Category Archives: Useful Tips & Information

Artificial Sweeteners

Today’s brief topic: Artificial Sweeteners. The basic idea behind ETL is that if we stick with whole food, plant based food and beverage choices, we can’t go wrong. That’s easier said than done in some cases, especially when first starting out on the ETL journey. How does ETL apply to sweeteners? I know first hand that on, rare occasion, a date paste, dried monk fruit, or prune puree isn’t going to deliver the desired sweet taste and/or texture in certain foods and beverages. And for those of us trying to lose weight, a zero calorie alternative sweetener that is safe for consumption and ETL is kind of like a dream come true. With refined sugar off the table, what is the next best thing to use when needing that good, old fashioned sugar taste and mouth feel, every now and again, without harming our bodies and staying within the ETL boundaries?

ERYTHRITOL

Erythritol is a polyol (sugar alcohol) and is used as a bulk sweetener in reduced calorie foods. It occurs naturally in fruits such as pears, melons and grapes, as well as foods such as mushrooms and fermentation-derived foods such as wine, soy sauce and cheese.

This is a great four minute video by Dr. Michael Greger, MD explaining the differences of each of the big name artificial sweeteners and whether or not they cause the human body harm: ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS. It’s an eye-opening, four minute bit of information that you will start putting to use immediately. Learn, enjoy, and love yourself.

Do you miss salt? Try miso

Miso

Miso

The product of fermented soybeans and grains, miso is a traditional Japanese seasoning paste that is often used as a salt substitute in Nutritarian cooking. Now, miso is not sodium free but there is a healthy trade-off for using it in place of salt to remedy the bland, salt-less flavor of so many ETL-compliant recipes. A teaspoon of miso has approximately 10 calories and 200 mg of sodium and contributes a relatively high amount of protein (20%), vitamins, and minerals compared to other vegan seasonings. In addition, it is a healthy, probiotic food that helps support digestion by adding beneficial microorganisms to the digestive tract—score! Considering the amazing flavor punch it delivers, the sodium to health trade-off is well worth it in my world. One thing to keep in mind: In order to maintain the healthy benefits of miso, do not cook with it in temperatures over 115°F (46°C). This avoids killing the beneficial live enzymes.

Tips:

• Add it to hot dishes after the pot has been removed from the heat
• Whisk it with liquid before adding it to recipes to ensure even distribution
• The rule of thumb to distinguish between the different types of miso: The darker the miso, the stronger the salt flavor
• Use it sparingly if you absolutely need to avoid sodium