Our new recipes, such as New York Style Cheesecake and Chocolate Coconut Bread, are wheat-free and low- or no-carbohydrate. They fit perfectly into the New Track Your Plaque Diet for gaining control over coronary atherosclerotic plaque, not to mention diabetes, pre-diabetes, hypertension, small LDL particles, high triglycerides, high inflammation (c-reactive protein) and other distortions of metabolism.
However, there’s one compromise: We include use of non-nutritive sweeteners. It’s therefore important to know that artificial sweeteners are not all created equal.
One common tripping point: maltodextrin.
Maltodextrin is composed of polymers (repeating subunits) of glucose, as few as 3 or as many as 20 or more glucose subunits. So maltodextrin is glucose sugar. While it lacks the especially destructive pentose sugar, fructose, maltodextrin is metabolized to glucose and thereby increases blood sugar substantially.
Many artificial sweeteners are bulked up with maltodextrin. For instance, granulated Splenda and Stevia in the Raw, two sweeteners billed as low-calorie and sugar-free that is used on a cup-for-cup basis like sugar, are primarily maltodextrin–with only a teensy bit of Splenda or stevia.
The best artificial sweeteners, i.e., the most benign without a load of maltodextrin, are:
Liquid stevia–Just the extract from stevia leaves and water. It can be a bit pricey, e.g., $10 for a 2 oz bottle, but a little goes a long way.
Truvia–While I’m not too fond of the manufacturer (Cargill), I believe that Truvia is among the better sweeteners around. It is a mixture of the natural sugar, erythritol, that generates little to no blood sugar effects and rebiana (rebaudioside), an isolate of stevia. Some people aren’t too fond of the mild menthol-like cooling effect of the erythritol nor the slight aftertaste. I find it works pretty well in most recipes.
Be aware that, no matter which artificial sweetener you use, it has the potential to stimulate appetite. I therefore like to not eat foods sweetened with liquid stevia or Truvia in isolation but as part of a meal. That way, any appetite stimulation that results is substantially quelled by the proteins and fats ingested.
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