Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Pom Wednesday

To begin today’s post I want to start with an interesting food for thought: the use of artificial sweeteners.

As I am sure most of you realize, there has been endless studies done on the creation, development and use of these calorie-free sugar subs and it seems like every 5 years, there is a new addition to the mix. First there was Sweet-N-Low (saccharin) and then came Equal and NutraSweet (aspartame). A few years ago, Splenda (sucralose) took the world by storm claiming that this new form of synthetic sugar is the most natural because it is made from real sugar.

It seems that all of these inventions all fall into the same cycle over time. They are praised initially and then as more research is conducted, more health hazards are associated with them. The latest little packet to be brought to life in supermarkets world-wide is now the introduction of Stevia. What is Stevia you ask? Stevia is an all-natural, calorie-free sweetener that is taken directly from the Stevia plant with no added chemicals or harsh substances. I first was introduced to Stevia when I was in high school and worked in a local little coffee-shop/bistro.

We offered this addition as an option of natural sweeter to your smoothie. Since then, I’ve done a little more reading up on the product and actually grew my own plant and have used the leaves to sweeten teas and other beverages.

I just recently came across a new product in the grocery store the other week…Truvia (which is a byproduct of Stevia). It is basically stevia in the form of an artificial sweetener. These little green packets are similar to splenda and contain around the same grainy consistency. To be honest, using fake sugars has been a little bit of a habit that I developed and just can not seem to break. I have vowed to cut back (one of my resolutions this year) but the problem is, these unnatural forms of sugar are appearing more and more in everyday products. So you think, sure I only use one little packet to sweeten my coffee but then what about the diet coke you had at lunch, or the lite versions of condiments we use everyday.

My friend the nutritionist has always told me that since there is no conclusive understanding on the safeness of these products, it’s probably best to just opt NOT to use them and stick with the real stuff 90% of the time. Easier said than done when you’ve become accustomed to the liking of the stuff. I have found that I actually prefer the sweetness over regular sugar in my coffee. I can’t seem to get my cup sweet enough with real sugar and would end up using quadrupal the amount of real sugar then what I can get from just one lil packet!

So, here are my final thoughts on the issue. I don’t mind using artificial sweeteners and I do think that they are perfectly fine IN MODERATION!!! (Like everything else we put into our bodies). I do like this new Truvia and it has replaced my sweet-n-low in my morning coffee. Since at the moment, Stevia seems to be the best option out there, I think I will stick with it until some new revelation makes way. There are far worse things we could be consuming and so long as you are into inhaling the stuff every time you eat, you more than likely will not experience any health shattering effects.

What are your thoughts on the subject???

Today, as promised I decided to incorporate the Superfood of the week into our dinner. In case you forgot, the food this week is Pomegranate Juice. Earlier this week, I came up with a tasty little beverage creation that allowed me to test it out. I made a Pom Spritzer which contained Pomegranate Sparkling Water, a splash of Pom juice and a squeeze of lime. Very refreshing!!
Tonight, I prepared another lovely dish that I again found on LC’s Blog. It was a Honey Pomegranted Glazed Mahi Mahi.

I served this over pureed butternut squash with some roasted brussle sprouts. We also broke out the leftover wine from V-day and accompanied this meal with a little splash of vino. I have to say, my boy did well with his wine choice. The pino-grito goes fantastic with fish!

Another day down and one more closer to the weekend! Hope everyone had a great hump day!


  1. Hey! I saw that you said you have a hard time getting your coffee to taste sweet enough with regular sugar, and that may actually be because of your artificial sugar consumption. There are studies that have proven artificial sweeteners actually desensitize your taste buds so sweet things with real sugar actually don't taste as sweet, which causes most people to need higher amounts of real sugar, thus making some people gain weight! I believe this is part of the current research/ controversy over artificial sweeteners.

    Anyway! I was just stopping by to answer your question you left on my post. My husband ordered the mugs from Family Christian. I just found the links to the mugs and I'll post them below:



  2. I'm completely with you on this one ... I think Truvia is the best option, too and while I probably use more Truvia than I even should, I think it's definitely better than regular sugar and other artifical sweeteners on the market.