Looking for alternatives to sugar-filled treats? Click here!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Challenge Update

How did you do with our artificial sweetener challenge?

Were you surprised by anything that contained artificial sweeteners?

I learned a long time ago to stay away from these, even Splenda (supposedly okay, since it's made from sugar--don't think so!), so I don't really come across many foods that contain these, except gum.  I prefer Spry brand, since it's sweetened with Xylitol, but I don't have any on hand right now.  I have Wrigley's, which does have some no-no's in it.  (You have to be wary of gum that advertises xylitol, though, they almost always have artificial sweeteners also.  They are riding the xylitol band-wagon, just using it because it's a popular ingredient.)

What about this new sweetener Truvia?  It's made from Stevia, which we hear so much good about.  For me, this is like Splenda.  It may be made from a natural thing, but man has messed it up too much to have any remote nutrition in it.  I have not heard anything negative about it, like I hear about aspartame, but it is a new product.  I wouldn't be surprised if we hear bad things about it in the near future.  Choose stevia in it's raw, green form.  That's best.

Just remember, whether you choose stevia, sugar, or lo han, choose foods that are closest to how God created them and you'll do alright.

1 comment:

  1. I agree that if we ingest foods that are close to how God created them, we'll be much more healthy. When it comes to stevia, I use SweetLeaf Sweetener stevia. Most stevia companies extract from the leaf using ethanol, methanol, solvents, or enzymes, or a combination of these, which may result in a weird aftertaste and nutrients can be removed due to bad extraction. Some are now adding masking agents to cover up the taste--most are blended with sugar alcohols, maltodextrin, dextrose, or a combination of these. SweetLeaf uses only pure water during the entire extraction process, so the nutrients remain--they have not apparently felt the need to add masking agents. The only thing that it is blended with is soluble inulin fiber (in their powder), which is a digestive aid. In my book SweetLeaf is the only truly all-natural stevia product on the market.

    To be fair to Truvia, I don't think it is the same as splenda. Truvia has erythritol, which they seem to claim that it is natural (I'll let you determine that) and rebiana, the stevia extract. I think that's probably it. Splenda is a chorocarbon, and as far as I know, developed in a lab. I don't think of splenda as natural. Essentially, it is chorinated sugar. It was originally developed as an insecticide. Defenders of splanda would say that it doesn't matter that it has chorine in it, after all salt has it too! However, what they don't understand is that that elements in our food have different effects depending on the compounds in which they are constituted. There may be harmful substances in natural foods we ingest, nature, or God has a way of combining them with so many nutrients that the potential effects are negated. However, the same potrentially harmful substances in isolation or in other compounds may be harmful.

    Anyway, while I submit that the purest and therefore most healthful stevia product is SweetLeaf stevia, I believe any stevia brand, including Truvia, is much better for the body than splenda (or any other artificial sweetener--assuming the consumer is not sensitive to maltodextrin, dextrose, etc, which may be in an impure stevia product ).