Diets in Review - Find the Right Diet for You

sweetener



Sweet Debate: Sugar vs. Artificial Sweetener

Sugar vs. Artificial SweetenerWhen low-fat diets were all the rage in the ’80s, many manufacturers turned to sugar and artificial sweeteners to put flavor back into products that previously contained fat. The artificial, non-nutritive sweeteners often won out as the calorie-free diet option. The trend had lead to a generation of super-sweet foodstuffs that stoke sugar cravings. The average artificial sweetener is 200 to 300 times sweeter than natural sugar, writes nutritionist and author Susan B. Dopart for The Huffington Post.

Little packets of artificial sweetener are an appealing way to cut down on calories. But what else are you giving up? Real sugar can trigger the body to feel full and satisfied. “When you are consuming alternative sweeteners, you are trying to fool your body. And guess what? It doesn’t work,” writes Dopart. “Your body knows what you are giving it is fake, so instead of being satisfied, it continues to send the signal that it wants to consume something sweet.”


Read Full Post >



Stevia: A Sweet Sugar Substitute

Every few years a new sugar alternative hits the market. People who prefer to get their sweeteners’ calorie-free rush to buy up the local supermarket’s stock and eagerly tout the benefits of the latest and greatest sweet invention. About a decade ago sucrolose (aka Splenda) gave Sweet ‘n Low and Equal a run for their money. Agave nectar has received a “health halo” among some people, despite the fact that it is nearly all fructose and may be worse for your health than table sugar or high fructose corn syrup. Most recently, another non-sugar has made a splash in our coffees.

Stevia (sold at health food stores as Truvia, PureVia, Sun Crystals, among others) is made from the sweetest part of the South American stevia plant. The human body cannot use these steviol glycosides as fuel which means the calorie and carbohydrate count is zero.  It also tastes 200-300 times sweeter than sugar.


Read Full Post >



Agave Nectar No Healthier Than Other Sweeteners

Have you turned your love of sugar in to a love of agave in an effort to be healthier? Maybe you should rethink much “love” you give it. If you are unfamiliar, agave nectar (ah gav ee) is a sweetener that ranges in color from light to dark, depending on the processing time and amount of minerals in the product. It is less thick than honey or maple syrup and has a sweeter taste. The agave sweetener comes from various species of the agave plant. After the juice has been extracted, it is heated to create simple sugars. The final product is some percentage of the sugars glucose and fructose.
Read Full Post >



Diet Soda May Cause Kidney Problems

diet sodaWhile diet soda is a better choice than full-sugar drinks, they aren’t free of health risks. A new study has found that anything more than one diet soda a day may increase one’s risk of decreased kidney function.

The study was conducted by researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. They examined the effects of sodium and artificial sweeteners on kidney function among 3,256 women with a median age of 67. The women filled out a questionnaire about their soda drinking habits.

When the researchers compared the women’s kidney function, they found that 372 had a decline of 30 percent or more in kidney function. Further analysis revealed that the decline was associated with drinking two or more artificially sweetened soft drinks a day.
Read Full Post >



The Sweet Taste of Truvia is All-Natural

Truvia is the newest, zero-calories, natural sweetener to hit the market. Truvia was developed by Cargill and Coca-Cola. “Sweetness born from a leaf, not in a lab,” they say about the product. Truvia is made from the stevia plant, which is a native plant of South America. The stevia plant is not new and has been used as a sweetener in South America and Japan for centuries. However, in the US, thus far stevia has only been sold as a dietary supplement due to FDA concerns. The ingredient list of Truvia includes: Rebiana, Erythritol, and natural flavors.

  • Ribana portion comes from the sweet leaf of the stevia plant. These leaves are picked, dried, then submerged into water, which unlocks the sweetness portion and is then purified.
  • Erythritol is a naturally occurring fermented sugar alcohol (found in grapes and pears).
    Read Full Post >