Agave Nectar vs Sugar

Sly Kitty
By Sly Kitty Latest Reply 2012-03-04 17:17:02 -0600
Started 2012-01-29 19:15:53 -0600

I have been reading so much about agave nectar vs sugar and now am more confused than ever. Do you stay away from both or do you perfer honey or artificial sweetner or stay away from all of it?


76 replies

Jan8
Jan8 2012-02-26 08:54:08 -0600 Report

You know I still do the stevia thing. i am so fed up with all the don'ts in life(and not just from diabetes). So many things are sensationalized it's just disgusting. i do think honey is good and it's not like a person is going to use tons of it.

jigsaw
jigsaw 2012-02-26 09:22:04 -0600 Report

I know your dealing with some frustrating circumstances, but I hope you can find your way to the lighter side of life. Personally, I enjoy a bit of controversy and the challenging opinions that come with it. It can be intellectually stimulating and informative. By the way, I still use Stevia (Truvia) also, and I will probably continue to do so.
I wish you nothing but good health and happiness!

Jan8
Jan8 2012-02-26 09:49:53 -0600 Report

thank you jigsaw,you are so very kind. i have always enjoyed a bit of contoversy and challanging opinions. I am trying to find the lighter side of life. I think it was the prednisone. I just cannot take that drug no matter how small the dose. I also wish you the best.

jayabee52
jayabee52 2012-02-26 10:48:43 -0600 Report

Pred is nasty stuff. My bride "Jem" had to take it for her RA (nothing else worked) and it sky rocketed her BG levels. We weaned her off of it soon as the RA "flare" subsided and then we tackled the aftermath: BGs in the 300+ range. Nasty stuff for a person with diabetes (PWD)

Jan8
Jan8 2012-02-26 15:30:31 -0600 Report

very nasty my BGs were in the 300's too. Then for every mg of pred your suppose to add 2 units of insulin. Well not for me! I crashed to the low 20s couldnt think,shoveled glucose tabs and PBJ,milk. What a PIA. I am done with it!

jayabee52
jayabee52 2012-02-26 16:11:11 -0600 Report

I pray you can use the alternatives to pred.

My late wife couldn't due to allergies to the alternatives. In fact she had to take a cortisone shot (very nasty too) to get relief from a RA flare just the day before she passed in the night. Any connection? I don't know. She had so many deadly "medical challenges", any one of them could have taken her away from me.

jigsaw
jigsaw 2012-02-04 06:18:42 -0600 Report

I think most of us are suspect about the potential risks of artificial sweetners. Especially those that incorporate manmade chemicals that are totally alien to the human body. I am not phased by the tests that feed a 6 ounce rat 1pound of equal or splenda and cause the critter to get terminally ill. Most humans don't consume anywhere near the proportions/ratio used on animals in these tests. As far as small quantities used by humans as sweetners, the verdict is still out. Apparently, we are the guinea pigs! When given a choice between stevia and artficial sweetners I prefer stevia. It is not an artificial sweetner in it's raw form, it is derived from a plant. Of course it can still pose a risk. But the human body has evolved over countless years to consume and digest plant based foods. On the other hand, man made chemicals are generally alien to the human body! Here is a link that I think clearly explains and encapsulates the subject:
http://www.organiclifestylemagazine.com/issue...

Sly Kitty
Sly Kitty 2012-02-04 15:15:29 -0600 Report

Thank you & I have read so many articles my head spins. I am just curious as to what everyone's choice is in sweeteners and why. stevia is as natural as agave nectar or sugar as far as that goes because they are all processed someway. I have friends that grow surgar cane & squeeze the juice from that so that was a very pure form, but it is still sugar as well as honey eaten from a honey comb.

Jan8
Jan8 2012-02-01 07:36:10 -0600 Report

The only sweetener I use is stevia in the raw. can't stand the taste of agave.

jigsaw
jigsaw 2012-02-26 08:50:33 -0600 Report

I did a bit more research. It looks like Truvia is most likely the safest brand of Stevia. It does not contain Maltodextrin ! It appears to be one of the only Brands of Stevia that is not adulterated with potentially harmful ingredients.

Sly Kitty
Sly Kitty 2012-02-26 09:21:38 -0600 Report

I have Truvia and stopped using it because of all the negative with regard to it also. Just can't win as they maybe plant based, but then the processing of it is where the danger may be.

jigsaw
jigsaw 2012-02-26 09:40:05 -0600 Report

Could you be more specific about your opinion. I don't think anyone is trying to win. It simply a matter of becoming more informed. What processing are you referring to with Truvia? There is no perfect sweetner for everybody! Here is an interesting video that was previously posted by Mays: http://www.diabeticconnect.com/videos/1477-sp...

Sly Kitty
Sly Kitty 2012-02-26 15:16:04 -0600 Report

When it taste artificial to me I consider that is due to the processing. Just my opinion and other than this video I have read the negative side of Truvia. My initial question was comparing Agave Nectar to Sugar as it too is plant based and taste more like honey or sugar to me than any subsitute sweeteners. It is not a no calorie sweetener and I was not comparing it to artificial sweeteners but to sugar and yet I have not gotten much response about my question, but plenty on everyone's preference on artificial, no or low calorie sweetners. Not trying to offend anyone here, just stating what I have read or perhaps am unaware of and that is why I originally posted the questiion. As far as I am concerned, unless I have picked it from the earth, it is processed. Keep in mind too there are poisonous plants so plant based isn't necessarily a good thing either. Thank you

Caroltoo
Caroltoo 2012-03-04 17:17:02 -0600 Report

Your point about processing is well taken.

No, everything from the earth isn't automatically safe either, it just eliminates the further risk engendered by how it could be processed. Like it's one less possible contaminant.

jigsaw
jigsaw 2012-02-08 19:40:47 -0600 Report

Stevia in the raw contains and is mixed with Maltodextrin. For that matter, it appears that most brands with Stevia are. Maltodextrin is processed from corn and starch. I am currently trying to find pure Stevia!

Jan8
Jan8 2012-02-09 04:18:48 -0600 Report

me too jigsaw

jigsaw
jigsaw 2012-02-09 06:17:50 -0600 Report

Hopefully Stevia that has not been adulterated with other ingredients is available. I am still reading up on maltodextrin. It appears to have some potential side effects when used in excess. So far, it still appears to be safer than most artificial sweetners based on available info.

Sly Kitty
Sly Kitty 2012-02-09 08:06:24 -0600 Report

maltodextrin is a carb (starch) that is incorporated in many pills as a filler is what I know of it. Thank you

jigsaw
jigsaw 2012-02-09 11:41:42 -0600 Report

Thanks for the additional info Sly Kitty! The more I look, the more foods I see it showing up in!!!

Sly Kitty
Sly Kitty 2012-02-09 21:31:03 -0600 Report

Yes, that is what I have noticed. I am always amazed at what I can figure out on my own just by reading labels. Thank you

Caroltoo
Caroltoo 2012-02-08 21:48:34 -0600 Report

The last I purchased was mixed with something also. I don't recall what it was, but it clumped. I tossed the box. I may try a little coconut sugar. I use so little, it hardly matters.

jigsaw
jigsaw 2012-02-26 08:59:45 -0600 Report

The coconut sugar I recently purchased is working out fine. I also discovered that Truvia is probably the most pure brand of Stevia that is widely available. It contains no Maltodextrin, doesn't clump, and I like the taste. I enjoy your informed opinions, so I'm curious to know if you have found anything to the contrary.

Caroltoo
Caroltoo 2012-02-26 15:32:54 -0600 Report

Well, I thought I had a box Truvia, but it was a small one purchased to see if I liked it and while I like the flavor, I didn't like the lumps in my lemonade. Sorry, Al, I can't check because I tossed the box. Of the substitutes I've tried so far, I do like a light sprinkling of Stevia best. Have to see how the coconut crystals are.

jigsaw
jigsaw 2012-02-26 17:46:00 -0600 Report

Not sure how it would mix in a cold drink, but I used it n hot coffee and tea, and it mixed well. There is another brand with the same color box and the same color packets, an it clumps like crazy.

jigsaw
jigsaw 2012-02-09 11:45:04 -0600 Report

Coconut sugar is a new to me. I looked at it briefly and it looks like it just might be a winner. I wonder if it's readily available?

Caroltoo
Caroltoo 2012-02-26 15:29:47 -0600 Report

I found a jar of coconut crystals in Whole Foods on my last trip. Bought it, but I haven't used it yet cause I really use very little sweetener. Will probably save it for my next baking experiment.

jigsaw
jigsaw 2012-02-26 17:48:46 -0600 Report

I have only used the coconut sugar in hot coffee, and it was good. Used very little and didn't really see a difference in my bg.

Caroltoo
Caroltoo 2012-02-09 14:29:45 -0600 Report

I've never seen it. Heard about it just this week on D.C. If you find some, let me know; if I do, I'll share with you.

Sly Kitty
Sly Kitty 2012-03-04 10:48:46 -0600 Report

Coconut sugar is something that I am hearing about for the first time here. What is the plus to using it? I am guessing it is not low calorie, but know there are many health benefits to the coconut oil and the unsweetened coconut which I use.

Sly Kitty
Sly Kitty 2012-02-03 17:43:31 -0600 Report

Thank you; I have tried it, but didnt notice it tasted any different than honey which is what I usually use as a sweetener. Altho I don't use any kind of sweetner in my coffee or tea as I prefer to drink it black (or green as in tea).

jigsaw
jigsaw 2012-02-01 07:52:17 -0600 Report

I also use Stevia! I believe it is possibly a very safe choice. It has been consumed by humans in some parts of the world for hundreds of years! No known negative effects on humans have ever been documented as far as I know.

Sly Kitty
Sly Kitty 2012-02-03 17:46:02 -0600 Report

Thank you, but I don't know if any of those artifical sweetners are "safe" including stevia. By the time we are able to purchase those things they are usually over processed.

jigsaw
jigsaw 2012-02-03 18:12:27 -0600 Report

Sly Kitty, there are definitely no guarantees about their safety. Your fortunate to be able to use honey. Unfortunately, I can't use honey, it sends my bgs sky rocketing. I'm a bit envious!!!

Sly Kitty
Sly Kitty 2012-02-03 18:22:47 -0600 Report

Nothing to be envious herre. I rarely use honey or real maple syrup & I'm not saying it doesn't raise my BS, but we just make choices that are not always the right ones sometimes. I am glad I don't have a sweet tooth so I don't really struggle with that. My weakness is other carbs like bread and potatoes & portiion sizes and poor choices sometimes. My medical professionals have to reprogram me sometimes for my choices and get me back on track.

jigsaw
jigsaw 2012-02-03 18:40:45 -0600 Report

I know what you mean! I can't resist a slice of bread or an occasional potato from time to time. I am guilty also, and it forces me to exercise to burn off the glucose. Wouldn't it be nice if it was healthy to sit around and eat whatever you want without gaining wait.

Sly Kitty
Sly Kitty 2012-02-04 18:02:19 -0600 Report

Yes, if only; I can remember back a few years ago I struggled to gain weight. That certainly is no problem anymore. Sure wish I could turn that clock back in more ways (weighs) than one. Than you.

jayabee52
jayabee52 2012-02-03 18:49:10 -0600 Report

I have heard from those who want to gain weight but for some reason cannot, and they say their lot is no fun either.

Sly Kitty
Sly Kitty 2012-02-04 18:05:21 -0600 Report

Really, I've been too skinny & it was so much easier. I say you can't be too skinny or too rich. Unless you have a life threating disease that is causing you to be skinny, then that is just sad.

Jan8
Jan8 2012-02-01 08:22:57 -0600 Report

Most of the research I have done so far indicates the same jigsaw. Now watch in 10 years they'll be saying its not safe.lol

jigsaw
jigsaw 2012-02-03 18:29:52 -0600 Report

Yep, watch and and see in 10 years all of us stevia users will have offspring with 3 arms, 2 1/2 eyes, 4 ears and large flaring nostrils! But, I'm still sticking with Stevia!

Sly Kitty
Sly Kitty 2012-02-03 18:34:00 -0600 Report

Probably & 10 years after that they will say it is safe again. We just have to take it all with a grain of salt, or is that sugar.

jigsaw
jigsaw 2012-02-03 19:41:17 -0600 Report

Interesting article! Looks like it's 10 years old though. I do see stevia on the shelves in every grocery store that I go to. There are many bad things suspected of splenda and any other artificial sweetner as written about in quite a few naturopathic books. The government probably knows less about the hazards of using these sweetners then they do about stevia. As said in the link that you posted, in small quantities stevia is probably little if any threat at all. Also mentioned in the article is the use of stevia by humans for many years with no known harm. Splenda, equal, aspartame etc have been in use as sweetners for a relatively short time. Personally, I would not give artificial sweetners of any kind to children, especially young children! For that matter, we all know what sugar does in large quantities even if your not diabetic. I suspect that their are some politics involved here related to the the pharmaceutical companies and the healthfood/naturopathic industry. As a matter of fact I think you posted a very interesting and related discussion a short time ago. By the way, I think all this info and links that you post are very valuable as well as mentally stimulating. I think its terrific having a member that takes a look from many different angles!!!

Jan8
Jan8 2012-02-03 17:10:54 -0600 Report

lol, omg well no wonder you don't sweeten anything jayabee.I should have said 10 seconds .

MEGriff1950
MEGriff1950 2012-01-29 22:22:47 -0600 Report

I do not sweeten my coffee or tea but when I bake I use sugar. The total carb count is the most important. I do not bake often because I will eat it all :( I tried using Splenda but it spiked my BG badly and stayed high a long time.

Sly Kitty
Sly Kitty 2012-02-03 17:51:38 -0600 Report

Thank you & I don't use any sweetners in my coffee or tea either and if I do feel I need something sweet I do use honey rarely. I too stay away from baking because I am the only one to eat it all.

CaliKo
CaliKo 2012-01-29 21:02:02 -0600 Report

I don't sweeten anything I normally eat or drink. The occasional sweet dessert usually has real sugar, just a small portion where I've counted the carbs. The one exception is a fake maple syrup that I like on oatmeal once in a while.

Sly Kitty
Sly Kitty 2012-02-03 17:56:13 -0600 Report

Thank you & I think like everything in moderation and rarely is not going to kill us, but I like real maple syrup. Honey & real maple syrup are not as processed and are natural, but it will raise our BS. It is just a balancing act for us.

jayabee52
jayabee52 2012-02-03 18:06:56 -0600 Report

actually if you consider the "boiling off" of maple syrup as "processing" the original sap which flows out of maple trees is fairly much processed. I tried tasting the maple sap which was collected from the trees and there was not much taste to it. Honey is the only thing which is minimally processed (if you count uncapping the honeycomb and the extraction by centrafugally throwing the honey onto the insides of the extraction chamber) as processing. Honey is pretty much ready to eat as it comes out of the honeycomb.

Sly Kitty
Sly Kitty 2012-02-03 18:31:29 -0600 Report

Very true; my uncle was a bee keeper his whole life so we always had fresh honey and that was what I was raised with as a sweetner as a child. To be honest I never lived in Vermont or tapped a tree to taste the sap. I just like the taste of real maple syrup vs maple flavored syrup. It all raises our BS so for us it isn't good either way. Thank you

jayabee52
jayabee52 2012-02-04 15:48:54 -0600 Report

I Grew up on a farm in Nw OH and my dad taught me how to keep bees. Between my dad and my uncle (they farmed together) they had 70 colonies (the stacks of boxes about 5' or 6' tall) altogether. We had the extraction equipment set up in our garage in late fall, and we extracted in the winter quite often. Since Dad had a lot of OsteoArthritis he turned the heavy work of taking the full "super" boxes off of the hives and store them until extraction over to me.
I didn't know what sugar on cereal was until I went to college.

We didn't have sugar maple trees on our farm woodlots (or if we did not enough to tap for sap) but there was a tree farm in a hollow within about 10 miles from my boyhood home where they did tap some sugar maples and I got the occasion to see the whole process of maplesyrup production from tapping of the trees to gathering the syrup to boiling it off. So there were maple syrup trees in OH too, just not as many as in WI, VT, or Canada.

So I got to see a lot of it from beginning to end.

Sly Kitty
Sly Kitty 2012-02-04 18:09:52 -0600 Report

That is very interesting. Life is so very different down on the farm & we grow up with much different experiences than those who have not lived that lifestyle. Thank you

jayabee52
jayabee52 2012-02-04 18:23:15 -0600 Report

Frankly as a kid I disliked growing up on the farm as the "Townies" had so much more free time after school and during the summer. Summers i spent with a hoe handle and a bale hook in the other.

But I learned SO MUCH on the farm growing up I am sorry that my sons didn't have the benefit. Sometimes people are amazed about what I have done in my life. Sometimes when I think of it I amaze myself.

As I understand life on the farm today as my nephews and nieces experience it, they're not much different than those of "townies" today. I think a lot has been lost. It is so sad to me.

Sly Kitty
Sly Kitty 2012-02-04 22:57:19 -0600 Report

So do agree as a kid I felt like a slave compared to my classmates who just slept 'til noon on the weekends and summers and hung out at the local town place. I was picking fruit & veggies all day, packing them in baskets and bushels all night and getting up at 3:00 am to go to the market with my parents to sell it. Winters in NY meant preparing the grape fields for the next years harvest. Spring was planting and preparing the fields for planting. In between all that planting and harvesting there was canning, cooking, baking, cleaning, mowing, plowing & it was non-stop hard work. When I grew up I didn't want to do all that farming, but ended up raising show dogs & showed horses which was more non-stop hard work & forever have worked accounting jobs and after years of that got laid off & now struggling to find a job. You'd think hard work would pay off, but you wouldn't know it by me. Even today farming is quite different.

Caroltoo
Caroltoo 2012-01-29 20:30:29 -0600 Report

I usually stay away from all of it. I don't sweeten my coffee or food. I rarely bake. I am quilty of the occasional piece of very dark chocolate, so get a little sugar that way. Mostly, I would get my sweeteners through the natural sugars in fruit.

Sly Kitty
Sly Kitty 2012-02-03 18:01:18 -0600 Report

Thank you & very dark chocolate is actually healthy, but I think that is 60% or more pure chocolate which has less sugar & low fat. Chocolate covered strawberries sound like health food to me.