I know I need to cut down on the amount of sugar in my diet. While I have control over how much sugar I add to my food and drinks, I don’t have control over how much is already added to processed food and drinks. I’m doing something about the amount of sugar I add to drinks like coffee and iced tea because too much sugar could be toxic to the human body just like a lot of other things I may be consuming. In my mind, sugar substitutes are better than artificial sweeteners in this regard.
I’m no stranger to artificial sweeteners. I was introduced to saccharin by my mother and older sisters way back in the late 1960s or early 1970s when drinking iced tea. It was okay for sweetening but it left a nasty aftertaste in my mouth. Of course, I didn’t have much choice in the matter. It was either drink iced tea with saccharin in it or not drink iced tea. Believe it or not, I chose the latter until they stopped using saccharin in our house.
For many year, diet sodas used saccharin as their artificial sweeteners. I wouldn’t drink it. Somewhere along the line, they switched to aspartame and I wouldn’t drink that either. It also left a nasty aftertaste in my mouth.
I’m also no stranger to sugar substitutes. Of course, I’m talking about sugar substitutes that aren’t completely artificial, like honey. I’ve used honey in my iced tea on many occasions, usually when I’ve run out of sugar. I’ve even used honey in coffee a few times.
While looking for a “no calorie” sugar substitute, I came across a lot of names include Truvia and PureVia. Truvia is the Coca-Cola version of processed stevia and PureVia is the Pepsi-Cola version.
Before I embarked on my quest for one or more sugar substitutes, I read a lot of taste-testing results on the net. A lot of people preferred sugar (of course) as their number one sweeteners and then they preferred stevia or monk derivatives as their number two sweeteners.
Yesterday, I found Truvia in the sugar aisle of the grocery section of a nearby Walmart. It was just one of the things I was shopping for. Today, I’ve used nothing but Truvia as the sweetener in my coffee. I started with a quarter teaspoon for my first cup and I ended up using a full teaspoon by my third.
The only non-sugar sweeteners I saw in the sugar aisle were honey, Equal, Splenda, Stevia in the Raw, Monk in the Raw and Truvia. I’ll probably find PureVia at some other grocery store later on. I’m not sure if I’ll try other sugar substitutes or not. My goal is to be able to drink coffee and iced tea without anything added – I already drink both without any kind of creamers added. I consider using sugar substitutes as a kind of stepping stone – if I don’t like my drinks as much with sugar substitutes, the transition to drinking them without sugar should be a lot easier for me.
By: RT Cunningham
February 17, 2014
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