Our expert says:
Thank you for your kind words which make my day despite this freezing weather! Most of the sugar alternatives are compounds such as aspartame or neotame which you will probably not want to use. I am going to include the sections of an article on 'Artificial Sweeteners - An Update - Part I' which I wrote that was published on the Diet site (Click on 'Diet & Nutrition' at the top of this page to visit the Diet site of Health24.com) for your information regarding 2 new alternative sweeteners called Stevia and Monatin. You will notice that these products are still in the development phase and should be available over time. a) Stevia
Prof Magnuson (2012) pointed out that Stevia sweetener is produced by means of hot water extraction of so-called ‘steviol glycosides’ from the leaves of the Stevia rebaudiana shrub which grows in Uruguay. After extraction the Stevia Sweeteners need to be purified until they contain not less than 97% of steviol glycosides before the regulatory authorities will approve them for use by humans. Unfortunately a number of extracts that do not meet the strict criteria of the JECFA are often sold as natural sweeteners. In general such poor quality Stevia sweeteners are not used in commercially produced foods manufactured by reputable food processing companies.
The JECFA ADI for Stevia sweeteners is 4 mg/kg/day. The glucosides in the Stevia extracts are not absorbed, but the glycosides are metabolised by the microorganisms in the gut to compounds called steviol which is absorbed in the human small intestine and is then excreted in the urine.
This new LCS is extracted from the root of the Sclerochitin ilicifolius plant which grows in the Transvaal region of South Africa. The extract of this plant is purported to contain an intensely sweet substance. Prof Magnuson (2012) reported that at present, toxicity studies are being conducted so that this LCS can be submitted to regulatory agencies worldwide for approval. We shall have to wait and see if this homegrown non-nutritive sweetener will be approved for human consumption.
You can contact Hilda Lategan, who is also a dietitian, on (012) 546-6410) or send her an e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org to buy a copy of her cookbook for diabetics, which is called 'South African Cookbook for Diabetes and Insulin Resistance'. This cookbook contains super recipes including cakes and puddings which individuals with a tendency to insulin resistance or diabetes can eat and enjoy.
Hopefully Stevia and Monatin will soon be available on the SA market.
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