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Discussion in 'Ask A Question' started by Pauntiep, Apr 11, 2017.
Do these affect blood sugar levels / weight? Which are best?
There area an awful lot of variables to the answers to those questions!
Pure "artificial" sweeteners do not affect blood sugar directly - but some are a mix of nutritive and non-nutritive sugars (or a mix of a chemical and real sugar to put it simply), so will raise blood sugars. Also, your system has a nasty habit of saying "ooooh, it's sweet, quick, pump out the insulin" which may affect things quite strongly! And finally, learning to depend on artificials just encourages you to like sugar!
Used in moderation, to replace the nutritive sugars with something with less calories, they can help reduce total calorie intake and therefore help lose weight. They can also be used to make some "healthy" foods more palatable.
the one which you like, can afford, and is available. Personally, I loathe the taste/aftertaste of most of them, but have recently come across an erithritol / stevia mix which I find really good in flavour and easy to use.
I did some research when I first decided to investigate using non-sugar sweeteners.
Be aware that most sugar alcohols - sweeteners with names ending in "itol" are actually very high in carbohydrates, but these are not processed like normal carbs - i.e. not absorbed into our blood stream - so have no actual effects on our glucose levels. However they have a big downside in that many of them (but not erythritol fortunately) can have some very nasty gastric side effects, such as bloating, wind, and diarrhea, particularly if used in larger quantities.
I found two sweeteners that are generally recommended for diabetic use are stevia and erythritol. Neither affect your glucose levels, contain no or very few calories, and are said not to have any unpleasant side effects. However, some stevia can have an unpleasant to some aftertaste, but there are a couple of different types and stevia "Reb A" is the one that shouldn't do this!
Stevia in itself is extremely sweet (aprox 200 times as aweet as sugar!), ad is generally mixed with other ingedients and/or fillers because of this, and it can sometimes be mixed with "real" sugar, other sweeteners, or starchy fillers to enable it to be used in measurable quantities, but these additives may affect glucose levels, so always check ingredients! Try to look for stevia/erythritol combinations.
Xyitol is also supposed to be OK and particularly good for baking use, but as it can be lethal to dogs in very small quantities, I personally won't have anything to do with it.
I use sweeteners such as aspartame and have never experienced problems or come across any valid research that shows these cause raised blood sugar or increase weight.
I do like erythritol or xylitol the most. Not artificial and taste similar to sugar
I would certainly recommend Stevia - natural sweetener many times sweeter than sugar. Be careful what you store it in - it has uncanny ability to pick up past smells. ;-)
Although I've been happily using it for years in various beverages, my mind was always on other things so I've never attempted to find out about how to use it in cooking or baking... If you manage to find something, please keep us posted.
Unlike artificial sweeteners such as xylitol, Stevia does not give you runs (diarrhoea) or any worries that it might be harmful (carcinogenic and suchlike).
Hi everyone I have looked at this post with interest as I have noticed information on the TV, internet and newspaper creeping in about sweetners affecting you the same as sugar. A friend is currently seeing someone within the nhs about weight management and has been told that sweetners have the same impact as sugar. I agree somewhat that the sweet taste can keep you craving that sweet taste but on a physiological level it is not definative that sweetners are like sugar. Personally I don't have a sweet tooth or sugar in tea and coffee but I do like gin and diet tonic and the occasional can of diet coke. I have tested bg before and after diet coke and seen no rise (not in a completely scientific manner I'm afraid). I am concerned about health professionals quoting this research as I don't think it is definative.