Monday, August 23, 2010
On the Belly Fat Cure and other low Sugar diet plans, getting your sugar grams as low as possible is very important. It is also important to eliminate artificial sweeteners in your diet. So you are left with only a few options, mostly Stevia and sugar alcohols. While I had used sugar alcolhols on Atkins years ago, I had never heard of Stevia. In the beginning I used Stevia sweeteners in lots of things, as I was getting rid of the taste of sugar. Now, though, I really only use it in my hot teas or in some iced teas when I am out. I carry a little "sweetener bag" inside my purse and always have them handy!
There are numerous brands, but here is a run down of the Stevia sweeteners I have tried and liked.
Truvia - Truvia is the big player in the Stevia sweeteners and is the brand Jorge mentions in the book. Because of this, I avoided it (I don't like brands pushed on me) until CarbSmart sent me a box to review. Truvia has 3 grams carbs/0 grams sugar per packet. The carbs come from the added Erythritol, a sugar alcohol. This means using more than 1 packet in a sitting on the BFC, would use up a Carb Serving, so keep that in mind. Despite having slightly more Carbs, I didn't find it tasting any sweeter than the other brands. Truvia is widely available in most stores in the regular sugar/sweetener section.
Sweetleaf - Honestly I only tried Sweetleaf because they had a free trial on their website and they ended up sending me a big box. (Everyone got the big box, not just me). I think is is a great choice but I did find that it tasted bitter sometimes in hot drinks. It is straight Stevia, so I think this is a common thing people notice in those product. But the great thing is that Sweetleaf is 0 grams sugar/0 grams carbs! SweetLeaf also has a line called Liquid Stevia with flavors like Lemon, English Toffee and Root Bear which are great! (they have varying S/C Values or are all allowed on the plan)
Sun Crystals - Sun Crystals is the Stevia sweetener that I buy most frequently. It is available at my local chain grocery and it the least expensive of the options there. Instead of being sweetened with xylitol, like many of the others, it has a little bit of added sugar. It has 1 gram sugar/1 gram carbs for an S/C Value of 1/0 for one packet. This is my favorite of the sweeteners and my sister always says "But it has sugar!" which it does. But just 1 gram which is allowed and has certainly not interfered with my weight loss.
Xylo Sweet - Is not made from Stevia, but is Xyltiol, a sugar alcohol made from Birch trees. There are many Xylitol sweeteners, but this is the one I have tried and liked. Xylitol is said to be good for your teeth and is making lots of news lately. Xylo Sweet has 0 grams sugar/4 grams carbs per packet (or teaspoon). It is made by XClear, which also makes Spry Gum and several other Xylitol sweetened products (like toothpastes and SparX mints) .
Stevia - You can also get straight Stevia powder. I got this in the beginning and if you like it, it is the best option. Each brand has a different S/C Value so check the packaging. I have seen the carb be as low as 0grams and as high as 3grams. I also found a Stevia plant at the Farmers Market and can't wait for my first havest!
I would love to hear which of the sweeteners you have tried and liked, loved or just plain were disgusted by! If you would like to research more on Stevia, click here.
Disclaimer: Truvia was provided to me free of charge by CarbSmart, for the purpose of review. This in no way affected my opinions of this product or my review. The other sweeteners I purchased myself.