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Ali_Hussain

Natural Alternative To Sugar

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The weigh in on sugar substitutes

 

If you want to lose weight, or are looking to reduce your sugar intake due to health reasons, switching from sugar to a natural based sweetener can be a great way to start. Especially if you are not quite ready to commit to quitting sugar entirely. Here are some factors for you to consider when deciding which alternative is the best for you.

 

There are a myriad of sugar substitutes available, however many of these contain chemically manufactured ingredients like aspartame, phenylalanine, and methanol, which is a derivative of the toxic chemical formaldehyde. These synthetic ingredients are carcinogenic and can damage the body on a cellular level. Possible side effects include depression, addiction, brain seizures, and vision problems.

 

If this sounds concerning and like something you wouldn't want to ingest, rest assured, there are now some natural alternatives on the market.

 

Stevia Rebaudiana is a plant native to South America. The sweet leaves have been traditionally used for hundreds of years in both Brazil and Paraguay to sweeten their herbal teas and medicine. Because these leaves are up to 300 times sweeter than sucrose, only a a small amount needs to be used. For many years it has been well known and widely used in Japan, and is now also gaining steady popularity in Western culture.

 

Stevia is very low in carbohydrates and calories, which is ideal for people on a carbohydrate controlled diet or with diabetes. It also has no known harmful reactions, because it is a natural commodity.

 

The Stevia Rebaudiana plant can be found in most garden nurseries, and like most herbs it is quite easy to grow and can also be dried out and stored for later use. It is also available in liquid or powder form, for ease of use in cooking.

 

Overall, Stevia is a great natural way to sweeten food and drinks, without the worry of potential ill health and nasty side effects.

 

stevia-plant-nautural-sweetener-stevia.j

 

http://healthyhints.com.au/the-weigh-in-on-sugar-substitutes/?nb=1

 

The possibilities are endless when it comes to cooking & baking with Stevia. Since stevia can be heated up to 400 degrees you can use it in your next batch of cookies or in that special birthday cake you bake.

 

http://www.steviainfo.com/?page=cooking_tips

Edited by Ali_Hussain

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^ honey is mostly fructose, which is a sugar. It has a lowish glucose index though, so if youre diabetic i think youre ok using a little honey.

Edited by Ruq

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^ honey is mostly fructose, which is a sugar. It has a lowish glucose index though, so if youre diabetic i think youre ok using a little honey.

 

 

I used honey as sweetener to my tea, honey has many benefits in our overall health. Honey has its own sweetness that can be a substitute to sugar. I always put some honey in my tea to add some sweetness and taste.

 

Sucrose (sugar), a disaccharide, is composed of monosaccharides glucose and fructose. Glucose and fructose are isomers of each other and their metabolism is very similar - same chemical formula, different atomic arrangement. The benefit of consuming fructose instead of sucrose or glucose is pretty much negligible.

 

If people are really interested in improving health, the right course of action is to avoid sugars rather than find alternatives for it. Most day-to-day processed food products use a variety of sugars in very high amounts. Aside from the obvious products like desserts and drinks these include tomato sauces for example.

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                      Stevia

I cant tell you how much i was hoping that stevia would prove to be a good substitute for sugar. Since i bought some of the pure, powdered stevia ive been throwing it into things here and there. The main problem is the smell/taste. I find it has quite a pungent, dry 'green' sort of taste, like i imagine stick insect poop would smell. It is very sweet though. The online guides suggest a teaspoon of stevia is the equivalent of a cup of sugar. The sweetness is more like that of an artificial sweetener than sucrose. It also seems to build, so if you make a banana bread with some stevia in it (like i did this very day) the first few bites will not seem that sweet, but as you continue to gobble it up the taste will get sweeter and sweeter and the sweet sensation will linger for hours after. Ive had 2 cups of tea since eating my banana bread with stevia (one black with milk and one mint) and i can still taste the sweetness (infact, i think i will go and brush my tongue after ive posted this). I made sure to put plenty of spice in the banana bread to mask the green taste and although my brother said it tastes 'odd' he also said it wasnt unpleasant.

 

My verdict: if you dont mind a more artificial kind of sweetness you should try stevia. Dont replace all of the sugar in recipes with it. You can substitute a % but i wouldnt recommend using more than 1/2-3/4 of a teaspoon in a cake/loaf. The green smell/taste is probably not present in the processed stevia, but if youre using the pure form i recommend using it in things that already have a strong taste, like cakes/loaves/buns that are strongly spiced and/or have dried fruits in them or coffee, chocolate or herbs. It doesnt dissolve, so i dont recommend using it in tea or coffee (although processed versions might dissolve). For me, stevia is not a good substitute for sugar. Its probably better for us than the artificial sweeteners, but it still has that artificial taste, so youre very aware that youre having a sugar substitute. The green smell/taste is probably not present in the processed stevia.

Edited by Ruq
Computer attempted to humiliate me.

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^ Why did you not get processed stevia?

Btw, I have switched to natural fruit sugar since a few a years now. It's supposed to be harmless and zero calorie, or so it says on it. My diabetic mum also uses it. Her sugar levels stay normal.

And then someday someone told me that I'm taking poison, fructose is terrible, it does this and this and this and this and this ad infinitum.

I mean, shut up please. Every thing you consume will have this long list of pain and suffering it will inflict on you if you don't watch it. It's nothing new. 

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I use stevia in my coffee and tea. I dont use it in cooking. Instead I'm just reducing the number and frequency of sugarish foods i consume like cakes. At first you all crave more sugar but with the your tongue buds will get accustomed to low sugar levels, you will find it too much then to eat cakes and sweets. Used 2 eat 3 chocolate bars at once, now i can only eat half one or only one a week.

A good thing to remember is that any bread is carb and all carb turn to sugar eventually. Reduce the amount of bread you consume, specially those with shape like Croissant . They put too much salt in it to take that shape then they put extra sugar to mask the salt. So you get a very bad combination of both. 

Remember that the norms of our modern days eating habits are very abnormal to our bodies. Our ancestors did not manage to eat this much sugar in their life time that we consume in a year.

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