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  • Stevia

    This may well have been covered already, but the search function on this forum seems to kinda suck.

    So! My question is: what do you all think of stevia?

    I've been using it for a couple of years and I like it. I just wonder if the sweet taste could be triggering insulin release and therefore fat storage and blood sugar drops...
    What are your experiences with stevia?

    Thanks!
    Lauren (newbie)
    ~ i've tried every diet there is, but have always felt best when i did my own version of low-carb, one that turns out to be very much like PB. no one i know eats like this so i'm very happy to have found this site and some like-minded folks.
    ~ i'm 5'6'' and my (re)start weight, as of february 1, 2011, was 149 lbs (size 6/8)
    ~ february 14th, i'm 145 and already feeling more comfortable in my clothes and skin!

  • #2
    Originally posted by PrimaLauren View Post
    I just wonder if the sweet taste could be triggering insulin release and therefore fat storage and blood sugar drops...
    Yes, probably, to some extent. Sensing sweetness alone has been known to do those things.
    You lousy kids! Get off my savannah!

    Comment


    • #3
      While stevia is considered natural, the sweet taste can trigger insulin production; so, if a person has high or reactive insulin-- sometimes called hyperinsulinemia--then all sweet tastes are potential triggers. I use a small amount of liquid stevia in some recipes, but try to limit its use.
      This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it. Ralph Waldo Emerson

      Any given day you are surrounded by 10,000 idiots.
      Lao Tsu, founder of Taoism

      Comment


      • #4
        1) stevia is refined. Not saying that is a good thing or a bad thing, but I think sometimes people get hung up on the "naturalness" of it. If your stevia is white it is refined. If it is green it may not be. In my experience green stevia tastes so bitter I cant taste the sweet. (But I have that gene that makes me particularly sensitive to that particular form of bitter. Grapefruit and very hoppy beers are also vile to me.)

        2) There have been varying studies on sweeteners/insulin response with mixed results. What do YOU feel. Do you feel more hungry on a day you eat stevia? Do you feel any of the symptoms you would associate with eating sugar? I do.

        3) Any sweetener delays your progress to lessening your sweet tooth. I think long term that is harmful. I had a 1/2 chopped apple on my salad and it tasted like the salad was drenched in sugar. That is fantastic!

        4) I still use it occasionally, but in very very tiny amounts. I have the packets (each packet is supposed to be equal to 2 t. of sugar) and it usually takes me 1-2 WEEKS to get through a single packet. I always add the minimum amount to make the dish edible...(it helps that more than that the aftertaste gets to me) that seems to decrease pretty rapidly. I use about 1/4-1/8th packet in plain greek yogurt (but if I mix it with sour cream I usually dont use any) and about the same if I make a protein shake without fruit as I used unflavored whey.
        MTA: because it is rare I dont have more to say

        "When I got too tired to run anymore I just pretended I wasnt tired and kept running anyway" - my daughter Age 7

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        • #5
          I've done a lot better excluding sweeteners. I don't understand the science of it all, so this is just conjecture.

          Comment


          • #6
            I too have often wondered if sweeteners illicit and insulin response or not. This info from Mayo clinic seems to say not.
            http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/art...teners/AN00348

            Not sure if this is more CW or not, but we need to be careful not to invent our own version of non scientifically founded primal blueprint CW. It seems to me that the receptors on what ever protein or proteins involved in stimulating the onset of insulin production must be specific for the chemical structure of glucose. Just because something tastes sweet on our taste buds doesn't necessarily mean mean it has the chemical structure to do this. After all...a raw potato or white rice aren't very sweet but they do break down to glucose and of course causes an insulin response. I could be wrong but that's just my thought. There may be other reasons to avoid artificial sweetener, but I'm not sure insulin is one of them.

            Comment


            • #7
              I too have often wondered if artificial sweeteners illicit an insulin response. This info from the Mayo clinic seems to say not.
              http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/art...teners/AN00348

              Not sure if this is more CW, but we need to be careful not to invent our own non scientifically founded version of Primal blueprint CW. It would seem that the receptors on the protein or proteins involved with stimulating insulin production must be specific for the chemical structure of glucose (fructose is also very similar in structure to glucose). But, just because something tastes sweet on our tongue does not mean it can bind to these receptors. Conversely, look at all the non sweet carby foods (rice, potato etc. ) that of course break down to glucose and cause an insulin response. I could be wrong and there may be many reasons to avoid artificial sweeteners, but I'm not sure insulin response is one of them.

              Comment


              • #8
                thank you all for your input! and DP that is very helpful. i got this idea about it causing an insulin response because of gary taubes recent book "why we get fat". he makes a big deal about people not furthering myths about nutrition that are not backed up by science, and at the same time, it's hard to be sure that all the claims he makes are properly scientifically proven. but i tend to believe they are, since that's his main argument. and he said that even THINKING about food can trigger insulin release, and especially thinking about sweet foods. he also said something about a sweet taste triggering the release, regardless of it's nutritional content.

                i have struggled so much with blood-sugar swings. on a CW diet, i wake up starving and jittery in the night, after having eaten a totally reasonable amount of calories that day. no matter how much i would eat at a meal, if it contained sugars or starches, i would be needing to eat again within three hours. awful.

                it's such a relief to be breaking free from that. even more than weight loss or maintenance, having steady energy, patience for my daughter, and getting a good night's sleep are the real pay-offs i'm appreciating.

                so when i noticed i was having some of those blood-sugar issues recently even though i'm not eating grains/starch/sugars/fruits and keeping carbs down around 35/day, i thought maybe the stevia was to blame. however, i had also had some small servings of wine on those days, and although the blood-sugar issues did not happen immediately after the wine-drinking, it may have been more related to that than the stevia.

                but like anything, perhaps the best thing to do it experiment on myself, cut stevia out for a little while, see how that is, bring it back and see how that is.

                thanks again all!
                lauren
                ~ i've tried every diet there is, but have always felt best when i did my own version of low-carb, one that turns out to be very much like PB. no one i know eats like this so i'm very happy to have found this site and some like-minded folks.
                ~ i'm 5'6'' and my (re)start weight, as of february 1, 2011, was 149 lbs (size 6/8)
                ~ february 14th, i'm 145 and already feeling more comfortable in my clothes and skin!

                Comment


                • #9
                  oh that's funny, i see that mark just posted about stevia!
                  off to read --> http://www.marksdailyapple.com/stevia/#more-19391
                  ~ i've tried every diet there is, but have always felt best when i did my own version of low-carb, one that turns out to be very much like PB. no one i know eats like this so i'm very happy to have found this site and some like-minded folks.
                  ~ i'm 5'6'' and my (re)start weight, as of february 1, 2011, was 149 lbs (size 6/8)
                  ~ february 14th, i'm 145 and already feeling more comfortable in my clothes and skin!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Yes, today is your lucky day I just read his stevia post before I saw this and it confirmed what I have thought that stevia doesn't have negative effects on my blood sugar. I use SweetLeaf SteviaPlus and have the equivalent of two or three packets a day.

                    Originally posted by PrimaLauren View Post
                    oh that's funny, i see that mark just posted about stevia!
                    off to read --> http://www.marksdailyapple.com/stevia/#more-19391
                    True healthcare reform starts in your kitchen, not in Washington. ~Anonymous
                    The worst carrot is better than the best candybar.--TornadoGirl

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Anyone else suffers from sore tongue / mouth ulcers every time they try stevia? I really like it, it tastes good to me, but my tongue or mouth always develops little ulcers when I have it.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Hotmail View Post
                        Anyone else suffers from sore tongue / mouth ulcers every time they try stevia? I really like it, it tastes good to me, but my tongue or mouth always develops little ulcers when I have it.
                        No, never heard of that, but that would sure keep me away.
                        The Champagne of Beards

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I'm down with the Sweet Leaf Stevia.

                          Yes a refined product - but an organic one - derived from a simple water extraction process.

                          I have no problems from a daily sweet treat of berries sweetened with Stevia and topped with cream before bed. Keeps me emotionally satisfied and rewarded.

                          It's not about suffering for me - it's about loving what I eat while still knowing that it's nutritionally sound.

                          YMMV.
                          What have you done today to make you feel Proud?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Is stevia OK ? I guess so.

                            I use some stevia + erythritol (or some xylitol) sweetener when I want to sweeten something (not very often but happens). From what I read, it is all OK. But the thing is I usually sweeten something that also contains nutrients that require insulin (dairy proteins most of the time). I would not eat stevia (or any 0 GI sweetener) just like that.

                            I am not concerned about the insulin increase from basal levels because casein and whey trigger that anyway.

                            (xylitol is different because it does have a GI of ~ 10, so some glucose ends up in the blood stream). I chew xylitol chewing-gums once in a while.

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