How To Eat Sweets And
Not Become Diabetic -
The True Scoop On Sugar
From Anita Sands <>
Healthier Sweetener Resource List
Before detailing the sweetener resources, there are two general points that are very important to consider.
General Sweetener Points
1. I believe that it is helpful to get comfortable with a number of different sweeteners. You can focus on one or two main sweeteners and use others to add a little variety to your food. For healing and disease preventation it is preferable to use the safer sweeteners listed below in relatively *small* amounts and primarily not near mealtime.
2. I believe that while it is very important not to be too restrictive in a diet, it can be helpful to use sweeteners that contribute to health-building.
I am a big believer in gradually and comfortably moving towards a healthy diet and lifestyle. See the Food and Nutrition article on the main web page for more detailed information:
3. Toxic sweeteners to avoid: neotame, aspartame, sucralose (Splenda), acesulfame-k (Sunette). Use saccharin, cyclamates and sugar alchols only as transitional sweeteners to those mentioned below.
NOTE: If you are a diabetic, it is important to work closely with your healthcare practitioner when you change your diet. Diabetics can safely use STEVIA (listed below) and usually small amounts of LICORICE ROOT and FRUCTOOLIGOSACCHRIDES. Some diabetics who are allowed to use small amounts of and also use small amounts of Sucanat or Florida Crystals listed below. Please consult your healthcare practitioner.
Specific Sweetener Ideas
(some ideas excerpted from my resource guide)
1. Sucanat -- Whole cane sugar with water removed. You can get sucanat products mail order from Purity Foods (800/997-7358). Nutra Cane (603/672-2801) distributes sucanat in the US. Also, a company called Florida Crystals seels this product. Still sugar as far as diabetics are concered, but it contains a small amount vitmins and minerals which helps reduce some of the negative effects found in long term use of white sugar.
2. Barley Malt -- Sunspire (510/569-9731) sells a malted barley product. Some people are sensitive to barley malt. However, they may have been sensitive to the malt because MSG is often hidden in the "malt" in processed foods.
3. Stevia -- From a South American plant called Stevia. It is 300 times sweeter than sugar so it is used in extremely small amounts. It is used by diabetics in many parts of the world. You can purchase it from:
Produce ala Carte 3425 Foothill Blvd. La Cresenta, CA 91214 818-541-0492 Liquid, capsules and bulk Stevia
Cheryl's Herbs 836 Hanley Industrial Court St. Louis, MO 63144 (314) 963-4449 (800) 231-5971 (314) 963-4454 (FAX) email:
Consumer Direct 640 South Perry Lane Suite #2 Tempe, AZ 85281 (800) 899-9908 (602) 921-2160 Sells liquid concentrate of Stevia from Paraguay.
Body Ecology Diet 1266 West Paces Ferry Road Suite 505 Atlanta, GA 30327 (404) 266-1366 (800) 896-7838 Sells Stevia powder from China. *** Sells *New* recipe book by Linda Bonvie ***
Sunrider Distributors (SunnyDew - sold as a dietary supplement) (my favorite for taste)
U.S.A. 1625 Abalone Avenue Torrance, CA 90501 310-781-3808
CANADA Sunrider International Canada 1438 Broadway Street Port Coquitlam, B.C., Canada V3C 5W2 604-464-5018 604-464-5888 (Fax)
EUROPE HEADQUARTERS Sunrider Europe, Inc. First Floor 195 Knightsbridge London, SW7 1RE United Kingdom 44-171-838-0900 44-171-838-0991 (Fax - Distributors)
AUSTRALIA Sunrider Australia 810 Princes Highway Springvale, Victoria 3171 61-3-9263-9999 (Main Phone) 61-3-9263-9933 (Distrib./Orders)
Please see the following web page for offices in other countries:
Richters Herbs Goodwood, ON L0C 1A0, Canada Tel +1-905-640-6677 Fax 640-6641 Info: Catalog Requests: Sells stevia plants
Stephen J. Marsden Herbal Advantage, Inc. Route 3, Box 93 Rogersville, MO 65742 Phone: 800-753-9199 or 417-753-4000 Fax: 417-753-2000 Email: Sells stevia powder, extract, and plants. (Can ship same day small orders or up to hundreds of pounds.) Dealer inquiries invited. Custom bottling and labeling available. Free Catalog of herbs and spices.
The taste of stevia can vary considerably from one vendor's product to another due to different growing conditions, processing, etc. Please try products from several vendors until you find one that you like the best.
4. Fruit Juice
If you shop at a natural foods store, you will notice that many products are sweetened with fruit juice. R.W. Knudsen sodas for example taste almost as sweet as junky soda, but are made with fruit juice and carbonated water. So you get the vitamins and minerals and avoid the junk that usually comes in typical sodas. (I know, a little bit opinionated.)
Natural jellos can be made with water, fruit juice and agar-agar as another example of using fruit juice as a sweetener.
5. Honey -- It may have contaminents, however, especially if it is imported. Be certain of the source and quality before using it regularly. Honey should never be given to infant and very young children.
6. Rice Syrup and Yinnie Syrup are often found at natural food stores.
7. Licorice Root
Licorice root is one of the most commonly used herbs in the world. No serious adverse reactions have been published about licorice root. *Single* chemical extracts have caused serious adverse reactions on occassion when used in medicine or candy, but the whole root does not cause these serious reactions. A single chemical extract of glycyrrhizin from licorice root causes the blood level of this chemical to rise dramatically. This does not happen to when whole licorice root is taken in reasonable amounts. (See Environmental Health Perspectives, Volume 102, Supplement 9, November 1994, 65-68.) See the book, "The Scientific Validation of Herbal Medicine" by Dr. Daniel B. Mowrey for a more detailed dicussion of licorice root.
Most herbalists believe that it is wise to avoid excessive and long-term use of licorice root. Many herbalists believe that long-term use can cause water retention and hypertension in some people. I use it in tea and herbal formulas often, but it *always* comprises less than 25% of the formula or tea (usually around 10%).
Licorice root is safe for diabetics, but I would *not* use it as a primary sweetener. Stevia is a better choice for diabetics, in my opinion. As an example, you may want to consider using stevia and also use fruit juice, small amounts of licorice root in tea, amasake, etc. so that you get variety in your diet. Licorice root is best used in small amounts to give herbal teas a sweet taste.
8. Amasake -- Made from sweet brown rice, brown rice and koji (starter). The koji breaks down the polysaccharides in the rice to disarracharies giving it a very sweet taste. Most natural food stores have amasake drinks which you can try -- or you can make it yourself. Try to avoid drinking too much of the amasake drinks made with almonds or nuts as they can be hard on the digestion.
9. Other herbs -- There are a number of plants which can be used as a sweetener. Stevia is just one of the more popular ones. There are other herbs which are sweet and safe for everyone which will be added in the future as they become generally available.
10. Fructooligosaccharides (FOS) -- Another very useful product for Candida overgrowth patients as it supports the growth of beneficial bacteria. It is a little expensive to use in large amounts. You can purchase it from:
Allergy Research Group/Nutricology P.O. Box 489 400 Preda Street San Leandro, CA 94577 (510) 639-4572 (800) 545-9960 (info) (800) 782-4274 (orders)
11. Gradually reduce or eliminate:
White Sugar Brown Sugar -- Brown sugar is usually white sugar mixed with molasses or sprayed with caramel coloring. Raw Sugar -- Raw sugar is often white sugar with coloring. Fructose -- Betware the "natural" products with fructose. It's not much better than white sugar (IMO). D-tagatose -- Far safer than neotame/aspartame, sucralose, etc., but best used as a transitional sweetener to healthier ones listed above.
Corn Syrup Dextrose Artificial Sweeteners (Nutrasweet (aspartame), Equal, Spoonful, Neotame, Sunette (Acesulfame-k), Splenda (Sucralose), Sweetener 2000 / NutraSweet 2000)) -- Avoid these like the plague. Please don't become a guinea pig for another poorly-tested toxic sweetener only to find out years from now that it contributed to the destruction of your health.
Important Note: MSG (Monosodium Glutamate) has some of the same toxicity mechanisms as the toxic sweetener aspartame. In order to cut out MSG, you need to remove foods with the following ingredients: - Monosodium glutamate - hydrolyzed proteins (any type of hydrolyzed protein) - autolyzed yeast - yeast extract - caseinate (in many cases) - "Natural Flavors" MSG that occurs naturally in tomatos, cheese, etc. is absorbed and metabolized differently (safely) due to other factors in the food. See the following web page for more information.