Search Term: " Sweetness "
Caraway Uses – What To Do With Caraway Plants
March 21, 2019 01:25 PM
Caraway — a relative of such culinary staples as cumin, fennel and dill — has a number of different applications in the kitchen and beyond. Caraway typically grows from Europe to parts of Western Asia, and is a biennial herb with a natural sweetness to it. Widely associated with rye bread, caraway seeds can be used to flavor a variety of pork, fish and vegetable dishes, including sauerkraut. The leaves and roots can be eaten as well, and the essential oil can be added to cosmetics.
"There are a plethora of caraway uses, primarily for use in cooking but also to cure medical woes."
Read more: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/herbs/caraway/what-to-do-with-caraway-plants.htm
Delicious remedy: Licorice is a potential treatment forischemia-induced brain damage
November 20, 2018 09:51 AM
Little do people know, there are actually some large medical use cases that are related to licorice. The candy is not the favorite of many people around the world but there are some that really do like to have it on a regular basis. With that being said, it is now being considered as a potential treatment for people who have some brain damage. While the likelihood for success remains to be seen, doctors say early signs are promising.
"These days, licorice is best known as a candy flavor, but at the root of that Sweetness is an actual root that holds a bevy of medicinal benefits."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-11-11-licorice-potential-treatment-ischemia-induced-brain-damage.html
Why monk fruit is the best sugar substitute yet discovered
April 06, 2018 05:17 PM
More and more scientific research has shown the negative health impacts attributable to sugar consumption. But, as humans, we're naturally attracted to sweet foods. What are we to do? Synthetic sweeteners have their own problems. Fortunately, there is a natural solution. Monkfruit, native to East Asia, has natural sweeteners which are orders of magnitude sweeter than cane sugar, yet contain almost no calories. Try monkfruit extract out next time you need to add some sweetness without the health impacts.
"Good news – the monk fruit, also known as “luo han guo,” answers the bell on resolving all these concerns with artificial and natural sweeteners."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-04-04-why-monk-fruit-is-the-best-sugar-substitute-yet-discovered.html
Top natural sweeteners that can replace sugar
March 09, 2017 03:59 AM
Most nutritionists are in agreement that sugar is very detrimental to your health and should be removed as much as possible from your diet. However, if you absolutely need something sweet in your meals then read on for information about five natural sweeteners that can replace sugar and you won't even know the difference. They are just as sweet as sugar and are easy to obtain. However, beware that overindulging in them can still be bad for your health.
"But if you can't survive without your dose of sweetness, we bring you some natural sweeteners that are way better than your white sugar."
Read more: https://www.google.com/url?rct=j&sa=t&url=http%3A%2F%2Ftimesofindia.indiatimes.com%2Flife-style%2Fhealth-fitness%2Fdiet%2Ftop-natural-sweeteners-that-can-replace-sugar%2Farticleshow%2F57461964.cms&ct=ga&cd=CAIyGjBhMmIxOTgxN2IyMDM3NjI6Y29tOmVuOlVT&usg=AFQjCNFZDJmCAudce3Vn5aD1lwvEZtQOBg
Reduce Caloric Intake with Xylitol
Xylitol is a natural sweetener which was discovered long back in 1891 but since 1960s it is used as a good alternative for refined sugar to sweeten a number of edible products. It reduces caloric intake and the chances of cavities in your dental line. But before discussing the benefits of this alternative sweetener you should know the harms of white sugar on your health which compelled people to adopt it as an effective alternative.
Harmful Effects of Refined Sugar on your Health
Sugar is a kind of drug that contains additive chemicals but no nutritional value. Most of the people use it in their day-to-day life due to its addictive properties. According to various health experts white sugar affects your brain like cocaine. In fact, the added sugar in your day-to-day diet can be the single item that is most unhealthy for you. Most people eat it as they are ignorant about the harmful effects of white sugar on their health. It has been proven that white sugar can;
After realising the harmful effects of white sugar on their health many people have started to adopt alternative sweeteners like Xylitol etc. to replace white sugar and protect their health from its ill effects.
What is Xylitol?
Xylitol is a natural product which is produced by human body in normal metabolic conditions and is also found in various vegetables and fruits like fibrous vegetation, hard wood trees and birch etc. It is produced commercially from these fruits and vegetation plants due to the quantity of sucrose and Sweetness it provides without giving unpleasant aftertaste and increasing calories. When you eat Xylitol it gives cooling sensation in your mouth.
How it replaces sugar effectively?
Xylitol has been approved to be used in various oral health and pharmaceutical products like cough syrups, lozenges, chewable pediatric multivitamins, mouthwashes and toothpastes etc. It is also permitted to use in various food items like hard candies, chewing gums and gum drops etc.
Benefits of Xylitol as alternative sweetener
Xylitol is good in taste without any unpleasant flavour. It can be used in same quantity as in Sweetness it is equal to sugar. Helps in reducing the chances of cavities in your teeth and reduces the formation of plaque in your teeth. Xylitol also helps in repairing damaged enamel of your teeth by increasing the flow of saliva. It provides 2.4 calories per gram which is about 1/3 of the calories provided by same amount of white sugar.
Most of the healthcare providers advice it as a useful alternative to sugar to their diabetic patients. Thus, Xylitol can be used as an effective alternative to white sugar to reduce the chances of a number of health problems caused by the later one.
The Holiday Sugar Trap; All There is to Know
The festive season can be a tempting affair to any healthy eater. Hopping from one party and family gathering to another might easily see you indulging in unhealthy dishes and drinks. It is quite difficult to hold back on the wide varieties of delicious treats unless your will is exceptional. Counting the calories in the food you eat when in the middle of a conversation with a long lost friend or family members isn't easy. What you regard as 'just a once off affair' might ruin the rest of the year for you. There is a lot of hidden sugar in holiday treats such as; syrup, cakes, flavored pop corn, cookies, soda, juices, lemonades and ice cream.
Reasons to Avoid Sugar During the Festive Season
Sugar plays a harmful role in tooth decay. Plaque, a harmful bacteria responsible for tooth decay, uses sugar as a form of energy. This way, the plaque multiplies and becomes thick hence making it difficult for it to be washed away by saliva. Sugar is also used as a form of glue for the bacteria to firmly stick to the teeth.
Added sugar for instance fructose corn syrup contains a lot of empty calories with zero nutrients.These calories do not contain any protein, minerals, vitamins nor any essential fats. It is purely energy which is converted into fats in the body hence weight gain.
Did you know that indulging in all that Sweetness at the Christmas table might be the beginning of your sugar addiction? Sugar shuttles tryptophan in the brain which further converts to serotonin hence having a physiological addictive effect.
When the refined sugar intake is high, the body might be forced to produce more leptin and insulin. This is due to the high carbohydrate and processed food diet. When these two rise, blood pressure might go up leading to leptin and insulin resistance. Insulin is responsible for the storage of magnesium meant for the relaxation of muscles in the body. When the insulin is interfered with, the lack of magnesium in the cells may lead to the inability of your your hearts' vessels to fully relax hence narrowing them. This overworks your heart hence increased blood pressure.
Refined sugar has been proven to cause diabetes, obesity as well as other conditions that put your heart at risk. New studies have linked sugar with unhealthy cholesterol and increased triglyceride levels. When you consume a lot of refined sugar, the excess is stored in the liver as tryglecirides (a form of fat that sticks to your arteries). This fat travels through the blood stream and may clog it up.
That extra can of soda might leave you struggling with life altering health conditions. It is important to consider healthy alternatives to refined sugars. A perfect example in this case would be unsweetened or stevia calorie free sweetners. Sweet leaf and Truvia are made of stevia which is a natural herbs that are commonly found in South and Central America. Stevia is 40 times sweeter than sugar yet contains no empty calories which makes it a suitable alternative. These sweeteners are easily available in local stores and can be used in almost anything; tea, coffee, cereal, yogurt and even fruit.
Is Erythritol A Better Sweetener Than Sugar?
Named as polyol, erythritol is known as "sugar alcohol" and later confirmed as food additive in worldwide perspective. Some countries find no problems in using this sugar sweetener for human use. Coming from fruits which are processed into fermentation, it ends up being sugar liquor and utilized for any sort of sustenance items like grape, wine, soy sauce, etc. Rather than being named as nourishment added substance, it likewise goes about as sugar substitute and made of no synthetic substance inside. The level of Sweetness is extended from 60-70% for sure if contrasted with characteristic sugar.
What makes Erythritol stand out from other sweeteners is its capacity to lessen potential gastric problems. It is less reactive compared to other sugar alcohols. It is easily absorbed by the body which makes it a good component of beverages and certain gums. Therefore, this sweetener is a safe sugar substitute.
Taking up Erythritol in larger quantities doesn't cause harm in the body. Non-glycemic specialists say that it doesn't have an effect on people who have diabetes. This is a good news for them since they can enjoy the sweet taste without compromising their health or thinking about their insulin level.
STEVIA – BETTER THAN SUGAR
Stevia is a natural sweetener that originates in South America – Paraguay and Brazil, mostly – with no calories and is remarkably much sweeter than sugar. The stevia plant Stevia Rebaudiana derives its Sweetness from steviol glycocides. The extract is then processed for sale in the form of Truvia and PureVia around North America. It is not yet approved as an additive due to possible side effects of male infertility and genetic mutations.
Benefits of Stevia over Sugar
The yeast we hear about being in our bodies is called Candida albicans and it can ferment sugar in the body, causing the candidiasis infection with treatment involving cutting sugar out of your diet. Stevia does not react with the yeast and can also keep your food sweet.
Stevia is a safer and healthier option to sugar. It is natural and sweeter than sugar making it a great option to combat obesity and sugar level problems the world is constantly facing.
A Guide About beet roots.
April 17, 2014 10:47 PM
History of beet
Beets are certainly historical. Originally, the sweet reddish beetroot that majority of people think of to be a "beet" today had not been cultivated till era involving historical Rome. By the exact nineteenth century, however, the natural Sweetness of beets had become appreciated and beets grew to become used as a method to obtain sugar.
Health improvements about beet root base.
a) Lower Blood Pressure
Drinking beet juice can assist to lower blood pressure. One study discovered which drinking a single wine glass concerning beet juice minimal systolic blood pressure by simply typically 4-5 items.
b). Enhance Ones Stamina
If you choose a boost to let it become through your current subsequent training, beet juice may again prove valuable. Those who consumed beet liquid before exercise had an opportunity to exercise for approximately aid 16 pct longer. 4 The leading benefit is thought to also be connected with nitrates turning in nitric oxide, which can slow up the oxygen charge connected with low-intensity exercise and moreover enhance tolerance in order to high-intensity determine.
c) Anti-Cancer Qualities
The powerful phytonutrients that supply beets their strong crimson color can assist to ward off melanoma. Research has found which beetroot remove reduced multi-organ tumor formations in lots of different animal designs when administered in water, for instance, while beetroot extract is normally being studied for easy use within treating human pancreatic, bust line, and prostate varieties of cancer.
d) Rich inside Valuable Nutrients and Bedding
Beets are excessive throughout immune-boosting nutritional C, dietary linens, and essential minerals for instance potassium (essential intended for healthful nerve along with muscle function) along with manganese (which is useful for your bones, liver, kidneys, and in addition pancreas). Beets in addition support the vitamin foliate, which helps slow from the risk of beginning complications.
Why Is Agave Nectar A Better Sweetener Than Sugar?
February 06, 2014 08:49 PM
What is agave nectar
Agave nectar, also called agave syrup, is sweet liquid that tastes similar to honey, but has unique properties that make it a better sweetener than regular sugar. Agave plant is native to the Mexico region, and the locals have been using it for centuries to produce fermented alcoholic beverages, and incorporate it into various recipes. Agave nectar is less viscous when compared to honey, although it has the same level of Sweetness. If compared to sugar, the benefits of Agave nectar are obvious since it has a lower glycemic index.
What is Carob Powder Good For?
January 28, 2014 09:03 PM
What is Carob Powder
Carob powder is extracted from a plant, and it is successfully used a natural sweetener and a replacement for chocolate or cacao powder. It has several advantages over chocolate, and has a unique nutritional profile that make is useful for fitness enthusiasts, athletes and individuals who like to monitor their diet.
What is Monk Fruit And Why Is It Healthy?
July 24, 2013 10:24 AM
Monk fruit also known as luo han guo is a green melon cultivated in central Asia. It has been cultivated for many years by the Buddhist monks. The fruit contains an intensely sweet compound known as mogroside. It is a healthy, natural alternative to sugars and artificial sweeteners. The fruit is extracted in order to get mogroside which is many times sweeter than sugar. Monk fruit is crushed, combined with water, filtered and spray-dried to produce a sweet-zero-calorie powder known as fruit-Sweetness. This sugar is used in several foods and beverages.
Ancient Chinese and Buddhist used monk fruit as treatment for various ailments, such as constipation, sunstroke and coughing. Modern research shows that mogroside can be used to treat diabetes since it contains a low glycemic index and can stimulate insulin secretion. In china, monk fruit was also used for many years to treat obesity and diabetes. The fruit contains antioxidants with anti- inflammatory benefits.
British Journal of Nutrition reported that use of monk fruit by animals showed a reduction in lipid peroxidation or cell damage as well as urinary albumin levels. This shows that it protects kidneys from diabetic damage.
Monk fruit strengthens the immune system, digestive tract, respiratory system as well as glands. This fruit is capable of eliminating and defending people against various health-related issues. The fruit reduces cholesterol, triglycerides and improve liver function. Furthermore, it increases good cholesterol while protecting the liver. It prevents cholesterol oxidization (due to its antioxidant potential) this results to reduced risk of heart diseases and strokes.Monk fruit extract has an antihistamine effect. The extract tends to counter an allergic response by soothing the mast cells that produces chemicals such as histamine. This chemical is related to both allergies and asthma. It is considered one of the best non-sugar sweeteners. It is combined with supplements used to promote and maintain a healthy weight.
The Benefits of Stevia for Diabetics
February 05, 2012 08:38 PM
No herbal sweetener in the world packs the punch that stevia does. Derived from the plant Stevia rebaudiania, ground stevia leaves have ten to fifteen times the Sweetness of sugar, and purified stevia extract has 200-300 times the Sweetness of sugar.
Stevia is very popular in many countries, especially among diabetics. Diabetics love stevia for a variety of reasons: its safety, its lack of any effect on blood sugar, the fact that stevia has almost zero calories, the wide variety of products it is included in, and its unique ability to enhance citrus flavors and ice cream.
Unlike artificial sweeteners, stevia is perfectly safe. Stevia has been used in Japan for decades, and the Japanese have very strict standards governing the use of dietary supplements. They have conducted numerous studies on stevia, and no study to date has ever uncovered any harmful effects. Research conducted in the United States and other countries has also failed to find anything hazardous about stevia. In addition, stevia has been consumed for thousands of years in Brazil and Paraguay with no reported negative effects.
Stevia has zero effect on blood sugar. It does not effect insulin secretion in any way, and no diabetic has ever experienced difficulties with stevia. Contrast this with the effects of table sugar and it is clear that stevia is a clear winner.
Unlike table sugar--which is notorious for being calorie laden--stevia contains virtually no calories, which means that no one on a diet has to worry about consuming too much stevia.
There are a wide variety of products available for dieters interested in consuming stevia. Liquid stevia extract is quite popular and can be found in flavors like chocolate, vanilla, peppermint, and more. It is relatively inexpensive, because a little stevia goes a very, very long way.
If you are a diabetic worried about artificial sweeteners but not yet willing to give up diet soda, stevia is the solution to your problem. While usually only available at health food stores and a few supermarket chains, stevia soft drinks exist. If you can find them, you should give them a try, and if you like them, then you can easily subsitute them for the less healthy aspartame diet drinks.
For those interested in ice cream, stevia makes wonderful ice cream. Unlike granulated sugar, which adds a grainy texture to ice cream, stevia adds no irritating textures and leaves ice cream perfectly smooth. If you make your own stevia ice cream you are going to be in for quite a treat, and even more so if you decide to make citrus flavored stevia ice cream.
No one yet understands why stevia enhances citrus flavors, but it undoubtedly does. It is difficult to describe, but stevia has a way of intensifying flavors like lime and lemon in a way that makes those flavors more delicious. Of course, individual tastes vary, but it is generally agreed that stevia lemon sorbet is a treat par excellence.
Don't hesitate to give stevia a try. This ancient herb is the perfect modern solution for diabetics with a sweet tooth.
Why is Xylitol So Good for You
May 23, 2011 01:01 PM
Xylitol and Its Health Benefits.
Xylitol is fruit sugar that occurs naturally in fiber-rich plan-based foods, such as berries, oats, and mushrooms. Its Sweetness has been compared to table sugar, the disaccharide sucrose to be specific. Unlike simple sugars and most other carbohydrates, it contains much less calories, making it one of the best natural sweeteners. More importantly, it has been associated with numerous health benefits.
The medicinal properties of xylitol were first noted in the second half of the 19th century, when it was introduced as a sugar substitute primarily for individuals afflicted with insulin resistance and diabetes mellitus. It is in fact a hydrogenated form of carbohydrate, which is also referred to as sugar alcohol. That being said, it does not impact insulin levels but rather contributes to healthy blood sugar.
Prevents Dental Carries
One of the earliest documented health benefits of xylitol is its role in preventing the formation of dental carries. Also known as tooth decay, dental carries result from the breakdown of hard tooth structure in the presence of bacteria. It is believed that over 90 per\cent of the global population experience caries at least once in a lifetime, with children being more susceptible.
It should be noted that bacteria taking up residence in the mouth cavity rely on fermentable carbohydrates for nutrition. The products of fermentation are acids that are capable of denaturing the mineral content of teeth, leading to rampant dental carries over time. The use of xylitol has been advocated for over a century since it is not fermentable, unlike glucose, sucrose, and fructose, which are almost always found in the human diet.
Fights off Infections
Xylitol has been observed to display disease-fighting properties. In fact, it has been utilized in the treatment of several bacterial and fungal infections. This sugar alcohol has long been reported to produce metabolites upon exposure to saliva. These metabolites are organic compounds that interfere with the ability of bacteria to adhere to the tissues of the oral and nasal cavities.
More importantly, xylitol appears to enhance the effectiveness of mucus, antibacterial compounds, neutrophil granulocytes, and various enzymes that often get in contact with pathogens first. Regular intake of xylitol has been effective against oral infections of Candida yeast. It has also been cited in the treatment of ear infections, such as acute otitis media. Not surprisingly, it relieves sore throat.
Regulates Blood Sugar
Xylitol is one of the oldest recommended substitutes to sugar. It has a very low glycemic index, which makes that sugar levels in the blood rise gradually and steadily throughout the day. By so doing, it does not cause an insulin spike or impact blood sugar levels. Xylitol is an ideal source of energy for those who are suffering from metabolic syndrome and those who are following a low-carbohydrate diet.
If you haven’t started xylitol, isn’t it time too?
April 08, 2010 04:31 PM
Comments by Craig Gerbore, CEO of Madhava:
Reading through the attack articles and blogs that have surfaced recently one could think that using agave is bad for one's health. These claims are utterly false and misleading. They are extreme views drawn from extreme examples and applied way out of context. They are propagandizing and clearly designed to frighten, not educate. All of the fears and concerns associated with the overconsumption of sugars and calories in general have been unfairly cast on agave.
What is a "healthy" sweetener? One that you use moderately and sensibly.
Health concerns related to fructose and caloric sweeteners are all dependant on the overconsumption of them. All foods have calories and it is the overall consumption of calories that lead to obesity and related issues, not any one food source.
Agave's caloric value is comparable to the other sweeteners in the category. Due to its greater Sweetness though, less agave is used compared to the others, so agave actually can reduce caloric consumption per serving. This is due to a higher fructose content. The higher content does not mean higher consumption though, due to the smaller portion used. But, it is not the single serving that matters, it is the number of servings which lead to the overconsumption issues which may result in health concerns.
As a reference point, 9-10 teaspoon servings of agave would be the approximate caloric equivalent of one 16 oz soft drink. With this perspective, is agave really being overconsumed as a choice of sweetener for home use?
Every single health issue which the attackers have tried to associate with agave is really the result of a caloric overconsumption issue. There are no documented issues with normal, moderate consumption of agave or sweeteners in general as part of our everyday diet. For reasons unknown, some have attempted to isolate agave from the real world and real world conditions with the goal of inhibiting agave's use. They play on people's fears, reference false information and fail to address health issues in any meaningful way.
The purpose of this article is to debunk the controversial misinformation surrounding agave. All information debunking the myths and misinformation is based on current science and facts. It is our goal to provide you with useful information so that you can make your personal nutritional choices in a well-informed, science-based manner.
The Agave Controversy: Exposing the fraudulent article by Rami Nagel
By Dr. Susan Kleiner, PhD, RD, FACN, CNS, FISSN
And Craig Gerbore, CEO Madhava
The controversy about agave syrup was manufactured by the publication of a single article on the internet, which has been reproduced and adapted for virtually every other article produced on the internet and other media venues. That article, written by Rami Nagel and published on Naturalnews.com, was highly biased and full of inaccuracies, half-truths and misinformation about agave. Since the Naturalnews.com article has been the sole source of nearly all other popular articles in public media, we want to set the record straight with science-based, reliable information to offer a more balanced resource to those interested in learning more about agave syrup. Who is the author, Rami Nagel?
According to the description on the Naturalnews.com website, Rami Nagel is a "citizen journalist". This means that Mr. Nagel is self-employed, and not employed as an in-house journalist by the website. He wrote and published the article without any editorial or content oversight, and the editor of the website, Mike Adams, makes it clear that the article was not checked for incorrect or inaccurate information or facts. The introduction to the article, written by Mr. Adams, states that readers had written to comment that Mr. Nagel's resources were biased with conflicts of interest due to their financial interests in competing sweeteners, such as brown rice syrup. So even the website editor himself states that the article is not fact-checked, and it is biased and unbalanced.
Who is Russ Bianchi?
The sole resource interviewed for the article is Russ Bianchi, identified by the author as Managing Director and CEO of Adept Solutions, Inc. Mr. Bianchi has clear conflict of interest ties to the sweetener industry. We have documentation of the fact that Mr Bianchi had plans to market a product named Replace. It was to be touted as a low calorie alternative sweetener composed of natural and artificial ingredients! Mr Bianchi was prevented from marketing this sweetener as the result of a lawsuit against him by the owner of the formula.
Mr Bianchi is quoted by Nagel extensively and exclusively. Many, if not all, of his statements are blatantly false or misrepresentations of fact. He is clearly propagandizing against agave nectar.
Was anyone else interviewed for this article?
Yes. Craig Gerbore, president and owner of Madhava Agave Syrup, was extensively interviewed by the author but no parts of that interview were included in the article.
It is important to note that neither Mr Nagel or Mr Bianchi have not made themselves available for questions on their statements since the articles appearance. They remain out of sight and have entirely avoided the controversy their statements created.
What is agave nectar?
The opening line of this paragraph in the article by Mr. Nagel states:
"The principal constituent of the agave is starch, such as what is found in corn or rice."
This is absolutely false. There is no starch in agave. The source of carbohydrate in agave syrup is inulin, a polysaccharide made up primarily of strings of fructose units. Starch is a polysaccharide made up of strings of glucose molecules. They are significantly different, and this difference is why agave syrup is naturally sweet.
The very basis of the argument presented by Mr. Nagel is false.
The agave plant is a succulent, similar to a cactus. The agave sweetener comes from both the Salmiana agave plant and the agave Tequilana (Blue Agave) which are both organically farmed in Mexico and certified organic by USDA approved certifiers. As the salmiana plant grows it produces a stalk called the "quiote" and when this is removed, a natural liquid called "aquamiel". The liquid is collected from the plant, while Blue agave pinons are harvested and shredded to remove the similar juice. Either can be naturally processed thermally or by enzymes into agave nectar.
The juice of the plant is not naturally sweet. The string of connected fructose units that makes up the major proportion of inulin does not have a sweet taste, but when the fructose units are separated (the process is called hydrolysis) by the addition of an enzyme, similar to digestion, or thermally for most blue agave, the syrup becomes quite sweet. That is the entire processing chain for agave nectar. There are no additives, other ingredients or chemicals in Madhava agave nectar. It is absolutely pure and organic and GMO free.
? Mr. Nagel claims that agave syrup is a "refined corn fructose" similar to high fructose corn syrup. This is absolutely false. There is no relationship between agave syrup and high fructose corn syrup in any way, including the source of the product, or the manufacturing process.
? Mr. Nagel refers to a "confidential FDA letter" from Mr. Martin Stutsman, claiming that agave is fraudulently labeled. We contacted Mr. Stutsman at the United States Food and Drug Administration, and his response made it clear that there was never a "confidential FDA letter". He did publish a public letter referenced in an FDA document as "FDA letter from Martin Stutsman to Dr. Eric
Wilhelmsen (Wilhelmsen Consulting), May 8, 2000", regarding evaporated cane juice, a topic wholly unrelated to agave syrup.
? He continued in his response to us that the paragraph in Mr. Nagel's article inaccurately reflected the substance of his comments in the document.
This link will take you to the original document in which the letter was referenced (reference #2):
In fact, Mr. Nagel fabricated the entire story of the letter. Mr. Stutsman is a lawyer, not a doctor. The quotes were completely taken out of context from the document, and the quotes never referred to agave syrup at any time. Nagel goes on to further misrepresent Mr. Stutsman's intent in the published document by weaving in other inaccurate information that is thoroughly unrelated to the original document. Mr Bianchi's subsequent statements on labeling issues are false and without merit.
Mr. Nagel is clearly caught red-handed. He has misrepresented the words of a government official, lied about the facts, and twisted the information to achieve his own agenda. This strategy is repeated throughout the article.
? Mr. Nagel continues his deceptive writing by referring to a quote by the late Dr. Varro Tyler in his book, The Honest Herbal. The first line of the paragraph is a direct quote from the book. Nothing else in that paragraph remotely resembles anything else found in Dr. Tyler's book. Mr. Nagel is trying to claim that agave syrup contains large quantities of saponins, and that they can be harmful to health. Here is the debunking of that paragraph:
1. Dr. Tyler does not include the variety of agave plant used for agave syrup.
2. The entire discussion is about the use of the sword-shaped leaves and the stem. Agave syrup is produced from the natural liquid in the plant. The saponins are isolated from the leaves of the plant.
3. There is no documented evidence to suggest agave syrup contains worrisome levels of saponins and the entire rest of the discussion about health dangers is fabricated and false.
People are going to continue to consume sweet food and drink. There are only three categories of choice to sweeten food. Those are artificial sweeteners, stevia, or caloric sweeteners from natural sources, sugars.
Most people will not choose artificial. Many will not choose stevia. That only leaves the category of sugars. In this group, agave is a good choice due to its organic quality, ease of
use, neutral flavor, low glycemic index and the fact that less is used to equal the Sweetness of the others in the category.
The sweeteners in this category are composed of three primary sugars used to sweeten foods: glucose, fructose and sucrose. These sugars belong to a class of compounds known as carbohydrates. "Saccharide" is a term that denotes sugar, or substances derived from sugar. Monosaccharides are simple or single sugars; disaccharides are derived from two joined monosaccharides and when they are hydrolyzed, or separated, they yield two molecules of simple sugar. Strings of more than two sugar molecules are called polysaccharides. This category includes compounds such as starches, cellulose and inulin.
Glucose and fructose are monosaccharides. Glucose and fructose are found abundantly in nature in fruits and plants. Sucrose is the disaccharide formed by the joining of glucose and fructose, also known as table sugar. When comparing their relative Sweetness, glucose is the least sweet tasting, sucrose is next, and fructose is the sweetest of the three sugars, measured as 1.4 times sweeter than table sugar. Because it is so sweet, people typically use less fructose when sweetening foods compared to sucrose.
? In the article by Mr. Nagel he states , "fructose is not what is found in fruit. Commonly, fructose is compared with its opposite and truly naturally occurring sweetener, known as ‘levulose' (made by nature)..."
Another fabrication. In fact, levulose is just another name for fructose. There are various nomenclatures used in the scientific naming of compounds. Fructose and levulose are exactly the same thing; the names are interchangeable. It is no different than if you called your father, "dad", and your sibling called your father, "father". He would still be the exact same person. Fructose and levulose are different names for the exact same thing: a sugar found in nature.
Mr. Bianchi also is quoted to say that the body does not recognize the fructose in agave. This is another false piece of propaganda which demonstrates just how far he is reaching. If this were true, it would have no impact on us. He immediately contradicts himself with the claims of detrimental effects caused by the overconsumption of fructose.
Sugars can be compared to each other in their ability to raise blood sugar levels by using the Glycemic Index. The scale is set from zero to 100, where low numbers do not have much impact on blood sugar levels, and high numbers raise blood sugar levels quickly. Fructose is very low on the scale. Because agave syrup is high in fructose, it has a rating of 32 or lower. Honey, which has a higher proportion of glucose to fructose, has a Glycemic Index of 58. Sucrose has a Glycemic Index of 68, and glucose, serving as the index standard, is 100.
All sugars, whether fructose, glucose, sucrose or others, contribute 4 calories per gram to our total diet. 1 teaspoon of sugar = 4 grams = 16 calories
In addition to calories, sugars sweeten our foods offering a desirable taste and adding enjoyment and pleasure to our dining. During cooking and baking, sugars allow for browning and the unique consistencies of syrups, candies, frostings and frozen desserts. The varieties of sugars, such as crystallized table sugar, brown sugar, raw sugar, molasses, honey and agave nectar, among others, contribute different properties and flavors to foods.
When you add your own sugar to foods you are in control of how much sugar you use. Most people would never add as much sugar as do the food manufacturers. Moderate amounts of sugar can certainly be enjoyed as part of a healthy diet for an active individual. Natural sugars are easily metabolized and utilized by the body, offering a very efficient source of fuel for physical and mental activity.
Of course, sugars should be used in moderation in the diet. This can control calories and help create a diet that is dense in nutrients.
Impact of sugar on health and disease
? The remainder of Mr. Nagel's article works to link agave syrup with the increased incidence of obesity, diabetes, metabolic disease, and the general rise of morbidity and mortality in the population. This is an overconsumption issue involving far more than the occasional use of agave. Here are the facts:
• Rats that are fed a high fructose diet become obese and will develop the chronic diseases associated with obesity: insulin resistance, diabetes and metabolic disease.
• No one should eat a diet that reflects this type of experimental diet.
• Too much sugar in the diet, whether from fructose, glucose or sucrose, can be unhealthy. Diets high in sugar promote tooth decay and periodontal disease; create an overabundance of calories and a deficit of nutrients. This scenario typically leads to weight gain and the development of chronic disease.
• Active individuals can include a moderate amount of added sugar in their diet without negative health consequences. When calorie intake is balanced with physical activity, sugar serves as an efficient source of fuel for muscles, the brain and the central nervous system.
• According to the World Health Organization (2003), individuals can healthfully include 10% of their daily calories from added sugars. This translates into 200 calories for a 2000 calorie diet, or 12½ teaspoons of added sugar daily. Clearly, one can safely add a couple of teaspoons of sweetener to a cup of tea or coffee, or have a little sweetened food without worrying about their risk of developing disease.
• Agave syrup, which is sweeter than other sugars and low on the Glycemic Index scale, is a good choice to include as one of the added sugars in your diet because you will use less sugar (and therefore fewer calories) and minimally raise blood sugar levels.
Just a teaspoon of agave: the healthy use of sweeteners in your diet
We all want to live healthier and longer lives. Diet and nutrition plays a key role, impacting our health and our ability to perform physically and mentally now and into the future. Food offers us not only sustenance, but also pleasure and enjoyment. Food is present in so many parts of our lives: at celebrations, business events, family events, religious and spiritual occasions, sports outings, the focus of our family meals, intimate dinners, and sometimes just the excuse to socialize.
Sweet foods make us feel good. Sugar allows for the elevation of serotonin in our brains, the "feel good" neurotransmitter that elevates mood, helps us focus, and in the evening, helps us relax and sleep.
Sugar is a source of energy for our muscles, brain and central nervous system. Without sugar our bodies will not function at peak capacity.
Too much sugar, however, is not good. In small amounts sugar energizes us, but in large doses, repeated throughout the day, day in and day out, sugar puts stress on the body. The extra calories can lead to weight gain and obesity, which in time can lead to chronic disease. In the short term, high sugar intakes can lead to a nutritionally deficient diet and a sense of being on an emotional roller coaster.
So be selective about your use of sugars and use them in moderation in your diet. Just like all foods, a variety will enhance the nutritional content of your diet and the flavor and tastes that you can enjoy. Since sugars come in different forms and have different flavors, they can be used most effectively in specific foods and beverages. For instance, agave syrup is liquid and less viscous than honey, making it easy to mix into cold liquids like iced tea and coffee, and is great to add to cold unsweetened cereals for a little sweet taste. Agave's mild flavor allows chefs and bakers to sweeten foods lightly, without overpowering the taste of the dish.
Pay attention to how much sugar is added to your diet every day. Read labels so that you know when sugar is added to manufactured foods. Keep the consumption of added sugars in your diet to no more than 10% of your total daily calorie intake so that you have plenty of room for nutrient dense foods like fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy, protein-rich foods, nuts, seeds and healthy oils.
Remember that nutrition is a science based on facts. We are making great advances in our understanding of the science of foods and nutrition. Beware of people with hidden agendas using fear tactics to influence your choices. Don't take their opinion at face value. What are their credentials? What conflicts of interest do they have? If they do not disclose conflicts, then assume that they are manipulating the truth.
Most of all enjoy food. Think about what you need to eat to promote whole health. Don't overindulge, but don't deprive yourself of the bounty of wonderful tastes, either. Use celebrations as occasions to enjoy your favorite foods and try new ones. A teaspoon or two of sugar easily fits into the diet of an active, healthy person. Agave syrup offers an organic low-glycemic choice for those looking for that option.
Resources for this article:
Charley H. Food Science, 2nd Edition. John Wiley & Sons, New York, NY, 1982.
Figlewicz DP et al. Effect of moderate intake of sweeteners on metabolic health in the rat. Physiology and Behavior 98:618-624, 2009
Johnson RK et al. Dietary sugars intake and cardiovascular health: A scientific statement from the American Heart Association. Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association, 2009
Tyler VE. The Honest Herbal, Third Edition. Pharmaceutical Products Press, New York, NY, 1993.
April 08, 2010 04:15 PM
There are only 3 categories to choose from when sweetening: sugar sweeteners from plant sources, artificial sweeteners, and stevia.
Most people will not use artificial sweeteners and many will not use stevia. This only leaves the sugar sweeteners category, and among these, agave has some advantages and is a good choice.
All sweeteners in this category also have some similar characteristics and all add to the overall total consumption that can have an impact on health. Moderation in the overall consumption of sweeteners in ones diet is the important point.
People may not realize that sugars are essential to our body and are an important part of one’s diet. The problem being that affinity for sweets leads to overconsumption.
What is overconsumption?
It is based on caloric intake and includes all caloric foods and is also related to the level of physical activity. The USDA recommends an average diet consumption of 2000 calories. As a portion of this overall consumption, added sweeteners should constitute approx 10% of that intake, 200-250 calories daily.
Agave has 20 calories per teaspoon. The caloric value is similar to other sweeteners, but less agave is required to reach the same Sweetness level, so relatively fewer calories are consumed per serving.
Hops And Good health
September 20, 2009 08:47 PM
Hops are the female flower cones, which are also known as strobiles, of the hop plant. The hop plant is part of the Cannabaceae family, which also includes hemp. Primarily, hops are used as a flavoring and stability agent in beer. The first documented use in beer is from the eleventh century. Today, hops are used extensively in brewing because of their many benefits. Among these are balancing the Sweetness of the hops with bitterness. However, hops are also used for various purposes in other beverages and herbal medicine.
Nicholas Culpeper, a seventeenth-century herbalist, suggested the use of hops to open obstructions of the liver and spleen, cleanse the blood, loosen the belly, cleanse the veins, and promote urination. Hops were used as food by the Romans. Gerard, a famous herbalist, recommended using the buds in salads. Native American tribes also found hops to be of value. The Mohicans used it as a sedative and also for toothaches, while the Menominee tribes used hops as a cure-all. The lupulin that is found in hops is described as both a sedative and hypnotic drug. It was recognized in the U.S. Pharmacopoeia from 1831 to 1916. Most often, hops are probably used in the production of beer.
Hops are best known for their sedative action. Also, they are used for their antibiotic properties. These properties are beneficial for sore throats, bronchitis, infections, high fevers, delirium, toothaches, earaches, and pain. Although hops are strong, they seem to be safe to use. Their main uses are to alleviate nervous tension and promote a restful sleep. They have been used to naturally relieve insomnia. For inflammation, boils, tumors, and swelling, a poultice of hops is recommended. Hops have been used as a stimulant to the glands and muscles of the stomach. They have also been used as a relaxant on the gastric nerves. Hops have a relaxing influence on the liver and gall duct and a laxative effect on the bowels. Many studies indicate that hops have sedative properties. This herb is known to be fast-acting, soothing, and calming to the nervous system. Hops are often nervine herbs that aid in promoting sleep. Certain elements of the plant have been shown to possess hypnotic effects. Hops are also used for their antispasmodic effects. Additionally, hops contain antibacterial properties, which validates some of their historical uses.
The flower of the hops plant is used to provide alterative, anodyne, antibacterial, antibiotic, antineoplastic, carminative, cholagogue, galactagogue, nervine, sedative, stomachic, and vulnerary properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are chlorine, copper, fluorine, iodine, iron, lead, magnesium, manganese, sodium, vitamin B-complex, and zinc. Primarily, this herb is extremely beneficial in treating appetite loss, bronchitis, delirium, gastric disorders, headaches, hyperactivity, and indigestion, insomnia, absent lactation, nervousness, pain, and excessive sexual desire.
Additionally, this herb is very helpful in dealing with alcoholism, anxiety, blood impurities, coughs, intestinal cramps, dizziness, earaches, fevers, gas, jaundice, kidney stones, liver disorders, menstrual symptoms, menopausal symptoms, neuralgia, restlessness, rheumatism, skin disorders, sleeplessness, toothache, ulcers, venereal diseases, water retention, whooping cough, and worms. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by hops, please feel free to contact a representative from your local health food store with questions.
Natural Sweeteners Vs. Artificial Sweeteners
April 30, 2009 10:16 AM
Artificial sweeteners are food additives intended to replace the Sweetness of sugar without the calorie intake. There are also natural sweeteners that can replace sugar, so which should you choose? Natural sweeteners such as sugar, honey and grape juice are well known, although there are also the less well known, but much more effective, sucanat and stevia.
Sucanat is dried unrefined cane sugar, and unlike refined sugar retains the molasses. Stevia, on the other hand, is a shrub, native to Paraguay, the leaf of which contains a non-sucrose sweetener, 300 times the Sweetness of sugar, and which is not absorbed by the body. It is a sweetener pure and simple, with no proven health issues. It is also Japan's most popular sugar substitute.
Artificial sweeteners have been known for many years, the first and best known being benzoic sulfanide, known to you as saccharin. The health risks of saccharin have been the subject of debate for over 100 years and have yet to be resolved. Studies had shown it to cause cancer in rats, and it was placed on a list of known or suspected carcinogens.
It has been banned for use in the USA, but that was lifted by the FDA in 1991, and in 2000 saccharin has no longer required a health warning label. The issue appears to have been resolved by rats metabolizing saccharin in a way not possible in humans. However, many are still suspicious of it, and if you don't trust a food additive then do not voluntarily consume it.
The top two artificial sweeteners in the USA are sucralose and aspartame. Sucralose, discovered in the UK in 1976, is the less emotive of the two, and is chemically the chlorocarbon trichlorogalactosucrose, produced by chlorination of sucrose and 600 times as sweet. It should be stressed that a chlorocarbon is totally different to a chlorinated hydrocarbon. It is generally considered safe to use, although it is very slow rate of degradation in waste water has raised concerns that concentrations could increase with increasing popularity of the sweetener.
According to' Sweet Deception', the book states sucralose to be discovered during the search for an insecticide, and is produced when sugar is treated with acetic anhydride, hydrogen chloride and trityl chloride among others in the presence of toluene, MIBK and dimethyl formamide among other solvents. Although marketed as coming from a natural source, it is anything but natural.
Aspartame was developed by G.D. Searle, and its approval by the FDA has been a matter of concern for many years. Promoted by Donald Rumsfeld, then CEO of Searle, he "called in his markers" to have the substance approved, which was not one of the more glorious moments in America's history.
It is used in over 6,000 products, most household names, yet was based on "inconclusive and incompetent science" according to detractors. In 1981, on the day of his inauguration, Ronald Regan suspended the powers of the FDA on aspartame, and then a month later appointed a new FDA head, Arthur Hayes, who immediately licensed the substance. Donald Rumsfeld was on President Regan's team.
There is a strong body of evidence that aspartame is toxic to humans, although the official evidence has discredit such studies. Recent evidence that linked aspartame to cancer has been stated as irrelevant to humans. In spite of the concerns, the substance has been approved, not only in the USA but also by the European Union. This might call into question the relevance of studies to humans, but many still believe that commercial considerations are behind these decisions.
In fact, an extensive study carried out by the Italian European Ramazzini Foundation, showed that aspartame can cause a significant increase in cancers and leukemias in rats at well below the doses allowed by the EU or the US. This substance required further study by bodies with no vested interest in the outcome.
Those that believe so point to the stevia situation. This natural sweetener is banned for use as a food additive in the EU, and cannot be sold as sweetener due to the FDA not recognizing it as such. It has also been banned in Hong Kong, even though it is the sweetener of choice in Japan, with no apparent side-effects becoming endemic in that country. The USA might not approve stevia as a sweetener, but it is considering lifting its ban on cyclamate.
Cyclamate was banned by the FDA due to tests on rats indicating a possibly carcinogenic effect, but no more positive than those on aspartame. Cyclamate is permitted in Canada, where saccharin is not, and also in the UK, but not throughout the EU.
It is obvious, then, looking at the various claims and counter-claims, and the conflicting legislation between civilized countries, that the artificial sweetener industry is wrought with uncertainty. In the past, it is almost certain that commercial considerations have come before the health of the nation, and that does not engender confidence.
In fact, the only sane approach to take at this time would be to avoid artificial sweeteners altogether, and stay natural. That is not to claim that natural products are safe to eat - far from it! Many of the most virulent poisons are natural, but the well-used natural sweeteners appear to be safer at this time than any of those artificially manufactured.
There might be objections to this where diabetes is concerned, and Canada, while banning saccharin for normal use, still allows it for use by diabetics. This is the one of the two major bodies that promotes the use of artificial sweeteners: the diabetic lobby and the weight loss lobby.
It is difficult to question the obesity and weight problem that America has while at the same time arguing against the use of artificial sweeteners. However, don't forget that stevia is widely used in Japan with no reported health problems, and stevia is a natural sweetener that is permitted for use as a food additive, and that is not absorbed by the body.
However, there is also a recent 2005 study that has indicated that diet drinks containing artificial sweeteners might fool your body into believing that the sweet taste is promising energy, and when it doesn't materialize, you feel hungry and eat more. This has been supported by animal studies.
These have shown convincingly that the sensation of Sweetness induces the production of insulin with resulting hypoglycemia because there is no actual increase in blood sugar. This induces increased food intake. This has been proved with rats, and also proved was the fact that the natural response of eating less at the next meal, after sugary food, was gradually diminished in animals fed non-calorific sweeteners.
The choice is yours, but it would seem advisable to stick to natural sweeteners for the time being, at least until the studies carried out are in concurrence as opposed to offering conflicting results depending upon who is doing the testing.
November 12, 2008 09:51 AM
Gymnema sylvestre is found naturally in central and southern India, where it has been used in traditional Indian medicine for almost two thousand years. It is known as 'gurmar' in ancient Indian texts, a word meaning 'sugar destroyer', which gives an indication of its uses in medicine.
It is used to reduce the absorption of glucose into the body, and also reduce the Sweetness of foods, both of which are desirable for those wishing to lose weight and to reduce the level of sugar in their blood. It was used for this purpose in Ayurvedic medicine, subjects being given the leaves to chew. As with many other ancient Ayurvedic remedies, this use of gymnema sylvestre has passed into modern times, and has sound scientific basis. First, however a bit more about the plant itself.
It is found predominantly in the Western Ghats, and also to the west of the mountains, around coastal Goa. It is a vinous plant that climbs on other bushes and trees, known in Sanskrit as Meshasringa, or ram's horn after the shape of the leaves from which the supplement is extracted. For what it's worth, the official name seems a mix of Greek and Latin (gymnos(Gr) - naked and Silva (L)- forest) for naked forest. That, however, is irrelevant to its uses, so let's have a look at the science involved and the active ingredients in the plant.
The main constituents are terpenoid saponins known as gymnemic acids, so one can assume that they were first found in this plant. They are glycosides, including hodulcine and ziziphin, which act as Sweetness inhibitors so that there is no sweet taste in anything that is sweetened by sucrose. There are over 20 types of gymnemic acid in the leaves, of which the strongest, Gymnemic Acid 1, can suppress the Sweetness even of artificial sweeteners such as aspartame.
These are not irreversible effects, and last only about 10 minutes, after which normal Sweetness is detectable by your tongue. During the active period, however, a solution of normal sugar will taste like ordinary unsweetened water. However, is this just a matter of taste, or does it affect the sugar itself?
Studies have shown that animals fed the leaves of Gymnema sylvestre develop hypoglycemia, probably because it stimulates the pancreas to generate insulin that reduces the level of sugar in the blood. Further studies have shown the presence in the leaves of a number of types of acylated derivatives of deacylgymnemic acid. There are well over a dozen types of saponins known to be contained within the leaves.
Other chemicals found include anthraquinones, flavanoids, chlorophylls, querticol, phytin, a number of glycosides and anthraquinones. The bush also contains alkaloids, although these are constituents in most plants used in ancient remedies. This is by no means all of the chemicals discovered, and many of the minor benefits of using it could be due to the minor constituents of this amazing little leaf.
A study of the above constituents will reveal a few antioxidants, and it is no surprise that the extract from Gymnema sylvestre also possesses anti-inflammatory properties. Gymnemic acid is believed to have a similar chemical structure to saccharose, and the plant extracts can be used not only to reduce a craving for sugar, but also to treat digestive problems and high cholesterol levels. So what scientific evidence is there other than the obvious effects reported by those that use it?
A study in the UK in 2005 found that an aqueous extract of Gymnema sylvestre caused the secretion of calcium and insulin from mouse and human cells to be increased at a specific concentration without affecting the cellular function. This means that the supplement can be used to stimulate the secretion of insulin with people with Type 2 diabetes without otherwise affecting health. Its usefulness to diabetics is obvious, but there are other health benefits to those that are not diabetic.
Anything that modulates a sweet tooth must be of use to those seeking to lose weight, particularly if they feel the need for sweet foods. In fact Gymnema tends to reduce food cravings for carbohydrates and sweets, and can be used by those seeking a natural means of curbing their appetite for sweet and sugary foods. Because excess weight can lead to diabetes,
Although there have been many discussions about the biochemical mechanism of the gymnemic acids in this effect on taste, recent evidence suggests that the phytochemicals act on both your taste buds and on those parts of the intestine responsible for absorbing nutrients from digested foods.
Not only that, but studies have also indicated that Gymnema sylvestre removes the bitterness of acerbic chemicals such as quinine in the same way that it removes the Sweetness form cakes and candies, and if you drank tonic water it would taste just like water. On the other hand, if you ate an orange, you would taste the acidity but not the Sweetness.
The way to use this remarkable supplement is to follow the instructions, and within about a week you will be able to control your appetite much better, and any cravings for carbohydrates you previously had will be much reduced. After a month or so, you will notice an accelerated rate of weight loss if you had been overweight, and diabetics will find a significant reduction on blood sugar between insulin shots.
Gymnema sylvestre can take care of any sugar or carbohydrate cravings, and is of significant use to the overweight, obese or to diabetics, and the mechanism by which it works has now been all but understood, although there are still some biochemical secrets that this amazing plant has yet to reveal. This amazing herb can be found at your local or internet vitamin store.
Natural Sweeteners: Which One Should You Take?
December 09, 2007 03:23 PM
There are many natural sweeteners to choose from if you want to avoid sugar, but don’t want any of the artificial sweeteners over which there are a few questions. You can choose from xylitol, luo han, stevia and others, but before discussing these, let’s have a look at the problems with sugar, artificial sweeteners and the American sugar industry.
Sugar as most people know it originates either from sugar cane or sugar beet, though by far the biggest American industry is in the cane. There are many different types of sugar, though that obtainable from cane sugar is sucrose. Sucrose is a disaccharide and carbohydrate, stored by plants as a reserve energy source to be used when needed. Humans cannot directly use sucrose, and it is metabolized in the body to glucose which needs the hormone insulin to help convert it into energy.
Insulin is produced in the pancreas, and a lack of it, or the body’s failure to use it properly, is referred to as diabetes. There are two types of diabetes:
Type 1: A total lack or deficiency of insulin due to the pancreas producing insufficient quantities of insulin, or even none at all. This is often seen in young people and is generally cause by the immune system attacking the insulin-producing sells in the pancreas. The treatment for type 1 diabetes is to introduce insulin to the blood, normally by means of injections, plenty exercise and the adoption of a high carbohydrate low fat diet.
Type 2: This is strongly associated with obesity and weight, and is due either to insufficient insulin production by the pancreas (but not as deficient as for Type 1 diabetes) or an inability of the cells of the body to properly use insulin. Type 2 diabetes does not always require insulin injections, and can be treated by exercise, diet and weight control. However, there are occasions where insulin injections are also required. It tends to affect people older than those with Type 1 diabetes and 90% of cases are of this type.
Both types, however, are connected with an excess of glucose in the blood, into which most sugars are converted. A diet low in sucrose will go a long way towards helping people that suffer from either type of diabetes, and control of carbohydrate intake should include a reduction in the intake of sucrose in the form or beet or cane sugar. This accepted, then if you need a sweetener, a saccharide free natural sweetener would appear to be the logical choice.
You could opt for a synthetic sweetener, but they also have their problems. There is evidence that saccharin could be a carcinogen, and ‘aspartame’ disease is not a myth. The other artificial sweeteners also have sufficient questions that natural sweeteners would appear to be the obvious choice. But which? That is the question. Let’s have a look at some and check out their pros and cons.
The first is Stevia. This is a South American herb that is 400 times sweeter than sucrose and yet is very low in calories and does not affect diabetics. Used throughout most of the world, it has not been approved by the FDA as a food additive due mainly, it would appear, to lobbying by the American sugar corporations. This is understandable, since mass substitution of sugar by stevia in processed foods is entirely possible, but would cost the sugar corporations billions.
However, it is available to purchase from health food stores, and does not appear to possess the problems that aspartame does. Unlike that sweetener, it can be used in baking and cooking, and is ideal for diabetics and people suffering from yeast infections such as candida. Such infections are aggravated by sugar in the colon, since yeasts love sugar, but they cannot survive on stevia. The safety of stevia has been proven through hundreds of years of popular use without any problems.
However, there are others. Luo Han Guo is a sweet Chinese fruit of which extracts are marketed as a natural sweetener. The plant it comes from is the Momordica grosvenori, a member of the cucumber squash family that grows in the mountainous areas of southern China. The sweeteners it contains are called mogrosides that are terpene glycosides, of which there are five different forms, the main one being termed mogroside-5.
The extract is available in the form of a powder consisting of around 80% mogrosides, and possesses around 250% of the Sweetness of sucrose. This, too, can be used in cooking; because it is stable to heat and contains about 2% of the calories of ordinary sugar (one half teaspoon is equivalent to 25 teaspoons sugar). You can help 50 medicines go down for the same calories of getting one down using sugar!
Not only that but, like stevia, there are no known side effects. It has been used for many centuries in Chinese medicine in the treatment of gastrointestinal conditions and conditions of the respiratory tract. Unlike natural sweeteners, luo han has been found to be useful in helping to manage diabetes since it does not cause insulin levels to rise and are not involved in energy production, so have no effect on your weight. The mogrosides from luo han are also under study as inhibitors of certain tumors, and might be able to inhibit skin tumor growth. Other possible medical advantages include helping to reduce atherosclerosis and heart disease, so would appear to be a useful sweetener to use in your coffee!
Finally, xylitol. It was during World War II that Finnish scientists rediscovered xylitol that had been previously used in Germany as a sweetener in the late nineteenth century. The sugar shortage resurrected this substance that can metabolize without the need for insulin.
Xylitol is a substance that is found in some fruits and vegetables and also in corn cobs. In fact, it is a product that appears in animal metabolism, and so is perfectly safe. It is known to help support the immune system, and to help reduce the effects of aging. It possesses antibacterial properties due to its 5-carbon ring and has been approved by the FDA. Xylitol can replace sugar in most of its domestic uses, including in baking and as a natural sweetener. It is also used extensively in chewing gum as a sweetener that does not cause dental cavities due the acid caused by bacterial attack on the sugar.
However, one use to which xylitol cannot be put, nor any of the other natural sweeteners mentioned here, is in fermentation. Try these for your wine or beer and you will be very disappointed at the low alcohol level of your brew! This is also, however, one of the benefits of xylitol: it cannot feed the yeasts that cause candida or any other yeast infection. Although it is a saccharide, it is the same as the others in this respect.
So, which of these natural sweeteners should you take? The choice is yours since each has its own benefits with very few disadvantages and certainly no recorded side effects that we know of. Use stevia for superior sweetening effects, and make up a concentrated solution of it in water for your cooking. Use luo han if you have gastrointestinal problems, and use xylitol if you want fresher breath and to protect your teeth.
Use none for brewing or winemaking, and use any of them if you are diabetic. The choice is yours. These sweeteners are available at your local or internet health food store.
Stevia: Sweeten Your Life With Out The Weight Gain
November 13, 2007 02:55 PM
It is possible to sweeten your life with stevia, and without any weight gain, since it as exceptionally sweet herb. In fact it is member of the sunflower family, and is native to parts of South and Central America where it has been used as a sweetener since time immemorial. Also known as sugarleaf, it is a commercial crop, and is available as a dietary supplement.
Extracts of stevia have been found to be up to 300 times as sweet as cane sugar, although does not metabolize in the body to glucose. In fact it is thought to enhance the glucose tolerance of some diabetics, and can be used by people suffering from that condition as a natural sweetener, thus dispensing with the need for artificial sweeteners.
It is also useful for those on diets, especially carbohydrate controlled diets, and any other sweet-toothed person wanting to lose weight and still enjoy their favorite drink or desert. Many recipes have been published using stevia for the preparation of delicious sweets. So why is stevia so sweet and what other uses does it have?
Basically the sweet taste comes from glycosides, which are molecules in which a sugar is bonded to another molecule. The two main glycosides in stevia are called stevioside and rebaudioside. These are formed through glucose combined with the diterpene steviol in different ways, though some minor glycosides also contain rhamnose. Although they contain glucose, the glucose is not released into the bloodstream during digestion and the subsequent biochemistry.
Japan began the cultivation of the plant in the 1970s rather than produce artificial sweeteners that were suspected carcinogens (saccharin and cyclamate). Japan is now the world’s biggest consumer of stevia, even being used in the Japanese Coca Cola plants. Around 40% of Japan’s total sweetener volume is stevia. However, apart from its use as a natural alternative sweetener to sugar, stevia has specific properties, already alluded to, that renders it of particular attraction to certain groups of people, and we shall now take a closer look at these.
Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that is essential to regulate the glucose content of the blood. It stimulates the cells of the body to take in blood glucose and convert it to glycogen that can be used for energy. Without insulin the blood sugars would increase in concentration without regulation leading to very serious health issues that would eventually result in death.
Diabetes is a condition in which the body either does not produce sufficient insulin, does not use the insulin it produces properly, or produces no insulin at all. Hence, a sweetener that did not exacerbate this situation by being eventually metabolized to glucose, as most sugars are in the body, would be of great benefit to diabetics. This is exactly what stevia is. It is a very powerful sweetener, 250 – 300 times sweeter to the taste-buds than sucrose, normal table sugar, and it does not metabolize to glucose. It is heaven-sent sweetener for diabetics that have a sweet tooth.
It is very safe for them and has been consumed for centuries without any side effects. In fact, studies have indicated that stevia might even regulate the pancreas and help to stabilize the levels of blood glucose in the body, rendering it an effective and safe supplement for those suffering from hypoglycemia (excess blood sugar), diabetes and candidiasis, a yeast infection that thrives on sugar.
Apart from that, stevia is also popular with those who are on a calorie controlled diet – or any other diet for that matter, since an excessive sugar intake invariably leads eventually to weight increase. The 21st century western diet is drowning in sugar, with up to 10 spoonfuls of sugar in every small bottle of cola. There is sugar in cookies, hot dogs, bread, soy sauce, ketchup, cans of beans and peas, and even sugar in cigarettes, though that is the least of the health worries there!
For the first time in history, there are now more overweight and obese people in the world than hungry people, yet the sugar corporations claim that there is no scientific proof that sugar leads to weight increase. Worldwide, diabetes kills 6 people every minute, and obesity caused by the consumption of too much sugar leads to Type II diabetes. It had been shown that fructose is a major player in that corn syrup (fructose) is contained in many soft drinks and foods.
One of the major problems with refined sugars is that they contain nothing but pure carbohydrate. All the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients have been removed, so that when they are consumed, your body has to provide these nutrients needed to metabolize the sugar to glucose and then to energy. Humans cannot live on sugar alone, and in fact you are better drinking water than corn syrup or cane sugar solutions since at least water does not make demands on your existing nutrient store.
It was noted in 1929 by Sir Frederick Banting, one of those scientists credited with the discovery of insulin, that there was a significantly large proportion of diabetes among the sugar plantation owners that ate large quantities of refined sugar, whereas there was none detected in the cane harvesters who were able to chew on only the raw cane. The raw cane contains the minerals and vitamins needed to metabolize the sucrose.
Stevia is a potential answer to this problem, and it is such an obvious one that there are a lot of politics regarding its use. The big USA sugar corporations will undoubtedly be opposed to it, and the FDA has refused to allow its use as a food additive, only as a dietary supplement, yet its use in Japan has been very successful. It is also used throughout East Asia, including China, Korea and Taiwan, and also in South America, Israel and some areas of the Caribbean. It is available as a green powder in its crude form, and also brownish syrup redolent of licorice, but also as a more refined white powder that is likely best used as weak solution due to its Sweetness.
It is totally free of calories; this may come as a surprise to many since it tastes so sweet. It is an excellent sweetener for children’s drinks since it does not cause cavities: unlike sugar it is not degraded by bacteria to produce the corrosive acid that eats into the enamel. It does not metabolize to a burst of energy that is practically addictive, since that generally then leads to tiredness and the need for more sugar to make up for it.
Stevia does not cause diabetes in any form, is not a food for yeast and it is beneficial to the pancreas. In short, it is a completely safe food supplement that has been used for centuries without ill effect, and if you want to prevent yourself from adding weight and protect against the possibility of Type II diabetes in particular, then stevia should be your sweetener of choice.
Erythritol Sweetener Fact Sheet
December 17, 2005 10:48 AM
Erythritol Sweetener Fact SheetNeil E. Levin, CCN, DANLA 11/4/04
LIKELY USERS: People on low-carb diets, People on calorie-restricted diets, People on restricted blood sugar diets, People concerned about dental caries (cavities).
KEY INGREDIENT(S): Erythritol crystals
MAIN PRODUCT FEATURES
A transparent white brilliant appearance, free-flowing crystalline powder. A very clean, sweet taste profile, similar to sucrose with no significant after-taste. The dry form exhibits a strong cooling effect. Has a similar look and taste to sugar. Erythritol will brown like sugar. Sweetness: Only about 70% as sweet as sugar; one teaspoon is equivalent to one teaspoon of sugar in baking measurements.
Fewer calories than white sugar: less than 0.2 calories per gram, only 5% as much as sucrose A sugar alcohol that is not a source of “impact carbs” that raise blood sugar Suitable for low-carb (carbohydrate-restricted) diets “Zero” glycemic index sweetener, also rated “zero” on the insulinemic index Does not affect serum glucose or insulin levels. Will not promote tooth decay Laxative effects are unlikely, unlike some other sugar alcohols OTHER IMPORTANT ISSUES: No artificial sweeteners, designated as GRAS (generally regarded as safe) status by the FDA. Pesticides: Absent (at ppm level)
AMOUNT TO USE: One or more teaspoons, as desired. 1.5 teaspoon has about the Sweetness of a teaspoon of sugar.
SYNERGISTS: Flavor mixes well with other sweeteners, can be blended with them to “cut” them and improve their flavor.
CAUTIONS: Large doses are unlikely to have a laxative effect, unlike most other sugar alcohols. Doses of 1 gram per kilogram (2.2#) of body weight, equivalent to 68 grams per 150-pound adult, are typically well tolerated by adults. No other known cautions.
December 17, 2005 10:45 AM
Erythritol - Since the early 1990’s, the popularity of this white crystalline sugar alcohol has steadily increased, and is now becoming the norm among many consumers and businesses alike. With a Sweetness that is approximately 70% that of sucrose, a non-hygroscopic texture to prevent clumping and easy digestibility, it’s no surprise that so many have turned to this completely safe polyol. In addition, Erythritol is completely safe for teeth, extremely low in calories, won’t raise blood sugar levels, has zero “impact” carbohydrates and is one of the most easily digested of all sugar alcohols.
Erythritol Natural SweetenerMany of you have been made well aware of the many dangers imposed by the over-consumption of conventional sugars and artificial sweeteners. So have we. And that’s why we’re so excited to introduce new Erythritol. Since the early 1990’s, the popularity of this low-calorie, white crystalline sugar alcohol has steadily increased, and is now becoming the norm among many consumers and businesses alike. With a Sweetness that is approximately 70% that of sucrose, a non-hygroscopic texture to prevent clumping and easy digestibility, it’s easy to see why so many are turning to this completely safe polyol.*
One of Erythritol’s most unique characteristics is its incredibly low caloric content. While polyols are generally known for being low calorie by nature, Erythritol exemplifies this characteristic, and contains just 0.2 calories per gram.
Safe for Teeth
Erythritol is non-cariogenic, and does not metabolize the oral bacteria that break down sugars and starches needed to produce the acids that lead to cavities and decay. In fact, the FDA recently released a qualified health claim stating that polyols including Erythritol “do not promote tooth decay”.*
Won’t Raise Blood Sugar
Several studies have suggested that Erythritol won’t raise blood sugar or insulin levels, and may therefore be a safe alternative to sucrose-based foods designed especially for diabetics.*
Based on the small size and unique molecular structure of Erythritol, it is easily absorbed by the small intestine. As a result, gas and laxation are far less likely in comparison to sucrose.*
Zero Impact Carbs
As one of only two polyols that carry a glycemic index of zero, Erythritol has zero “impact carbohydrates”.*
December 17, 2005 10:40 AM
Date Sugar - Of the many alternatives to table sugar, the pleasant tasting extract of dehydrated dates may be one of the most natural and nutrient dense. While it can be used for a plethora of applications, the most common are in cereals, oatmeal, baked goods, beverages and puddings. In fact, date sugar bares a closer resemblance to food than it does to a sweetener. Nutritionally, it’s loaded with vitamins and minerals, especially potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron and phosphorus. Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of this natural sweetener is that it contain significant amounts of fiber. Best of all, date sugar is the closest in Sweetness to the table sugar many have grown accustomed to.