Alternative Dining in CHicago
    
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#1
Posted February 8th 2005, 4:41pm
I've heard of using stevia and date sugar,the latter IIRC from Jeanne Jones cookbooks.This is for a diabetic who does not like the various Sweet 'n' Low and Equal type products.TIA.

To clarify,I'm looking for something appropiate for both sweetening coffee and baking .I'd like to know of your experience with cooking particularly.If the finished product was similar to cooking with real sugar in taste and texture,rising,etc.
Last edited by hattyn on February 8th 2005, 5:12pm, edited 1 time in total.
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#2
Posted February 8th 2005, 5:11pm
I've heard about stevia's sweetness, but know nothing about it.

Date sugar is sugar. All carbs, all the time. Dried dates were processed for cooking and baking as well as with beets until cane became common.
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#3
Posted February 8th 2005, 5:14pm
Hattyn,

I wasn't sure if using fructose in place of sucrose was going to be of any benefit when dicussing the diet of a diabetic. Also, instead of asking my nutritionist :evil: sister I found this from the American Society for Clinical Nutrition.

It was concluded that fructose or sorbitol has no advantages over sucrose, as regards the effect on blood glucose in well-regulated adult diabetics


Here's the link to the full article:
http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/abstract/29/7/726

I also read in another study that although a greater spike in glucose levels occur when ingesting sucrose or high-fructose corn syrp(HFCS). The overall effect on gluscose levels is the same as fructose. The only difference was that the glucose portion of sucrose and HFCS is absorbed in a specific active process. Whereas fructose is absorbed more passively and not as regulated.

What this means to your friend? I really don't know, but I would have them speak to their doctor and/or nutritionist about acceptable substitutes allowed in their diets.

Flip
Last edited by Flip on February 8th 2005, 5:16pm, edited 1 time in total.
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#4
Posted February 8th 2005, 5:20pm
Hi,

Since baking is chemistry, where exact proportions are required. I would refer to recipes formulated for the sugar substitute involved. Simply due to high concentration of these sweetners, there is a change in volume of the end product.

I once forgot to add salt to pita bread I was making. I learned the salt somewhat retards the rising process because those pitas rose very quickly.

Lots of sugar substitutes have websites with recipes.
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Cathy2

"You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
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#5
Posted February 8th 2005, 5:28pm
I don't know if your friend has also tried Splenda, but as someone who can't stand the taste of Equal or Sweet-n-Low, I have found Splenda to be a pretty good alternative. It doesn't have that sugar-substitute aftertaste. And when I was at the grocery store the other day, I saw that they are marketing a Splenda product specifically for cooking and/or baking (Splenda Granular). I've only Splenda in coffee, so I can't speak to its workability in cooking.

It's made from real sugar and, according to the marketers, it's suitable for diabetics as well. http://www.splenda.com has more.

shyne
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#6
Posted February 8th 2005, 5:29pm
I almost responded to this earlier, but I didn't because the topic was "natural." If that's not a firm requirement, then sucralose comes to mind. Other than stevia and its relatives, I don't think any other plant-based sweeteners maple, date, palm, etc.) will be of that much help for a diabetic - unless I've overlooked something - always a possibility.

(For fun, and as an experiment, I have some stevia seeds ordered for the garden this summer.)
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#7
Posted February 9th 2005, 10:52pm
I tried stevia after reading about how wonderful it tasted. It was suppose to taste just like sugar. It doesn't. I ending up throwing it out. It was kind of expensive, too, I think around $7 or $8 for a box. I just couldn't stand the way it tasted. In hindsight, I should've returned it for a refund.

My fiance was diabetic and we used a sweetener that was made from aguave cactus. It was sold at Whole Foods.
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#8
Posted February 10th 2005, 12:13am
Hi,

My absolute first encounter with a sugar substitute was in 5th grade (circa 1970) when I visited my school friend Jane. She was somewhat neurotic and the first kid I knew who regularly visited a psychiatrist, who had a sister in college, a step brother who played with matches, a step father and a television in her room. She also served me my first and only Tab diet pop. I thought Tab would be a nice drink like Coke. I took a big gulp and went into instant taste revulsion; which I worked hard to disguise. Since Jane liked it so much, I began to believe maybe I was the problem, though I couldn't find any redeeming qualities. Her life surprised me as much as her ability to cheerfully drink a Tab.

In 1976, my physics lab partner's Dad was a vice-president at Searle who was petitioning for approval of Nutrasweet. He would give us the blow-by-blow of his Dad's activities as events progressed. So for years I felt an allegiance to the little blue packet simply because of my lab partner. It's still the artificial sweetner we keep in-house, though it takes forever to get through a box.

I used to be quite satisfied with Diet Coke. I then acquired a friend who prefered full-strength sugar Coke; which I started to drink again. Today, I can easily drink Classic Coke with speed and satisfaction. Whenever I order Diet Coke instead, I drink it so slowly I often leave some unfinished. It may very close to tasting like regular coke, but not close enough. I am not sure if my lack of interest in Diet Coke today is due to a change in formula or I simply changed my mind. All I know it does very little for me.
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Cathy2

"You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
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#9
Posted February 10th 2005, 12:26am
Cathy,

If you had Tab Cola back in the late 1960's, it was comparable in taste to Coca Cola. At that time, the cola was flavored with cyclamates. However, the Surgeon General found that cyclamates supposedly caused cancer in lab rats.

About a year later, Tab was reintroduced sweetened with saccharine. After that, I never grank the stuff as it was pretty bad.

I may be wrong but I believe that Fresca also was sweetened with cyclamates.

I have to wonder if the threat of using sweeteners like cyclamates or saccharine (i.e., increased cancer risk) really outweighed the threat of the risk of increased diabetes among heavy soft drink users. Just a thought.
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#10
Posted February 10th 2005, 12:34am
I've also seen studies on fructose and sugar that show they affect blood sugar levels similarly. Stevia actually helps stabilize blood sugar levels, according to some studies. You can't really bake with it, though; baked goods don't brown, yeast breads won't rise, although you could use it in things like pancakes and waffles and maybe biscuits, since they rely on baking powder to rise.

Because of its taste, it would probably work better in more savory things, ie. carrot cake, banana bread, although you could use liquid stevia in tea or coffee or whatever.

BTW, stevia is widely used in diet and low-cal foods abroad, rather than aspartame, et al. (It's in Diet Coke made in the US for some foreign markets, especially Japan.)

I don't use stevia; I don't use any artificial sweeteners. They scare me. Splenda, btw, is sugar treated with chlorine. Just so you know... it's anything but "natural."
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#11
Posted February 10th 2005, 9:02am
jlawrence wrote:About a year later, Tab was reintroduced sweetened with saccharine. After that, I never grank the stuff as it was pretty bad.


This was March, 1970 after they switched to saccharine. It was a mind-game to even begin to believe it tasted it good. All you could taste was chemicals. How anyone could drink it with a straight face was beyond me.

jlawrence wrote:I may be wrong but I believe that Fresca also was sweetened with cyclamates.


Now Fresca in its cloudy days with bits of pulp floating around was a drink I liked. I didn't realize it was a diet drink or did it have a dual personality: one sugar and one diet?

The original diet Dr. Pepper was quite inferior, though I drank it anyway because it was, afterall, DR PEPPER! The reformulated diet Dr. Pepper is ok, though I still prefer the original.
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Cathy2

"You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
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#12
Posted February 10th 2005, 9:06am
I am not sure about Fresca. I thought that it was always a sugar-free soda.

It is unbelievable to me NOW that I could put down 2-24 packs of Coke/ Mountain Dew/ Root Beer a week for most of my 1st 30 years.
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#13
Posted February 10th 2005, 9:16am
Hi,

Your right, Fresca has always been a calorie free drink.
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Cathy2

"You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
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#14
Posted February 10th 2005, 9:40am
I'm a big fan of Splenda since I have found that Nutrasweet gives me migranes. I am also very careful about how much my children consume of it since one of our pediatricians told us about a patient of her's dying due to a toxic reaction to it. While I don't make a habit of it, I have used Splenda in baking and found that it works pretty well, although the taste of the finished product is not the same as one baked with sugar.

I very well remember the big cyclamates controversy as my father was up in arms about it. He was a doctor who had received grants from Sloan-Kettering to do cancer research and said that the surgeon general's finding were based on an outrageously high consumption of the chemical. You would've had to drink literally cases of soda every day to duplicate the amount they were using for the tests.
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#15
Posted February 10th 2005, 12:01pm
Let me repeat the point that needs to be addressed by society as a whole.

>>I have to wonder if the threat of using sweeteners like cyclamates or saccharine (i.e., increased cancer risk) really outweighed the threat of the risk of increased diabetes among heavy soft drink users. Just a thought.<<

A few years ago, an acquaintance of mine was doing some research with Olestra, the artificial fat. Instead of using it to fry snack foods, he used it for baking. He found that the cookies were almost inditinguishable from those made using ordinary vegetable shortening. The baked products did not cause any "gastric distress" that was hyped by certain groups.

Does the threat of potential cramping for perhaps 5% of the population outweigh the significant risks in eating a diet of fatty foods?
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#16
Posted February 10th 2005, 12:28pm
I am always intrigued by findings such as your friend's. That's great that you can use a product like that and have it turn out baked goods that are as good as those made with conventional fats. Obviously that little detail about the gastric distress in only 5% of the population wasn't something that was really emphasized in the media. When Olestra came on the market all we heard about is how it caused you to sprint to the bathroom.

Since I am fortunate enough not have to deal with any diet related health issues, I just prefer to keep the "all things in moderation" philosophy and stick to a generally healthy diet with small amounts of the real stuff (butter, oils, etc).
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#17
Posted February 10th 2005, 1:03pm
Re: olestra

Not necessarily for the faint of heart: Ole Olestra - someone subsists only on Wow! Olestra-laden chips for 7 days to test the "anal leakage" thing.

Fun reading.
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#18
Posted February 10th 2005, 1:56pm
gleam wrote:Re: olestra

Not necessarily for the faint of heart: Ole Olestra - someone subsists only on Wow! Olestra-laden chips for 7 days to test the "anal leakage" thing.

Fun reading.


Gleam,

Unfortunately for me, I took a look at this site right after lunch. I crapped out, as it were, after about Day 5...I could see where it was going, and it was going to a very bad place.

I guess I object to the premise of this "experiment" for the same reason I objected to the premise of SuperSize Me: if you eat the same thing for a protracted period of time, whether you're eating wheat germ or Whoppers, a bad thing will happen to you. It's unnatural, and very inadvisable -- at least McDonald's does not, as a matter of course, have to warn users that "intestinal cramping" is more or less to be expected.

I would encourage a gastroenterologist to read this article...before lunch.

Hammond
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#19
Posted February 10th 2005, 2:04pm
David Hammond wrote:
I guess I object to the premise of this "experiment" for the same reason I objected to the premise of SuperSize Me: if you eat the same thing for a protracted period of time, whether you're eating wheat germ or Whoppers, a bad thing will happen to you. It's unnatural, and very inadvisable -- at least McDonald's does not, as a matter of course, have to warn users that "intestinal cramping" is more or less to be expected.


Agreed. To me this showed that olestra is pretty much safe for people who consume it in normal levels. You wouldn't want to use olestra to replace all of your added fats (that is, butter, olive oil, not the fat in fish, nuts, meats), but I doubt a bag or two of wow chips a day would do any damage.

-ed
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Ed Fisher
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RIP LTH.
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#20
Posted February 10th 2005, 2:15pm
I've been curious about Olestra ever since reading a Steingarten essay on it some time back. He proposes that Olestra could be used effectively in home cooking, but that the bad press and subsequent public reaction buried any inclination P&G might have had to seek FDA approval. As I understand it, P&G sought and received approval for packaged foods (chips & cookies), but stopped short of cooking oil, lard substitutes and the like.
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#21
Posted February 10th 2005, 2:39pm
Simon wrote:I've been curious about Olestra ever since reading a Steingarten essay on it some time back. He proposes that Olestra could be used effectively in home cooking, but that the bad press and subsequent public reaction buried any inclination P&G might have had to seek FDA approval. As I understand it, P&G sought and received approval for packaged foods (chips & cookies), but stopped short of cooking oil, lard substitutes and the like.


Yeah, he even had them mix up some fake tallow that he used to make french fries, and loved it.

But he also didn't try using it for all his cooking for a week.

-ed
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Ed Fisher
my chicago food photos

RIP LTH.
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#22
Posted February 10th 2005, 3:08pm
gleam wrote:
Simon wrote:I've been curious about Olestra ever since reading a Steingarten essay on it some time back. He proposes that Olestra could be used effectively in home cooking, but that the bad press and subsequent public reaction buried any inclination P&G might have had to seek FDA approval. As I understand it, P&G sought and received approval for packaged foods (chips & cookies), but stopped short of cooking oil, lard substitutes and the like.


Yeah, he even had them mix up some fake tallow that he used to make french fries, and loved it.

But he also didn't try using it for all his cooking for a week.

-ed


And as I recall he went into detail about the reason it had to have a fairly high viscosity ... it had to do with the "anal leakage" issue.
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#23
Posted February 10th 2005, 3:31pm
The leakage problem and cramping weren't the only problems with Olestra, though. More serious, I think, is the fact that Olestra leaches vitamins and minerals out of your body. Because of this, Olestra food processors began to add more vitamins and minerals to make up for it. Problem, though, is that no one knows how much Olestra takes with it as it passes through, so no one really knows how much to put back or even if it does any good to do so. Losing nutrients can be a pretty serious deal for people with diseases such as diabetes.
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#24
Posted February 10th 2005, 3:41pm
Carol wrote:More serious, I think, is the fact that Olestra leaches vitamins and minerals out of your body.


Is it that it leaches vitamins or that it inhibits absorption of vitamins consumed at about the same time? That is, if your body has already absorbed vitamins, it won't lose those. It'll just fail to absorb all of the vitamins in food consumed along with the olestra.

A lot of natural foods have the same effect -- antivitamins show up all over the place. Eggs, cabbage, and many other substances, especially vegetables, contain antivitamins. Raw egg contains avidin, which neutralizes biotin. Cooking most of these foods gets rid of the antivitamin effect, but, of course, also gets rid of some vitamins...

I believe steingarten goes into vitamins in one of his "I hate salad" articles. Hammond would probably enjoy it. Steingarten doesn't actually *hate* salad, but he does think its ubiquity is somewhat annoying.

-ed
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Ed Fisher
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RIP LTH.
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#25
Posted February 10th 2005, 7:50pm
My understanding is that Olestra interferes with the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, which are absorbed along with the fat they are dissolved in. These vitamins would also be soluble in Olestra but would not be absorbed.

Some people, but far from all, perceive an intense bitterness from saccharin while others note no bitterness. This is why reactions to Tab and other things sweetened with saccharin are extremely different in different people. This seems to be the same sort of variation where some people taste strong soapiness in cilantro. Some taste preferences appear to have a physiological basis.
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#26
Posted August 25th 2013, 3:02pm
Make your own date sugar

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Cathy2

"You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
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#27
Posted August 26th 2013, 10:16am
It seems from my research, most natural substitutes for white sugar are still sugar. They may be more or less desirable from some standpoints. Many people believe stevia is bitter. I do love the idea of date sugar because I love the date flavor. Some people like those in my family must, cut down or eliminate sugar from their diet due to dietary issues or diabetes. We have not cut out sugar entirely but have cut down. We do not drink sugary drinks, so anything we drink must be plain like iced or carbonated water or "diet" drinks which we all know do not taste that good. I have been trying to eliminate aspartame. I do not recommend equal but suggest trying Splenda, Truvia or Nectresse. Each one of these has its detractors and they are not natural. I have cut down on sugar in recipes by replacing half of the sugar with granulated splenda. I hear there is also a baking mix that is already half and half. I have not cooked with the others I do not know if it can be done. If you replace only part of the sugar with splenda you can not tell much of a difference.
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