Friday, June 15, 2012

Sugar Shack

After a lifetime of sugar and sugary drinks, frankly my waistline is noticing it. 
I decided to give up sugar for the whole month of June and then reevaluate in July.
There are SO many artifical sweetners on the market, the question is which one to use.  I have reviewed a few products and present my findings and grades below.
It should be said that no product was as good as sugar, so if you give sugar an "A" grade, here's how the rest stack up, from worst to first.

STEVIA: This was a disaster.  Price was $11.50 for this 60 ml bottle.  The brand advertises as "non-bitter formula", well I'd had to see the bitter formula.  I can't imagine it being worse.
Taste was like a plant, like I had stuck a bunch of weeds in my iced coffee and stirred.  Perhaps I put too much in, but anything less and it wouldn't have been sweet, which was the whole point of the stuff.
The taste drinking it was kind of bareable. The taste afterward was not.  It was the most bitter disgusting taste I've ever had in my mouth.
All the others I tried more than once, this one once was enough.

SUCRELLA (SPLENDA) - This is a generic version of Splenda with the exact same stuff inside. This cost me about $9 but it says it sweetens like 10 lbs of sugar, or maybe 5 pounds, anyways, a lot.
I knew going in to this that I didn't have to sample Aspertame, I've tried it all over.  McDonalds has a sugar free version of their iced coffee but I found the aftertaste from the aspartame lasted about half an hour and was disgusting.
This product is similar to aspartame.  The aftertaste is just as bad, maybe if the aftertaste from Aspartame was a 8 out of 10 bad, this one would be a 7 out of 10, it's not good.
I tried this in coffee, lemonade and in baking.  It worked best in baking and I didn't really notice an aftertaste in my peach cobbler, but it doesn't brown like sugar so it's harder to tell when the dough is cooked.
Based on the aftertaste, this is really unuseable in drinks.

SUGAR TWIN: This cost about $4.50 and is very concentrated, 1/4 cup = 1 cup of sugar. It's hard to get the dosing right as it comes out in drops, they could have opened up the top a bit more.
Compared to Splenda, this has a much better aftertaste. I put it in lemonade and it made it taste a bit like medicine, I find if you use less than you would sugar it works out better.  There's a level where it's more bitter than you're used to, but any more sweet and you can tell it's not sugar, so you have to work to get the balance right.
So the aftertaste on a badness scale out of 10 is like a 2, hardly noticeable.  Taste is sweet but not quite sugar. I like that this is in liquid form so it's good for drinks, portable.  I will buy this again.

ZERO (Erythritol): I bought this at a health food store and although it's the most expensive, it is the best.  This package cost me $10.00 and is 1/6 the size of a regular package of sugar. Also it's only 70% as sweet as sugar so you have to use more.
This has no after taste, is natural and tastes almost exactly like sugar.  It doesn't absorb water easily so when putting it in drinks, I have to add water and microwave it until it boils, then stir it to disolve, then add the to drink, which isn't really easy to do on the run.
I liked this the most but cost and convenience have to weigh against it.

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