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Re: [IP] Stevia (& Other Sweeteners)

This is an excerpt from Dr. Bernstein's Diabetes Solution, Chapter 10,

Whether or not you agree with many of his assertions regarding diet, blood
sugar control and pumps, I thought this was a pretty informative breakdown
of the various sweeteners out there.


Powdered Artificial Sweeteners

At this writing, several artificial sweeteners are available. They are
available from different manufacturers under different names, and some, such
as Equal and Sweet'n Low, can have brand names under which more than one
form of sweetener is sold. Here, to simplify your shopping, are acceptable
products currently and soon to be available:

saccharin tablets or liquid (Sweet'n Low)
aspartame tablets (Equal, NutraSweet)*
acesulfame-K (Sunette, The Sweet One)
stevia powder or liquid (stevia has not been approved in the European Union)
sucralose tablets (Splenda)
neotame (newly approved by the FDA)
cyclamate tablets and liquid (not yet available in the United States)

* Many Web sites falsely perpetuate the myth that aspartame is toxic because
its metabolism produces the poison methanol. In reality, one 12-ounce can of
an aspartame-sweetened soft drink generates only =5 as much methanol as does
a glass of milk.

These are all noncarbohydrate sweeteners that vary in their availability and
can be used to satisfy a sweet tooth without, for the most part, affecting
blood sugars. But when sold in powdered form, under such brand names as
Sweet'n Low, Equal, The Sweet One, Sunette, Sugar Twin, Splenda, and others,
these products usually contain a sugar to increase bulk, and will rapidly
raise blood sugar. They are all orders of magnitude sweeter tasting than
sugar. So when you buy them in packets
and powdered form, with the exception of stevia, they usually contain about
96 percent glucose or maltodextrin and about 4 percent artificial sweetener.
If you read the "Nutrition Facts" label on Splenda, for example, it lists,
as such labels must, ingredients in order from most to least: dextrose
(glucose), maltodextrin (a mixture of sugars), and finally sucralose.Most
powdered sweeteners are sold as low-calorie and/or sugar-free sweeteners
because they contain only 1 gram of a sugar as compared to 3 grams of
sucrose in a similar paper packet labeled "sugar." More suitable for
diabetics are tablet sweeteners such as saccharin, cyclamate, and aspartame.
As noted above, the same brand name can denote multiple products: Equal is a
powder containing 96 percent glucose and also a tablet containing a
minuscule (acceptable) amount of lactose. Sweet'n Low powder is saccharin
with 96 percent glucose. Stevia powder and liquid (sold in health food
stores) contain no sugar of any kind and only minute amounts of

> Does anyone know anything about the sweetener called Stevia? It is a plant
> extract and comes in both powder and liquid drops. I have written the
> company and they say that it is safe for Diabetics and is a free food
> because it only has 1 carb per serving. Just wondering if any else uses it
> and if you find that it affects your BG.
> Thanks!
> Adele
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