Gardeners have been using stevia for years. I use it because the chemicals concern me.
5/2/10 3:08 P
Thanks for all the great replies - gives me lots to think about. I was only thinking of the tea/coffe issue - but realized I make crystal light and other items with sweeteners. Need to re-think our whole approach at this point.
Splenda gives me a terrible stomach ache. And I do worry about long-term effects from any artificial sweetener. I don't think there is any scientific proof at this point that they do have long-term effects, but I would never give them to children, and avoid them all myself. Real sugar in small amounts won't hurt you. I've learned to drink nothing but water [never cared for tea and coffee, lucky for me]. I save my daily sugar calories for chocolate.
Fitness Minutes: (3,325)
673 5/2/10 12:54 P
I don't like Splenda because I think it tastes terrible and it also gives me terrible headaches. I just use plain granulated sugar - the only thing I really use it for is the teaspoon that goes into my daily mug of coffee in the morning, so I don't feel too bad about it. It's also better than the CoffeeMate powdered junk I was using before!
Fitness Minutes: (21,680)
1,441 5/2/10 12:49 P
I don't eat splenda because I don't like the aftertaste, but it's certainly true that all granular sugar is also processed to some degree. If you're worried about chemicals in your food, raw honey is probably your best bet, especially if it's from a local beekeeper.
Pure cane sugar IS refined sugar. They're the same thing. Raw sugar also exists, but the nutritional difference is very small.
Do NOT use stevia because you think it's safer than Splenda. The powdered stevia available in stores is a highly refined product, and there are still serious concerns about its safety, particularly for men. If you like it, use it in small quantities, but it has NOT been proven to be as safe as Splenda. Personally, after reading the research, I might use it myself but I wouldn't let the men in my life use it. You probably also should skip it if you're trying to get pregnant, because it's been linked both to infertility and to low birth weight.
Most sources consider Splenda to be the safest of the artificial sweeteners. It has a more established safety record than stevia.
Another option, if you can find it and afford it, is erythritol. It's a natural sugar alcohol sweetener made from various plants, and for most people it doesn't cause digestive problems the way sorbitol or maltitol can. It's probably the safest low-calorie sweetener, but it's expensive.
Although, if you only use it in your tea/coffee and you're only using a little, you can use whatever strikes your fancy. I switch around between different sweeteners so that I'm not using large amounts of any one of them. And if it's only one or two cups of coffee per day, with a teaspoon of sweetener in each, you could use sugar or honey and still be adding less than 50 calories to your daily total. If you're seriously concerned about safety, that might be the best option.
I use good old sugar. Splenda and other artificial sweeteners are just too scary to eat! The problem is not the sugar, but how much sugar you actually eat!
Fitness Minutes: (17,274)
3,921 5/2/10 10:55 A
My hubby uses TONS of sugar in his coffee (that's a whole other rant in itself, lol). I switched him to Splenda and started using it in cooking as well. Truly, in a matter of months we started having what we referred to as "Splenda Moments", aka brainfarts. I totally believe that Splenda messes with your brain receptors.
We now use Raw Stevia (located next to Raw Sugar in the store). We like it better than regular stevia.. doesn't seem to have the bitter taste.
Fitness Minutes: (12,084)
599 5/2/10 10:47 A
I don't actually know which is the lesser of two evils. I do use Splenda some times. Maybe I should research it.
I'm on your hubby's side. I don't like artificial sweeteners because of all of the chemicals or the chemical make-up of them. I use stevia. It's an herb. The leaves are dried and powdered. The most natural form is green,but I have only found that at the natural foods store. You can find it in grocery stores. I buy either the brand Stevia, or Purevia, (about $4 for 50 packets). Both are very good, just be careful not to put too much. Stevia is 300 times sweeter than sugar, and if you use too much it becomes bitter. I would start with one packet and go from there if you decide to try it.
5/2/10 8:20 A
my family likes sweetener in tea/coffee. I use splenda but hubby worries about chemicals. We looked at pure cane sugar but were not sure if that was better than refined. besides us learning not to sweeten (LOL) - any thoughts or advice?
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