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Old 11-16-2008, 08:52 PM   #11
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I think stevia and xylitol or any other sugar alcohol is the best subsitute for sugar. Stevia is better for any drink add in- like coffee, tea or drink mixes.

From my understanding: Stevia is an herb while xylitol and other sugar alcohols are derived from tree bark and certain fruits.

Xylitol will actually caramelize and thicken like sugar. It is a little more expensive but it is WORTH the taste if you want something that is sugar free and GOOD. Other sweeteners may be "average" on the good scale but sugar alcohols are way up there.

Especially in cakes, cookies and syrups. Xylitol and other sugar alcohols will thicken without other thickeners added. Like real sugar.

My mom makes a great sweet potato cake with xylitol and you would NEVER know it wasn't sugar. The cake rises, it is very moist and browns and caramelizes just enough on the top like a sugar cake would. Several experts did a test and Xylitol is just as sweet as sugar. Other substitutes may be sweeter than sugar but they don't have the same texture as sugar does when baking. That's the problem. We want something sugar free but it needs body. Real sugar and sugar alcohols add body and texture. Aspartame and sucralose (Splenda) don't. Sugar alcohols don't raise blood sugar very much at all and are actually good for the teeth from what I've heard.

Problem- Just watch the AMOUNT of sugar alcohols and stevia- too much of these and you'll be going to the bathroom. Just keep it in moderation. Have a piece or two of the cake per day but not the whole cake. Unless you want a natural laxative! Some people can handle more than others. Laxative tolerance is different. So just be careful at first. Not exactly dangerous or anything though.

Even though the problem can occur as mentioned, I still feel these are the best. I should post my oatmeal cookie recipe with all xylitol. It's really good.

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Old 11-16-2008, 09:26 PM   #12
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I am a borderline diabetic...(varies from 150 to 200.) That is mostly because I am unable to exercise, and I drink.
Thing being, Alcohol cannot be stored by the body...it is used instead of the other carbs you take in, which can be stored.
So...if you are going to consume any alcohol, you must cut the carbs.

I have no problem staying away from the sweets...it's the bread and potatoes that are tough for me.

We get by with a little help from our friends
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Old 12-16-2008, 12:57 PM   #13
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Have you looked into Agave Nectar. It's a natural sweetner. Here's some info here. It tastes great...I use it in tea and coffee instead of sugar.

The Awesome Agave
The agave (uh-gah-vay) plant has long been cultivated in hilly, semi-arid soils of Mexico. Its fleshy leaves cover the pineapple-shaped heart of the plant, which contains a sweet sticky juice. Ancient Mexicans considered the plant to be sacred. They believed the liquid from this plant purified the body and soul. When the Spaniards arrived, they took the juices from the agave and fermented them, leading to the drink we now call tequila.
But there is a more interesting use for this historic plant. Agave syrup (or nectar) is about 90% fructose. Only recently has it come in use as a sweetener. It has a low glycemic level and is a delicious and safe alternative to table sugar. Unlike the crystalline form of fructose, which is refined primarily from corn, agave syrup is fructose in its natural form. This nectar does not contain processing chemicals. Even better, because fructose is sweeter than table sugar, less is needed in your recipes. It can be most useful for people who are diabetic, have insulin resistance (Syndrome X), or are simply watching their carbohydrate intake.
Fructose has a low glycemic value. However, according to some experts, if fructose is consumed after eating a large meal that overly raises the blood sugar or with high glycemic foods, it no longer has a low glycemic value. Strangely enough, it will take on the value of the higher glycemic food. So exercise restraint, even with this wonderful sweetener. It is a good policy to eat fructose-based desserts on an empty stomach, in between meals or with other low-glycemic foods. Use it for an occasional treat or for a light touch of sweetness in your dishes.
  • This sweetener is sometimes called "nectar" and sometimes called
    "syrup". It is the same food.
  • The light syrup has a more neutral flavor.
  • In recipes, use about 25% less of this nectar than you would use
    of table sugar. cup of agave nectar should equal 1 cup of table
    sugar. For most recipes this rule works well.
  • When substituting this sweetener in recipes, reduce your liquid
    slightly, sometimes as much as 1/3 less.
  • Reduce your oven temperature by 25 degrees.
  • Agave nectar can be combined with Splenda to counter Splenda's aftertaste
    and to control the amount of fructose used.
  • The glycemic index of agave nectar is low.
  • As a food exchange, a one-teaspoon serving of agave nectar equals
    a free food. Two servings or two teaspoons equals carbohydrate
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Old 12-16-2008, 01:06 PM   #14
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Different foods can be roasted or cooked to sweeten like onion and carrots.

What types of sauces?
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Old 12-16-2008, 01:14 PM   #15
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I use Agave a lot. It's very nice to cook with. I also make my children lemonade with it - just squeeze a lemon, add water and a little agave. They love it!
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Old 12-16-2008, 01:31 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Argamemnon View Post
Why I want to use natural sugar instead of refined? Because it's healthier of course.

Granulated sugar is a natural product, sucrose. It's extracted from the sugar beet or sugar cane, natural products. What's been done in the refining process is the removal of impurities. I don't think you can expect one natural sugar to be more or less harmful to your diet unless you have a specific medical condition that causes that.
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
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Old 12-16-2008, 11:09 PM   #17
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Thanks for the explanations, I guess I'm ignorant; I always thought that industrially refined sugars were unhealthy, unlike sugar in natural products such as honey.
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Old 12-17-2008, 09:52 AM   #18
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Hey Argamemnon, you aren't alone. White sugar was such a "bad" thing to do for so long most of us thought like you did. Just keep in mind that most things are only "bad" for you if you overdo them. Sugar is one of those things. A little is OK a lot is not. If you are wanting to stay closer to natural and avoid things that are refined a whole lot then go with brown sugar. The darker it is, the less it has been refined. Keep in mind though that the darker it is the more it will alter the taste of whatever you put it in.
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Old 12-23-2008, 07:14 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Argamemnon View Post
Are there natural substitutes for sugar that I can use (for example in sauces). The only thing that comes to my mind is honey.
Sugars -

monosaccharides - glucose or fructose
disaccharides - succrose - icing sugar, granulated sugar, soft brown sugar, light brown sugar
polysaccharides - potatoes, rice and other complex carbohydrates.

When eaten in moderation, what is the problem?

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Old 12-24-2008, 12:09 AM   #20
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Also, someone told me that heating honey is unhealthy .. is that true?

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