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Monday, August 23, 2010

Sugar Substitutes Allowed on the Belly Fat Cure

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 Natural Sweetener, 300-Count PackageTruvia - 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 All Natural Zero Calories SteviaPlus, 100 Packets, 3.5 Ounce Boxes (Pack of 2)

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 All-Natural Sweetener, 100-Count Packets (Pack of 4)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.

Xlear - Xylosweet 5lb, 5 lb, 1 bagXylo 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.


  1. I liked the Truvia the best. The Sweetleaf Stevia powder has the best sugar/carb values. But it has a bad aftertaste, its like sweet and bitter at the same time!

  2. I agree I like truvia and purevia the best and sweetleaf has a bad after taste. My box of Truvia says 0 sugar and 3 carbs.

  3. Rosalie - you are right, I corrected that!

  4. I always love the references to the convo's between Sister M and you! Soo reminds me of my sister and I! Love it! and btw...Great Post! Thanks!

  5. I use Trader Darwin's from Trader Joes Stevia Packets (1g carb, less than 1 g sugar per packet) and Trader Darwin's Stevia Extract which has the consistency of powdered sugar (less than 1g carb, less than 1g sugar per serving). I don't find these to have a bitter aftertaste and the price is reasonable.

    I also use Emerald Forest brand Xylitol (4g carbs from sugar alcohol per serving) for things that need the "bulk" of sugar, such as our homemade ice cream. I have problems with malitol/maltitol and can't use the Josephs' products, so I modified Jorge's ice cream recipe to suit me. I found mine at Puget Consumer Co-op Natural Market (PCC), but have seen it at Safeway, and Kroger too.

    The only creatures at our house that get sugar are the hummingbirds. :)

  6. Wow, I never knew that about the carbs in Truvia. I just thought it would be zero and never looked. Feeling alittle stupid now! I have been buying the large container of the NuNaturals brand NuStevia at Wholefoods. Can't rememeber where I read about it, but I think it was on Jorge's facebook page under the discussion section. I really like it, but again never looked at the back label because the front says 'zero calories'. So it does have 1 carb for 1/4 tsp. and less than 1g sugar. I just use it in coffee and ice tea, but I haven't been counting that carb gram!! Oops!

  7. I've recently started using liquid stevia from Sweetleaf. From Amazon of course. I use it in my coffe - Vanilla Creme flavor. Found the Vanilla Creme at Frys grocery. Very nice. And in water I'm a fan of Lemon Drop. I got the "sample tin" from Amazon and that's where I got the Lemon Drop. The Orange is good in water too. I also use the Chocolate and Chocolate Raspberry in with coffee or with the Vanilla in some heavy cream with some raspberries. Very tasty! The Lemon would be great in tea as well. I highly recommend these - they are easy to control (they have droppers) and you don't have to wait for them to dissolve. There is also just plain stevia without flavoring. I prefer the liquid to the powder without a doubt.

  8. I can't stand any of the artificial sweeteners. It was helpful when I began the BFC to have that option but I can't remember the last time I had lifewater in the frige. Even thinking about it is making the back of my mouth curl. I guess I overdid it; I blame Costco for making it so cheap and available. If I need something sweet I just use the real stuff now.

  9. My favorite is Purevia. I really don't notice any weird taste, but maybe I am just used to it!

  10. thanks for the honest review! I'm struggling with the taste of Stevia...and I really miss my diet cokes! Will diet coke interfere with weight loss on the plan or is it discouraged because it is so bad for you...just curious. And thanks for your great blog..it's filled with information and it's been very helpful!

  11. Wow I am glad I read your reviews on these sweeteners. I never even thought to look to see the S/C I just assumed that no carbs were in them. 0 calories means 0 carbs right? I guess I have learned a very good lesson. I really would like to try the liquid flavored stevia for my coffee. I really miss my vanilla lattes.

  12. A friend just sent me an article that seems to contradict what BFC says about sweeteners:
    It recommends the chemical ones and says the sugar alcohol ones raise blood sugar. "Artificial sweeteners don't affect your blood sugar level.... Also, be cautious with sugar alcohols — including mannitol, sorbitol and xylitol. Sugar alcohols can increase your blood sugar level."
    I trust Jorge&Co. and will continue to follow... just wondering what anyone knows about this.

  13. Sun Crystals is still my favorite after a year and trying many of the different brands. It is just right for me.

    Artificial sweeteners dont affect your blood sugar, but they do other things and I am completely done with them. I think that is the biggest factor in my success in going low sugar - giving up artificial sweeteners. You do need to be careful with the Sugar Alcohols, they count towards your carb servings and you should really limit them. I dont have them too much myself, only the erthritol in a few products and xylitol in my gum. The others upset my stomach and I try and avoid them for that reason

  14. Is there anyone out there that does not like the taste of artifical sweeteners that has tried these products? I've tried Stevia and do not like the taste, which makes me somewhat afraid to try other products. The only thing that I tried that I do like is Barlean's Omega Swirl - which is sweetened with xylitol.

  15. amber, do you know which is best for baking? could you substitute say a cup of xylitol for a cup of sugar for example? thanks!

  16. Stevia is used as a weight loss aid; for treating diabetes, high blood pressure and heartburn; for lowering uric acid levels; for preventing pregnancy; and for increasing the strength of the muscle contractions that pump blood from the heart.

    Find Low Calorie Sweeteners At Cid Botanicals




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