My husband is diabetic, so he mostly eats paleo, but he eats a lot of the Atkins stuff, because it's easy to take along to work etc. When I indulge in these treats I tend to get a little loosey goosey in the intestinal tract, which I assume is the sugar alcohols.
What are other peoples experiences with artificial sweeteners like splenda, sugar alcohols, stevia, truvia etc? It seems like it might be a good way to curb the cravings every once in awhile, on the other hand my naturopath calls all artificial sweeteners "ding dong door ditchers", meaning they give the body a false message about whether there's sugar in the body, and this actually causes cravings. I can't say I disagree, especially if I eat a larger amount of them.
I use stevia pretty regularly in my dandy blend but I'm thinking the amount is so low that it doesn't bother me. What I do know is that real sugar is like crack to me. I have a little and I immediately want more, despite the almost instant headache and general sluggishness that follows. I'd love to have "cheat days" but I'm worried that it's a train I'd never get off.
My vote is for "ugly" :p
About a year ago, artificial sweeteners made an appearance on news sites for basically triggering the same or similar insulin spike as regular sugars (sucrose and fructose) and refined starches.
Mark's Daily Apple collected a lot of the studies and offer's his opinion:
Stevia is a natural sweetener and (so far) looks to be the best alternative to sugar for getting your sweet fix. Wikipedia links to a couple articles that talk about stevia being able to improve insulin sensitivity, possibly promoting insulin production as well as being used for several centuries in South America for treating type 2 diabetes.
I know they are ugly but I use Stevia almost daily when I dont have wild honey available and Im still able to stay below 10% BF. For some people Stevia tatses bitter(Im definately not one of them). Everybody has some kind of vice I suppose.
For the small amount of sugar that passes my lips I have decided that I will use real rather than artificial. Stevia is sweet but weird to my taste buds, and if it's a man-made chemical I don't want to eat it, so that leaves sugar or honey.
Try erythritol for baking...it is a sugar alcohol with little or no side effects. I generally use 3/4 C erythritol and /4 tsp stevia to equal 1cup of sugar.
I use stevia only in tea and coffee...it is derived from an herb. I also grew stevia this summer...it was great! The leaves are really sweet and tasty.
Artificial sweeteners = the furthest things from Paleo you can get. All of that junk was created in a lab. Might as well use HFCS! I know that they're convenient for diabetics, but still that stuff is gross and bad for you.
Even powdered Stevia is far too concentrated to be "natural". Use it in its leaf form, or don't bother.
The best sugars to use are those which can be tapped from a tree (maple or palm/coconut sugars), or in liquid form like honey or syrup.
I admit that I have tender skin that is irritated by things that don't bother other people, so it's not amazing that I may have more difficulty with additives including sweeteners. I do.
I'm fine on sugar and honey. The from-the-lab chemical sweeteners don't fool my taste buds and "feel" like chemicals while going through my gut.
Stevia has the honor of being the only sweetener that makes me sick. It makes me feel ill and causes pain in my eye sockets--nasty pain I didn't feel before/after trying Stevia.
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