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  Topic Review (Newest First)
05-30-2016 09:58 AM
Gita Transitioning to a "lower sugar lifestyle" is about as hard as transitioning to a vegetarian lifestyle. I try to keep my added sugar at about 5-6 pounds per year. The average American eats 60 pounds per year (study from 2008) Other sugars I may eat are fresh fruits because I do not drink Juice.
05-06-2016 11:37 AM
ModVegan Obviously, the best sugars for the body are those found in whole foods (like if you sweeten your cereal with fresh strawberries, etc. The World Health Organization's new guidelines concerning sugar recommend fruit, etc. as opposed to added sugars.

Aside from that, most concentrated forms of sugar are pretty much the same. There are some small mineral differences between maple syrup and table sugar, but it's honestly not enough to worry about. If you are concerned about health, use sweet fruits like pineapple, etc. to sweeten most things, and any sugar in moderation.

Research is still out on sugar substitutes, so I would use them in moderation. Still, if I'm honest, I do drink diet coke. I love it, I know it's worse for me than regular coke, and I don't care. I have one a month or so, so I figure it's not too bad
05-06-2016 10:38 AM
LedBoots About stevia (mostly about the processed stevia, but some about the plant:

"The problem with this point is that stevia, being a “sweet” taste to the body, tricks the body into believing there will be glucose (the body’s preferred fuel) so the body clears the way for this glucose by lowering blood sugar in the body clearing the way for glucose to be released. When it isn’t released, and it won’t be because stevia doesn’t contain glucose, adrenaline and cortisol surge to mobilize or worse (for those on low to no carb diets) create sugar from tissues like liver, muscle tissue, other body tissues, glands like the thymus, or proteins geared to create muscle tissue. This process is called glucogenesis and will be discussed in our coming post The Case for Sugar.

Next, the fact that the body prepares itself for glucose and none “shows up” it thrusts itself into a state of hypoglycemia. Also not a good thing.

Adrenaline and cortiol released for the purposes of mobilizing promised glucose that never shows up (as in the case of stevia induced hypoglycemia) is damaging overall to the adrenal glands leading to one factor in adrenal fatigue. If the adrenals are out of balance it is only a matter of time for the thyroid and hormones to fall out of balance. Read more on OAT Axis Imbalance Here , Here, and Here.

Too much cortisol in the body contributes to abdominal weight gain which increases your risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, and obesity.

Believe me, beauties, any time the body creates sugar from where sugar did not exist (especially when it comes from the breakdown of the body’s own tissues, skin and muscle mass) is a bad thing. Any time adrenaline and cortisol is released into the body it is stressful and the very thing we want to be avoiding. Elevated levels of stress hormones (especially since there is rarely a two ton mammoth chasing us these days) in a chronic state contribute to inflammation, weight gain, insulin resistance, low thyroid function, and impaired immune function). If you didn’t notice already, stevia, advertised to have no effect on blood sugar which is technically good for treating insulin resistance, can ultimately be responsible for insulin resistance.

If that weren’t enough, stevia, even in its purest form, (ground from the leaf) contains steviol glycocides which have a hormonal structure similar to gibberllin and kaurene. Studies have shown they have dramatic effects on estrogen and/or progesterone...."
More here:
05-06-2016 02:22 AM
Naturebound Not all zero calorie sweeteners are artificial. I grow my own stevia plant in herb pots in the late Spring/summer and use the leaves in smoothies, teas, casseroles...I don't use tons of it though. Just a tiny amount of stevia is powerful enough to sweeten an entire dish. You would need far less of it than table sugar (comparing it in powder a plant leaf one or two leaves is VERY sweet).

The only sweetener I can think of that has nutrients is blackstrap molasses, due to it's high calcium and iron content. It is not very sweet though, and has a very distinct flavor that some people don't like. I have used it in making homemade whole wheat bread, in Asian stir fries, for homemade bbq sauce, or as is over beans or in smoothies or in pancakes etc.

Other "healthier" options are fresh fruits, or soak and use fresh dates in recipes like granola bars, homemade plant milks, breads, cereals. Stuff like fresh grapes, oranges, apples, bananas, berries, cantaloupe are enough for me for hot cereal or smoothies without adding sugar. For pancakes, I will often not add a sweetener to the batter, but instead make a fresh fruit compote (heat some berries and water to make a sauce for instance) and have that over them.

Sometimes though, for baking or roasting and caramelizing vegetables (think roasted brussel sprouts with maple/mustard mix), maple syrup can't be beat for awesome flavor! Because pure maple syrup is expensive, it keeps me from using too much of it or too often.
05-05-2016 11:29 PM
LedBoots "...Last year, though, a team of Israeli scientists put together a stronger case. The researchers concluded from studies of mice that ingesting artificial sweeteners might lead to—of all things—obesity and related ailments such as diabetes. This study was not the first to note this link in animals, but it was the first to find evidence of a plausible cause: the sweeteners appear to change the population of intestinal bacteria that direct metabolism, the conversion of food to energy or stored fuel. And this result suggests the connection might also exist in humans.

In humans, as well as mice, the ability to digest and extract energy from our food is determined not only by our genes but also by the activity of the trillions of microbes that dwell within our digestive tract; collectively, these bacteria are known as the gut microbiome. The Israeli study suggests that artificial sweeteners enhance the populations of gut bacteria that are more efficient at pulling energy from our food and turning that energy into fat. In other words, artificial sweeteners may favor the growth of bacteria that make more calories available to us, calories that can then find their way to our hips, thighs and midriffs, says Peter Turnbaugh of the University of California, San Francisco, an expert on the interplay of bacteria and metabolism."
05-05-2016 08:57 PM
David3 Quoting the American Cancer Society:

"Do non-nutritive sweeteners or sugar substitutes cause cancer? There is no proof that these sweeteners, at the levels consumed in human diets, cause cancer. Aspartame, saccharin, and sucralose are a few of the non-nutritive sweeteners approved for use by the FDA. Current evidence does not show a link between these compounds and increased cancer risk. Some animal studies have suggested that their use may be linked with an increased risk of cancers of the bladder and brain, or of leukemias and lymphomas, but studies in humans show no increased cancer risk. People with the genetic disorder phenylketonuria, however, should avoid aspartame in their diets.
Newer sugar substitutes include sweeteners such as sugar alcohols (sorbitol, xylitol, and mannitol) and naturally derived sweeteners (stevia and agave syrup). All of these sweeteners appear to be safe when used in moderation, although larger amounts of sugar alcohols may cause bloating and stomach discomfort in some people. "


Quoting the American Heart Association:

"The FDA has given the label “Generally Recognized as Safe” (GRAS), to five* NNSs (non-nutritive sweeteners):
  • Aspartame (NutraSweet® and Equal®)
  • Acesulfame-K (Sweet One®)
  • Neotame
  • Saccharin (Sweet’N Low®)
  • Sucralose (Splenda®)
*Stevia (Truvia® and PureVia®) doesn’t have a GRAS distinction, but that doesn’t mean it’s dangerous (it just means there isn’t enough evidence yet either way)."

05-05-2016 10:55 AM
vegelovin Don't listen to anyone telling you to use artificial sugars instead, because they are about 100x more harmful to your body than regular sugar. You should always aim to reduce the sugar in your diet, period, but I also like my sweets every now and then. I would say that coconut sugar is the better option. There is 15 calories in one teaspoon of either option, but it comes down to the source. Sugar Cane or Coconut? I would choose Coconut for obvious reasons, but that's really a decision you need to make yourself. DO NOT use any "0" calorie sugars, THEY ARE NOT HEALTHY!!!!

A better option than either turbinado or coconut sugar is maple syrup, which I believe another user already recommended. Again, same amount of calories, but it comes down to the source. The healthier you are overall, the easier it is for your body to function correctly and let go of extra weight. I'm not saying switching your type of sugar is going to make you lose weight, but it is going to go a long way towards making your body feel healthier and better.

05-05-2016 12:15 AM
Thalassa4 Trying to lose weight? Why not use stevia as your sweetener?
05-04-2016 07:55 PM
Beautiful Joe
Originally Posted by BlackBoxed View Post
I'm personally a fan of maple syrup. No idea how nutritious it is compared to other sweeteners though they all seem pretty much the same, I guess. I just like the fact that it's tree sap that's boiled down. Can't get much simpler than that! (biased canadianism :x)

And it does taste wonderful.
05-04-2016 01:52 PM
BlackBoxed I'm personally a fan of maple syrup. No idea how nutritious it is compared to other sweeteners though they all seem pretty much the same, I guess. I just like the fact that it's tree sap that's boiled down. Can't get much simpler than that! (biased canadianism :x)
05-04-2016 12:22 PM
Beautiful Joe No sugar is a "health food." Sugar of any kind, in moderate amounts, isn't going to harm you (unless you have a medical condition such as diabetes), other than adding empty calories to your diet.

IMO, worrying over every detail of one's food is more harmful than small amounts of sugar, etc.
05-03-2016 06:34 PM
Originally Posted by edith412 View Post
I jave tried both n are awesome!!! I just want to make a better choice

Different websites make entirely different claims about the mineral content of coconut sugar. I can't find consistent information.

Advice: Minimize your sugar intake. The healthiest sweeteners are whole, fresh fruits. Now that it's spring / summer, all the best sweet fruits are becoming available and affordable.

Neither coconut sugar nor turbinado sugar is recommended for weight loss (except by advertising websites).
05-03-2016 05:05 AM
What is the least harmful sugar, cocunut or turbinado?

My "expertise" is limited only to my internet searching abilities but I would choose coconut sugar over turbinado. [emoji4]

And supposedly sucanat is better than turbinado.
05-02-2016 07:09 PM
edith412 Sorry both! !
04-26-2016 11:53 PM
edith412 Sorry, in regards to nutrition and weightloss.
04-25-2016 08:39 PM
Originally Posted by edith412 View Post
I jave tried both n are awesome!!! I just want to make a better choice
Harmful in which way? Health-wise, environmentally, and/or ethically?
04-25-2016 04:04 PM
What is the least harmful sugar, cocunut or turbinado?

I jave tried both n are awesome!!! I just want to make a better choice

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