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Question
Posted by: Tessa | 2012/08/13

Sugar alternative

Hi there,

Thank you for this excellent forum and information!

I was wondering what you might suggest as an alternative to sugar in baking (if there is any!). I don''t bake often, nor am I baking for any diabetic/insluin resistant people, nor am I trying to lose weight. However, there is a slight history of type II diabetes in my family and though I don''t eat a ot of baked goodies I always like to optimise the healthiness of things I cook and eat. Plus with the history I would like to err on the side of caution.

I try to keep the " additives"  in my foods to an absolute minimum so I don''t want to use artificial things like splenda or aspartame ever. So I wondered if any of these things like Agave that you hear about are any better than sugar and if they can be used successfully when baking say bran muffins?

Many thanks,
Tessa

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDietDoc

Dear Tessa
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.

b) Monatin
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: mwhildal@mweb.co.za 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.
Best regards
DietDoc

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

3
Our users say:
Posted by: Tessa | 2012/08/14

Thanks! I''ll give it a try!

Reply to Tessa
Posted by: Stacey | 2012/08/14

Hi

I bake the same as you , as also have the family history . I have a recipe for bran muffins that has no sugar or the additive stuff , it uses dates for the sweetness. Its a tried and tested recipe that i developed myself and friends and family enjoy them , they also freeze well, only thing is they dont rise as much as normal muffins

Bran Muffins
Ingredients
250g Whole Wheat Flour
83g Bran
25ml Baking powder
2.5ml mixed spice
5ml salt
2 eggs
500ml Skim milk
60 Dates chopped (or 250g)
Method:
Combine Flour, bran , baking powder , spices and salt
Beat eggs and milk
Add dates to the dry ingredients
Then add the egg mixtures mix well

Consistency: If too dry add some extra milk , mustn’ t be runny , easy to spoon mixture

Bake at 220 for 15-20 mins

You can also add raisins , grated apples if you want

Reply to Stacey
Posted by: DietDoc | 2012/08/14

Dear Tessa
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.

b) Monatin
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: mwhildal@mweb.co.za 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.
Best regards
DietDoc

Reply to DietDoc

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