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Sugar substitutes

Phoenix

Re: Sugar substitutes
May 23, 2012, 04:25:09 AM
Thanks for all the replies. Honey sounds like a good option but personally I'm not crazy about the taste, it's sticky and messy, and it doesn't fit nicely into the foods I make. Here is a quick list of my tentative conclusions, based on my research as well as my experiences of how I feel after eating the sugar substitute.

GOOD:
- Stevia. Considerations: Expensive, not too tasteful but completely healthy (even provides health benefits); may aggravate hay fever or other allergies, migraines. Has a sweet taste but if you add too much then the taste becomes bitter. Low in calories.

OK:
- Dextrose (glucose). Considerations: Known by either name, not to be confused with glucose fructose. Much healthier than sugar. Fairly tasteless so you need a lot, high in calories. Doesn't have too sweet a taste, may appeal to some depending on taste preferences.
- Rice maltodextrine. Considerations: Not to be confused with corn maltodextrine. Much healthier than sugar. Strong sweet taste, often combined with other sugar substitutes such as stevia that don't have as strong a taste.

BAD:
- Sugar (sucrose). Considerations: Very unhealthy, high in calories, but inexpensive.

HORRIBLE:
- Aspartame. Considerations: Much less healthy than sugar. Strong sweet taste, zero calories. Originally marketed as a sugar substitute.
- Sucralose. Considerations: Much less healthy than sugar. Strong sweet taste, zero calories. Originally marketed as an aspartame substitute.
- Glucose fructose. Considerations: Much less healthy than sugar. Strong sweet taste, very poorly metabolized (easily turns into body fat).

Re: Sugar substitutes
May 23, 2012, 11:09:32 PM
Thanks for all the replies. Honey sounds like a good option but personally I'm not crazy about the taste, it's sticky and messy, and it doesn't fit nicely into the foods I make. Here is a quick list of my tentative conclusions, based on my research as well as my experiences of how I feel after eating the sugar substitute.

Wut? There's gotta be over a hundred different types of honey! Did you try clover honey cream? It has a very mild and pleasant taste and the thickness will make sure you won't spill the stuff on your Iron Maiden t-shirt (which I admit looks weird)

Phoenix

Re: Sugar substitutes
May 24, 2012, 04:47:29 AM
Hmmmm there was one other reason I forgot to mention, honey is after all still a sweet, right? I mean it's better than sugar, but it's not broccoli, it's not healthy.

Re: Sugar substitutes
May 24, 2012, 11:11:13 PM
Yes but honey is 100% natural and it's extremely versatile. I just had the impression that you gave up on it too soon without really exploring it. It depends what you want to do with it of course, honey is great in tea but it's not very popular in coffee as far as I know. But it's nice if you want to sweeten a salad a little or better yet, just make a brie sandwich, add a leaf of lettuce and a few slices of apple, and sprinkle it with some non-creamed honey. Delicious! You can add some pieces of walnut too if you like. But I take it you just want to add something to your coffee to make it sweeter, can't really help you with that because I don't drink coffee.

As far as the healthy qualities of honey: the stuff contains spores that can cause botulism in infants so it's generally not considered healthy. Raw honey does have several vitamins in it like B6 and a bunch of minerals. But even then it's very low compared to the amount of honey you'd need to digest to actually be able to survive off the stuff. Raw honey contains traces of pollen, wax and other impurities. Most commercial honey is boiled to get rid of these impurities and to make it more clear, but the boiling also destroys the few vitamins and minerals. The only real established health benefit from honey is that it helps against a sore throat.

Did you consider liquorice yet btw? Sweeter than sugar and doesn't cause tooth decay, consuming too much however can cause high blood pressure.

Phoenix

Re: Sugar substitutes
May 24, 2012, 11:32:51 PM
I have my tea straight and dark, so I don't need honey for that.

I guess I always considered honey like a hipster-vegan kind of food. If you want to put a little lettuce and add in lots of fruit and nuts and honey and call the thing a healthy meal of vegetables, I don't agree, there are no vegetables there. If I want to spice up a sandwich I'll go for a healthy alternative like dijon mustard or humus, I don't need to add sugary stuff like honey. I could go on, but at the end of the day I'm looking for healthy alternatives to sugar, and while honey is healthier than sugar it's still full of sugar and quite unhealthy whereas stevia is 100% natural and 100% healthy.

I appreciate the responses but I'm not on board.

Dammit now I'm hungry.

Re: Sugar substitutes
May 25, 2012, 03:59:21 AM
Currently, I'm finishing my masters degree in Dietetics, and I'm curious what the motivation is behind sugar substitutes? Regardless of whether a sweetener has calories or not, if your brain recognizes something as sweet, it will signal the pancreas to produce insulin, which is part of anabolism.  Worrying about individual food choices over the view of an entire diet isn't very useful, because you'll always  be able to find something with less calories, more fiber etc.

I drink coffee, I use sugar (sucrose). But I also eat foods high in fiber, I lift weights 5 days a week, which is good for blood sugar control, and I do at least a half hour of cardiovascular activity, usually in the form of bicycling 6 or 7 days a  week, between leisure bicycling, and bicycling to work. Getting regular screenings and knowing your family history is more important than worrying about individual foods and calories.

My advice would be to cook from scratch as much as possible. Turn off the computer, or TV when you eat/drink, and pay attention to your body's internal signals to tell you when you've had enough to eat eat and eat lots of fruits and vegetables. This will help you gauge how much to eat.

Worrying about calories eventually becomes a straw man's argument.

Phoenix

Re: Sugar substitutes
May 25, 2012, 05:20:47 AM
I see what you mean I disagree, but I disagree.

I'm very happy with my overall health and am not looking for advice on that as I'm confident in my current approach. That you are just finishing a masters in dietetics is nice but certainly many people with degrees in that field disagree profusely about what constitutes good diet, nor is such a degree required in order to be well-informed on the subject. Of course I do very much recognize and appreciate your desire to spread positive health information to others!

I said I was getting hungry at the end of the last post because I'm stopping cigarettes, so I get hungry more easily - and there's proof that I'm not obsessed with every aspect of my health, I was happy to smoke cigarettes for a few years! I don't worry about individual food choices but I'm certainly mindful of them.

I believe sugar is very bad on many levels. If sugar substitutes still increase insulin because they're sweet, that's interesting to know but it doesn't mitigate all the other ways real sugar is worse than a good substitute like stevia. Also in each meal or snack I try to have carbs (preferably from vegetables), protein and fat, so if I recall it helps balance the insulin thing out.

I am mindful of how many calories I consume, but again I don't obsess over it. If anything knowing how many calories are in a food help you gauge how much food you're actually eating, it's as simple as that - for example it's important to recognize how much food you're actually taking in when you eat a large bowl of pasta because just by looking at it visually many people seriously underestimate it.

I do agree that worrying about calories can be counter-productive if taken to extremes, especially considering that usually a person worries about it in an effort to lose weight and merely reducing calories is a completely ineffective way of losing weight.


Re: Sugar substitutes
May 25, 2012, 10:13:30 AM
I have my tea straight and dark, so I don't need honey for that.

I guess I always considered honey like a hipster-vegan kind of food.

lol what? Honey is made by BEES. Do you even know what vegan means?

This is probably a cultural thing but over here humus is the stuff that you'd need to go to the organic store for. Fine, you can have your opinion. But saying that honey is for vegans... that's just retarded.

Phoenix

Re: Sugar substitutes
May 25, 2012, 01:29:58 PM
Admittedly I'm no expert on the matter, but the bees don't die in the production of honey... maybe switch the word "vegan" with "vegetarian" then. It's never easy.

And no I did not realize humus was so rare in your parts, not that going to the health food store for it should be an inconvenience, unless health food stores are also rare in your parts. But couldn't you just go to your local Iranian or Lebanese grocery store? Man I can't image not having multiple chains of Lebanese restaurants around. OK I'll stop now that Scourge has barfed.

Re: Sugar substitutes
May 25, 2012, 09:42:40 PM
My theory on nutrition is that the best food is whatever goes from its state in nature to my plate with as few steps in between as possible.  Honey is a winner in this regard.  I use honey all the time.  Coffee, tea, cereal, and stir fries especially.
His Majesty at the Swamp / Black Arts Lead to Everlasting Sins / Diabolical Fullmoon Mysticism / Oath of Black Blood / Privilege of Evil / Dawn of Possession / In Battle There is No Law / Thousand Swords / To Mega Therion

Re: Sugar substitutes
May 26, 2012, 12:24:07 AM
Admittedly I'm no expert on the matter, but the bees don't die in the production of honey... maybe switch the word "vegan" with "vegetarian" then. It's never easy.

I don't want to derail your thread but...

Vegetarians don't eat anything that an animal had to die for, that includes all sorts of meat and fish and theoretically insects too. They could do this for all sorts of reasons, for pitying animals, for (arguably) environmental reasons, but also for spiritual reasons. Whatever, the good thing imo is that people are at least more conscious about their health and what they eat. For amusement you can argue veggies to death about whether they wear leather or eat cheese that contains rennet and other small details. Some veggies avoid eggs, others don't.

Vegans are people who don't eat anything produced by animals, period. They claim that cow milk is for baby cows (even though cows produce more milk than the calf needs) They'd claim honey is for bees and they eat nothing but organic vegetables and sourdough bread. They are usually kind of insane, even most veggies I've spoken with agree to that. The thing is that it's impossible to argue that being vegan is healthy. There is no other way for humans to absorb enough calcium than through diary products. The only alternative is to eat vitamin pills and those things are arguably unhealthy too. For amusement you could ask a vegan if a coprophiliac could be a vegan.

Anyway, I'd expect hipsters to eat clear green hemp lollipops with an insect inside it. And no, I'm not vegetarian in case you're wondering.

Phoenix

Re: Sugar substitutes
May 26, 2012, 12:31:02 AM
I'm not particularly fond of vegans.

E

Re: Sugar substitutes
May 26, 2012, 09:12:03 AM
Anyone else noticed the sudden presence of Maltitol in most products marketed as sugar-free?

Veganism: for some people it works perfectly; generally, they're excellent cooks.
Many bother for the wrong reasons ('world food distribution is RACITS!!1!), and were weak and bitter to begin with.

Re: Sugar substitutes
May 26, 2012, 04:36:25 PM


I don't want to derail your thread but...

Vegetarians don't eat anything that an animal had to die for, that includes all sorts of meat and fish and theoretically insects too. They could do this for all sorts of reasons, for pitying animals, for (arguably) environmental reasons, but also for spiritual reasons. Whatever, the good thing imo is that people are at least more conscious about their health and what they eat. For amusement you can argue veggies to death about whether they wear leather or eat cheese that contains rennet and other small details. Some veggies avoid eggs, others don't.

Vegans are people who don't eat anything produced by animals, period. They claim that cow milk is for baby cows (even though cows produce more milk than the calf needs) They'd claim honey is for bees and they eat nothing but organic vegetables and sourdough bread. They are usually kind of insane, even most veggies I've spoken with agree to that. The thing is that it's impossible to argue that being vegan is healthy. There is no other way for humans to absorb enough calcium than through diary products. The only alternative is to eat vitamin pills and those things are arguably unhealthy too. For amusement you could ask a vegan if a coprophiliac could be a vegan.

Anyway, I'd expect hipsters to eat clear green hemp lollipops with an insect inside it. And no, I'm not vegetarian in case you're wondering.


I think its inevitable that a discussion breaks off into subtopics.

I was a vegan for 5 years, and vegetarian for a year before that.  Do you know if cows inherently produce more milk than a calf needs? Most of the time, dairy cows are injected with hormones that allow them to produce extra milk. Without the hormones I'd be surprised if they produced more milk than a calf needs.  I do agree though that Vegetarianism and especially Veganism opens the door for an obsession about food and ingredients. Some are more obsessive than others.

Regardless, all vegetarianism and veganism can accomplish is LESS reliance on animal products, it can never completely abolish it seeing that everything includes some exploitation or harm toward animals in some way. It is somewhat arbitrary to decide where in the spectrum someone wants to be as far as their contribution to animal cruelty. I never met another Vegan, but for the most part, any vegetarians I met were not really any more annoying than any other person I've met.

I'm not a huge fan of milk (I'll drink it if thats the only thing available), but I still eat cheese. Biologically, humans are designed to use milk from the mother for food, and are able to break it down with the lactase enzyme. As we start transitioning to solid foods, many people stop producing the lactase enzyme because they are able eat solid foods, and don't need the mothers milk. A few thousand years ago, as people started domesticating cows, they started drinking the cow's milk, and over time, our digestive system continued to produce the lactase enzyme past infancy.  Lactose tolerance varies amongst ethnicities though. Those of Northern European decent are best capable of digesting milk passed infancy, while asian and african societies are less able in general.

Also, societies such as western europeans and north americans have the most osteoperosis compared to countries that consume the least dairy milk.  I think I'd prefer plant based sources of calcium over dairy.

Admittedly I'm no expert on the matter, but the bees don't die in the production of honey... maybe switch the word "vegan" with "vegetarian" then. It's never easy.



Is mass production they do. Queen bees are also a commodity and are shipped around to fill in colonies where the queen was worn out or killed.

Phoenix

Re: Sugar substitutes
May 26, 2012, 05:23:17 PM
Well it's always important not to judge all members of a group the same way. I'm impressed "I Disagree" that you didn't even get defensive, you just explained in more detail what it means for you to be vegan.

Now I hope I don't cause you great terror for every time you've eaten a legume as I inform you that trees can talk.