Honey, Maple Syrup, Xylitol, Coconut Palm Sugar, Stevia … all Natural Sweeteners

Healthy natural sweeteners

There are many alternatives to sugar on the market today, including xylitol, coconut palm sugar and agave nectar.

There’s probably a health threatening common product in your pantry… White sugar!

It’s no news anymore that some of the biggest health issues in modern developed countries are caused by our addiction to sweet linked to the excessive consumption of sugar – which translates into serious epidemics such as diabetes and obesity.

Ideally, we should avoid refined sugars and stick to complex carbohydrates – that the body needs to function well: vegetables, fruits and grains offer plenty of those good slow sugars.

But for some of us (probably most of us!), letting go sweet is realistically impossible. Though there’s something we can do: cutting on refined (white) sugar, and switching to one or several alternative natural sweeteners. This simple change in our diet can make a huuuuuuuuge difference on our health!

Well, this being said, you probably think: “what should I switch to?”. You are right, there are so many options now on the market – and some are more unhealthy than sugar – that it’s becoming difficult to pick and choose among the sugar substitutes.

The first element we’ll base our choice upon is health wise. For many health reasons – that I won’t get into in this posting, and following the concept of eating natural foods as the base of your diet, you can start with taking artificial sweeteners off the list. Carefully read labels as they are hiding in all kinds of products (including toothpaste), and discard Nutrasweet (aspartame), Splenda (sucralose), Sweet’N Low ( saccharin), Equal and NutraSweet (aspartame), acesulfame K and neotame, and any products that contain any of those. Which means, next time you are having coffee at a restaurant and the only three options you have – other than no sweetener at all in your coffee – are Splenda, Sweet’N Low and sugar, don’t even think twice and pick the sugar.

The second element of your decision, and a big component of it for most of us, is the taste. We’re used to the flavor and texture of the crunching sugar, or to the way it melts in our mouth. So switching to an alternative sweetener means that we won’t have the exact experience than with white sugar, and we should embrace that change instead of complaining about it and fighting that fact. It’s ok, you’ll still get the sweetness effect and result to different degrees.

So what are the alternatives? You’ve probably heard of honey, maple syrup, molasses, but you might not be so familiar with coconut sugar, agave nectar or xylitol. Once you’ve had my authentic chai recipe with coconut sugar, you’ll never forget it.

Are you confused by so many sugar alternatives available in the market today, and with new ones regularly popping up on your supermarket aisles and showing off about their great health benefits in the magazines…?

Discover and explore a few options based on my own research and experience, from liquid sweeteners to powdered ones:

Honey, Maple Syrup, Agave Nectar – All Natural Liquid Sweeteners

Coconut Sugar, Xylitol, Stevia – All Natural Powdered Sweeteners