By CaliKo Latest Reply 2014-03-25 13:02:46 -0500
Started 2010-09-21 10:21:45 -0500

OK, after doing some reading online, I'm giving up my favorite artificial sweetner. I'm not here to discuss the pros and cons of sweetners, because I know they do lots of people some good with their diets, and everyone has to choose for themselves whether or not they will use them. For me, the most common use was an artificial syrup for my oatmeal in the morning. So my question is, what do you put in your oatmeal?

69 replies

Drmismac 2014-03-25 12:35:52 -0500 Report

My meal is steel cut oats cooked in water. Five or six berries (blackberries, blueberries, raspberries) and a splash of half and half for flavor (irish cream is stupendous). NO sweetener of any kind. Beyond my imagination it is lowering my BG level. Today fasting was 114, 2 hour post meal it is 100. I have been testing this for two weeks and my results are consistent. Before this I just stayed away from carbs as much as possible as all seemed to raise my BG level. Looking forward to my A1c test to see if this is reality. I am fortunate that I am managing with diet (and exercise sometimes) and no medication. I am subject to a raised BG level in the morning and protein at night seems to help only slightly, I will try a bit of the SC oats before bedtime to see where it leaves me in the morning.

My two cents: I have learned that no sugar intake means no sugar cravings, but with a planned sugar consumption (special occasion) my alertness to sweets in the store is immediate.

CaliKo 2014-03-25 13:02:46 -0500 Report

Thanks for the response, and I'm glad the steel oats are working for you. I have experienced the same thing with sweets, I'm fine if I stay away from them entirely, but if I have a little bit of something, I want more and more! Congratulations on controlling your diabetes with diet and exercise, I still do too, and more than 5 years since my diagnosis.

RockyMtnGal 2010-10-04 23:18:51 -0500 Report

I've recently discovered putting in NSA applesauce and cinnamon. The applesauce distributes throughout helping to sweeten naturally better than diced apple. Also, nice for the season I think, am going to try plain canned pumpkin and pie spice. In these ways there is no need for any added sweetener; sugar or otherwise.

NanaMomNH 2010-09-25 08:51:08 -0500 Report

I like cinnamon and raisins in my oatmeal. Speaking of sweetner I have Splenda and brown sugar Splenda, but since I bought it I have read that this isn't good to eat. Is this true? My daughter told me to use Stevia instead, hhhmmmmmm.

CaliKo 2010-09-25 11:40:00 -0500 Report

I do too, the cinnamon and raisins are the one thing I've tried since starting this discussion. Splenda has aspartame, and that's the artificial sweetener that I decided to give up. I think everyone has to weigh the pros and cons of their own personal situation and decide what's best for them, everyone's issues are complicated, so I'm not going to say that what I choose for myself is what everyone should do. I will say that I haven't heard of any negative aspects to Stevia, I'm still planning to try that one myself. Good luck.

jayabee52 2010-09-25 23:42:07 -0500 Report

Not wishing to be a P.I.T.A. yet feeling the need to not allow a mistake to go uncorrected, Splenda does not have aspartame in it.

The brand name for aspartame is "Nutrasweet" and even though I seemingly can eat it without a problem what I've read about it scares me so I avoid it as much as possible

Splenda is made of sucrose (table sugar) of which 3 select Hydrogen-oxygen groups and replacing them with 3 chlorine atoms. The result is named Sucralose. I personally can consume only a little splenda without gastric distress. And because there is a lag-time between consuming too much Sucralose and onset of the distress, I have found it wiser to avoid sucralose altogether.


EJMac 2011-02-01 21:37:18 -0600 Report

Really. Just tried it for the first time yesterday on blueberries. Felt like such a treat, but don't know if it will set up cravings for sugar stuff. Hope not

jayabee52 2010-09-26 02:02:17 -0500 Report

Actually I've seen people do this more than once other places. It can be quite confusing. But not a problem!

Blessings to you and yours

rlk-fd-ems 2010-09-23 17:39:02 -0500 Report

I do not understand, but eating oatmeal in the morning makes my after meal blood sugar higher than other foods I eat for breakfast. I use Sweet'nLow and water in my oatmeal.

CaliKo 2010-09-23 17:46:47 -0500 Report

Lots of people experience the same thing, especially with quick or rolled oats. Have you tried steel-cut oats? Also, sometimes people will add something with either fat or protein to eat with it because that will force the carbs to be absorbed more slowly.

ArkieCameo 2010-09-23 09:31:30 -0500 Report

There are three alternatives I have heard about, they are listed below. I use Equal myslef—it is yummy. I also use Olivio butter it is tasty and good for women especially. Also, putting cinnamon on the oats is great—any fruit does wonders as well. Choices are many, just go with what ya like.

Agave Nector
Xylitol or birch sugar

That is all I have to say, but enjoy what ever you use.

CaliKo 2010-09-23 09:36:03 -0500 Report


Kelly Preciado
Kelly Preciado 2010-09-23 10:37:09 -0500 Report

Some studies done has suggest that cinnamon helps lower your sugar level. And its yummy!

ArkieCameo 2010-09-23 12:32:09 -0500 Report

Yes, cinnamon works with the metabolism to adjust and help regulate blood sugar to a point. There is a video in this program I believe about it. For once maybe we will have something that tastes good and is really good for the human race. Such a deal I tell ya

ccfromdc 2010-09-22 22:56:01 -0500 Report

A pinch of Stevia if I'm craving sweet for some reason, but otherwise cinnamon and fresh (or flash frozen) RIPE blueberries, and - hold your nose - several cloves of crushed garlic. With Stevia, watch out for the various blends that are on the market now - they can raise your BG as much as refined sugar! Best to check your BG before and after the first couple of times to be sure you're not sabotaging your program with a "supposedly" healthy alternative.

BTW - Oat Bran, and some of the multi-grain blends with low net-carb numbers can add some variety to your hot-cereal breakfasts, providing the same benefits without the boredom of tasteless, lumpy, face-it — boring — oatmeal.

Sondra1 2010-09-22 11:27:17 -0500 Report

Hi, I use a natural sweetner called Stevia. Stevia comes in liquid and powder form and can be added to any recipe. Warning: A little goes a long way! It is sweeter than sugar so a little droop of the liguid or only a few flakes of the powder will do. Here is the informaition on Steria:

Stevia is a genus of about 240 species of herbs and shrubs in the sunflower family (Asteraceae), native to subtropical and tropical regions from western North America to South America. The species Stevia rebaudiana, commonly known as sweetleaf, sweet leaf, sugarleaf, or simply stevia, is widely grown for its sweet leaves. As a sweetener and sugar substitute, stevia's taste has a slower onset and longer duration than that of sugar, although some of its extracts may have a bitter or licorice-like aftertaste at high concentrations.

With its extracts having up to 300 times the sweetness of sugar, stevia has garnered attention with the rise in demand for low-carbohydrate, low-sugar food alternatives. Medical research has also shown possible benefits of stevia in treating obesity and high blood pressure. Because stevia has a negligible effect on blood glucose, it is attractive as a natural sweetener to people on carbohydrate-controlled diets.

CaliKo 2010-09-22 11:43:29 -0500 Report

Thanks! My neighbor gave me a box of Stevia packets when she found out I am diabetic, but I have yet to try it. I'll try it on my oatmeal, maybe with cinnamon …

mo91108 2010-09-21 17:24:19 -0500 Report

I usually use splenda a little bit, and I also put cinnamon in it mmmmm. It's really good. Plus you could always use milk if you find that that's what you like.

speak up
speak up 2010-09-21 14:03:28 -0500 Report

Nothing, I dislike oatmeal but eat it since the doctor told me to, but I eat it plain I figure I might as well learn to like it and not try and doctor it! As for artifical sweetners I don't use them either if I can not have the real thing I am not going to settle for anything less so I don't eat either! Yeap I might be different but I am trying my best to follow what the doctor said and he told me not to use artificial sweetner so I eat plain bland food.

ccfromdc 2010-09-22 23:23:09 -0500 Report

Not that I would challenge your right to be different …

I admire your stoicism, but our doctors do not have to live the rest of our lives.

We do.

I agree that, at least for a time, it is a good idea to eschew all flavor enhancers - whether sweeteners, salts, peppers, etc - and to eat 'mindfully' so as to attune one's self to the activity of eating. Some may choose to remain in that state indefinitely, but others might choose to add variety - albeit in much smaller doses. After all, one often discovers subtle, pleasant flavors in unflavored foods that one never noticed before and finds that those foods are more satisfying in their natural state.

On the other hand, one often finds that even the healthiest foods in their unflavored state are simply not palatable. A diet of healthy, but unpalatable, offerings is not a diet that one is likely to stick to for a lifetime. So, perhaps, there is a middle ground? (Perhaps it was in that middle ground that the art of food preparation took root?)

Good luck with your quest.

- cc

leonmelton 2010-10-05 18:12:24 -0500 Report

i agree ,if you can't reach a middle ground on using some kind of sweetners, you are not likeiy to stay with your diet.

CaliKo 2010-09-21 14:15:32 -0500 Report

Thanks for the response. I started off eating it plain, then switched to using the artificial syrup, and now I reconsidered. But I am going to try some of the suggestions others have mentioned with fruits and spices.

Chrissy6341 2010-09-21 14:36:21 -0500 Report

fruits def, I forgot. I love blueberries in mine. They are my favorite fruit. When I can't get them fresh I have to settle for frozen but they are not as good.

GabbyPA 2010-09-21 10:49:30 -0500 Report

I cook steel cut oats in the crock pot and what I add is cinnamon, a bit of sliced apple or pear and maybe some craisins or raisins for the sweet. If I want more sweetness, I will add some dark brown sugar once I have it served. I serve it with some milk and a spoon...can't wait for winter!

CaliKo 2010-09-21 10:55:51 -0500 Report

Wow. that sounds great. I love pears and raisins. I usually just do rolled oats, but I think steel cut oats are better, and I think I have an overnight crock pot recipe. Thanks for reminding me!

jayabee52 2010-09-21 15:18:31 -0500 Report

will you share it either here or in recipe section? (preferably both) Thanks

CaliKo 2010-09-21 20:04:34 -0500 Report

I'd be happy to:
8 cups water
2 cups steel-cut oats
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup dried apricots, chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
Combine all ingredients in slow cooker with lid. Turn heat to low. Cook 7-8 hours.
Makes 8, 1-cup servings.
Per Serving: 193 calories, 3 grams fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 35 grams carbs, 6 grams protein, 9 grams fiber, 78 mg sodium

noahsgma 2010-09-22 09:49:12 -0500 Report

This sounds so good! I can't eat that many carbs in the morning but I would like it for dinner. Since I live alone, that would work well for me. Think I'll try it and just test and see how it goes. I know I can't do any kind of oats but steel cut no matter when I eat them.

GabbyPA 2010-09-21 11:02:53 -0500 Report

I can't do the rolled oats. I have to be careful with the steel cut as well, but I can eat them without spikes. I have a mini crock pot that works great and makes breakfast for everyone on the cool mornings. I love it.

bettymachete 2010-09-21 11:55:39 -0500 Report

me either, rolled oats will spike me quick. But I can do steel cut just fine. I've become an oatmeal diva, steel cut oats, shreaded carrot, apple, walnuts, rasins coconut oil and cinnamon. Tastes like a carrot cake, tons of fiber.

Pynetree 2010-09-25 13:36:40 -0500 Report

Oh Betty…used to do a close version of this when my kids were little. Thanks for the memory, I'm going to start doing it again. Even if it's just hubby and I…we can heat it up a day or two later …have left-overs for breakfast! Thanks,

Kathie321 2010-09-27 10:25:49 -0500 Report

my Dr , my endocronologist, and nutrionist , ( poor speller ) said to test my blood sugar levels 2 hours after eating to see what my numbers are. If they have spiked or maintained,

GabbyPA 2010-09-21 11:21:46 -0500 Report

If it is a new food that I am trying, I will eat it and test every 30 minutes for up to 2 hours or until I start to drop. Then I can determine when I tend to spike. If I add some butter to the oatmeal it helps, as that fat will slow down the spike.

GabbyPA 2010-09-21 15:12:53 -0500 Report

You don't want a rise of more than 40 points from a meal if you can avoid it, so it might take some time. That first 30 minutes it might not rise much, it is finding out when it finally starts to drop off.

CaliKo 2010-09-27 10:36:18 -0500 Report

PS I've been testing some of my favorite snacks to find out what's happening in 30-minute intervals, and got both good and bad surprises. But I've adjusted to compensate and I think that will eventually improve my A1Cs. Thanks again.

CaliKo 2010-09-22 08:59:26 -0500 Report

Thanks, that's exactly the information I needed. I was diagnosed 2 years ago and had the CDE classes, but it was a lot of information for my brain to retain. I may see if I can schedule an hour refresher session.

Pynetree 2010-09-25 13:39:15 -0500 Report

…been thinking a refresher course would be good for me too. After 10 yrs. things and thinking have changed!

GabbyPA 2010-09-21 15:13:47 -0500 Report

I was using margarine, but now that I am trying to eliminate ingredients that I cannot pronounce, I am going back to natural butter. I don't eat it much so once in a while won't kill me I figure.

CaliKo 2010-09-21 11:25:40 -0500 Report

Thanks. Sometimes I can just tell on really bad food choices, but this is good information for fine-tuning.

Chrissy6341 2010-09-21 10:27:53 -0500 Report

Try some sugar free pancake syrup, cinnamon, even jelly. Good luck..

CaliKo 2010-09-21 10:56:20 -0500 Report

Thanks, I do like cinnamon, and they say its all sorts of good for diabetics.

Lori1964 2010-09-22 23:56:35 -0500 Report

Now don't yall go off the deep end on me I know this is off a bit but I LOVE peanut butter in my oatmeal and in my malt-o-meal. Add that and a lil of your favorite sweetener and a little regular butter and my kids like milk on theres but not me and it is sooo delicious. It taste like a hot peanut butter cookie.

Diane987 2010-09-23 00:22:37 -0500 Report

Peanut butter isn't a bad addition to oatmeal when you really think about it. The protein and fat in the peanut butter will slow down the digestion of the carbohydrates in the oatmeal. If you use natural peanut butter with no sugar added that is even better. I put cayenne pepper, walnuts, and lots of cinnamon in my oatmeal. The cayenne really gets you going in the morning. Maybe I will substitute my walnuts for natural peanut butter in the morning.

CaliKo 2010-09-27 10:38:02 -0500 Report

peanut butter and oatmeal… reminds me of a cookie I've been missing. I might have to try it, thanks. Wonder if I could throw in a chocolate chip or two also…

Anonymous 2010-11-06 15:12:48 -0500 Report

I am new here and I just wanted to thank all of you for the great ideas I have been putting different flavored yogurt in my oatmeal and a change would be nice. I love the idea of the oatmeal that tastes like carrot cake where can I find a recipe? thanks in advance for your help.