A Guide to Natural Sweeteners

 

Most of us know that sugar is bad for us, but sometimes we just can’t help but succumb to our sweet tooth. Not only is it OK to treat yourself every now and then, you can still make smart choices when doing so. Check out the following list for some natural sugar alternatives, as well as a few ingredients you should always try to avoid.

Look For:

Maple Syrup – This natural sweetener is made using a two-step process. While here are several grades commonly found in most food stores, Grade B is the darkest and has the strongest maple flavor.

Raw, Local Honey – Packed with amazing health benefits, this natural sweetener easily trumps refined table sugar. Plus, honey has immune strengthening properties, as well!

Stevia  – A plant-derived herb that has been used around the world for thousands of years. Keep in mind that stevia is 30 times sweeter than sugar, so tread lightly when substituting in baked goods.

Black Strap Molasses – A strong flavored, sugarcane sweetener full of vitamins and minerals. Use a small amount of black strap molasses when replacing with sugar in recipes.

Xylitiol/ ErythritolThese are common sugar alcohols that have few calories and little aftertaste. Xylitol and Erythritol do not raise blood sugar but may cause digestion issues when over consumed.

Steer Clear Of:

Stay away from products that contain the ingredients below, and remember that, as always (even when indulging!), moderation is key.

Agave

Refined White Sugar Cane

Aspartame

HFCS

Sucralose

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