The Low Carb Luxury Newsletter: 
Volume III / Number 02: January 25, 2002: Page 3
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      Advice Lady         

A well-known low-carber in the community answers your questions about everything from nutrition to family issues, stress, and heck — even your love life. She's been the "go to gal" for awhile now when people need a little advice. And who is she? Well, we're not telling. She remains anonymous so that she can better give very frank advice. She doesn't pull any punches. You can remain anonymous too if you want — Just think "Dear Abby" — you know, signing off like "Harried in the Workplace" or "Desperate for Carbs in Detroit". Send in your question to The Advice Lady at

New Sweetener?

Dear Advice Lady,

Do you have any information about "SomerSweet"? A sweetener put out by Suzanne Somers. I have some, but there is not a nutrition listing or ingredient list. It claims to be 5 times sweeter than sugar and is diet favorable for low carb dieters. It tastes good, but I don't think it's 5 times sweeter than sugar. Please let me know if you have information about this product.


SomerSweet Dear Lela —

Suzanne's new SomerSweet is a mixture of Ogliofructose, fiber (inulin), mung bean extract (a maltose-type "sugar" produced when the beans sprout, so this is a little questionable), fructose (more on this below) and Ace-K (Acesulfame potassium.)

You can read more about it at her site.

You'll notice that nowhere at the site does she call it a sugar free sweetener. Instead it's called a "sweet bulking ingredient". Fructose is definitely a form of sugar. It has value in that it has a much smaller (and slower) effect on blood sugar levels. However, fructose is linked to raised cholesterol/triglyceride levels. So ordinarily we don't recommend it.

As you noted, the label states it's "5 times sweeter than sugar", and this is because the primary sweetener is the concentrated Ace K which can be as much as 200 times sweeter than sugar. So far, those we've heard from mostly agree that it tastes good (though most do notice an aftertaste), but that it really isn't 5 times sweeter than sugar.

Her site states "SomerSweet is perfect for Somersizers who want to eat something sweet without having refined sugar." See, they don't say "without having sugar".

The bottom line is, if it can get some results that other sweeteners can't in small amounts (like caramelizing), it has a use in low carbers' diets. But at this point, I would not recommend using it as your daily sweetener substitute if you are on an Atkins or Protein Power style diet. As with all things, Your Mileage May Vary...   The product label can be seen here.

Treats, or No Treats...

Dear Advice Lady,

I work for a law firm, so "legal" treats are of special interest to me!! What are your thoughts on these kind of treats? I know that the internet and health food stores are full of low carb products now - low carb pasta, low carb chocolate, etc. Is this a good thing? Personally, I love the low carb candy bars, but know that it pulls me away from the original low carb way of eating. I just can't figure out if this is a good or bad thing and would like your expert opinion.

      Legally Confused

Eating Treats Dear Confused —

At one time or another, we all feel that way. Especially when the treats seem "too good to be true". There are two questions to ask yourself:  First, are you really using them as "treats" — an occasional "goodie" rather than a daily part of your diet? And second, what kind of treats are you tempted by? The 'specialty' low carb products that offer us breads, pastas, thickeners, etc are usually quite low carb without much in the way of nutrition/ingredient trade-offs. They usually use nut and/or soy flours plus fibers to achieve the lower carb results.

However, the "sweet treats" are more often a problem when eaten too often or in too great a quantity as they can rely on sugar alcohols, glycerines, maltodextrins, etc. to achieve "low-carb" results by taking these ingredients off the carb counts. While they have a lesser effect on blood sugars, they should not be counted as 'free foods' and have a tendency to stall more people than any other items. This is especially true of chocolate items and protein bars. Does this mean they should be avoided? Not necessarily. Some are quite good and if you can truly have them occasionally and they aren't causing you to stall, then they can certainly have a place in your diet.

We do recommend you stay away from anything that triggers other cravings in you.

                                                                             The Advice Lady

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          Low Carb Connoisseur – we put the Dash in Low–!

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