 Member
    Stevia is really sweet, too sweet for me. Artificial sweeteners, on the other hand, have a bitter aftertaste that is immediately identifiable and disgusting. I don't mind xylitol or erythritol in baking if I'm determined to get sugar down, but you have to note they don't caramelise like standard sugar. Have you tried putting vanilla essence in plain Greek yoghurt? It might make enough difference that you don't need to buy the sweetened one. You could probably gradually reduce the amount from your coffee without too much difficulty, too.
  • stevencloser
    stevencloser Posts: 8,911 Member
    kathy0224 wrote: »
    according to a European study, Splenda reacts just like sugar in the blood stream in 1/3 of the population. i am prediabetic as well & noticed that Splenda causes the spikes in my blood sugar just like sugar. when I asked my dr about it, he didn't know about it, the next month I brought him the article. In baking I use sugar, just less of it. in coffee sugar because I dont like the aftertaste of synthetics, in iced tea it is sweet & low & in diet drinks it is nutrasweet.

    I wonder how something that is present in the drink at amounts of <1 g can spike someone's blood sugar as much as the 30+ grams of sugar in a can of coke.
  • Kalikel
    Kalikel Posts: 9,626 Member
    I really don't care for the fake sugars. The real deal is just so much better.

    I bought a bag of frozen fruit with added sweetener and didn't notice the mistake until I tasted the fruit. At first, I thought the fruit must've thawed out, gone bad and been refrozen - that's how bad it tasted to me. It was just the fake sweeteners.

    Fruit is very sweet on it's own and frozen fruits taste even sweeter. Onions will sweeten up just about anything. I can usually get my sweetness from the foods themselves and don't generally feel a need to add anything. On the extremely rare occasion that I do want to sweeten something, I use real sugar.

    To me, the taste of the fake stuff really isn't worth it.
  • sheermomentum
    sheermomentum Posts: 827 Member
    Can_Do_Gal wrote: »
    OP, if you're thinking of cutting sugar to reduce your blood sugar, you may want to look into the effect of Splenda, aspartame, etc on blood sugar. It's my understanding that they have no calories, but still raise blood sugar as much as sugar. Stevia, otoh, has no calories and no effect on blood sugar. I use stevia regularly, though not in baking. I think it's one of those things you need to get used to. I used to find it odd, but now it seems normal.

    Think about this for a minute: Theoretically, you ingest some artificial sweetener, which contains no glucose, and then (theoretically), your blood glucose goes up. Where would the glucose in the bloodstream be coming from in this scenario? There are two sources of blood glucose: food and the body's energy stores (fat or glycogen).
  • kiela64
    kiela64 Posts: 1,448 Member
    Kalikel wrote: »
    I really don't care for the fake sugars. The real deal is just so much better.

    I bought a bag of frozen fruit with added sweetener and didn't notice the mistake until I tasted the fruit. At first, I thought the fruit must've thawed out, gone bad and been refrozen - that's how bad it tasted to me. It was just the fake sweeteners.

    Fruit is very sweet on it's own and frozen fruits taste even sweeter. Onions will sweeten up just about anything. I can usually get my sweetness from the foods themselves and don't generally feel a need to add anything. On the extremely rare occasion that I do want to sweeten something, I use real sugar.

    To me, the taste of the fake stuff really isn't worth it.

    Yes I would never want to add sugar to fruit, it's perfectly fine on its own. I think they sell that to be used in pies and stuff?
  • kiela64
    kiela64 Posts: 1,448 Member
    Nikkei74 wrote: »
    Stevia is really sweet, too sweet for me. Artificial sweeteners, on the other hand, have a bitter aftertaste that is immediately identifiable and disgusting. I don't mind xylitol or erythritol in baking if I'm determined to get sugar down, but you have to note they don't caramelise like standard sugar. Have you tried putting vanilla essence in plain Greek yoghurt? It might make enough difference that you don't need to buy the sweetened one. You could probably gradually reduce the amount from your coffee without too much difficulty, too.

    What I have done is mixed 1:1 plain and vanilla yogurt, so maybe I could try that & slowly reduce the amount of vanilla yogurt. But I currently find plain yogurt really gross without a sweetener, even drowning it in frozen fruit didn't quite get the taste out.

    I'm not so sure about the coffee. I put 2 teaspoons of sugar in with 3/4cup of milk. I'm overall just trying to have less coffee because I don't do the same thing to tea. But I'd still like to have some coffee if I could. I try sipping it black, sipping it with 1/2 the sugar and I can't drink it at all.
  • kiela64
    kiela64 Posts: 1,448 Member
    MsMarvel27 wrote: »
    I use the Truvia brand of Stevia. I tried it first with a different brand and I was disgusted by it but found Truvia to have a good taste.

    I started off with Splenda a couple of years ago and started getting horrible stomach pains. When I realized the only thing I had changed in my diet was the Splenda (and I was eating very well otherwise), I decided to google it and found that Splenda has been known to cause digestive disorders such as IBS in some people. Since then I decided to stay away from artificial sweeteners but then researched Stevia, tried Truvia and loved it, so I use that now. I do still consume regular sugar when added into some things but try to use stevia in most of my sugar intake.

    Cool, maybe I'll try that one. I've heard a lot of people saying it didn't taste good, but that's optimistic!
  • kiela64
    kiela64 Posts: 1,448 Member
    At first I only tolerated it to save calories, but now I actually prefer Sweet 'n Low in my coffee. Real sugar in coffee now has an odd "dull" flavor to me. As for baking, I think Stevia tastes good. I'm not much of a baker, but my roommate is, and I think she'll frequently swap out half the sugar for Stevia, and I can't ever tell the difference.
    Also, I believe it is recommended for those in Diabetes territory to shoot for a more low-carb diet, so I think that's a good call for you.

    Cool! Yeah I think so. I saw a video about how actually a high carb diet and a high BMI are the best predictors of diabetes (not only a high sugar diet). So I'm definitely at risk if I keep doing what I'm doing now.

    I found the same thing with soda. I never drank a lot of pops, but my mom really liked diet coke so we had it around for a while until she began to have issues with the caffiene. I tried regular coke at one point after that and it tasted awful. I wanted the diet one!

    Thanks :)
  • DrEnalg
    DrEnalg Posts: 650 Member
    kathy0224 wrote: »
    according to a European study, Splenda reacts just like sugar in the blood stream in 1/3 of the population. i am prediabetic as well & noticed that Splenda causes the spikes in my blood sugar just like sugar. when I asked my dr about it, he didn't know about it, the next month I brought him the article. In baking I use sugar, just less of it. in coffee sugar because I dont like the aftertaste of synthetics, in iced tea it is sweet & low & in diet drinks it is nutrasweet.

    Reference plz
  • FredDoyle
    FredDoyle Posts: 2,273 Member
    DrEnalg wrote: »
    kathy0224 wrote: »
    according to a European study, Splenda reacts just like sugar in the blood stream in 1/3 of the population. i am prediabetic as well & noticed that Splenda causes the spikes in my blood sugar just like sugar. when I asked my dr about it, he didn't know about it, the next month I brought him the article. In baking I use sugar, just less of it. in coffee sugar because I dont like the aftertaste of synthetics, in iced tea it is sweet & low & in diet drinks it is nutrasweet.

    Reference plz

    Seconded.
    My guess is that since it morphed from "European study" to article my doctor has never heard of, the reference will be akin to Livestrong.
  • _John_
    _John_ Posts: 8,523 Member
    FredDoyle wrote: »
    DrEnalg wrote: »
    kathy0224 wrote: »
    according to a European study, Splenda reacts just like sugar in the blood stream in 1/3 of the population. i am prediabetic as well & noticed that Splenda causes the spikes in my blood sugar just like sugar. when I asked my dr about it, he didn't know about it, the next month I brought him the article. In baking I use sugar, just less of it. in coffee sugar because I dont like the aftertaste of synthetics, in iced tea it is sweet & low & in diet drinks it is nutrasweet.

    Reference plz

    Seconded.
    My guess is that since it morphed from "European study" to article my doctor has never heard of, the reference will be akin to Livestrong.

    actually, livestrong supports that artificial sweeteners do not affect blood sugar...

    http://www.livestrong.com/article/409513-will-splenda-or-equal-raise-your-blood-sugar/