View Full Version : The Dish on Sugar & Sweeteners

10-02-11, 08:45 AM
An excellent breakdown on what's recommended and why.

SEPTEMBER 28, 2011

I get a TON of questions about sugar and sweeteners. Most people just want to know which are okay to eat and which are bad. But, of course, I can’t just say “eat this, not that” without some kind of explanation behind it. In an effort to keep this as short and sweet (pun intended) as possible, I’m going to boil it down to a few key points.
ALL sweeteners, caloric or non-caloric, can contribute to weight-gain or prohibit weight loss.
Sweeteners that come from nature are always better to consume than those that come from a lab or factory.
Regardless of the source, it’s ALWAYS best to minimize your exposure to sweeteners.
Allow me to explain these points in some further detail.

ALL sweeteners, caloric or non-caloric, can contribute to weight-gain or prohibit weight loss.

Read more: http://myathleticlife.com/?p=633

10-02-11, 09:02 AM
I just want to say that he isn't quite correct on "white" stevia. If it is a stevia extract, from the whole plant, it is steeped in alcohol, then dried. The result is a white powder...NO bleaching involved. If you were to grow stevia at home, place the leaves in alcohol, then allow it to dry, you'd get a white powder. It is the chemically processed stuff like Truvia that is bleached. To isolate their ONE sweet molecule from the stevia plant, it must undergo an incredible number of chemical and heat steps. So, I wish authors wouldn't paint everything with the same paintbrush.

I've known about the weight gain etc from artificial sweeteners for at least 3 years now and have even written articles about it. I've wondered if stevia induces the same insulin response but I've never found anything indicating it's been tested. I would think though, that if the body is responding to nothing more than a sweet taste, that the same would occur even with stevia.

10-02-11, 09:08 AM
Mellow, I'm glad you took the time to make that distinction, because it puzzled me too. Clearly there's a difference between stevia and Truviaâ„¢.

I agree about the insulin response but have never seen anything to confirm that the body reacts to either stevia or xylitol the way it does to other sweeteners. A good research project for someone will mad Internet skillz..

10-02-11, 09:54 AM
Ok, using my mad Internet skilz...finding some interesting info but lots and lots of conflicting info too. Apparently stevia is used in Latin America as an inexpensive treatment for diabetes!

"A research project known as Oviedo reported, “A 35.2% fall in normal blood sugar levels 6-8 hours following the drinking of a Stevia leaf extract. Similar effects have been reported in humans and experimental animals by other researchers. These kinds of results have led physicians in Paraguay to prescribe Stevia leaf tea for the treatment of diabetes. Similarly, in Brazil, Stevia tea and Stevia capsules are officially approved for sale for the treatment of diabetes. The best part: Stevia does not lower blood glucose levels in normal people.” " http://www.diabeticlive.com/diabetes-101/stevia-and-diabetes/

In conclusion, stevioside was able to regulate blood glucose levels by enhancing not only insulin secretion, but also insulin utilization in insulin-deficient rats; the latter was due to decreased PEPCK gene expression in rat liver by stevioside's action of slowing down gluconeogenesis. Further studies of this agent for the treatment of diabetes appear warranted. https://www.thieme-connect.com/ejournals/abstract/plantamedica/doi/10.1055/s-2005-837775

So, it appears that stevia can lower blood sugar because it stimulates insulin. However, this is not necessarily a good thing as over secretion of insulin results in insulin resistance and eventually can lead to type 2 diabetes. A few other things of note: Artificial sweeteners like aspartame and sucralose increase triglycerides; stevia lowers triglycerides. There is a bunch of stuff out there on the net now saying that stevia lowers T3 (the active thyroid hormone) and made chickens get fat. However, the study was done in CHICKENS, ie caged chickens fed the usual GMO feed. I scanned the study, there's a lot of problems with it but the lower T3 was only noted at one stage of chicken development. Still, it's pretty hard to try to extrapolate what happens to a chicken, into what happens in the human body!!! Chickens aren't even mammals so, at this point, I think it is a non-concern! No change in T3 levels occurred in rats.

10-02-11, 10:00 AM
Thanks, Mellow! Inconclusive, but adds to our total knowledge bank. Quitting sugar years ago has pretty much eliminated any craving for sweets; I use stevia mostly for counteracting sour, as in grapefruit halves.