We all love a little bit of sweetness in our life, right?!
With so many sugar alternatives out there, its hard to figure out the healthiest one.
From Sweet’N’Low, Splenda, Truvia, Aspartame, sugar alcohols, honey, there are a lot of sugar alternatives!
Let’s first distinguish the difference between natural VS artificial sweeteners.
Natural sweeteners are sugar substitutes that are often promoted as healthier options than white sugar or other sugar substitutes. They are often processed and refined, although “natural”. Although a natural sweetener, some of these sugars can really spike your blood sugar.
Natural sweeteners include:
- Maple syrup
- Fruit juices
- Agave Nectar
Artificial sweeteners are synthetic sugar substitutes. But they may be derived from naturally occurring substances, such as herbs or sugar itself. Artificial sweeteners are often over a hundred times sweeter than natural sweeteners, so a little goes a long way.
Artificial sweeteners can be attractive alternatives to sugar because they add virtually no calories to your diet and you use a very little amount. But, they can come with a price. Many of these artificial sweeteners are inflammatory and should be consumed in moderation.
The most common sugar substitutes are:
- Aspartame (Equal, NutraSweet). It’s mostly used to sweeten diet soft drinks.
- Saccharin (Sweet’N Low, Sugar Twin). It’s used in many diet foods and drinks.
- Sucralose (Splenda). It’s in many diet foods and drinks.
- Acesulfame K (Sunett). It’s often combined with saccharin in diet soft drinks.
The glycemic index tells us how much something will raise our blood sugar. When we spike our blood sugar, our bodies are not very happy with us. It is best for most people to moderate the amount of sugar they consume, and opt for low glycemic sweeteners when possible.
Stevia is a great low glycemic sweetener. Not only does it contain zero calories, but stevia-based sweeteners are herbal as opposed to artificial. We carry liquid stevia in its original flavor, caramel, vanilla, chocolate, hazelnut, green tea, and green tea peach.
You can use stevia to make lemonade, swap out your high sugar coffee creamer, in desserts like chocolate avocado mousse, in your oatmeal, and bake with.