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Thread: erythritol, sugar alcohol, carbs, and insulin page

  1. #1
    sofiawahaj's Avatar
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    Okay, I am not totally primal b/c sometimes I like to bake almond/coconut flour treats and I have been using a combo of erythritol and stevia as my poison of choice. Here is what info I read about it:


    Erythritol supposedly is a sugar alcohol (which is a hydrogenated carbohydrate) and sugar alcohols are incompletely absorbed into the blood stream from the small intestines which generally results in a smaller change in blood glucose than "regular" sugar. Erythritol is produced from glucose by fermentation with a yeast.


    It has 4g of carbs in the form of sugar alcohol. Table sugar also has 4g of carbs in the form of sugar. Well, then does it matter which poison I use? I mean, what does sugar alcohol do to insulin? Is it the same as sugar? Maybe I would be better off using corn sugar (pure glucose) instead?


    I know it's better to just NOT use any kind of sugar. And maybe one day I will get to that point. But I have to make things for my kids (not that I don't enjoy them as well sometimes). Plus, sometimes I just like to make desserts and such.


    Any advice on the best "sweet poison" to use? Is there no way to sweeten something without adding carbs to your Fitday and thereby also raising insulin levels?


  2. #2
    EGYnutrition's Avatar
    EGYnutrition is offline Senior Member
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    From the studies and what I've read no sweeteners in general comes in first place. After that Stevia (although many don't advocate it) comes in second. In general any sweet taste to your mouth, is going to cause a production of insulin, it just depends how much insulin and how much of a blood sugar raise. Depending on how much insulin is produced, this could make you more hungry throughout the day, even if you do not consciously note it.


    On a side note, I've been doing low-carb a long time, and it was not until I switched to full-primal and ditched all sweeteners except one packet of stevia in the coffee I have 2-3 times a week, that I really noticed how much I don't need it. On top of that, everyone is gonna have their vices in any lifestyle, if that means using stevia so you stick to being primal in other areas (ie working out, eating healthy, having fun...) than no need to throw out the stevia.


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  3. #3
    maba's Avatar
    maba is offline Senior Member
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    Sofia, when I use sweetener (in small amounts), it's usually raw sugar, rapadura or blackstrap molasses. They are all sugar by another name. I haven't tried Stevia yet.


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    Sofi, I also use the same type of sugars. Last night, I decided to make some Primal cookies for my kids (a nice treat in the eldest's lunch) and since it was Elana's 'Vegan' chocolate chip cookies, she called for 1/2 cup of Agave Nectar! I filled up nearly 1/2 cup with applesauce and then filled the rest with some black strap molasses and then sprinkled some Erythritol and a pinch or two of Stevia in there.


    I must say, even Vegan, even Primal, they were just right on target and would've satisfied my family pre-Primal.


    I agree, the less sweeteners I use, the better off I am, but for my family, I'd rather keep them more 'Primal' than feel like they are going to stuff themselves silly with all of the CW crap that the rest of the world is shoving into their faces on a daily basis (sigh....).


  5. #5
    sofiawahaj's Avatar
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    So then are all sweeteners equally as evil and if I am gonna use one, it doesn't matter which one?


  6. #6
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    Yacon syrop is a very interesting sweetener. There haven't been many studies on this product yet as it is relatively new on the market where it's available to the general public, but it supposedly has a very minimal effect on your insulin and is all-natural.

    I've tried it and it tastes a lot like molasses.


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    From everything I've read. Yes.


    The 'best' would be the LEAST processed, such as using applesauce or bananas, etc, otherwise the straight Glucose content without the other 'packaging' is still a sugar :-(


    I'm still sticking with my Erythritol/ Stevia combo. A little goes a long way and I hardly use them much anyway.


  8. #8
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    I've used the sugar alcohols in my baking. Mostly erythitol and xylitol. Mostly, they just add bulk instead of sweetness, so if you can use another bulking agent (like flaked coconut, which I've had good luck with) you can cut them out. I mostly use stevia for drinks, though I like my tea "black" or "green" to be technically correct.


    I've made primal muffins a few times with yacon and haven't noticed a blood sugar crash/insulin spike. I've never had an insulin spike with stevia either, at least not noticeable enough. But since it's so sweet, I might only use 2-3 drops over a day.


    I would think of the sugar alcohols more as a baby step to get you started and away from sugar, but I'm just starting to phase them out too.


  9. #9
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    Is there a way to measure the effect each sweetener has on your insulin? I have never used a glucose meter before - how does it work? If glucose is high is insulin high or low (maybe it's low b/c it is all used up trying to get rid of glucose - IDK).


    Has anyone ever used a glucose meter or measured the effects of food on their insulin levels? I think it would be a good thing to know with numbers and also recording how I feel (ie sugar cravings or not).


  10. #10
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    Maybe try a blood sugar meter to test out different kids of sugars and your blood sugar afterwards?


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