In the Belly Fat Cure and other low sugar diet plans, getting your sugar grams as low as possible is very important. It is also important to eliminate artificial sweeteners in your diet. This leaves only a few options, mostly stevia and sugar alcohols. While I had used sugar alcohols on Atkins years ago, I had never heard of Stevia. In the beginning I used Stevia sweeteners in lots of things, as I was getting rid of the taste of sugar. Now, though, I really only use it in my hot teas or in some iced teas when I am out. I carry a little “sweetener bag” in my purse and always have them handy!
There are numerous brands, but here is a run down of the stevia sweeteners I have tried and liked.
Truvia – Truvia is the big player among stevia sweeteners, and is the brand Jorge mentions in the book. Because of this, I avoided it (I don’t like brands pushed on me) until CarbSmart sent me a box to review. Truvia has 3 grams carbs/0 grams sugar per packet. The carbs come from the added erythritol, a sugar alcohol. This means using more than 1 packet in a sitting on the BFC would use up a carb serving, so keep that in mind. Despite having slightly more carbs, I didn’t find it tasted any sweeter than the other brands. Truvia is widely available in most stores in the regular sugar/sweetener section.
Sweetleaf – Honestly I only tried Sweetleaf because they had a free trial on their website and they ended up sending me a big box. (Everyone got the big box, not just me). I think is is a great choice, but I did find that it sometimes tasted bitter in hot drinks. Sweetleaf is straight stevia, and bitterness is a common thing people notice in stevia products. But the great thing is that Sweetleaf is 0 grams sugar/0 grams carbs! SweetLeaf also has a line called Liquid Stevia with flavors like Lemon, English Toffee and Root Beer, which are great! (they have varying S/C Values or are all allowed on the plan)
Xylo-Sweet – Is not made from stevia, but rather is xylitol, a sugar alcohol made from birch trees. There are many xylitol sweeteners, but this is the one I have tried and liked. Xylitol is said to be good for your teeth and is making lots of news lately. Xylo-Sweet has 0 grams sugar/4 grams carbs per packet (or teaspoon). It is made by XClear, which also makes Spry Gum and several other Xylitol sweetened products (like toothpastes and SparX mints). (Editor’s Note: Be aware that xylitol is profoundly toxic to dogs. If you have dogs in the house, you will need to be very cautious with xylitol-sweetened products, or choose another sweetener.)
NuNaturals NuStevia – You can also purchase straight stevia powder. I got this in the beginning and if you like it, it is the best option. Each brand has a different S/C value, so check the packaging. I have seen the carb count for straight stevia as low as 0g and as high as 3g. I also found a stevia plant at the Farmers Market and can’t wait for my first harvest!
I would love to hear which of the sweeteners you have tried and liked, loved or just plain were disgusted by! If you would like to research more on Stevia, click more research on Stevia.
© 2010 by Amber Allen-Sauer. Used by kind permission of the author. What do you think? Please send Amber your comments or questions to Amber.