Epilepsy Talk

What’s Sweeter than Sugar and Good for You Too? | June 21, 2010


For many, high sugar intake can cause seizures…along with emotional instability…dizziness…depression…food allergies…diabetes…and osteoporosis…to name just a few.

Even worse, aspartame interacts with anti-seizure medication.  And over the years, various reports have implicated aspartame in headaches, memory loss, seizures, vision loss, coma, and cancer. It also appears to worsen or mimic the symptoms of such conditions as fibromyalgia, MS, lupus, ADD, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, chronic fatigue, and depression. And, after receiving some 10,000 consumer complaints, the FDA compiled a list of 92 symptoms linked to aspartame — including death.

But there ARE two healthy alternatives…

Xylitol is not only a safe, natural sweetener without the bad side-effects of sugar and artificial substitutes, it’s also good for your teeth, stabilizes insulin and hormone levels and promotes good health. In fact, it’s one of the most important alternatives to sugar.  Xylitol occurs naturally and can be found in the fibers of many fruits such as berries, plums, other fruits, along with vegetables, including various corn husks, oats, and mushrooms.

And it’s especially useful for those who have to monitor their sugar intake, like diabetics and those with hyperglycemia. This tolerance is attributed to the lower impact of xylitol on a person’s blood sugar, compared to that of regular sugars and it also has a very low glycemic index of 13 (glucose has a GI of 100).

More good news for those with epilepsy, diabetes and dieters alike. One teaspoon (5 gm) of xylitol contains 9.6 calories, as compared to one teaspoon of sugar, which has 15 calories. And it has virtually no aftertaste.

Xylitol looks, feels and tastes exactly like sugar and can replace sugar in cooking, baking or as a sweetener for beverages. And it’s more than just a substitute; it’s a therapeutic sweetener. Xylitol toothpaste and chewing gum and mints even promote dental health against cavities and tooth decay!  Plus it helps with the dry mouth that many of us suffer from with AEDs.

All you have to do is brush your teeth with xylitol toothpaste (I use it twice a day), chew the gum or suck a xylitol mint after every meal.  Simple enough!

Stevia is a small green plant, produced from a member of the daisy family. It’s the world’s only all-natural sweetener with zero calories, zero carbohydrates and a zero glycemic index. These attributes make stevia a great alternative to sugar or chemical sweeteners. It’s sweet, refreshing taste can be up to 30 times sweeter than sugar.

And various studies have found the leaf to contain proteins, fiber, carbohydrates, iron, phosphorus, calcium, potassium, sodium, magnesium, zinc, true Vitamin A, Vitamin C and an oil which contains 53 other constituents, which is why it’s marketed as a supplement.

Because our bodies don’t metabolize the sweet components of stevia (they pass right through the normal elimination channels) there are obviously no calories. And in its pure form, stevia has no adverse affect on blood glucose levels and it’s safe for both diabetics and hypoglycemics. For people with blood sugar, blood pressure or weight problems Stevia is also a winner.  And, like xylitol, it discourages plaque build up and helps prevent cavities.

Plus, it’s a wonderful low-carbohydrate, low-sugar food alternative. Especially popular as a sweetener for coffees and teas, stevia can also be used in cooking and baking, helping you reduce your calorie intake and stay healthy.

There are loads of recipes on the web which include the amount and form (powder or concentrate) of stevia needed.  In fact, finding recipes for xylitol and stevia is a slam dunk!  So, I’d call it a win-win in all ways!

Another (refuting) article of interest: Xylitol — Good or bad? http://lesliekenton.com/ageless-aging/2012/06/24/xylitol-good-or-bad/

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Resources:

http://doctorweightlossprogram.com/nutrition/668

http://www.rense.com/general83/aspp.htm

http://www.xylitol.org/faqs.asp

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xylitol

http://www.angelfire.com/az/sthurston/xylitol_natural_sweetener.html

http://www.xylitolinfo.com/wps/wcm/connect/xylitol/xylitol/home

http://www.iherb.com/Search?kw=xylitol

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stevia

http://www.stevia.com/Stevia_Article.aspx?Id=2413

http://www.stevia.net/

http://www.steviainfo.com/

http://www.cookingwithstevia.com/stevia_faq.html

http://www.iherb.com/Search?kw=stevia


24 Comments »

  1. Phylis, this is great for me. I have been using aspartame, even though I knew it was bad for me.

    I had never heard of Xylitol and it has a toothpaste, too. I got that right, didn’t I. That is great!!.

    You mentioned the glycemic index. I try to go by that. It is fairly easy. It is great for diabetes.

    Comment by Ruth Brown — June 22, 2010 @ 12:41 AM

  2. Just go to http://www.iherb.com/Search?kw=xylitol and you’re set!

    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — June 22, 2010 @ 1:36 AM

  3. Hmm! I have had problem w/ memory for a while I will have to read this again.

    Comment by Tonialpha — June 22, 2010 @ 5:30 AM

  4. LOL!

    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — June 22, 2010 @ 5:50 AM

  5. I looked it up and I am set. It’s great!!

    Comment by Ruth Brown — June 22, 2010 @ 9:54 AM

  6. Er, like many types of sugar alcohols, xylitol has laxative properties. I am quite sure of that! I believe it is less strong than sorbitol, but still…

    Comment by snowwoman — June 22, 2010 @ 6:49 PM

  7. [...] What's sweeter than sugar as good as GOOD for we too? « Epilepsy Talk [...]

    Pingback by You Can Lower Blood Sugar Levels – It’s Possible With 5 Steps | Free Diabetes Cure Guide — June 22, 2010 @ 8:23 PM

  8. How about Splenda?
    Someone gave me a box of 400 of them and I’m wondering whether to toss them out or not

    Comment by Charlie — October 3, 2011 @ 1:42 PM

  9. Toss them and get some Stevia…if you can. You can order it from http://www.iherb.com.

    Here’s the link to a whole bunch of choices: http://www.iherb.com/Stevia

    Arthur buys http://www.iherb.com/NuNaturals-NuStevia-White-Stevia-Powder-12-oz-340-g/4319?at=0
    (Good value.) The packets are convenient, but if you compare prices, it’s more expensive.

    Comment by Johnson — October 3, 2011 @ 7:23 PM

    • Consider them tossed. Thanx

      Comment by Charlie — October 3, 2011 @ 10:44 PM

      • For 16 years, the FDA refused to approve aspartame. In fact, the FDA’s own toxicologist told Congress that: “Without a shadow of a doubt, aspartame can cause brain tumors and brain cancer and violated the Delaney Amendment, which forbids putting anything in food that is known to cause cancer.” — FDA Toxicologist, Dr. Adrian Gross

        It was finally accepted (for political reasons that are too scandalous to write about here) and here are the results:

        For starters, medical authorities estimate that aspartame has brought more complaints to the FDA than any other additive. Specifically, over the years, various reports have implicated aspartame in headaches, memory loss, seizures, vision loss, coma, and cancer.

        It also appears to worsen or mimic the symptoms of such conditions as fibromyalgia, MS, lupus, ADD, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, chronic fatigue, and depression…

        In fact, aspartame is responsible for 75 percent of such complaints to that agency. And, after receiving some 10,000 consumer complaints, the FDA compiled a list of 92 symptoms linked to aspartame — including death.

        WHY? Because aspartame attacks your body at the cellular level so it can negate all kinds of medications Americans take, including antidepressants, Coumadin, cardiac drugs, hormones, insulin, vaccines, and many others.

        In short, it is a deadly neurotoxic drug masquerading as a harmless additive.

        Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — October 3, 2011 @ 11:59 PM

  10. I believe in natural products for sweetners. Honey, brown sugar, etc……I use what the recipes ask for not the artificial.

    Our livers and organs do an excellent job processing job.

    The artificial sugars used to make me sick. I do not drink it unless I have too.

    My hubby is a toxicologist and pharmacologist and drinks drinks w/ aspartane 24/7. He is fine w/ it.

    Comment by Toni Robison — October 4, 2011 @ 1:08 AM

    • Thanks Toni, I agree about the making you sick thing (Sweet and Low, YUK). My friends used to tell me to try different things or give me “Diet” drinks not telling me and I could always tell the difference.
      I’m a big ‘Sweet Tea’ fan and I’ve been trying to kick the ‘sweet’ habbit and switch to unsweet. I might try some of that Stevia, Phylis recommended. I just don’t want to stir nothing up, considering I’m almost 2 years seizure free.

      Comment by Charlie — October 4, 2011 @ 1:59 AM

  11. When I was in college my friend from Canada would tell me learn to taste the flavor of the tea or coffee. I learned to not add anything w/ my tea. I stopped drinking coffee as much.

    I loved nothing w/ it. My friends thought it was strange but I love the flavor of different teas! I stopped drinking sodas. My friends thought it was strange until they tried it and got used to it. I learned to drink milk w/ tea at times. It was great!

    That is why I do not add sugar to things unless I have to. It was from a friend in Alberta. It i a kick but I love the flavor of natural tastes!

    Comment by Toni Robison — October 4, 2011 @ 2:34 AM

  12. There’s been a lot of hoo-haa about high Fructose Corn syrup lately. Is it something we should avoid?

    Comment by Charlie — November 11, 2011 @ 12:39 AM

  13. Stevia does not work for me, it gives me seizures as well. Last week I tried Shaklee 180 and was having seizures. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong because they boasted All Natural, organic ingredients, until I read the label. It had Stevia in it. I can’t seem to have ANY natural or unnatural artificial or alternative sweeteners. I think they overexcite or overstimulate the neurons in the brain. Kava does the same thing to me, I can’t drink it, even though it’s natural, it gives me seizures as well. I think the call it lowering the seizure threshold, however.

    Comment by Technus — March 3, 2013 @ 5:30 PM

  14. I can see why you tried kava. There’s a lot of positive stuff out there as far as mitigating seizures.

    But, herbs can be tricky. (As you no doubt know.)

    Have you tried Xylitol?

    Not only is it a “safe, natural sweetener” without the bad side-effects of sugar and artificial substitutes, it’s also good for your teeth, stabilizes insulin and hormone levels and promotes good health.

    In fact, research claims, it’s one of the most important alternatives to sugar.

    Xylitol occurs naturally and can be found in the fibers of many fruits such as berries, plums, other fruits, along with vegetables, including various corn husks, oats, and mushrooms.

    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — March 3, 2013 @ 5:48 PM

  15. PLUS the fake sugar , can cause cancer .. have to watch that .. i rather be safe .. i use honey .. its natural , plus safe for those with E , diabetics , then theres coconut sugar ! you dont use as much plus is organic .. if you dont coconut sugar , tell the truth , doesnt taste like it either ..i use both honey & coconut , lol , not together though .. yes it was my MIL that told me to put in coffee , thought to myself hmm , sure i will give it a try .. it taste AWESOME !!, i use it in my tea , so why not ..

    Comment by cathy — March 16, 2014 @ 10:35 AM

  16. Great alternatives Cathy. I know we use coconut oil and macademia oil for cooking and my husband uses coconut milk for his coffee, but I never heard of coconut SUGAR.

    Do you get it at a health food store?

    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — March 16, 2014 @ 11:18 AM


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    Phylis Feiner Johnson

    Phylis Feiner Johnson

    I've been a professional copywriter for over 35 years. I've also had epilepsy for decades. My mission is advocacy; to increase education, awareness and funding for epilepsy research. Together, we can make a huge difference. If not changing the world, at least helping each other, with wisdom, compassion and sharing.

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