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Jun. 19th, 2004

Hi, I'm brand new to this community and this is my first post. I hope it's okay to ask this here.
My DH and I would really like to kick refined sugar once and for all. I'm not quite sure where to begin seeing as 1) it's in everything and 2) We have a really, really, really tight budget.  We eat quite healthy already, and the biggest hump is that I love to bake. It's one of my favorite things to do, I really enjoy the experience (honestly it's not about eating the result for me) but don't know how to make anything without refined sugar. I know you can use honey as a substitute but I'm not sure how to go about that since I know it's not an exact measurement. Can you use fructose instead? Is it really that much better? In what ways is organic white sugar better then refined?

If anyone here has kicked refined sugar, or in the process of doing so - are there any tips for someone just beginning? :)
Thanks.

~:) Babs

Comments

( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
babyslime
Jun. 20th, 2004 12:08 am (UTC)
Thank you very much for that response. :) I'm new to the whole sugar thing, and I am still very naive as far as substitutes go.

I have heard of Splenda but never investigated it, what is it made of? Is it aspertame?
(Deleted comment)
babyslime
Jun. 20th, 2004 01:54 am (UTC)
You crucify me with knowledge. :)
Thank you again, I will take all this to heart.
amberskyfire
Jun. 20th, 2004 01:14 am (UTC)
I switched three years ago from refined sugar. The easy part was changing what I had at home. I use raw organic sugar and honey for starters. Raw sugar is much more difficult for your body to break down than refined sugar, so you use up a lot more energy breaking it down. Refined sugar is quite easy to break down, so your body has more of a chance of storing it as fat. I also cut down on my sugar intake because I was hyperthyroidal. My doctor said I had to have surgery to have my thyroid removed and live the rest of my life on medication, but I was skeptical. I gave myself time to cut down on sugar and nearly cut it out completely and now I am completely better. I still watch my sugar intake and have blood tests done regularly. I don't want to end up diabetic. When I'm not at home and I cannot get natural sweeteners, I do without. I have learned (it took a while) to drink my tea plain or with a little lemon. I used to have to have tons of sugar. I switched over a period of one month and now it doesn't bother me. I have heard about stevia and splenda and I have heard they are both great, but I am worried about trying anything new until more is learned about it.
aster13
Jun. 20th, 2004 03:11 am (UTC)
I am not any kind of expert in this area, but to my understanding, it's one of those soemwhat contraversial areas where there are many disagreements, even amongst like-minded types (ie, non "establishment" types, if you see what i mean).
I think that there is a lot of information out there, but quite a lot of it conflicts and in the end we need to decide what our individual priorities are, and what direction we choose to go in.

My personal inclination is to a) avoid things which are overly refined and processed or artificially created and b) to have a good variety.
So, on a personal level, i think it is fine to have some sugar, but that where possible it should be raw or relatively unrefined. I think it is also good to use other methods of sweetening things. To just make another small point, many natural substances have other peripheral benefits, such as containing other vitamins and minerals, or anti-inflammatory properties, so it's not just about the type of sugars contained within something.
Other sweeteners could include:
Mannitol (please could someone give me more information on this as i know very little about it)
Honey - many honeys and most especially manuka honey have a host of extra benefits
Maple syrup
Date syrup
Wheat syrup
Rice syrup
Agave syrup/concentrate
Barleymalt syrup
Sugarbeet syrup
Malt extract/syrups (brown rice, barley, rice, corn and barley)
Corn/maize syrup
Sugarbeet sugar

I know of all these but would like to hear more detailed information on their relative merits from the more technically knowledgeable here.
ex_mamarose134
Jun. 20th, 2004 05:59 am (UTC)
i agree with the above postings, and really, for me, going off all sweets at first was easier. i took a tablet that you can probably get anywhere that sells supplements. it was just a bunch of bitter herbs, not enough to be at medicinal levels, but enough to move your palate away from craving sweets. whiel on it, anything overly sweet tasted too sweet to me, and it helped with my sweet cravings. after a while (like a week or two), things like fresh fruit and corn tasted really wonderful to me, and it was easier to not want all of that sugar. i started eating fruit salads for desserts, and was completely satisfied with it.

once i was did that, i started to reintroduce sweets, but only those that were home made, so i could control the content. i switched to raw organic sugar, which has a wonderful taste to it (taste a few bits, really it has a flavor), and now, commercial sweets taste horrible to me.
babyslime
Jun. 20th, 2004 02:52 pm (UTC)
Hey thanks!
We don't eat sugar on a daily basis, thankfully, we were never that bad... but I think 3 times a week is too much. :( I want to kick it completely.
Raw sugar seems to be the consensus for replacing sugar at home when it's used, so I will keep that in mind. :)
pdxkate
Oct. 16th, 2006 07:25 am (UTC)
I have no idea if you'll get this from the memories on Naturaliving, but I'm curious what this tablet was? How is it marketed? I work at a hippy market with tons of supplements, so we're bound to have it.
witchchild
Jun. 20th, 2004 06:37 am (UTC)
I started using stevia for my coffee and tea two months ago, and since then I have found my taste for refined sugar is going away fast. As for other sweets, I don't each much of them anymore anyway. When I do I usually pick up organic treats.
ourika
Jun. 20th, 2004 07:54 am (UTC)
A few quick baking tricks:

1. Use apple sauce or some other fruit juice. Apple sauce is the one that won't change the flavor of your food, though. I've used it as a "fat" source (instead of butter or oil), and I've used it as a sweetener. If you use apple sauce as a fat you can use less sweetener.

2. I never used an exact honey or fruit juice measurement, but I did a little less than half the recipe amount of sugar. Raw sugar someone already suggested.

3. Every recipe you bake (I swear, try this out, I was skeptical at first, but it WORKS), you can use half the amount of sugar that the recipe calls for. I know, I know, it sounds unbelieveable, but it really works. I tried it with several different things. The only difference is that if they're oatmeal raison cookies, you taste the oatmeal and the raisin more. If it's chocolate cake, you taste the chocolate more. Etc.

4. I started baking things like "banana cakes" instead of things like chocolate cakes. I'd use banana for the sweetener (usually with a touch of sugar, but again, you can use raw sugar) and apple sauce for the oil. It would be extremely moist and squishy cake.

5. Don't be afraid to experiment. A lot of times the consistency may come out funny while you're adjusting to a cake made of full substitutions, but after a few tries, you'll learn how each one works and get your own amounts. I find that when I bake now, I look at a recipe from a cookbook and say, "Oh, ok, it says 2 eggs so I've got half a cup of yogurt. It says 1 cup of sugar and half a cup of brown sugar and half a cup of oil. So I'll use one cup of apple sauce and two bananas or one cup of apple sauce and some pureed strawberries. Etc."

Good luck. Have fun :-)
babyslime
Jun. 20th, 2004 02:57 pm (UTC)
Thank you SO MUCH! That's great advice.
I think I will bookmark your reply. LOL
ourika
Jun. 20th, 2004 08:47 pm (UTC)
Wow. I feel really cool, now. Thank you for letting me know!
yarrowkat
Jun. 21st, 2004 02:49 pm (UTC)
my grandmother also makes a lot of recipes using apple sauce instead of sugar. they were kind of strange the first couple times, but once she figured out the proportions (which didn't take long), they come out fantastic! she uses it in cookies, breads, biscuits, etc.

and apples have so many health benefits! i think this is a great way to go.
blindaurora
Feb. 22nd, 2005 04:30 am (UTC)
I would love to get the recipe for that banana cake you talked about.
ourika
Feb. 22nd, 2005 02:05 pm (UTC)
*grins* It was an easy recipe. I pulled out a recipe for a plain cake. I used the above substitutions:

I used mashed banana for almost all of the oil.
I used soy yogurt for the eggs (1/2 cup per egg).
I added an extra cup of mashed banana (with a few small "chunks" left).
I baked per the cake recipe's instructions.

I don't have the exact recipe because, well, I don't have any recipes. I often end up regretting not writing it down later ;-)
ourika
Feb. 22nd, 2005 02:06 pm (UTC)
Whoops, almost forgot - I'm sure I halved the sugar in that recipe.

If I make it again, I plan on adding some carob or chocolate chips to the batter :-)
vegastarr
Jun. 20th, 2004 11:28 am (UTC)
i've kicked cane sugar, maple syrup, grapes, watermelon, pineapples, apricots, wheat and dairy. it's been hard for me to figure out what to use when i bake because i have a really strong sweet tooth, but here is what i've used/discovered lately:

whole, organic oat and spelt flour instead of refined white flour
brown rice syprup (it's not as sweet as sugar but it's really sticky and binds well)
a little but of stevia
bannanas
apple sauce

if you need any ideas for changing recipes, just ask!
babyslime
Jun. 20th, 2004 03:00 pm (UTC)
Thank you. :)
I am curious, why did you kick grapes, watermelon, pineapples and apricots? I haven't actually heard of someone kicking those before.
(Deleted comment)
vegastarr
Jun. 20th, 2004 05:38 pm (UTC)
yes, it is because of the high glymenic index in them. i'll add them back into my diet one day when i have achieved a balance (my trygilcerides are currently off-the-chart high)
(Deleted comment)
heygts
May. 17th, 2006 11:40 pm (UTC)
Re: In Response...
(Deleted comment)
heygts
May. 22nd, 2006 12:10 am (UTC)
Re: In Response...
You're welcome.
It's interesting how quickly things change and slip through the cracks online. I feel a little bad for all the hard-core web designers, with all the work put into making pages look fantastic when the links no longer work...

Thanks for sharing your recipies. I always enjoy trying new styles of spices and foods.
( 20 comments — Leave a comment )

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