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    Artificial Sweetners

    I was curious if you all had any thoughts on artificial sweetners. I am trying to lower my sugar intake because the cravings are too strong and I am thinking that artificial sweetners might actually make my brain crave for more sweet things.

    Just curious on your thoughts.

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    I like Stevia, but I'll use saccharin in tea. I drink coffee black, so that's not a problem, but I don't know about using artificial sweeteners for baking or other cooking. I've read and heard that diet sodas don't satisfy the craving for sugar, and lead to actually consuming more calories because of it. I don't know if it's true, but it seems plausible.

    Stevia is the best substitute I've tried for real sugar, but you'll have to determine if it meets your dietary needs, and satisfies your cravings.

    Good luck. I know how difficult it can be to stay on track.

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    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    Things with too much sweetener (any kind) make me feel sick. I've had a pint of iced cream in the freezer for six months. That said, the raspberries were harvested recently, and are very cheap at the moment. I've been binging on them. They satisfy what little sweet tooth I have.
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    Senior Member goldfinch's Avatar
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    I favor Truvia (a brand) that is a mix of stevia and erythritol, also a plant based sweetener. I put it in my chocolate milk, making a slurry of a bit of milk, unsweetened cocoa, and Truvia. Mix it up good and add milk. I also use Truvia in tea.

    I also drink diet colas. A new study shows that sugary sodas do in fact contribute to weight gain and diet sodas do not. http://minnesota.publicradio.org/dis...ks-to-obesity/

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    I won't eat/drink anything with Splenda. Gives me gas. Since being diagnosed with Type-2 about a decade ago, I've slowly weened myself off most sweets. Just don't have much of the stuff anymore.
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    I have cut out all Artificial sweetners and high fructose corn syrups. I now have vary little sweet tooth, where before I could not feed it enough.And when I do have something with real sugar in it I am happy with just a small serving.

    Again your mileage may vary

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    2nd Amendment Cyclist RichardGlover's Avatar
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    I can't deal with refined sugars in any significant amount, so artificial sweeteners is what I'm left with.

    I can't deal with Stevia, Equal, or Sodium Saccharine. They both leave bitter aftertastes to me. I know some people don't have that problem; if they don't, then Stevia might be a good choice.

    This leaves me with Splenda. It works; what's interesting is that at a certain saturation point, things don't get much sweeter - but they also don't get more bitter.

    I've weaned myself down on how much I put in my coffee now - I typically do 1 packet per espresso shot, whereas a year ago I was doing 2 per shot.
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    I use Sugar Twin in my tea. I don't like the aftertaste of Splenda. I do drink Coke Zero which has aspartame but try to limit it to a couple a day. I wish I could eliminate them completely but I don't like plain tea.

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    Senior Member The_DK's Avatar
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    Some people are sensitive to them, most people are not. Aspartame is one of the most studied chemicals around. There really isn't any evidence that it is harmful in anyway to humans at the level we consume it.
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    I am just curious if there is a link between artificial sweeteners and the need to continue wanting sugary things.
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    I'm a Type 2 diabetic also; while I don't crave sweets or feel as though I need them, I use artificial sweeteners on a routine basis myself. For a couple of years my go-to sweetener was Splenda, though I wasn't always comfortable with the composition of it, it became cheap enough, in its generic form, to use more than I had previously used Sweet & Low. I am most fond of Truvia as more "natural" artificial sweeteners go, but due to the expense of it I use it sparingly. Other artificial sweeteners just don't do it for me...Stevia in the Raw is just plain awful, in my opinion; I have a bag of that stuff that I use in chamomile tea only since it's least offensive therein. I have also tried Purevia and Trader Joe's Stevia, all of which are supposed to be the really 'good' Stevia varieties...but for some reason, they all leave me wanting something else.

    This past weekend, I was indulging in a little television watching and saw a commercial for a new artificial sweetener just on the market, called Nectresse, it is made by McNeil Laboratories - the makers of Splenda, interestingly enough. I bought some from Walmart that day, tried it immediately and it is GREAT! I used it in my much-beloved Sumatra coffee (the ultimate test since, if my coffee isn't sweetened properly, I can taste it immediately), and noticed no discernible difference in sweetening power and/or taste between Nectresse and Splenda...and would even venture to say that the Nectresse was even more pleasing to my palate than actual sugar! But perhaps that was just psychological...LOL!

    Given the range of my responses to different sweeteners I am thinking that Nectresse may just be perfect for me...I initially purchased a 40 packet box of Nectresse for around $3.99, spending a bit more per serving than the alternative packaging of Nectresse in the 140 serving canister for $5.78 (I believe) because I wasn't sure I'd like it. I was happily wrong about that!

    I don't know if that's any kind of answer you were looking for, but I would not hesitate to recommend Nectresse...at least at this point...it's a bit more natural than Splenda and it's pretty good!
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    Senior Member The_DK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chefisaac View Post
    I am just curious if there is a link between artificial sweeteners and the need to continue wanting sugary things.
    dunno. a coke zero satisfies my sweet tooth.
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    I tend to stay away from anything with artificial sweetening especially diet sodas. I do however, on the rare occassion I have coffee or need something sweet will use two packages of Splenda. Splenda does not seem to have the weird, coying too sweet aftertaste other sweeteners have. But I still try to limit as much as possible.

    Nowaday I really don't like sweet stuff much... an occasional dark chocolate that's it...
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    I really wish I could lower my sweet needs.
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    Senior Member goldfinch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chefisaac View Post
    I really wish I could lower my sweet needs.
    Quote Originally Posted by chefisaac View Post
    I am just curious if there is a link between artificial sweeteners and the need to continue wanting sugary things.
    Well, you don't get the big insulin dump with the artificial sweeteners. I remember reading sometime back that non-caloric sweeteners in food that already has calories will not increase your appetite, but if the sweetener is added to something without calories it can make you hungry. However, I question whether this is accurate, especially given the recent research that shows kids who use sugary drinks gain weight as compared to those who use drinks with non-caloric sweeteners.

    I have a major sweet tooth and if I try to deny myself it backfires later. I had a case of Clif bars and in a binge at four of them in a row. That is nearly 1000 calories. Now, I can't even have them around. But I have done well using non-caloric sweeteners. You just have to find one that works for you. At least with the Truvia I don't get the big spike in blood sugar but I still manage to satisfy my sweet tooth.
    Last edited by goldfinch; 09-27-12 at 03:00 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chefisaac View Post
    I am just curious if there is a link between artificial sweeteners and the need to continue wanting sugary things.
    for me there is. splenda just makes me hungry. I used to use it in my coffee, but now I have switched back to sugar. it is all about moderation.

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    Senior Member Big Pete 1982's Avatar
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    I saw a documetary a while back about Aspartame. It was pretty interesting. Pretty much got rubber stamped through the FDA without knowing what the long term effects of consuming it were. It messed up quite a few lab monkeys though. But hey, I'm sort of a black helicopters conspiracy theory type of guy. Millions of people consume it everyday and seem to be ok. But something always seems a little too fishy to me that you can consume something that claims to have 0 calories. That seems like it should be impossible.

    My personal opinion on them is that when I started my weight loss/health improvement journey, my doctor told me to avoid high fructose corn syrup. I pretty much cut that completely out of my diet (which is very hard to do!) and I stopped drinking soda all together. On the occasion that I drink coffee, its black. It took a while to get over the sweet tooth cravings, but I feel better without all that crap in my diet now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Pete 1982 View Post
    I saw a documetary a while back about Aspartame. It was pretty interesting. Pretty much got rubber stamped through the FDA without knowing what the long term effects of consuming it were. It messed up quite a few lab monkeys though. But hey, I'm sort of a black helicopters conspiracy theory type of guy. Millions of people consume it everyday and seem to be ok. But something always seems a little too fishy to me that you can consume something that claims to have 0 calories. That seems like it should be impossible.

    My personal opinion on them is that when I started my weight loss/health improvement journey, my doctor told me to avoid high fructose corn syrup. I pretty much cut that completely out of my diet (which is very hard to do!) and I stopped drinking soda all together. On the occasion that I drink coffee, its black. It took a while to get over the sweet tooth cravings, but I feel better without all that crap in my diet now.
    Remember the name of the documentary?
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    Senior Member Big Pete 1982's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chefisaac View Post
    Remember the name of the documentary?
    I think it was called "Sweet Misery". I don't know how much credibilty it has. Some of the people that claim to have brain tumors seem like "sickly" type of people that are always having health problems. It was interesting to learn about how Donald Rumsfeld got rich off of Nutra-Sweet and how Ronald Reagan basically ramrodded the FDA approval.

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    +1
    I used to use it in my coffee, but now I have switched back to sugar. it is all about moderation.
    I'm generally against consuming non-nutriative "foods" including artificial sweetners, as well as modified carbs and fats you can't digest (Dreamfields pasta comes to mind as does Olestra, which may not even be on the market any more due to the numerous cases of gastric upset from this modified fat). Real food in proper portion and balance seems to be the healthiest way to go. My personal favorite sweet treats include fresh, frozen or dried fruit (preferably unsugared and unsulfured), All-fruit jams on whole grain muffins or pancakes, cocoa and banana smoothies, oatmeal raisin cookies homemade with lower fat/sugar recipe, and dark chocolate.
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