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Natural Sweeteners

A few nuggets on sweetners, etc.

There’s a lot of pros and cons about all the new sweetners.

Stevia is a plant – herb.  I keep trying to grow my own, but I think it may be too hot here. Although it supposedly came from the rainforest, so maybe it is too dry. Or something. It is not easy to grow for a long time.  Organic Stevia from Wholesome Foods makes one with agave fiber – a source of inulin . This is my current favorite.  Stevia Plus (powder) with chicory fiber – also an inulin source – is 2nd. Plain old stevia leves dried and  ground are good too. Someone said you could get these at Whole Foods store (not the same as Wholesome Foods manufacturers)

Xilitol is supposed to be good for gums, teeth (Tom’s puts it in some of their toothpastes ) and even bones, but it is processed and ends in -ol which can put it in a class of sugars to look out for. The original one was made in FInland from birch trees (bark?) and is the best.  Others – even NOW! products I  learned, is from corn husks etc and some of the corn-based  xilitol is made in China (from the by product of ethanol processing. How ‘natural’ can that be?)!  Yuk. I may have to rethink xilitol  or at least make sure of the source.

FOS – inulin from chicory.  I think it is good from all I have read, but there are a few dissenting opnions. (or inulin from agave fiber. Wholesome Foods makes a Stevia with this)  FOS – inulin fiber – is supposed to actually be good for diabetics, etc.

The new one – Truvia has another ingredient I am not so sure about. Erythritol. And is seems to be made in China too! Blah.  Nothing against the Chinese. Just that the factories there don’t seem to have the quality control etc.  Hope that changes soon.

Erythritol is present in such fruits as pears, melons, mushrooms, and grapes, as well as such fermented foods as wine, soy sauce, and cheese. Through a fermentation process, using a glucose-rich substrate, glucose is obtained by enzymatic hydrolysis. Glucose is then fermented by a yeast-like fungus to obtain Erythritol. As a note of caution for Stevia users, Erythritol, derived from fermented glucose, is also used as a blend with stevia. As with other sugar alcohols, there is concern over the laxative effects on young children who are easily dehydrated.


4 Responses

  1. I use Stevia, Truvia, Equal (whichever one that is) and the old standby saccharin. I buy it all and offer my guests whichever they prefer. But whatever it does to me is probably going to take a long time.

    • I try to take Stevia (with the Agave fiber) packets with me, but don’t always succeed. I use Sucralose (brand name>?) or Saccharin when out f I don’t have Stevia. But I am still drinking Diet Dr. Pepper (with Aspartame :-[) So I guess the whole thing is just a useless mess.

  2. Thank you so much for this overview. It is full of knowledge and gives me the information I have always wanted.

    You may have written about Splenda before, but what does your research say about that again please?

    • Splenda is sucralose. I don’t know that much about it. Supposedly better than saccharine, certainly better than aspartame, but I don’t know too much.

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