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Old 05-02-2013, 09:55 AM   #1
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Sugar & Sugar Substitutes (My morning coffee)

I used to always sweeten my coffee with just a bit of splenda in the morning but there's something I'm struggling with. I'm very wary of artificial sweeteners because I work in research in cell biology and I KNOW that artificial sweeteners are not good for me and the effect they have at the cellular level. It's actually scary. So I tried to go "cold turkey," so to speak, and not sweeten my coffee with anything but it was horrible, lol.

So this is my struggle: I know sugar isn't good for me either, but in this case I'm actually thinking it's the lesser of 2 evils and I'm considering using it in my coffee. Carb cravings have never been an issue for me, so I'm not so worried about that, but I've worked very hard to cut sugar out of the rest of my diet. I tried liquid stevia one time and don't want to go there again

Any suggestion or opinions?
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Old 05-02-2013, 09:56 AM   #2
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How about erythritol? Or lo han guo (monk fruit)?

Last edited by Mistizoom; 05-02-2013 at 09:57 AM..
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Old 05-02-2013, 10:40 AM   #3
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do you really think sucralose is a significant danger, compared to the thousands of other unfortunate things we ingest regularly, from pesticides to herbicides to antibiotics and such to plastics in almost every food we buy or cook?
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Old 05-02-2013, 10:40 AM   #4
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I did a whole 30 back in March and discovered that not only can I not stand coffee without cream, I just can't get down to no sweetener. As close as I can get and still enjoy is 1/2 packet of Splenda per mug.

So, what did I do? I switched to tea, I love a good tea black, but can't do black coffee. Not exactly what you are asking, but may be worth a try. Get some nice Earl Grey.
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Old 05-02-2013, 11:15 AM   #5
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do you really think sucralose is a significant danger, compared to the thousands of other unfortunate things we ingest regularly, from pesticides to herbicides to antibiotics and such to plastics in almost every food we buy or cook?
Well, the whole point is to reduce the amount of crap I consume and be healthier. Sure there are additives and other things that are bad for us in the stuff we eat, but just because you consume a few bad things doesn't give excuse to consume a bunch more. That's like saying "well, I already blew my diet by eating those chocolate chip cookies this morning, might as well give in for the rest of the day and just eat whatever."

I really just don't want to consume this stuff. It might not be as big of a deal if it was in something like a baked good that I have only on rare occasions. But it's my morning coffee which I consume in a decent sized quantity nearly every single day. And I'm guessing that I'll be having coffee pretty much the same way for the better part of my life. Did you know there isn't even ONE study on Splenda pertaining to long term affects or accumulation?

I've read quite a few of the actual research papers on these artificial sweeteners and I can tell you that what the media reports to the general public is often oversimplified and exclusionary and sometimes it's even completely distorted from what the actual paper says.

Last edited by evas; 05-02-2013 at 11:27 AM..
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Old 05-02-2013, 11:47 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evas View Post
I used to always sweeten my coffee with just a bit of splenda in the morning but there's something I'm struggling with. I'm very wary of artificial sweeteners because I work in research in cell biology and I KNOW that artificial sweeteners are not good for me and the effect they have at the cellular level. It's actually scary. So I tried to go "cold turkey," so to speak, and not sweeten my coffee with anything but it was horrible, lol.

So this is my struggle: I know sugar isn't good for me either, but in this case I'm actually thinking it's the lesser of 2 evils and I'm considering using it in my coffee. Carb cravings have never been an issue for me, so I'm not so worried about that, but I've worked very hard to cut sugar out of the rest of my diet. I tried liquid stevia one time and don't want to go there again

Any suggestion or opinions?
What is your opinion of Truvia. I can do that. I can't go milkless.
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Old 05-02-2013, 01:39 PM   #7
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I think one teaspoon of sugar is just 4 carbs, so I wouldn't have a problem with using it. I sometimes use sugar in my tea when I am at someone else's home and it's never caused a problem for me. We have been eating sugar a whole lot longer than we have been eating artificial sweeteners.

I don't see sugar as inherently bad, it's only bad if you eat it all day long. I like the sugar in the raw one.
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Old 05-02-2013, 01:43 PM   #8
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Well, the whole point is to reduce the amount of crap I consume and be healthier. Sure there are additives and other things that are bad for us in the stuff we eat, but just because you consume a few bad things doesn't give excuse to consume a bunch more. That's like saying "well, I already blew my diet by eating those chocolate chip cookies this morning, might as well give in for the rest of the day and just eat whatever."

.
good point. I try to eat extra super cleanly BECAUSE of how polluted our world is. Same reason why I don't use plastic, don't surround myself with synthetic fabrics, and dont take many prescription or over the counter meds and dont eat things that have a million unpronounceable ingredients.

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Old 05-02-2013, 02:04 PM   #9
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I've tried every form of stevia I could find, and couldn't stomach ANY of them, until I got some NuNaturals NuStevia No Carbs Blend, which has some erythritol in with it. I like the bulk powdered stuff in the 3.5 ounce plastic jar best. It really takes just a little bit to sweeten things to my liking and I don't get that nasty aftertaste at all with it.

Maybe give that one a try? They have it in compressed tablets too, but they're bulked with fiber, which is fine, but it leaves a slight "sludge" in the bottom of the cup that I find unappealing!

NuNaturals also makes the product in little packets, which I carry in my purse for convenience when eating out.
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Old 05-02-2013, 02:54 PM   #10
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I'm fortunate because anything with a sweet taste stimulates my appetite, so I eliminated all sugar and AS a few years ago with no problems.

Since the OP works in science, she may know that anything you do for two weeks (in terms of food/drink) will then taste 'normal' to you. My aunt's cardiologist told her this about 40 years ago when she insisted that she could 'never' eat salt free (as she needed to do). She promised to do the prescribed diet for 2 weeks (complaining constantly)--and she ate that way for the rest of her life with no problems. Her taste had adjusted within those 2 weeks.

I had a similar experience myself with coffee, so I know it works.

I have a world-class sweet tooth, but I have no problems avoiding all sweeteners.
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Old 05-02-2013, 02:59 PM   #11
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Once I found out that artificial sweeteners would bring on cravings and make my blood sugar spike higher than it should (but not as high as with real sugar), I decided to try and learn to live without them. The sweeteners seemed to make every worse and keep me wanting "real" sweets. Keep in mind that I used to be a 3 packets of Sweet-n-low in every cup of coffee person...

But I started to taper off and gradually lower how much sweetener I was using. It took a while and I had to work to convince myself that I LIKED the taste of coffee with just cream or even black. And I finally did start to like it!

I still sometimes miss the taste of really sweet coffee, but that's OK--I sometimes miss a lot of things I can eat anymore. Overall, I like my 90 lbs. lighter body better, and know that oh-so-slowly my very damaged metabolism is healing and I'm starting to feel better than I have in decades. It helps make up for missing sweets.

18 months later and now I don't really like things that are sweet at all! What a change for a true sugar addict...of course, I'd still eat sugar if I could, but I can't. Eliminating artifical sweeteners (except for very rare occasions) really helped me stay the course over time.
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Old 05-02-2013, 03:12 PM   #12
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Good for you, Weezy! That's an accomplishment for sure.

I also used to drink my coffee hyper-sweetened and creamed. Now I use about 2 tablespoons of half & half and that's all. It was an adjustment, for sure, but now if I use full on HWC or add sweetener, it just tastes - well - WRONG I guess!

I DO still like my Constant Comment tea sweetened though, and my iced tea, and my iced jamaica. I don't drink those all the time though so it's a treat when I do.
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Old 05-02-2013, 04:05 PM   #13
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Did you know there isn't even ONE study on Splenda pertaining to long term affects or accumulation? .
OMG, I'm disturbed. I have consumed the liquid version of this stuff weekly for at least 10 years. Is liquid sucralose bad on the cellular level as well?
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Old 05-02-2013, 04:57 PM   #14
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I avoid artificial sweeteners because I do think they are harmful. I can't stand straight stevia either (I find if it's blended with something else it's not bad), so I've just been avoiding sugar altogether. I did come across a product the other day that I intend to try out. It's called "NewSweet" (I don't think I can post the url according to the rules here, but you can google it). It's a blend of something called trehalose and stevia. They send out generous (I think it's 8oz) free samples, so will try to do that next week. I do want to rid myself of the "I have to have sugar!!! temptation, but it would be nice to have something in the house I could indulge in. They claim it tastes just like sugar. We shall see.
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Old 05-02-2013, 06:15 PM   #15
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I avoid artificial sweeteners because I do think they are harmful. I can't stand straight stevia either (I find if it's blended with something else it's not bad), so I've just been avoiding sugar altogether. I did come across a product the other day that I intend to try out. It's called "NewSweet" (I don't think I can post the url according to the rules here, but you can google it). It's a blend of something called trehalose and stevia. They send out generous (I think it's 8oz) free samples, so will try to do that next week. I do want to rid myself of the "I have to have sugar!!! temptation, but it would be nice to have something in the house I could indulge in. They claim it tastes just like sugar. We shall see.
Can you let us know how you like the NewSweet? It seems you still have to pay $3.99 shiipping for the free sample.
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Old 05-02-2013, 06:41 PM   #16
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I looked briefly at the NewSweet website - didn't see what the chemical makeup is? Is it glucose, fructose, or what?

I got fooled once before with "low glycemic" claims from agave - bought a bunch of it, only to find out that it's actually higher in fructose than high fructose corn syrup! So I had to ditch that, which was too bad, I really liked it and it cooked up great in things like lemon tarts and so forth.

Yes, it IS low-glycemic - because it is processed differently by your body. This is a way over-simplification, but my understanding is that fructose can readily be stored as fat by your liver. Uh, no thanks!
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Old 05-02-2013, 06:46 PM   #17
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Can you let us know how you like the NewSweet? It seems you still have to pay $3.99 shiipping for the free sample.
I definitely will! Yeah, you have to pay shipping. I forgot to mention that.
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Old 05-02-2013, 06:54 PM   #18
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I found this information about Trehalose:

Quote:
This multi-functional sugar is a disaccharide consisting of two glucose molecules, and when metabolized, it releases both molecules -twice the glucose other forms of stored sugar release.
I have no idea what that means. Hopefully someone more educated can explain it to me.

Last edited by Jleighs; 05-02-2013 at 06:55 PM..
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Old 05-02-2013, 06:54 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Charski View Post
I looked briefly at the NewSweet website - didn't see what the chemical makeup is? Is it glucose, fructose, or what?

I got fooled once before with "low glycemic" claims from agave - bought a bunch of it, only to find out that it's actually higher in fructose than high fructose corn syrup! So I had to ditch that, which was too bad, I really liked it and it cooked up great in things like lemon tarts and so forth.

Yes, it IS low-glycemic - because it is processed differently by your body. This is a way over-simplification, but my understanding is that fructose can readily be stored as fat by your liver. Uh, no thanks!
I believe it is made from trehalose and stevia. Trehalose is a disaccharide half as sweet as sucrose. From what I can tell it is not lower in calories. I am trying to find info on impact on blood sugar.
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Old 05-02-2013, 06:55 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jleighs View Post
I found this information about Trehalos:

Quote:
This multi-functional sugar is a disaccharide consisting of two glucose molecules, and when metabolized, it releases both molecules -twice the glucose other forms of stored sugar release.
I have no idea what that means. Hopefully someone more educated can explain it to me.

That's not sounding good!

ETA:

Found this on a website regarding using it for treatment of Huntington's disease:

Quote:
Trehalose is only 50% as sweet as table sugar, and does not increase blood sugar or insulin levels nearly as much as the same dose of regular sugar. It is best used as a sugar substitute. Trehalose has received “GRAS” approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). “GRAS” approval means that this food product is “generally recognized as safe” and can be marketed as a food.

Last edited by Mistizoom; 05-02-2013 at 06:59 PM..
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Old 05-02-2013, 07:00 PM   #21
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I'm also reading (researching as I'm posting here lol) that it has been show to elicit a very low insulin response.
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Old 05-02-2013, 07:00 PM   #22
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Tagatose is another option for a non-artificial sweetener. Netrition sells it now.
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Old 05-04-2013, 06:59 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Leo41 View Post
I'm fortunate because anything with a sweet taste stimulates my appetite, so I eliminated all sugar and AS a few years ago with no problems.

Since the OP works in science, she may know that anything you do for two weeks (in terms of food/drink) will then taste 'normal' to you. My aunt's cardiologist told her this about 40 years ago when she insisted that she could 'never' eat salt free (as she needed to do). She promised to do the prescribed diet for 2 weeks (complaining constantly)--and she ate that way for the rest of her life with no problems. Her taste had adjusted within those 2 weeks.

I had a similar experience myself with coffee, so I know it works.

I have a world-class sweet tooth, but I have no problems avoiding all sweeteners.
I wish this worked for me. My doctor wanted to do avoid caffeine/coffee. Did so for 6 months. Had decaff coffee all that time. Then went back to regular coffee. Yup--liked it just as much after 6 months than before. No change for me, no getting used to decaf for me, no getting off of AS for me.
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Old 05-04-2013, 07:54 AM   #24
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I wasn't clear about my 'coffee' example, Dawn. It wasn't caffeine/decaf because the tastes (IMO) are not that different. I, too, experimented with decaf some years ago, didn't feel any better and went back to caffeine with no problem.

What happened to me with coffee and taste is that I grew up in a family that never used sweetener in coffee--but always added milk. So when I began drinking coffee (at about age 18), I naturally drank it that way.

Then I went to college at night (working during the day), and the only food/drink available was from vending machines. After working all day, I really needed some caffeine to make it through my evening classes, but the coffee with cream from the machine was undrinkable. The only one that was decent was black. At first, I hated it--but within two weeks, I couldn't drink coffee any other way. Fifty years later, I still can't drink coffee any other way.
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Old 05-04-2013, 09:48 AM   #25
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I used to drink my coffee with cream and sugar then switched the sugar to sugar twin or splenda. When I gave up sweetners and sugar I had to increase the cream in my coffee. I thought that it would be healthier to increase the cream than to add chemicals. I love it that way and can't have sugar anymore. When I accidentally grab dh's it is super sweet and tastes gross.
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Old 05-04-2013, 10:47 AM   #26
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You might want to try a different stevia. They are not all the same. It is the only natural sweetener I have found that I feel is actually healthy and/or not likely to be a problem.

Many of us like KAL Pure Stevia Extract Powder. I've used it for years. A few years ago I gave up cream in my coffee & just use KAL Stevia. There are no fillers, no additives in KAL.

Stevia does not cause cravings for me like sugar & artificial sweeteners did when I used them.

I cut coffee completely for a year (no decaf either) & it made no noticeable difference in any way. I added it back after researching the benefits & I've enjoyed my coffee ever since. I usually have a couple large cups per day but sometimes only one & occasionally I don't have any at all.
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Old 05-05-2013, 01:12 PM   #27
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I'm with you on some of the sweetners.I both cut down as much as possible(can't drink totally unsweetened) and then I use a stevia/erithrytol mix.I know stevia has some niggles regarding possible effects but much lower than the man made ones.
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Old 05-05-2013, 02:30 PM   #28
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Have always used coffee with sugar n cream. Changed to decalf when it becane obvious that cafine caused me to lose sleep, and went to sweet n low instead of sugar. Use powdered creamer with it. Am trying to convert to stevia and real cream instead, but it is difficult to get used to the new tastes. Picked up some truvia at the store yesterday and will give it a try.
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Old 05-07-2013, 11:20 AM   #29
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Thank you all so much for sharing your experiences and suggestions, I really appreciate it!

When I've tried going "cold turkey" and having my coffee without any sweetener at all I only drank it twice and I thought it was gross so I gave up, haha! But you've given me some hope that maybe I just need to get used to the taste and then I will love it. Perhaps I should force myself to have it without any sweetener for 2 weeks and that would be enough time for me to get used to it and maybe even start to like it....
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Old 05-07-2013, 11:51 AM   #30
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Thank you all so much for sharing your experiences and suggestions, I really appreciate it!

When I've tried going "cold turkey" and having my coffee without any sweetener at all I only drank it twice and I thought it was gross so I gave up, haha! But you've given me some hope that maybe I just need to get used to the taste and then I will love it. Perhaps I should force myself to have it without any sweetener for 2 weeks and that would be enough time for me to get used to it and maybe even start to like it....
I couldn't do it cold turkey--no way! I HATED black coffee with a passion! However, I started SLOWLY cutting down how much sweetener I used by half packets (I loved Sweet-n-Low). So I went from my usual 3 packets per cup to 2-1/2 packets for a week or so (until that level tasted completely normal--and it wasn't that much of an adjustment). Then I lowered it by another half packet. And so on, until one day I tried it black after having used a quarter packet per cup for a couple of weeks. It was great! I realized that the coffee tasted different, but it was a good difference.

However, there are still some brands that I don't like black at all...I use one that to me has a very "round" flavor without harshness (San Francisco French Roast sold by Costco). But I can drink just about any coffee with cream! Even the harsher ones.
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