Sugar vs Other Sweeteners
February 4, 2013
I asked my husband, who has diabetes, to write an article about his experiences with sugar and other types of sweeteners. Seeing as how he has a degree in biochemistry, I should have known what I would get... A report. Facts, data, and statistics... a report, not an article.
I said, “This is just a bunch of facts and stuff. Talk to your audience!”
“My audience is usually medical practitioners and clinical study case managers.” He replied, “I am talking to my audience!”
Once again proving: Everything is a matter of perspective.
This article is about sugar versus other natural sweeteners. We use no artificial sweeteners in our home, so they will be omitted from this article. The opinions in this article are based on our own personal experiences and may not be the same results you experience.
I use it sparingly, but some recipes will accept no substitute, like jellies using pectin. In most recipes, I find I can reduce the amount of sugar with no serious consequence to taste. Experiment and see what works for you. Almost all recipes requiring sugar mean white sugar, so watch your measurements when substituting in another sweetener.
Slow cooking jams and sauces to thicken them takes much longer than thickening them with sugar and/or pectin but the end product is sugar-free.
I love raw sugar but it can be expensive and the crystals can be hard to measure when substituting it in place of white sugar. As far as I could tell, there was no noticeable difference in blood sugar levels when using raw sugar instead of white sugar.
Honey has a tendency to spike blood sugar, but it comes back down more quickly than with white sugar. Honey sweetens a recipe with a completely different flavor than sugar. Experiment and find what works best for you.
It takes very little stevia to sweeten a recipe! There is a bit of an aftertaste, which I don't like, though. Stevia substitutes well for white sugar in many recipes, including baked goods, cereals, beverages, and desserts. We noticed no negative effects on blood sugar levels while using stevia.
Erythritol has less of an after-taste than stevia and substitutes in place of sugar well for many applications. There was no negative effect of blood-sugar levels that we noticed when used in comparable proportions to white sugar.
Currently hubby's sweetener of choice, xylitol is all-natural and does not seem to negatively effect blood sugar levels. Xylitol is similar in consistency to sugar, making measuring for recipes easier, and has about the same level of sweetness. I have found that food made with xylitol produces an odd “cold” sensation on the palate when eaten. We have also found that too much xylitol has a cleansing effect on the colon, so use reasonably!
Download John's PDF Report:
Download John's PDF Report: