AIR DATE: June 21, 2012 at 7PM ET
FEATURED EXPERT: Dr. David Getoff
FEATURED TOPIC: “The Truth About Sweeteners”
One of the more controversial areas of debate about the healthy low-carb lifestyle is what to do about sweeteners. Some say the taste of sweet itself is an addiction that needs to be overcome by complete abstinence from consuming anything sweet on the tongue. Still others believe that finding adequate sugar substitutions in your diet is a lot healthier way to eat than a sugar-filled one. And then there are those who say it is better to eat sugar, honey or other natural sugars than to risk consuming chemical-based sweeteners that are doing God-knows-what to your body. So who do you believe about what you should do? That’s where this week’s expert comes in. He is a naturopath and board-certified clinical nutritionist named Dr. David Getoff and he’s going to help us sort through it all in Episode 18 of “Ask The Low-Carb Experts.” Dr. Getoff is quite knowledgeable about all of the ins and outs of both the natural and artificial sweeteners available for consumers to purchase and will give us the cold, hard facts about what is right and what is wrong answering your questions.
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What are your general thoughts about natural non-glycemic/low-glycemic sweeteners like stevia, erythritol, xylitol, and lo han. I have used these alone and in blends like ZSweet. Right now, I’m really enjoying Nature’s Hollow’s “maple syrup flavored” xylitol syrup which I use when a recipe calls for honey or agave.
Does Splenda really kill the beneficial intestinal bacteria? Jorge Cruise says in his book The Belly Fat Cure that you should avoid sucralose in your diet because of this.
Are the deep yearnings and calling for sugar due to candida overgrowth, a vitamin deficiency, excess insulin, a bad habit, or cellular mitochondria seeking fuel? Or maybe all of this?
I use both stevia and xylitol. Do either of these inhibit weight loss? And is there any truth to the claim that xylitol is toxic for pets like dogs and cats?
Is stevia ok? Is it low-carb or Paleo?
I would like to know if stevia causes an insulin response.
I consume multiple Diet Dr. Pepper’s every day and have for many years. I have noticed that when I substitute Iced Tea or H2O for all but say one or two for several days running I have a downtick in weight. I have seen the UT San Antonio study that says Aspartame in Diet Drinks can cause Insulin to go up which I suppose could affect fat burning, but I have also seen a lot of research that says it has NO effect. If it isn’t the Aspartame, why does my weight trend down when I stop drinking the soda? Is it the sodium?
I’m a Diet Coke person and I’ve been off of it since last Thursday as well as all other sweeteners. How can we really tell if sweeteners are impacting our weight loss? How long should we get off of them before trying to add something back in? Should we rely on our weight measurement from day to day?
If I choose to use artificial sweeteners, which ones are the least detrimental and have the most minimal effect on insulin and poor health?
I know that coconut sugar is not calorie-free, but could you enlighten us about whether it’s a good sweetener to use or not?
I like using erythritol, stevia, and occasionally Splenda for sweetening my food. I would like a good “comeback” for those people who call anything other than “table sugar” — artificial. White sugar itself is massively processed and artificial, so I’m not understanding their reasoning.
Why is maltitol permitted to be put in food as a sweetener when it is well-known to cause a painful and drastic reaction in the gut even in small amounts?
I was excited to look into Stevia-bases sweeteners, but I found out that all three major brands add sugar alcohols which are terrible for people with digestive problems. Can you tell me why they add sugar alcohols and can you get stevia without these?
I am a Type 1 diabetic and I live in Spain and the only sweetener I’ve found there that has no fillers like maltodextrin is a liquid mixture of saccharin and cyclamate. The taste is vastly better than the pure saccharin available in the United States, but I wondered if you would comment on the safety of this mix.
Also, would you comment on any possible connections between artificial sweeteners and infertility/miscarriages?
I have been using a pure stevia powder with only stevia and no fillers for several years and I use it daily in many things, like my Bulletproof coffee, water and fresh lemon, apple cider vinegar dressing, and homemade hot cocoa with unsweetened coconut milk. Is it likely that this stevia contains mycotoxins? What are the possible outcomes of consuming a good bit of stevia daily? This is the only form of sweetener I use.
What about Acesulfame Potassium (aka Ace-K) and what impact does it have on blood sugar? It seems to be in just about everything diet these days, especially diet soda.
I consider myself highly addicted to sugar and eating a dessert made with things like erythritol, stevia, or Splenda causes me to want to eat even more sugar-free treats. Is there any way I can get this under control or is it better to just avoid these altogether? I do find the longer I abstain from them the less I crave them. But then some event comes up where I make something sugar-free and the cycle continues. Any advice is very much appreciated!
Earlier this year I discovered the “low carb” world and now eat 50-100g of carbs per day, mostly from fruit, vegetables, nuts and some dairy. I am 45 years old, slightly overweight, have eaten primarily high carb, low fat my entire adult life, and prior to changing my eating had fasting glucose in the 90s, normal cholesterol and triglycerides. Over four months I have lost 12 pounds without effort since adopting a higher fat, low carb diet. However, once or twice a week from rice or even bread. I also have 2 teaspoons of sugar per day in coffee. Is this acceptable? How important is it to eliminate sugar altogether? Is this more important than trying to fit exercise into my schedule?