5

votes

Artificial sweeteners....good? bad? ugly?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 11, 2012 at 11:00 PM

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.

235259a645be3cac56196e0489dbc8f4

on January 12, 2012
at 07:25 AM

Yeah I agree with Cory here but only in terms of personal use. I know its not the Paleo thing to say but I have tried using both stevia and xylitol and neither has give me issues. I removed all sugar/artificial sugars for 30 days and reintroduced them and saw no difference. So I use them freely. I don't see any insulin response as I am easily able to lean out while using them. Maybe I'm just lucky : )

D5d982a898721d3392c85f951d0bf0aa

(2417)

on January 12, 2012
at 05:38 AM

I bought that, and to me it just tastes chemically. It's funny how we all taste things differently. I like plain stevia in other things, though.

978afca148d1344ebe8ff5bd0f1ce100

(133)

on January 12, 2012
at 04:21 AM

I wasn't a fan of stevia at first, and do limit it in my diet, but my coffee sub- dandy blend - just isn't as enjoyable without it. I discovered there are different flavors of stevia in liquid form and that has helped a lot. I have the vanilla creme and it really makes it more palatable.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 12, 2012
at 03:34 AM

I tried the liquid.

B6114a1980b1481fb18206064f3f4a4f

(3924)

on January 12, 2012
at 03:28 AM

Did you use powdered Stevia, liquid Stevia or the fresh leaves? Liquid Stevia is low-oxalate but the other two are VERY HIGH oxalate and people with oxalate sensitivities often get eye pain after eating high oxalate foods. Of course if you can eat spinach without feeling crappy then this theory goes right out the window.

1f8384be58052b6b96f476e475abdc74

(2231)

on January 12, 2012
at 01:24 AM

first word says it all....artificial...would you put meat what was chemically designed to taste like meat in your mouth?

E42367abfb8229d2f7126f4825380e2e

on January 11, 2012
at 11:12 PM

all of my knowledge went out the door... I avoid them like the plague but I'm not diabetic so when I want to cheat I get the real sugar high... sorry...

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13 Answers

best answer

8
Medium avatar

(2923)

on January 11, 2012
at 11:11 PM

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:

http://www.marksdailyapple.com/artificial-sweeteners-insulin/

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.

https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Stevia

4
9b0a4701e373d4dd13831cfb9b13f42d

(1677)

on January 11, 2012
at 11:34 PM

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.

235259a645be3cac56196e0489dbc8f4

on January 12, 2012
at 07:25 AM

Yeah I agree with Cory here but only in terms of personal use. I know its not the Paleo thing to say but I have tried using both stevia and xylitol and neither has give me issues. I removed all sugar/artificial sugars for 30 days and reintroduced them and saw no difference. So I use them freely. I don't see any insulin response as I am easily able to lean out while using them. Maybe I'm just lucky : )

3
Dea5f440698f5488b975ada2f61daa0d

on January 12, 2012
at 12:55 AM

We use stevia leaves because, instead of being an artificial sweetener, it's an herb that happens to be sweet.

2
363d0a0277a8b61ada3a24ab3ad85d5a

(4642)

on January 11, 2012
at 11:37 PM

Bad and Ugly.. sugar alcohols would be the ugly and aspartame, splenda, etc., are just the plain old bad.

1
A52f90c7691db8b67450b81b3229373c

(10)

on January 12, 2012
at 07:28 AM

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.

1
77953c433077c7a65da802327ea7c529

on January 12, 2012
at 06:49 AM

I think erythitol is fairly innocuous, but certainly not paleo, or something I would ingest a ton of.

1
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on January 12, 2012
at 02:09 AM

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.

0
Afdf5873a082cd806c4d15c456f3614f

(336)

on June 22, 2012
at 10:35 PM

REALLY REALLY REALLY BAD. Artificial sweeteners are incredibly detrimental to your health- read more here : http://products.mercola.com/sweet-deception/

I agree with others that stevia, xylitol, and erythritol are all 'safe' options - though recently I've read that they may not be as safe as people think.... sigh....but in any case they are much safer than aspartame!!!!

0
D8c04730b5d016a839b3c5b932bf59dd

on January 12, 2012
at 05:27 AM

All the artificials make me dizzy! I can have one (but why would I), but the next day, the second one sends me spinning. Silly, but I'm grateful. That happened to me before paleo.

I like the stevia for some things, but not for everything. I'm pretty sensitive to chemicals of most kinds.

0
D5d982a898721d3392c85f951d0bf0aa

(2417)

on January 12, 2012
at 04:11 AM

Guilty admission time - I'm gonna get my dirty hippy card revoked. I put a small spoonful of xylitol in my morning coffee. Xylitol doesn't bother my gut at all, and I'm trying to reform a passionate sweet tooth. And maybe this is in my head, but xylitol doesn't set off the cravings in the same way other sugars did. I wish I liked stevia in my coffee, but I really don't.

D5d982a898721d3392c85f951d0bf0aa

(2417)

on January 12, 2012
at 05:38 AM

I bought that, and to me it just tastes chemically. It's funny how we all taste things differently. I like plain stevia in other things, though.

978afca148d1344ebe8ff5bd0f1ce100

(133)

on January 12, 2012
at 04:21 AM

I wasn't a fan of stevia at first, and do limit it in my diet, but my coffee sub- dandy blend - just isn't as enjoyable without it. I discovered there are different flavors of stevia in liquid form and that has helped a lot. I have the vanilla creme and it really makes it more palatable.

0
Cf4576cbcc44fc7f2294135609bce9e5

on January 12, 2012
at 02:21 AM

they are what they are. id rather eat real sugar than man made crap. im mean really where does it end? next year they will bring out the twinkie substitute and call that safe and healthy

0
96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 12, 2012
at 01:04 AM

Ugly.

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.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 12, 2012
at 03:34 AM

I tried the liquid.

B6114a1980b1481fb18206064f3f4a4f

(3924)

on January 12, 2012
at 03:28 AM

Did you use powdered Stevia, liquid Stevia or the fresh leaves? Liquid Stevia is low-oxalate but the other two are VERY HIGH oxalate and people with oxalate sensitivities often get eye pain after eating high oxalate foods. Of course if you can eat spinach without feeling crappy then this theory goes right out the window.

0
1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on January 11, 2012
at 11:58 PM

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.

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