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A real mom of 4 reviewing various products & services with honesty & integrity. From natural beauty products to household items to groceries - the truth - so you can save dollars, time & sanity. No flames, no games, just a real mom reviewing.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Comparing Natural, Non-sugar Sweeteners

I eat low carb, low sugar.
I've been eating this way for over 3 years.
I still like my coffee with sweetener and I still like some "sweet" things in my diet, so I must use non-sugar sweeteners.
I really LIKE the flavor of Splenda; however, I am trying to get away from using it because it is not natural and supposedly is very harmful to our health. I've read quite a few things about Splenda that I don't like, so I'm always on the hunt for an alternative way to sweeten things.
I've bought liquid Stevia, and while it was "do-able", it was bitter.
I've bought granular Erythritol (weird sounding but in fact natural), but it has this weird "cooling" effect on the tongue.
So when I spotted Skinnygirl (Sg) natural sweeteners on my local store shelf the other day, I gladly bought both types:
Stevia extract (with erythritol), and Monk Fruit extract.

While I realize that taste is subjective, and you may not find the same thing as me, here's what I thought:
Sg Stevia= is a little less bitter than the pure liquid Stevia I had been using (seen above).
Sg Monk Fruit= is less bitter and tastes better than either of those Stevias, IMO.
So, yes, they taste better than the liquid Stevia drops I had been using; but, they do have their drawbacks.
For example, the Sg is the "squirt" type of dispenser (like Mio drink flavoring). It's hard to be exact with the amount used with these squirt dispensers. I'm not a fan at all. I prefer drops. The pure Stevia has a dropper and I can count out exactly how many drops I add.
Also, there are some weird sounding ingredients:
Stevia Extract= water, erythritol, stevia extract, natural flavors, malic acid, sodium benzoate (preservative) and potassium sorbate (preservative).
Monk Fruit Extract= water, monk fruit extract, malic acid, sodium benzoate (preservative) and potassium sorbate (preservative).
A quick Google search will find you the following information on sodium benzoate...
This entry tells how it is formulated, and that it is understood to be safe by the FDA, and is found naturally in some foods.
This entry tells how it is NOT natural in this form (when added to foods) and is synthesized in a lab and supposedly can cause cancer.
Potassium sorbate, when Googled, shows us...
This entry tells us all about its chemical makeup and that it is non-toxic in low, general consumption levels.

This entry tells how
excessive amounts of potassium sorbate may lead to diarrhea. I had a hard time finding any other supposed problems with potassium sorbate, so I guess it's really pretty safe.

I'm not really happy with the synthesized preservatives in these Sg sweeteners, nor with the possibility of issues with the sodium benzoate.
I think I'll skip these next time around, which means I'm still on the hunt.
If you've found a good NATURAL, non-sugar sweetener, please do tell!
(And no, honey is not acceptable for me.)