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Sweeten Up the Low-Carb Lifestyle

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One of the biggest complaints of people who’ve jumped on the low-carb bandwagon is that they miss good-tasting food. They’ve had to eliminate many of their favorite treats in the interest of keeping their waistline trim.

Anything containing refined sugar and starch is off limits. So no more cookies, cakes, bagels, bread, jam or mashed potatoes. “A lot of people get frustrated pretty early on, but low-carb dieters don’t have to sacrifice taste. There are natural alternatives to refined sugar available,” says Jim May, founder of Wisdom Natural Brands.

He points out that low-carb dieters who practice the art of substitution can still enjoy their favorite treats. “Why use refined sugar when there are alternatives that are both sweeter and better for you,” says May. His company manufactures Sweet & Slender, a natural sweetener made from a blend of fructose and extract from Luo Han Guo, a fruit native to China that has been used for centuries for its sweetness and medicinal properties.

It is similar in flavor and texture to sugar, and because it keeps its sweetness at extreme temperatures (unlike many artificial sweeteners) it is perfect for use in cooking and baking. “An added benefit is that Sweet & Slender provides natural sweetness without the bitter aftertaste and potential long-term health hazards from artificial sweeteners,” says May.

Sweet & Slender is eight to ten times sweeter than refined sugar yet is a zero calorie per serving sweetener. It also has a low glycemic index, which means it breaks down slowly in the system, a quality not only beneficial for dieters, but people with diabetes as well. Here’s a recipe for a tasty treat dieters and people with diabetes can enjoy: *

Yummy Coleslaw 1/2 head small cabbage: (Optional additions to salad: 1 1/2 teaspoons each snipped fresh garden herbs like lemon thyme, parsley, chives, 1/8 teaspoon dried dill weed, 3 ounces cooked salad shrimp.) Dressing: 1/2 cup blender or commercially prepared mayonnaise, 1/4 cup almond milk or cream, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 2 packets Sweet & Slender, 1/4 teaspoon celery seed, 1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt, 1/8 teaspoon lemon pepper.

Directions: In food processor with slicing blade, or by hand, shred cabbage. Place in large bowl, adding any of the optional ingredients. Set aside. In a separate container, combine all ingredients for dressing. Add half of the dressing to the salad fixings, stir well. Serves 6, with enough dressing leftover for one more salad. Store excess dressing in a covered container in the refrigerator up to two weeks. Carb count: Approximately 22.8 carbs total. Fiber, 9.6. ECC, 13.2. Per serving 3.8. Fiber, 1.6. ECC, 2.2.

This recipe is excerpted from Low Carb Cooking at Sharron's Place: Sugar Free Recipes Featuring SteviaPlus by Sharron Long. Sweet & Slender can also be used in place of sugar to sweeten summer fruits and drinks, like tea. You can find Sweet & Slender at most health food and specialty stores. For more information, log on to www.wisdomnaturalbrands.com.

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