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  #1   ^
Old Sun, Jan-14-18, 11:44
Meetow Kim Meetow Kim is offline
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Posts: 154
 
Plan: Atkins Concept
Stats: 225/190/175 Male 70.5"
BF:
Progress: 70%
Location: Central Virginia
Default Erythritol (comments welcome)

I'm not a huge sweets guy, but there are some circumstances where sugar, or honey or agave is needed to make a certain "thing".

I simply never liked ANY artificial sweeteners until sorbitol, but not only is that kind of high carb, it can cause gastro problems if you eat much of it. It tastes great, but comes at a price.

I've tried Stevia, and it was waste of money...anybody want mine? It might as well be the original Sweet and Low for me, its just as empty in flavor and an insult to my taste buds. Some people like artificial sweeteners, I know, I have known people who order a diet Pepsi with a cheeseburger and fries, and when I ask, "what the heck?"...they tell me they like the flavor better than real sugar soda. It must be a genetic thing or something, because it is night and day for me (I was never a big soda drinker but when I did, it was the real deal, never diet...yuk!, I'd rather have water)

So, shopping at WalMart, I decided to check out the Atkins snack and sweet section, and chose a lower carb choice to try. Like 2 net carbs for 3 wonderful pieces of candy. When I saw the math, I was reminded of some stuff I had read (among the voluminous stuff we read when we go on these diets)...it was the sugar alcohols that knocked down the carbs radically. These candies, well, they taste like chocolate with caramel inside...if someone gave me one unwrapped, I would never suspect it of being part of a diet line of products. I have only eaten one at a time, just to revel in how "these are diet snacks?"!

I've read of allergic reactions and gut problems. I'm aware of them, but I am open to any opinions.

I started looking around for sugar alcohols and this comes up on Amazon.

https://www.amazon.com/NOW-Foods-Er...%2Balcohol&th=1

I'm intrigued. My quick research tells me it is less reported to have gut problems. It is not recommended to use the GMO or cornstarch based stuff. But the product in that link says Non-GMO pure Erythritol crystalline powder. It doesn't say certified organic, but the company that makes it seems proud of their bona fides.

Some say it doesn't dissolve well and ends up crunchy if you try to bake with it and its hard to dissolve in liquid. But if it behaves like sugar, there's no reason it could not be broken down as a simple syrup or more finely ground at home.

My wife on the zero sugar diet says no for her, she refuses to use any fake sugar because some believe it tricks the brain and packs on as much weight as sugar. I'm not buying in to anything completely..."research" has proven wrong over time on so many things. Some also say its because fake sugar doesn't satisfy in the body like real sugar and makes people overeat in reaction. I'm sorry, I have control of my face, I can decide what to shove in it...I think. We all splurge; I mean on a regular basis I think I can control myself for the purpose of the goal of weight loss and maintenance.

Please chime in. Positive or negative.

Here's an article: https://draxe.com/erythritol/
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  #2   ^
Old Mon, Jan-22-18, 07:59
walnut's Avatar
walnut walnut is offline
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Plan: C:12 P:60 F:satiety
Stats: 220/173.2/142 Female 5'5
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Progress: 60%
Location: canada, eh!
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some people find that the sugar alcohols (usually ends with -ol, ie xylitol, erythritol) cause the same problems for them that regular sugar does. some can tolerate it in small doses. ymmv.

i try to avoid xylitol because we have a dog and even a tiny amount can kill the dog if he gets into it

i use erythritol sometimes. i usually scale it wayyy back from what the recipe calls for though. after eating lowcarb for so long, i don't need much sweetener to taste it. i order in the same kind of erythritol that you linked to--i've had good luck with 'now' brand for various products. i have also ordered it from xyla--sometimes they have sales and free shipping

i find that powdered stevia mixed with another sweetener works wayyy better than stevia on its own. so if a recipe needs 1 cup of sugar, i replace it with 1/2 tsp powdered stevia and 1/2 cup of erythritol if i want the same level of sweetness. if that's too sweet, i would use 1/4 tsp stevia and 1/4 cup of erythritol. it's a bit of a trial and error process. i use the 'now' brand of stevia, i've had good luck with it in the past, it doesn't have an aftertaste. i think the manufacturing process for any of the stevias has really improved over the years though and you shouldn't get an aftertaste unless you're really using way too much of the stuff.

Quote:
My wife on the zero sugar diet says no for her, she refuses to use any fake sugar because some believe it tricks the brain and packs on as much weight as sugar.
i think your wife is on the right track, i've seen lots of data indicating that this is true. in real life though i'm going to make a lowcarb 'treat' with fake sugar if i'm having big cravings. in my opinion, it's the lesser of the evils compared to eating something with real carbs.
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  #3   ^
Old Mon, Jan-22-18, 10:38
Meetow Kim Meetow Kim is offline
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Posts: 154
 
Plan: Atkins Concept
Stats: 225/190/175 Male 70.5"
BF:
Progress: 70%
Location: Central Virginia
Default

Thanks so much Walnut, I thought I hit an empty cavern here on this subject.

Everything you said makes complete sense. I just got off the phone with Now Foods and was left with a sense of reassurance. When a company has a comprehensive web site and old school telephone customer service, I am far more likely to buy their product. In fact I have refused to buy many products if they do not have phone contact capability in English I can easily understand. I could hear the Midwest in the voices of the people I spoke with and that tells me they are employing at least regional Americans...another big deal for me.

Unfortunately they do not have samples to offer, but they do have a 100% satisfaction guarantee, so it would be easy to return to Amazon if I didn't like it...having bought a whole pound.

I was also very curious about the Chinese origin. A lot of people are dubious about Chinese food products with good reason. Now Foods quality assurance department told me they had a 40 million dollar lab for testing etc. that they already had for their supplement line, their primary business, and they supposedly use that to test for contaminates and purity in their other products. That makes me feel a little better. An electronic device is one thing from China, it may be spying on you or whatever, but stuff we ingest is a different deal...even Chinese pet food has killed and their own baby formula in China as well.

Do you find this stuff behaves like sugar? I've read some reviews that say it remains crystallized in baked goods and doesn't dissolve in liquids well. If course even sugar doesn't dissolve in cold liquids well.

You mention the stevia, and adding it to erythritol. Do you find erythritol it is less sweet than sugar as all indications show? I'm with you, I dont mind less sweet, but I'm curious. To me stevia might as well be aspartame...my taste buds reject it. Probably becasue my mom used to try to make everything with sweet and low when I was a teen...I dont have many bad childhood memories, but mom's cooking stands out! I am far more the snooty chef in my 50+ adult life!

I may have to try the Now Foods Stevia if I can get a small package. I bought the Walmart liquid stuff and its disgusting...I'd rather my tea be bitter than taste like that. You may be correct on the extraction methods.

When you say some people experience the same problems with it as sugar. What are you referring to more specifically? Weight gain? Blood sugar levels? Everything?

Also, on the "fake sugar makes you body think its real sugar", I have said that for years, but like you if it tastes good, I'm using it for the very little stuff I actually like sweet. A lot of "experts" told us egg yolks and avocados were killing us at one point and making us fat...now super-foods. Don't like today's studies? Just wait a decade...

I dont know what all things I would use the stuff with. The brown sugar product looks promising, but the problem is I do most of the cooking and my wife for now is amazingly reticent to eat any fake sugar, she'll be more likely to slide back in to honey once her diet says she can. She is the historic sugar consumer between us, I cant believe she has given it all up and wont even try one of my Atkins candies.

I'll have to make some strategic diet choices down the road as to whether to use naturals like raw honey, molasses, etc. In low carb it seems even natural sweeteners like that are a no-no. I may switch over to the no sugar diet (which allows honey at some point) to sync up with her. I'm already following it to a great degree because Low Carb requires that label reading and eliminating of added sugar. She's looking more at Sugar/Fiber ratio and I'm more concerned with Carb/Fiber ratio and total sugars being as low as possible with little or no added sugar at all.

I am the cook, she's not a bad cook, but I got her so dependent on my cooking for some years now shes a little challenged in the kitchen, just because she doesn't have the "mise en place" organization and speed of prep, chopping etc I have developed, its simply easier for me to cook and her to clean becasue of my speed, skill and timing. She's out of practice from her previous life cooking for her ex husband and 2 kids...she calls it "spoiled", I call it "Cook and Drop the knife...and walk away"...and leave the dishes behind! I do clean as I go though!

My point is, making sauces for instance. I make (used to) a lot of them. I'm pretty good at Asian style preparations and have developed my own sauce recipes tweaked over time. They include sugars and products like Sriracha which, sadly the second ingredient in the stuff I have is sugar...also Gochijang...sugar is in there. So I still want that sweetness (its not super sweet, that's not my thing)...and what do I do? She doesn't want the fake sweet and I'm avoiding real sweets, even honey!

I made a great stir fry last night that fixed that problem for only one sauce flavor profile (it wont be a fix for all my sauces) using a product I have used for years that I could not be happier is no sugar. But you would not believe it because its sweet! You HAVE to love spicy food though, which we do. It's chili garlic sauce. I've even made it myself.

This is the product I usually buy at my local Asian market:

https://www.amazon.com/Huy-Fong-Fre...+Sauce+Huy+Fong

If you like it spicy, this is not outrageous, but to use enough to get the sweetness from it you better not be a spice wimp. I like food to make me sweat, this is not THAT spicy. i could eat the stuff by the teaspoon straight and not flinch, but I'm hardcore!

It's almost identical to the product more well known called Sambal Olek:

https://www.amazon.com/Huey-Fong-Sa...keywords=sambal

packaged by the same folks, but Sambal doesn't have the garlic. We like garlic and I try to eat as much as possible since its really good for you.

Both of these products are amazingly sweet and delicious for having no sugar

A little fish sauce, a good amount of Thai Mushroom Soy,: http://www.templeofthai.com/food/sa...-5134200219.php
(Do NOT substitute for any other mushroom soy, you will need an Asian grocer for this stuff, I used to buy it directly from my favorite Thai restaurant until it started showing up in the Asian markets too), a sploosh of rice vinegar (not seasoned!) and a hefty gloop of either of these chili sauces, and a splash of water to make a little less salty makes a great stir fry sauce. The key being always add your sauce right at the end, bring to the boil, allow to thicken if needed and remove and eat immediately.

You dont want to boil your stir fry very much or very long or let it sit to keep cooking if you like your veggies kind of crunchy like me.

Also to this sauce last night, I DID use 1 teaspoon of gluttonous rice flour. Only 2 grams carbs per teaspoon and is add that little bit of stickiness to the sauce without making it goopy. 2 grams of carbs spread over about 2.75 servings is not bad, the vegetables probably had more

Sorry for all the technical terms! Ha! I haven't started my low carb recipe documentation yet, I'll be doing a brand new batch of measures and refined sauce recipes in the future like I've done with pre-low carb recipes. I can dump cook really well, but to duplicate something perfectly there needs to be measurements...also to share them, most people dont work well with measurements like Gloop and sploosh!

Last edited by Meetow Kim : Mon, Jan-22-18 at 10:51.
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  #4   ^
Old Tue, Jan-23-18, 08:04
walnut's Avatar
walnut walnut is offline
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Plan: C:12 P:60 F:satiety
Stats: 220/173.2/142 Female 5'5
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Progress: 60%
Location: canada, eh!
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i'm not a big fan of stevia in tea, that's one place where i'll use the sugar alcohols by themselves. i don't drink much tea though, usually just herbal teas that don't need any sweetening.

Quote:
When you say some people experience the same problems with it as sugar. What are you referring to more specifically? Weight gain? Blood sugar levels? Everything?
yep, all of the above. plus it can cause bloating. some people have digestive problems with it. i think the dr axe article that you linked to in your first post went into that a bit?

my husband likes to add sugar to spicey foods too, he says it tempers the spiciness? and improves the flavour. i dunno, he makes his own sauces on the side now and adds them on his own plate so that i don't have to worry about the spiciness or the sugar. i've used a bit of baking soda to tone down tomato dishes that usually use a little sugar to do the same job, i don't know what that would do to spicey dishes?

my family uses tapioca starch as a thickening agent sometimes. i usually avoid it but as you say, a little bit spread out over many servings doesn't give much of a carb count anyways.

re honey--we keep our own bees, but i stay away from honey. it's a major trigger food for me. i don't know how many times, hubby has come in with a frame of honey saying, you've got to try this honey, the bees are on a really amazing varietal. and before i know it i'm on a full-on carb binge. now even when we're extracting honey i won't even have a single taste of any of it. in my experience, i have to really watch any of the sugars whether or not they're 'natural'. i have lots of health problems that are caused by carbs and it's just not something that i can handle.

there are recipe books out there that don't use any sweeteners, artificial or otherwise. one that i would recommend looking thru would be the new wahls cookbook. she uses certain combinations of spices to give the sweet/sour taste. it might be worth browsing thru for inspiration anyways. there's a look inside on amazon https://www.amazon.com/Wahls-Protoc...y/dp/1635616026

good luck!
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  #5   ^
Old Tue, Jan-23-18, 10:38
Meetow Kim Meetow Kim is offline
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Posts: 154
 
Plan: Atkins Concept
Stats: 225/190/175 Male 70.5"
BF:
Progress: 70%
Location: Central Virginia
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Thanks again Walnut,

I have only tried the stevia in tea, but that makes sense, a cup of green tea is so mild if made right, or bitter like when I double up the tea bags and let sit in the cup while drinking, on purpose. The stevia would overpower the mild and would need so much of it to fight the bitterness of a strong cup. Totally makes sense.

I do know of many of the side effects of the erythritol, I was just searching for your personal experience or anyone you know. We are all so different and side effects listed on products could have nothing to do with the product...like the drug commercials on TV that tell you people have experienced the Flu while taking the drug...duh! But the drug cannot cause the flu! Everyone's mileage may vary...

If your husband likes spicy food and is looking for a way to eat as much as possible yet tame it, there is something I have discovered in authentic szechuan cooking. Its szechuan pepper. Its actually the dried berry (I think) of the prickly ash tree or bush. Its the ingredients they use when you look at an authentic Chinese menu and they refer to "hot and numbing". The szechuan pepper is a numbing spice...its really a trip and awesome, but some people dont care for the flavor and sensation. I love it. It has a floral spice flavor and the numbing is what blocks the heat receptors from the capsicum. You can eat insanely spicy stiff and only sweat "reasonably". It doesn't seem to help on the way "out", if you know what I mean...so...I'll take the heat and deal with the consequences!

What a shame you keep bees and cant eat honey! Life's little injustices are many and varied, that's for sure. It triggers you to binge on carbs huh? That's what I'm worried about with booze. When I start enjoying my liquor (no carbs but does come with calories) I'm going to have to have some low carb eats handy for the alcohol munchies. Not only does booze get its calories burned in first priority over fat in the body, but it causes serious cravings to eat...when one needs to do the opposite to make up for the alcohol calories and actually take in less carb calories to compensate.
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  #6   ^
Old Sat, Feb-03-18, 10:27
Meetow Kim Meetow Kim is offline
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Posts: 154
 
Plan: Atkins Concept
Stats: 225/190/175 Male 70.5"
BF:
Progress: 70%
Location: Central Virginia
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So, Update.

I do have some erytritol now and I find it lacking, but not as offensive as even Stevia is to my senses.

I have found that a tiny squirt of liquid stevia in tea with a rounded teaspoon of erytritol is not bad, but still nowhere near what honey or sugar does.

I'll continue my research and start working on some blends. I notice in sugar alcohol candies they use combinations like erytritol, isomalt, xylitol, stevia, etc.. At some point I'll get in to town where there's a good health food store I go to for stuff I cant find easily or in smaller quantities. They may have some stuff to play with.

I hope that someday I'll be able to enjoy the rare things I do use sugar/honey/agave, etc. in and still be able to maintain my weight. But for now its all about weight loss, so no real sweets at all allowed.
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  #7   ^
Old Fri, Feb-09-18, 06:13
Meetow Kim Meetow Kim is offline
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Posts: 154
 
Plan: Atkins Concept
Stats: 225/190/175 Male 70.5"
BF:
Progress: 70%
Location: Central Virginia
Default Isomalt?

So, my next interest is isomalt. Having enjoyed Sugar Free LifeSavers for a few years now, I realize after going low carb they are a sugar alcohol which negates most of the carbs in dieting formulas. I had been eating them at bedtime or when I cant sleep to have something to suck on and sooth the throat and keep me from midnight eating. The idea being less cavity problems than other hard candies when I started using them.

I have tried Zolli Drops with Erithritol (and other stuff), and they are not bad, but nowhere near as good as the SFLS.

Anyone ever worked with Isomalt? Does it dissolve in, say, hot tea?

I know it comes with gastric issues, but also read it promotes healthy bacteria in the lower intestine and is usually tolerated in 50gram or less measures for adults.

ALSO! I made some coconut flour muffins using Erythritol and they are not bad. A little dense, but it gives a bit of satisfaction if you haven't had a muffin in a while!

This recipe:
https://www.slenderkitchen.com/reci...coconut-muffins

Mine didn't have the crackly looking tops like this but they were attractive. I might do again. It was an experiment to use ingredients I have bought and already had on hand like the Erythritol, coconut flour and I've had coconut oil for some years now in the pantry. My wife has been buying almond milk since starting her diet, so I just happened to have that on hand as well.
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  #8   ^
Old Fri, Feb-09-18, 08:36
Nancy LC's Avatar
Nancy LC Nancy LC is offline
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Plan: Paleo 99.5%
Stats: 210/170/160 Female 67.5"
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Erythritol doesn't give most people gastro effects because the molecule is tiny and is excreted in urine. Never makes its way to the lower GI tract where it can be fermented and cause gas and stuff. It is a fairly good sweetener for cooking and such but it has a "minty" effect on the mouth. It isn't extremely sweet so mixing it with another sweetener is a good idea if you're cooking with it.

There's a good article on Wikipedia about sugar alcohol sweeteners.
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  #9   ^
Old Sun, Feb-18-18, 13:10
Meetow Kim Meetow Kim is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 154
 
Plan: Atkins Concept
Stats: 225/190/175 Male 70.5"
BF:
Progress: 70%
Location: Central Virginia
Default

Thanks Nancy LC,

I did know that about erythritol. And I have been mixing it with a little stevia for tea. As long as I use just a tiny squirt of the liquid stevia its pretty good, but too much and it starts tasting like aspartame to me.

One experiment i did with erythritol is I tried to make simple syrup. It doesn't really work. It becomes crystalline again as soon as it cools. I was stunned to see it. Never expected that. It did render a little bit of sweet liquid, but most just turning in to an earth science experiment...check out this picture!



I also added this sweetener to my wish list. It's a blend of sucralose and erythritol

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00FLD3X2...GKHZ7RQH3W&th=1

Anyone try this stuff?
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  #10   ^
Old Tue, Mar-27-18, 12:31
Buttoni's Avatar
Buttoni Buttoni is offline
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Plan: Atkins/CNS
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BF:5'5" tall
Progress: 35%
Location: Temple, Texas
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I use stevia + dash of erythritol in coffee or tea. I bake with a blend of 2 parts Splenda+1 part erythritol+dash stevia for the synergistic effect of multiple sweeteners.
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  #11   ^
Old Mon, Apr-02-18, 11:16
Meetow Kim Meetow Kim is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 154
 
Plan: Atkins Concept
Stats: 225/190/175 Male 70.5"
BF:
Progress: 70%
Location: Central Virginia
Default

Thanks again Buttoni,

I found a great granules sweetener I really like:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B...00?ie=UTF8&th=1

I acts just like sugar so far for me. This one also re-crystallizes at room temp or fridge so not really good for cold stuff

Also I just got this:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B...0?ie=UTF8&psc=1

To play around with cold drinks, etc. like cocktails. I had bought a bottle of unsweetened cranberry juice for my urinary tract, and its been hard to just take a shot of the stuff, I make worse faces with that than with straight booze! I put about 20 little drops of that liquid sucralose in the bottle and it made it really sweet and very drinkable.

So far I'm having no noticeable side effects from either. I dont use either in large amounts though. I'm looking forward to using the liquid in sauces, etc. as well.
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