VITAMIN AND MINERALS QUIZ: WHICH FOOD HAS MORE?

DON’T LET THE PICTURES SWAY YOUR SELECTIONS!

  1. Which has more vitamin C?
    a. 1 cup (C) orange juice
    b. 1 C strawberry halves

OJ

2.  Which has more potassium?

a. 1 medium-sized banana

b. 1 medium-sized white potato (baked)

BANANAS

3.  Which has more vitamin A?

a. ½ C carrot strips or slices

b. 1 C raw spinach

SPINACH LEAVES

4.  Which has more iron?

a. 3 ounces (oz) cooked 90% lean ground beef

b. 1 C cooked black beans

GRILLED HAMBURGER

5.  Which has more vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)?

a. 4 oz chicken breast (broiler or fryer)

b. ½ C raw green peas

GRILLED CHICKEN

6.  Which has more vitamin E?

a. ½ C shelled English walnuts

b. Two large egg yolks

HARD BOILED EGGS

7.  Which has more calcium?

a. 3 oz canned salmon with bones (drained)

b. ½ C 2% milk

MILK

8.  Which has more magnesium?

a. ¼ C dried sesame seeds (whole)

b. 1 C shredded romaine lettuce

SESAME SEEDS

Answers
1.  b. The strawberries win, but just barely at 89.4 milligrams (mg) vitamin C, while the orange juice contains 81.9 mg.
2.  b. The baked potato wins by quite a bit. It contains 926 mg, while a banana contains 422 mg.
3.  a. The carrots contain 10,190 international units (IU) of vitamin A, compared to 2813 IU for spinach.
4.  b. The black beans provide 3.6 mg of iron, while the ground beef provides 2.4 mg.
5.  a. The chicken contains four times as much vitamin B6 as the peas do—0.4 mg vs 0.1 mg.
6.  b. The egg yolks contain twice as much vitamin E as the shelled walnuts—0.8 mg vs 0.4 mg.
7.  a. The salmon contains 212 mg calcium, and the milk contains 143 mg (yes, you eat the tiny bones).
8.  a. The ¼ C of sesame seeds provides 126 mg of magnesium, while the romaine lettuce provides only 6.6 mg.

HOW DID YOU SCORE?

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ZINC: ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW

GRILLED CHICKEN

Chief functions

  • Works with protein in every organ
  • Helps nearly 100 enzymes
  • Makes parts of the cells’ genetic material
  • Makes heme in hemoglobin
  • Assists the pancreas with its digestive function
  • Helps metabolize carbohydrate, protein, and fat
  • Liberates vitamin A from storage in the liver
  • Helps to regulate gene expression in protein synthesis
  • Affects behavior, learning, and mood
  • Assists in immune function
  • Essential to wound healing, sperm production, taste perception, fetal development, bone growth, and growth and development in children
  • Needed to produce the active form of vitamin A in visual pigments

GRILLED HAMBURGER

Possible benefits

  • Protective role in oxidative damage under investigation
  • Might aid in the prevention and treatment of cancer
  • Might aid in the treatment of anorexia by improving taste perception
  • Might reduce tooth decay caused by bacteria in the mouth by inhibiting growth of disease-causing bacteria

MILK

Deficiency symptoms

  • Impaired immunity
  • Abnormal taste
  • Abnormal vision in the dark
  • Altered digestive function (profound), causing diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Slow wound healing
  • Anemia
  • Slow growth
  • Delayed sexual maturation
  • Hair loss

LEGUMES

Toxicity symptoms

  • Might interfere with the normal function of the immune system

OYSTERS

Nutrient-nutrient reactions and absorption

  • Fiber and phytates bind zinc, making it unavailable to the body
  • High doses block copper absorption, lowering the body’s copper content
  • High doses may reduce the high-density lipoprotein (HDL), good cholesterol
  • May inhibit iron absorption from the digestive tract
  • Assists in the transportation of vitamin A in the blood
  • Zinc deficiency increases the amount of dietary vitamin E necessary to maintain normal blood and tissue levels of vitamin E
  • Adequate zinc intake might aid in vitamin D and calcium metabolism, and reduce bone loss associated with marginal calcium intake

DRI

mg

Tolerable Upper Limits

0-0.5 year

2

4

0.5-1 year

3

5

1-3 years

3

7

4-8 years

5

12

9-13 years

8

23

Male 14-18 years

11

34

Female 14-18 years

9

34

Male 19-70 years

11

40

Female 19-70 years

8

40

Pregnant

11

40

Lactating

12

40

DRI=Dietary Reference Intakes
mg=milligram

SHELLFISH

Dietary sources

  • Best—oysters, meats, shellfish, poultry, milk, and milk products
  • Good—legumes and whole grains (although not as well absorbed as from meat)

Groups at highest risk for deficiency

  • Pregnant women
  • Young children
  • Elderly
  • Low-income individuals
  • Athletes
  • Vegetarians or vegans

MILK PRODUCTS

Other facts

  • Zinc deficiency is a possibility when children present with poor growth and poor appetite

VEGETARIAN STUFFED PEPPERS IN THE CROCK POT

VEGETARIAN STUFFED PEPPERS

4-5 peppers (any color or variety) seeded
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cups instant brown rice (uncooked)
1 (15oz) can black beans, rinse and drain
1 (15oz) can kidney beans, rinse and drain
1 (28oz) can diced tomatoes (can use with spices)
1/2 cup water
1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
2 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp cumin
1 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp cilantro
1/2 cup salsa (mild, medium or hot – your preference

Mix altogether and stuff peppers. Top each with a chunk of pepper jack cheese and 2 tbsp salsa. Place in crock pot with 1/4 cup water. Cook on LOW 5-6 hours.

Serves 5:

Per Serving: 383 calories; 61g carb; 8g fat; 21g protein; 1193g sodium; 14g sugar

EASY WAYS TO GET MORE CALCIUM WITHOUT TAKING A SUPPLEMENT

MEN AND WOMEN OVER 50 ESPECIALLY NEED TO BE AWARE OF CALCIUM SOURCES IN THEIR DIET.  CALCIUM ADULT DAILY REQUIREMENT (DRI):
1000 mg (≤age 50)
1200 mg (>age 50)

Maybe you are tired of milk or just want to try something new. Either way, these tips can help you to build your bones while adding some variety to your diet.

Better juices
Switch from regular fruit juice to a calcium-fortified juice, but watch your serving size. The calories from juice can add up fast!

dry milk

Milk powder
Mix 1 quart of milk with 1 cup (C) of dry milk powder. Use just as you would regular milk.

Fruit dip
Make a fruit dip using 8 ounces of vanilla yogurt, 2 tablespoons (Tbsp) of sugar (or an equivalent amount of sugar replacement), a dash of cinnamon, 3 Tbsp of orange juice concentrate (make sure it is calcium fortified), and ¼ C shredded coconut.

Dried figs
Add some dried figs to your frozen yogurt, salad, hot cereal, or snack mix.
beans 2
Beans
Add beans to your favorite soups and casseroles. Look for new recipes containing beans.

tofu

Tofu
If you have never tried tofu before, there is nothing to fear. The important thing is to make sure that you choose a product that is calcium-fortified. Tofu essentially has no taste, taking on the flavors of whatever other foods it is cooked with. You even can add silken tofu to a fruit smoothie or milk shake.

Frozen yogurt
Choose frozen yogurt instead of ice cream.

Salmon burgers
Make salmon burgers, but not from boneless salmon—you actually want to consume the tiny bones. Also sardines (if you like them) can be eaten with whole grain crackers.

Cottage cheese
Use cottage cheese in place of ricotta cheese in your favorite recipes.

Reduced-fat or fat-free sour cream
Top your baked potatoes, tacos, etc with reduced-fat or fat-free sour cream.

parfait

Yogurt parfait
Layer yogurt, fruit, and cereal in a dish or fluted glass. If you use plain yogurt, add a drizzle of honey.

Bread
Choose a bread that is fortified with calcium.

almonds

Almonds
Add almonds to your favorite baked goods or eat them whole.

Better than milk
Add Carnation® Instant Breakfast or Ovaltine® to your milk.

total

Cereal
Choose a calcium-fortified cereal, such as General Mills Total®.

Reduced-fat cheddar cheese
Top your chili, baked potatoes, casseroles, crackers, or tacos with reduced-fat cheddar cheese. Cabot® 50% Reduced Fat Cheddar contains 70 calories, 4.5 grams (g) of fat, 8 g of protein, 6% of your daily allowance for vitamin A, and 20% of your daily allowance for calcium in each ounce. For many other ways to incorporate this healthy source of protein and calcium into your diet, visit www.cabotcheese.com.

VEGETARIAN MEALS: PREPARATION TIPS AND RECIPE

Vegetarian Meals: Preparation Tips

These suggestions may give you some new ideas for making vegetarian meals.

Beans


Try substituting beans for animal protein in all of your favorite dishes. For example, make black bean burgers instead of hamburgers, and bean enchiladas instead of traditional enchiladas. Even try mixing cannellini beans into your pasta or using kidney beans in place of meat in your favorite sloppy joe recipe.

Meat substitutes


Many meat substitutes are available at most major grocery stores. It is more than just veggie burgers anymore. Try meatless ribs, sausage, chicken wings, franks, and bacon or soy crumbles to replace ground beef.

Hearty vegetables

vegetables
Try using heartier vegetables, such as portobello mushrooms and eggplant, to create filling, healthy meals. Use these vegetables to replace meat in your favorite dishes, such as lasagna.

Tofu

tofu
Tofu picks up the flavor of any other ingredient that it is mixed with. If you mix it into a stir-fry, it will pick up the flavor of the soy sauce, and if you mix it into a fruit smoothie, it will pick up the flavor of the fruit. This versatile ingredient adds protein to any dish. You can even use soft tofu to create a vegetable dip for a fast and easy snack.

Grilled vegetables


Grill vegetables and top with cheese to make a fast and easy sandwich. It is especially tasty to brush the vegetables with a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar before grilling. As an alternative, make marinated shish kebabs for a quick meal.

Soups
Enjoy split pea soup, lentil soup, or meatless chili, paired with whole-grain bread for a satisfying meal.

Ethnic foods
Experiment with different ethnic food dishes. For example, many traditional Middle Eastern, Asian, South Indian, and Mexican dishes are vegetarian.

Flavorings
Try a variety of flavored oils, vinegars, cooking wines, fruit and vegetable juices, herbs, and spices to liven up vegetable-based dishes.

Calcium
If you are trying to avoid cow’s milk, consume calcium-fortified soy milk, orange juice, breakfast cereals, bread, or other products to make up for the loss of calcium in your diet. In addition, include the following calcium-rich foods (1 cup of cooked or 2 cups of raw):

  • Bok choy
  • Broccoli
  • Collards
  • Chinese cabbage
  • Kale
  • Mustard greens
  • Okra

Nut butters


Use peanut, almond, and cashew butters to add a touch of sweetness, “staying power,” and nutrition to oatmeal, stir-fries, smoothies, etc.

COOLER WEATHER IS COMING! TRY THIS HEARTY VEGETARIAN CHILI MADE WITH TOFU CRUMBLES!  This cooks in the Crock Pot all day.

chili

1 (16oz) bag frozen onion and pepper stir fry mix
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 jalapeno peppers, minced (add more if you prefer a hotter chili)
1 (15oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15oz) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 (12oz) can tomato paste
1 (28oz) can tomato puree
1 can Campbell’s Tomato Soup
1 (12oz) bag Morning Star Tofu Crumbles (Can use other brands)
1 Tbsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
5-6 tbsp chili powder

You can add portobello mushrooms or celery and carrots or even another can of beans. Place all together in the Crock Pot and stir to combine. Cook on Low 8-10 hours.

ENJOY CUTTING DOWN ON MEAT AND ADDING GREAT, FLAVORFUL ALTERNATIVES!

FOOD ALLERGIES: PARENT RESOURCES

Allergies in Children: Parent Resources

PEANUTS

Navigating the various resources in order to understand childhood allergies sometimes is overwhelming. The following credible sources are research based and well renowned.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is the leader in health information for children. Visit the AAP at www.aap.org, and enter the allergy you wish to research in the search box at the top left hand side of the screen. A more thorough look at the Web site will reveal articles on how to determine if a child has a food allergy (signs and symptoms), as well as audio files and resources for families.

Also popular is www.kidswithfoodallergies.org. Almost any allergy question is answered through the Parenting Resources area of the Web site. Information is broken down into:

  • Allergy-friendly food reports
  • Basics
  • Diagnosis and testing
  • Emotional and social issues
  • Food allergens
  • Food and cooking
  • Gastrointestinal disorders
  • Holidays
  • Managing food allergies
  • Medication and pharmacy
  • Product safety and labeling
  • School and preschool
  • Shopping
  • Support

MILK

The food allergy and anaphylaxis network is available at www.foodallergy.org. You can sign up for alerts to notify you of food allergens. This site is extremely user friendly and has up-to-date information on news and media information related to food labeling and advocacy.

Although this site is possibly too sophisticated for young children, http://kidshealth.org/kid/ill_injure/sick/food_allergies.html is a good site to teach your older children about food allergies and what to expect. This site discusses:

  • What it feels like to have an allergic reaction
  • What to expect at the doctor’s office
  • What is going on inside the body with an allergic reaction

For information regarding the role of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in regulating the labeling of foods that commonly cause allergic reactions, review Food Allergies: When Food Becomes the Enemy, which is available on line at:

http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=40649

SHELLFISH

Nicolette Dumke has written a book called The Ultimate Food Allergy Cookbook and Survival Guide: How to Cook With Ease for a Food Allergy Diet and Recover Good Health. (ISBN: 13:978-1-887624-08-4). Dumke is the author of several cookbooks for those living with food allergies. This particular book offers suggestions to keep health on the forefront of dietary intervention.

WHEAT

The following resources also are recommended:

BREASTFEEDING: 12 TIPS FOR SUCCESS

If you’re on WIC be sure to hook up with a CLC or IBCLC or ask your physician for a referral to one.  These are Certified Lactation Consultants and International Board Certified Lactation Consultants who have worked many hours with breastfeeding moms and passed arduous exams to obtain these credentials.

1. Prepare for breastfeeding

index1

Get the information and training you need about breastfeeding during pregnancy. Check with your health care professional and/or hospital to see if and how they teach and support breastfeeding.

  • Clarify any breastfeeding and parenting concerns
  • Read materials and watch programs on breastfeeding
  • Take a class on breastfeeding
  • Choose a baby-friendly hospital; direct the staff not to give your baby formula or water

2. After birthing

At birthing, breasts release colostrum, which is rich in nutrients and antibodies. It’s important to breastfeed within an hour of birthing to accelerate milk production and postpartum hormones, as well as to help the breasts manufacture mature milk.

  • Breastfeed early and often
  • Do not give your newborn pacifiers or bottles

3. In your room

images3

Have your newborn stay with you in hospital room.

4. Hunger

Learn your newborn’s hunger signals.

5. Trust your baby

images4

The size of your breasts, large or small, makes no difference in breastfeeding success.

  • Trust your baby to eat the right amount
  • Trust yourself—you’re producing just the right amount of milk

6. Positioning

Position yourself and baby properly and comfortably for pain-free and efficient nursing.

7. Nursing frequency

images4

Nurse whenever baby wants to eat (on demand) and very frequently the first few months (as often as eight to twelve times every 24 hours). Your baby will have growth spurts and have varying appetites, so feed accordingly.

8. Offer both breasts

Offer both breasts at each feeding, alternating the breast you start with, so that both breasts get emptied of the “hind milk” (the high-fat milk expressed last).

  • Alternate breasts to prevent tenderness
  • Mark the last breast with a safety pin on your bra; start with the other breast next time
  • Allow nipples to air dry when possible

9. Burping baby

images8

Burp baby when you switch breasts and at the end of each feeding.

10. Breastfeeding in front of others

Get over embarrassment about breastfeeding in front of others, and don’t worry about leaks that occur naturally when you hear a baby cry or even think about your baby.

  • Wear nursing pads and a good support bra day and night

11. The need for support

images7

Find, ask for, and accept help and support from family, friends, and experts.

  • Join a breastfeeding support group or get lactation counseling

12. The going-back-to-work nursing routine and pumping

Prepare early for the going-back-to-work nursing routine and pumping. Nursing before work, soon after work, and in the evening, keeps up adequate milk supply.  IT IS A LAW IN NEW YORK STATE THAT YOUR EMPLOYER PROVIDE A SPACE (NOT A BATHROOM) AND TIME FOR YOU TO PUMP DURING WORK.  WIC Can also help with quality pumps and how to use them!

  • Help baby adjust to drinking breast milk from a bottle

images5

DON’T LET THOSE FORMULA COMPANIES THAT ARE RAKING IN BIG BUCK AT YOUR EXPENSE FOOL YOU – THERE IS NO FORMULA THAT IS JUST LIKE BREAST MILK!

PICKY TODDLER: STEPS TO PREVENTION

images 9
Toddlers require fewer calories per pound of body weight and, therefore, require less food after their first birthday. Growth rate slows down—only one tenth of what it was when they were babies.Recognize that your child doesn’t have the same eating pattern as you and that his/her pattern varies from day to day. His/her appetite also varies, just as yours does. He/she may not appear interested or hungry at breakfast, eating a few bites of cereal, but devour three helpings of food at dinner. Follow his/her lead and respect his/her hunger cues.Involve the toddler in food buying and preparation to increase his/her interest in food. Give him/her simple tasks like washing carrots or tearing lettuce.

index 1

Make sure your toddler always eats at the table or in the highchair. Picky eaters want to graze all over the place.

Eliminate as many distractions as possible at mealtimes.

Avoid giving your toddler too many choices. Keep the menu and the look of his/her plate simple.

images 3

If giving choices, limit them to two. Toddlers reject foods so they can control decision-making.

Avoid overwhelming your toddler with too much food. Keep portions small. Use the One Tablespoon Rule—serve 1 tablespoon of each food for each year of the child’s age. You can always add small amounts as wanted.

Coping with the picky toddler

Toddlers commonly go on food jags and want the same food day after day. Go with it; it will run its course. It won’t hurt if your toddler is deficient in a few food groups for a few weeks. Toddlers try to establish independence or get attention. After a few weeks, vary the favorite food or menu slightly.

images 4

Avoid feeding your toddler too often. Spacing meals and snacks at specific intervals is important so he/she will feel hungry. Some toddlers may fill up at one meal and cruise until empty.

Serve simple foods to keep flavors fresh and true.

Know it’s OK if your child leaves food on his/her plate.

Never force, pressure, or bribe your child to clean his/her plate. Stop the “disease to please.” Toddlers have small tummies and short attention spans. When your child is hungry, he/she will eat. They should NEVER be expected to eat to please you.

Expect your toddler to object, reject, or complain about new or all food on his/her plate. Keep serving new food periodically, so you do not contribute to his/her pickiness.

Toddlers may consistently refuse certain types of foods. Respect his/her preferences, if they are strong and few. Remember, you don’t like everything either.

images 5

Introduce a sample of a new food when your toddler is hungriest. Offer only one new food at a time.

Serve a variety of easy to manage foods, but never bribe and do not create a power struggle if your child refuses to eat.

Relax. Pushing your child to eat gives him/her negative attention and increases pickiness. Worrying only makes things worse.

images 1

WHAT IS KANIWA (BABY QUINOA)?

Kaniwa

Kaniwa is creating quite a buzz lately, with some people even referring to it as a “superfood.” Kaniwa is a seed grown in Peru and Bolivia that is eaten as a grain product.

It is related to quinoa, and is prepared and consumed in a similar fashion, but kaniwa seeds are half the size of quinoa. Unlike quinoa, kaniwa does not contain saponins and you do not need to thoroughly rinse it prior to eating.

Kaniwa often is prepared as porridge or served as a side dish alone or as a component of salad. It also has appeared in recipes for stir-fries, casseroles, soups, and stews and is sometimes used to “bread” meats and fish. Kaniwa flour is used in a variety of baked goods, puddings, and beverages similar to hot chocolate.

kinawa

Kaniwa is high in protein and provides fiber, iron, calcium, and zinc. It is a gluten-free food.

A cooked ½-cup (C) serving (¼ C dry) contains:

img_ing_kaniwa-quinoa-baby1

  • 178 calories
  • 3 grams (g) fat
  • 29 g carbohydrate
  • 7 g protein
  • 6 g fiber

Kaniwa is also high in antioxidants, both in the extrudate and bran form. About 43% of the fatty acids in kaniwa are omega-6.

For the best flavor, toast kaniwa prior to cooking.  To prepare kaniwa: combine 1 C kaniwa with 2 C liquid, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer (covered) for 15–20 minutes. Allow to sit (covered) for 10 minutes, then fluff with a fork and serve.

img_kaniwa-quinoa-baby

To purchase kaniwa, check your area’s health food store or in the bulk section at some Whole Foods locations. It can also be purchased online from a number of retailers, including Amazon.com.

kaniwa quinoa-grilled-vegetables-2

KANIWA QUINOA SALAD WITH GRILLED VEGGIES

HERE’S THE RECIPE

References and recommended readings
Dean & DeLuca®. Zocalo kaniwa flour. Available at: http://www.deandeluca.com/pantry/pantry-new/zocalo-kaniwa-flour.aspx.

Fitday®. Kaniwa: the next superfood? Available at: http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/nutrition/kaniwa-the-next-superfood.html.

GoGo Quinoa™. Kaniwa (quinoa baby). Available at: http://www.gogoquinoa.com/products/grains/kaniwa-quinoa-baby/.

Repo-Carrasco-Valencia R, Acevedo de La Cruz A, Icochea Alvarez JC, Kallio H. Chemical and functional characterization of kañiwa (Chenopodium pallidicaule) grain, extrudate and bran. Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 2009;64(2):94-101.

Repo-Carrasco R, Espinoza S, Jacobsen SE. Nutritional value and use of the Andean crops quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa) and kañiwa (Chenopodium pallidicaule). Food Reviews International [serial online]. 2003;19(1-2):179-189.  Available at: http://www.mendeley.com/research/nutritional-value-andean-crops-quinoa-chenopodium-quinoa-ka%C3%B1iwa-chenopodium-pallidicaule/.

BAKING WITH SUGAR SUBSTITUTES

Baking With Sugar Substitutes

I am not a big fan of the use of sugar substitutes although I do like my sugar free lemonade in the summertime.  With carbohydrate counting even diabetics can learn how to work sweet treats into their meal plan without having to use sugar substitutes.  While portion control always will remain a concern, learning to bake with sugar substitutes, also known as artificial sweeteners or non-nutritive sweeteners, can help you enjoy your favorite baked goods, without using up all of the carbohydrates allowed for the entire meal with dessert.

SUGAR SUB

Seven sugar substitutes are on the market, all with different names and packaging. Which one you choose may depend on cost, availability, your level of baking savvy, and personal taste preference. All of these sweeteners are deemed safe for consumption by the US Food and Drug Administration or you would not find them on store shelves! You can purchase these products in stores or online.

SUGAR SUB 1

Each has its own Web site, which provides recipes, tips, and other useful information about the products. Here are a few:
Sweet’N Low®: http://www.sweetnlow.com/
SugarTwin®: http://www.sugartwin.com/
Sweet One®: http://www.sweetone.com/
Sunett®: http://www.sunett.com/
NutraSweet®: http://www.nutrasweet.com/
Equal®: http://equal.com/
NatraTaste®: http://www.natrataste.com/
Splenda®: http://www.splenda.com/
Truvia®: http://truvia.com/

SUGAR SUB 2

The oldest of the sugar substitutes is Sweet’N Low, commonly known as “the pink packet.” Composed primarily of saccharin, each individual packet of granular sweetener is equivalent in sweetness to 2 teaspoons (tsp) of sugar. Sweet’N Low also is sold in a liquid form, which is measured in drops. SugarTwin is a similar brand of saccharin sweetener.

SUGAR SUB 3

Sweet One and Sunett are made from acesulfame-K (Ace-K). These and the saccharin sweeteners do not lose their sweetness when heated and are therefore well suited for use in cooking and baking. All of the sweeteners previously mentioned are ultrasweet and are used in very small quantities in recipes. Even though their levels of sweetness are not the same, you generally can interchange any of the saccharin or ace-K sweeteners in your recipes without altering the taste to a noticeable degree; this is because such small amounts are used in home recipes.

SUGAR SUB 4

NutraSweet, Equal, and NatraTaste all are made from aspartame. They are good substitutes for sugar in some recipes, but may lose their sweetness with prolonged heating. If you are making recipes that require long cooking times or high temperatures, stick with one of the previously mentioned sweeteners. Equal is known as “the blue packet.”

SUGAR SUB 5

Splenda, which is made from sucralose, is relatively new to the market. Splenda is heat stable. It is sold in packets, as well as in a granular packaged form. The contents of the packets vs granular packaged form are not the same—the packets are just sucralose, while the bulk packages have larger granules that measure “spoon for spoon,” the same as real sugar.

SUGAR SUB 6

Truvia, which is made from the stevia plant, is the newest non-nutritive sweetener to the market. One packet of Truvia is equal to the sweetness of 2 tsp of sugar. It is good for baking.

SUGAR SUB 7

Both Equal and Splenda now have “baking blends,” which are measured cup for cup like sugar in your recipes. Read the Nutrition Facts panels carefully to make sure you are not getting more carbohydrate than you think and to make sure you are purchasing the correct product. If you are not very confident in the kitchen, you may want to start out using one of these products. They make it easier to achieve good results, but your goodies may contain more carbohydrates.

SUGAR SUB 8

Sugar provides several qualities to baked goods in addition to sweet taste, such as volume and texture. Therefore, it often is difficult to completely replace the sugar in any given recipe. It is generally recommended that you replace half of the sugar in a recipe with an artificial sweetener, but sometimes you can substitute more than that, depending on your recipe (how the sugar functions in the recipe) and your personal taste preferences. For example, if a recipe calls for 1 cup (C) of sugar, first try using ½ C of sugar and 12 packets of sweetener.

Sweetener Substitution Chart

Measure

Packets

Bulk

Liquid

¼ C granulated sugar

6 packets

2 tsp

1½ tsp

⅓ C granulated sugar

8 packets

2½ tsp

2 tsp

½ C granulated sugar

12 packets

4 tsp

1 Tbsp

1 C granulated sugar

24 packets

8 tsp

2 Tbsp

C=cup, Tbsp=tablespoon, teaspoon

To improve texture and volume of low-sugar baked goods, experiment with the following tips:

  • Decrease dry ingredients by 25% (for example, if a recipe calls for 1 C flour, use ¾ C instead)
  • Bake in a slightly smaller pan
  • Reduce baking time slightly
  • Add an extra egg or two egg whites
  • Increase some of the liquid ingredients, such as water, milk, or juice

For a powdered sugar substitute, combine ¾ C Splenda Granular with 2 Tbsp cornstarch in a blender jar. Cover and blend until Splenda is a very fine powder (1 Tbsp is ½ carb exchange).

Perhaps the best advice is to follow the instructions and recipes found on each product’s Web site, because these recipes are tested by professionals using the sweeteners. Baking with sugar substitutes sometimes is challenging, but with experimentation and patience you can achieve good results.