sugar alternatives ?

  • what are some good alternatives for sugar.

    i am preparing to start my 1st BFL challenge.

    i am a little aprehensive as i have had some health issues over the last few years.

    all good now.

    My success is your success.

  • Anything with zero calories works for me! Diet soda and equal have got me through so many sugar cravings this past year.

  • Sugar alternatives are typically sweeter than sugar, and trick your brain into thinking it got the sweet.  Sounds good so far?  That increases insulin, and keeps the sugar addiction alive.  For that matter, sugar alternatives are chemicals, and will kill you.  

    The sweet tooth?  How about some raspberries?  Some baked apple with cinnamon?  Oh, IDK, maybe chocolate protein powder frozen into a pop?  

    There's nothing wrong with an occasional diet soda, but it's really not a good idea to have regularly.  

    Jessica Mighty Max ~ 2013 Body-for-LIFE Champion ~ Champion is a VERB!

  • The artificial sweetener in diet soda and equal has no affect on insulin. Eating something every time I had a craving is what got me up to 250 pounds. Finding an alternative I can live with has helped me go an entire year without gaining a single pound and I am grateful for that.

  • Lil Caity - 1st let me commend you.  That's a huge accomplishment!  Most don't keep it off, and for that matter, most put it back on, plus MORE. 

    Studies prove that those artificial sweeteners do have a negative affect on insulin.  The affect on insulin itself, without any other factors, is admittedly small.  The real problem is all else that comes with it, like messing with the body's endocrine system.  The alternative to not drinking it isn't eating something each time we have a craving, as though it's one or the other. 

    On the rare occasion I have a soda, it's actually a regular one.  My body knows what to do with that.  My body has no idea what to do with chemicals.  Diet soda is not a good sweets alternative.  Will having one sometimes kill you?  No.  And for that matter, if that's your thing, and we ALL have our thing, then go for it.  It's not, though, recommended for the BFL Challenge. 

    Taking aside the negative health affects of diet soda consumption.  It's best we learn to break the sugar/sweet addiction, versus replacing.  Getting all that sweet makes us conditioned to want more.,-health-problems.html

    I have a great NEJM study somewhere, but alas, am way behind on organizing my folders. 

    Let me repeat, though, that I could not agree with you more about alternatives, a plan b, replacements, etc.  Otherwise, in absence of the confines of contest rules, or something, we go back.... hence why you can see 2 sets of my pictures on my thread. 

    Jessica Mighty Max ~ 2013 Body-for-LIFE Champion ~ Champion is a VERB!

  • Chemicals themselves are not "bad". Every living thing is made up of chemicals. H2O is a chemical compound. I understand that you would want to make sure you are doing the right, healthy thing for your body and I appreciate your comments and input. Since the topic has been opened, I would like to add to the pot since this is something I've looked into before.

    There is a lot of conflicting interpretation of the scientific evidence. For example, rats who had aspartame as opposed to a caloric beverage consumed more food. This is likely because they received no nourishment in the form of calories and were hungrier. The reason that it is not likely because of an effect where appetite is increased from aspartame is because of the findings in thorough investigative studies. For whatever reason, there is a witch hunt to find fault with aspartame and information is presented as skewed towards that idea. Another example of this is that there is a high percentage of diet soda drinkers who have diabetes and heart disease because they shouldn't have too much sugar; It's not that the diet soda causes those problems. It did mention this in the first article you linked. But many columnists will jump on that to say it is causation and not an indirect correlation because the title "Is diet soda really okay?" will catch anyone's attention. It has certainly caught mine before.

    Some artificial sweeteners can have an affect on insulin but not aspartame, found in diet soda and equal. It's good to take a look at the studies themselves because articles talking about the studies can be very opinionated.

    Here is a study that found aspartame to have no affect on insulin levels:

    It did find an increase in Phe in the blood for 2hrs after ingestion, which is an amino acid that occurs in the body naturally. It is found in breast milk and can have positive affects on the brain. In huge quantities it can interfere with the production of serotonin, but the amount of aspartame in diet soda/other food doesn't affect the brain functions of people when consumed regularly, according to this randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled, crossover study:

    That is probably because the Phe in the blood isn't really affected by aspertame unless CHO (carbohydrate) is also present, found in this study where the subjects were evaluated on an empty stomach:

    Here is another study which found that aspartame does not alter secretion of prolactin,

    cortisol, growth hormone, or insulin in normal individuals:

    I appreciate the way you talk about this issue because it can be so controversial! Explaining why we believe one thing or another can really help keep each other informed and at least respectful/understanding of each other's life choices. The whole diet soda thing is a big one for me because it is one of the small things that makes a big difference for me personally. I'm not good with all-or-nothing thinking, like if I think of eating right as being this unsustainable life change I won't be successful for very long. Diet soda to me is like coffee is to other people and I don't really see a difference between the two. If anything I've experienced acid reflux in direct correlation with drinking coffee and I feel like it is worse just for me personally. Probably because diet soda is mostly just carbonated water, the other ingredients make up a very small percentage of the content.  From what I understand, the BFL program outline doesn't have an opinion on diet soda and that is probably because of the conflicting opinions.

    I only want to share my positive experience with it because it has been such a big help.  In the last year I've been healthier than I ever have been in my life and I honestly don't experience sugar cravings anymore. My cholesterol and everything has gone way down, I see a doctor regularly, and I feel really good. If I were still experiencing problems then I would be more apprehensive about my dietary choices, but this one I feel is okay. I hope that isn't offensive or anything like that, I genuinely just want to help (as do you).

  • I agree with Lil Caity. I have a very "sweet tooth" and I say you eat what ever sugar supplements you like the taste of best. Also, if artificial sweeteners are so bad for you then why are all the "protein" supplements (myoplex,  bars, betagen, etc...) loaded with them. They have it for one reason, so that they taste better.

  • 1st... It's great to converse with someone so well versed, respectful, articulate, and such. I think these discussions only help people form their own INFORMED opinions, and regardless of the choice, it's theirs/ours to make. You weren't offensive one bit. People can disagree without being disagreeable.  And I totally know you just want to be helpful (and are achieving that goal).  I just don't happen to like the suggestion of diet soda to someone not already looking for a soda alternative and such, but me not liking it doesn't hold more water than you liking it. We just see it differently and that's good... others will hopefully learn.  

    I likely chose the wrong thing when originally talking about insulin. The endocrine system... I know much more than the average person, and I know only a tiny amount. It's far more intricate than anyone realizes and all I've seen says artificial sweeteners, and to be fair, sugar, and my beloved honey even, mess with it. It should be noted that I'm severely ADHD and am particularly sensitive to anything that's disruptive, like food dye, preservatives, etc.

    I'm suspect of studies that don't show any issues with aspartame and splenda, to be honest. One. I just think they're crap. Two. Who funded the study? Studies are very expensive to run, so there's gotta be a deep pockets backer, leading me to believe more wouldn't be against one of the largest industries in the world. (Coke is a seriously powerful company... and only 4 companies provide something crazy, like 85% of America's food). Three. To be totally fair, I'm a food conspiracy theorist, so you gotta factor that for whatever it's worth.  And I'm glad we have the FDA, but wouldn't accuse them of being good at their job.  It's interesting to me when the EU doesn't allow, or at least is more negative about things the FDA approves.  

    The studies, not articles, that I respect are ones done on humans, not rats. I'll certainly read, and linked a few articles, but when it comes to nitty gritty, agreed. There's just so much bad information out there, and not to mention, skewed, etc. (Do you remember the Time article that said exercise doesn't help you lose weight because it just makes you eat more.... were they serious?) I would also not be fooled by anything that already included diabetics, unless the study were specifically on diabetics. And I am well aware that correlation does not equal causation. It would likely be impossible to directly prove causation with aspartame, though that being said, not one argument can be made for it.  And one of the problems with not being able to prove causation is that then some think it must not be there, but I think then one has to look at the whole of it.  (And that goes for ALL, so let me be fair.  I like my meat charred.  The studies are clear on what that does.  Am I gonna stop?  Nope!)  

    As for all is chemicals... sure, but that's circular, much like when one points out that cocaine is also natural when comparing against say organic brocolli. It's an appropriate comeback when one points out some manufactured crap has only natural ingredients, but not when not being compared against something real. A manufactured chemical just isn't best, and nor is it even psychologically best from how I'm fearing some will use diet soda. Many studies have been done on ending sugar addiction and the best way isn't to replace, but to eliminate the sweet (at first). Then and only then can smaller and appropriate amounts be added. For some, like you, it's a tool. We've all got our thing. For that matter... I like smoking hookah, and no, nothing illegal goes in that hookah. Shisha is tobacco, and though not a cigarette smoker, clearly I still smoke. It's a once or twice a month thing to relax, but given all the wonderful flavors, it takes care of some sort of craving in me, and no one can ever argue that despite it being calorie free, that smoking somehow good.

    If one reaches for a diet soda with every emotionally driven craving then I'm just feeling like that's not an indication of crossing the abyss. (And PLEASE don't think I'm being preachy, because I sure still reach for the french fries sometimes... and hookah. I'm not perfect. I'm not even close to perfect.)

    "Explaining why we believe one thing or another can really help keep each other informed and at least respectful/understanding of each other's life choices." You are so incredibly right! I love tea. I'm a crazy tea connoisseur and while tea is just fine, my love of exotic honey, from a BFL perspective, is not. You know what? I will still sometimes have a teaspoon of honey in a perfectly blended and brewed Earl Grey. (not once during contest) Sometimes this is even a cathartic experience for me. Being so ADHD, stillness is a precious rarity. I'm not a daily tea drinker. Sometimes I have some silence, a cup of tea, and really enjoy the moment of it. The positives in those moments outweigh the negatives, like a crazy me... and that crazy me who then gorges on fried foods.  So I think that's where you're going with your point, which I respect.  I'm more talking about someone replacing.  You're saying you have your thing.  I get it.  

    And admittedly all or nothing is more my personality, so it needs to be factored one's ability to self-regulate. A diet soda here and there... go for it. Some people drink copious amounts, and that just can't be good. It's also important to note that on BFL you need to have two cups of water for every cup of tea, coffee, and soda. That's a lot of potty breaks!

    Bill Phillips has been asked about diet soda. He said 1 a day was okay, but that he wanted people having pure water. He wasn't bashing it, nor thinking it was a good thing to have in large quantities.

    Ps - I don't drink coffee. I think it tastes like burnt water. There's arguments against it (toxins), and for it, but those I don't remember, because again, ick.

    Jessica Mighty Max ~ 2013 Body-for-LIFE Champion ~ Champion is a VERB!

  • peter_danette -

    It's best to curb a sweet tooth and you don't do that by eating whatever sugar substitute you like best as though that doesn't count for anything.  It's important to be mindful of decisions.  "so they taste better"  You know what tastes awesome to me?  French fries... but I can't have them all I want, either.  ... and nor should I

    Also... you are crossing topics here.  Supplements, like Betagen and Muscle Armor have them because it will increase your glucose, which in those instances is what's meant, because it allows the supplement to better get into your muscles.  It's a quicker delivery system.  Google why some bodybuilders have smarties (the candy) after working out.  

    Bars... different topic... they are a step above a Snickers.  I literally never eat them.  

    Pure whey protein does not have any sort of sugar substitute.  Things like Myoplex do, and for the reason you stated.  

    Jessica Mighty Max ~ 2013 Body-for-LIFE Champion ~ Champion is a VERB!

  • If you are a vegan then the best alternative for sugar is natural honey. If you like fruits then eat different type of fruit so as to make up for your daily sugar requirements.

    See article.

  • Mind you... I love honey, but there's no such thing as a daily sugar requirement.  I even have Manuka, but wouldn't during a BFL contest.  You would then not be able to have other carbs, like fruit.  Do you mean carbs for daily intake?  Yes, fruit has fructose, a form of sugar, though it's best to think of it as a macro-nutrient thing, with protein, carbs, and fats.  Honey is not authorized on the BFL Challenge, and it should be noted that it's higher on the GI than table sugar.  I personally do have fruit a decent amount for my carb, but please remember things like sweet potatoes, steel cut oats, as well as other excellent complex carbohydrate sources.  And a vegan especially might consider things like quinoa, given it also provides protein, something in which most vegans are lacking.  That also makes beans a better carb choice, because yes, they are a carb, though have a decent amount of protein. 

    Jessica Mighty Max ~ 2013 Body-for-LIFE Champion ~ Champion is a VERB!