Have you been craving your favorite sweet treats and drinks, but want them without the added sugar? You may have searched for some sugar free varieties, but found that most are commonly made with chemically based artificial sweeteners like aspartame and sucralose.
Luckily, there are some safer, more natural sweeteners that don’t affect your body like sugar and don’t come with many of the harmful side effects that the artificial chemical sweeteners come with.
Stevia is definitely one of the most popular natural sweeteners on the market. While often labeled as an artificial sweetener, it is anything but. Stevia actually comes from the stevia plant, which has a sweet taste without the glucose effects of other forms of sugar. It is a type of herbal supplement, and considered a non-nutritive sweetener. It can mimic sugar in many foods and drinks, and is being found more and more in processed diet or sugar free varieties of foods.
Agave is a desert plant harvested to make tequila and sweet syrup. It is another sweetener that can be considered healthier than sugar, with some added health benefits. However, it is not low in carbs like these other natural sweeteners or artificial sweeteners – so it is often used simply in place of regular white table sugar. Agave syrup provides a lot of sweetness while providing some nutritional benefits.
Agave nectar has a very low glycemic index, which is a measure of how quickly the sugar in a food enters your bloodstream. Almost all of the sugar in agave is fructose and it has very little glucose, at least compared with regular white refined sugar.
Although the Monk fruit does not look very appetizing in its raw form, once it is prepared and made into a spoon-able sweetener, it can be a great sugar substitute.
Monk fruit sweetener is newest natural sweetener to hit the market recently and it is perhaps one of the most popular. This sweetener has no weird aftertaste, like stevia sometimes can, but has all the benefits of other sweeteners. It is extracted from the monk fruit, which has a sweetness very similar to sugar.
Honey is naturally created by bees and packs a punch when it comes to health benefits, such as antioxidant properties, as well as its antibacterial and antifungal powers. The phytonutrients in honey are responsible for its natural health boosters. They’re also thought to be the reason raw honey has shown immune-boosting and anticancer benefits. However, heavy processing can destroy these valuable nutrients, so honey in raw form has the most health benefits.
While honey does contain higher fructose levels, it’s relatively low on the glycemic index, making it one of the best sugar substitutes of the bunch. One study found that replacing sugar with honey could actually lower blood sugar levels and prevent weight gain or aid in weight loss.
Raw honey contains many important antioxidants, including organic acids and phenolic compounds like flavonoids. these amazing flavonoids help regulate cellular activity and fight off free radicals that cause oxidative stress on your body.
So, go and enjoy some sweetness today and soak up the wonderful benefits that natural sweeteners have to offer.