Skip to comments.The lowdown on LowCarb Sweeteners
Posted on 12/15/2003 5:59:06 AM PST by carlo3b
Some call it ----ose, but think of it as Sugar
When dealing in chemistry, the ending "ose" indicates sugar; so beware of ---ose ingredients on food labels. Ordinary table sugar, the white granulated type, is known as sucrose. This is a list some of other names of sugars you might encounter are; sucrose, dextrose, fructose, lactose, glucose, maltose.
BEWARE: "ose" sugars are pure carb, thus 1 gram of sugar = 1 gram of carbohydrate = 4 calories.
Look for these other commonly used sugar-carbohydrate ingredients: white and brown sugar, succanat, turbinado, demerrara, molasses, corn syrup, maple syrup, honey, barley syrup, malt syrup, rice syrup, cane juice and syrup, fruit juice concentrate**
** Beware of foods that boast no-added sugar, or sucrose-free. Read the label carefully; many foods such as jams and fruit drinks are sweetened with concentrated grape or apple juice, which are very sweet, high-fructose syrups, and yield the same carb and calorie count as sucrose (table sugar).
A Noted Exception is that "sucralose" (Splenda) ends in ---ose, but think of it as "lose" instead, because it is made from sucrose, sugar. Splenda is calorie and carb-free.
Fructose is sometimes promoted as a suitable sweetener for diabetics and low carbers because it does not require insulin to be used by the cells; thus there is no rise in insulin level. However, it is still a carbohydrate and yields 4 calories per gram, just like any other sugar. Fructose has an added disadvantage - because it doesn't require insulin, it is rapidly absorbed by the liver and converted to glycerol - ultimately leading to increased triglycerides and cholesterol levels.
The fructose that is added to commercially processed food is a highly refined, purified sugar created in a lab from corn and other syrups.You can find it everywhere - fruit drinks, soft drinks and iced teas, baby foods (yes!), jams and jellies, candies, desserts and baked goods.
As outlined by Ezine nutritionist Anne Collins other sweeteners that are worthy of attention:
As a group, artificial sweeteners are classed as "non-nutritive". Thus, they provide a sweet sensation to the tastebuds, without raising blood sugar levels or insulin, and are useful for weight-loss because they are calorie- and carbohydrate-free.
The most common artificial sweetener in use is aspartame (Equal, Nutrasweet). Aspartame is calorie- and carb-free, however it is far from being an ideal sweetener. First, it is not chemically stable, meaning that when exposed to heat and air, it breaks down into its chemical constituents - phenylalanine and aspartic acid. This makes it unsuitable for cooking, or for storage over more than a couple of days. Also, many people have experienced unpleasant symptoms from consuming aspartame, from mild headaches and stomach upset to migraines and depression. The manufacturers continue to assert that the product is safe, and indeed most people can enjoy it without any problem whatsoever. Moderation is the key.
In Canada, food and beverage manufacturers are using a combination approach in their products - using aspartame with another sweetener, acesulfame-potassium (Ace-K, Sunette). This sweetener is not absorbed and yields zero carbs and calories. It has a bitter after-taste, but when combined with another sweetener, this is eliminated. By combining sweeteners, an improved sweet taste is achieved, and reduced amounts of each chemical is required.
Sucralose (Splenda) is spun from regular sucrose sugar in such away that the body doesn't recognise it, so it is not absorbed. Thus it contributes no calories or carbohydrates in its pure form. It remains stable in heat, so is ideal for cooking and baking. Splenda is available for home use as a bulk sweetener, which measures spoon for spoon exactly the same as sugar. It is also available in a more concentrated form in convenient packets. However, these Splenda products also contain maltodextrin, which gives it the necessary bulk. Thus, it does contribute a small amount of calories and carbohydrate. Either form of Splenda, whether it's the bulk form in the box, or the little packets, will yield 0.5 carb grams per amount equivalent to 1 tsp (5 ml) of sucrose sugar. Just remember that the powder in the little packets is much more concentrated, so a smaller volume is needed to give the desired sweetness.
More and more commercial products made with Splenda are becoming available - especially beverages, soft drinks and iced teas, desserts, condiments and candies. Keep an eye on your grocer's shelves. Also visit our Shopping Page for some popular products available in Canada.
Also available in Canada is cyclamate (SugarTwin, Sucaryl), a zero-calorie/carb sweetener. There is still some controsversy that this chemical may cause bladder cancer in rats; it has never occured in humans in over 30 years of study. It is still banned in the US. Cyclamate is not used in commercial products, and is only available as a "table top" sweetener. It comes in bulk form, measured spoon for spoon like sugar, or as concentrated packets, tablets and liquid, There is also a brown sugar flavour, which some enjoy. Cyclamate is stable in heat, so is fine to use in cooking and baking.
This is a non-caloric, zero-carb natural sweetener, derived from a South American plant stevia rebaudiana, and has been in wide use in Asia for some years now. It's becoming more readily available in North America; look for it in health food and natural food stores. So far, it appears to be well-tolerated, with no reports of negative effects. It is available as a liquid extract - either concentrated or dilute, a white crystalline powder made from the extract or simply the powdered green herb leaf. It provides an intense sweet taste, which has the potential to be bitter. Some people find it has a slight anise/licorice flavour which may or may not be objectionable. Also, some studies suggest that it may possibly stimulate the release of insulin; in Protein Power Lifeplan, the Eades' recommend using stevia with caution. It is stable in heat, so is fine to use in cooking.
Maltitol, Sorbitol and Other Sugar Alcohols
Sugar alcohols - also called polyols - are a class of carbohydrate that are neither sugars nor alcohols. This group includes maltitol, sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol, erythritol, lactitol, and hydrolysed starch hydrolysates (HSH). These popular sugar substitutes provide the bulk and sweetness of sugar and corn syrup, but are incompletely absorbed in the intestine. Thus they provide fewer calories and carbs than sugar, and result in a much slower, and smaller rise in blood sugar and insulin. They are generally recognised as safe for diabetics to consume for this reason, and products sweetened with these products may legally be labelled "sugar-free" in both Canada and the US. Sugar alcohols do not promote oral bacteria, and xylitol in fact inhibits bacterial growth, thus do not cause tooth decay.
There is a great deal of confusion about whether or not these products provide carbohydrates, and how they should be counted toward a carbohydrate-restricted diet. Some authorities say they provide zero carbs because they are not absorbed. Others, such as Diabetic Associations across North America, are taking a more cautious stand. Currently, food labelling regulations in Canada and US do not require (yet) including maltitol et al in the Total Carbohydrate data of the nutrients list. However, the amount must be listed in the ingredients panel.
So how do you count them in your carb budget for the day? Some say 0 carbs, so just go by the label and only count the carbs from any sugar or starch in the food. Others, such as the Canadian Diabetes Association, recommend counting the full amount as carbohydrate grams, especially for patients using carb-counting for insulin dosage and insulin pumps. Still others take a median approach, and suggest counting each gram of maltitol as 0.5 carb grams.
All authorities recommend using caution and definitely moderation is key. Because they are not completely absorbed in the bowel, they have a nasty reputation of holding onto water, and promoting diarrhea, gas and bloating. This is politely termed the "laxative effect". Sorbitol and mannitol are the worst offenders, maltitol and lactitol less so. The label should indicate the serving size. This is the amount considered safe to eat before the laxative effect takes over. So beware that overeating these foods can have serious effects. Especially for children, who of course will experience the effect from an even smaller amount.
Many low carbers enjoy an occasional chocolate bar or candy sweetened with one of the sugar alcohols, and find there is no effect on their weight loss or ketosis. Some do find it will put them in a stall. Others find they definitely experience a blood sugar "rush" from eating even a small amount. For a few, the laxative effect is pronounced, and even a small amount will trigger unpleasant symptoms. This is definitely a case of YMMV (your mileage may vary). For some low carbers, planning for one of these treats now and then helps to stave off cravings for serious carb binges. Indeed, even at full count, a 40 gram chocolate bar sweetened with maltitol has an average of 12 carb grams, as opposed to regular plain chocolate with 25 carbs in a similar sized bar. Just beware that they can also trigger the sweet cravings you hope to avoid.
LowCarb Holiday Pumpkin Marble CheesecakeCrust:Combine pecans and margarine; press onto bottom and 1-1/2 inches up sides of 9-inch springform pan and bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees.
- 2 cups finely chopped nuts, pecans, or walnuts
- 1/3 cup Margarine, melted (I hate this stuff, put it does work better than butter in some recipes.. GULP)
Filling:1) Blend the cream cheese, 2/3 of total sugar substitute and vanilla, at medium speed with an electric mixer or food processor. 2) Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each one is added. Reserve 1 cup of batter.
- 2, 8 oz. pkgs. cream cheese, softened
- 3/4 cups Splenda, or your favorite sugar substitute
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 3 lg. eggs
- 1 cup canned pumpkin
- 3/4 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
3) Add remaining sugar substitute, pumpkin and spices to remaining batter; mix well.
4) Spoon pumpkin and cream cheese batters alternately over crust; cut through batters with knife several times for marble effect.
Bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes.
Loosen cake from rim of pan; cool before removing rim of pan.
Chill and serve.
You can also make no carb whipped cream topping by beating whipping cream and sugar substitute until thick and creamy.
I'll bet there are FReepers that can give us a link to a site that has better prices on this Splenda stuff, than we pay at a grocery store.. :)
A Quickie LowCarb Taco Casserole
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (160 degrees C).
1) Sauté and brown the ground beef, in a heavy skillet, and drain fat.
2) Mix in dry taco seasoning.
3) Spoon browned meat into a 9x13 inch glass baking dish.
4) Spoon a layer of refried beans over meat, then salsa. Top with shredded cheese.
Bake about 20 to 25 minutes. Enjoy!
Makes 8 servings
LowCarb is a copyrighted trademark of Morelli Enterprises Inc.
Marzipan has been used for centuries by pastry chefs all over the world. It can be used in baking and for covering and filling cakes. Marzipan looks fabulous for colorful cake decorations and figurines. It has to have at least 25% almonds otherwise it is considered almond paste. A thin layer of Marzipan can be used to cover a cake. When colored, it can replace the need for frosting.
Have a look at this recipe for a Christmas treat. I've tried one of her recipes for my cannoli filling and just loved it;
Basic Low Carb MarzipanSimmer or nuke in the microwave until the rose petals have lost all their color and the water is really red. The water should have reduced to about 1/2 to 3/4 cup. Strain off the leaves and pour into a clean bottle. (Rose water is also a really good facial tonic, by the way!)
- 2 handfuls of red fragrant rose petals
- 1 cup of waterIn a bowl or your food processor mix 2 1/2 cups of the almond flour with the sweetener. Add egg white, rose water and almond extract and mix well. You should have a kneadable type of paste/dough. If it's too wet, add additional almond flour. The dough should be soft and pliable, but shouldn't be sticking to your fingers anymore.
- 2 1/2 to 3 cups fine almond flour
- 2/3 cup powdered sweetener *
- 1 tbs. Rose water (optional - see below)**
- 1/2 tsp almond extract (optional)
- 1 large egg white (or equivalent of pasteurized liquid egg whites)
- 2 tbs. soy protein isolate (whey isolate may work here too)
Roll into a big sausage-shape and wrap in foil or Saran wrap. Chill for about 2 hours.
When you remove it from the refrigerator, check consistency again. If it is still somewhat sticky, sprinkle 1 tbs. of soy protein isolate on the surface and knead through thoroughly. Don't worry... the isolate doesn't change the taste at all but gives it that extra bit of improvement in consistency. (With regular marzipan you would add powdered sugar until you achieve the required consistency but I didn't want to spend any more carbs on it.)
Now you have marzipan! At his stage you could be making all manner of things already. Roll it into marble sized balls and let it air dry over night and you have "marzipan kugeln" ... marzipan balls that are a really nice treat.
Or you could cut out stars or other shapes you desire and dip them in sugarfree chocolate. (I would let the shapes dry out overnight also to make them easier to handle.) Use a little more soy protein isolate for rolling out, but use very sparingly as your dough shouldn't be very sticky at all at this stage to start with and you don't want to have blobs of isolate on your cut out shapes!
*Whatever sweetener you use, you need to grind it in your coffee grinder to make powdered "sugar" and enough to end up with about 2/3 cup of the powdered stuff. You can use all Splenda but it does make it a bit carby. I used a mix of Splenda, Xylitol and "Sugar Slim."
** Rose water is somewhat optional. It does, however enhance the flavor. You can buy it in herbal stores or make it yourself if you have roses in your garden.
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