Let's face it, we all know that an excess of sugar can be detrimental to our health. But is there a more natural sweetener than processed cane sugar available?
Let's take a closer look at the top five natural sweeteners and discover how they can benefit your overall health and wellbeing.
Stevia is a naturally occurring sweetener taken from the leaves of the stevia plant. It's green when fresh, yet turns white after processing. Despite being much sweeter than sugar, it can often leave an unpleasant aftertaste which some consumers don't enjoy.
Erythritol is not only a zero-calorie sweetening agent, but it is also found naturally in certain fruits. Although this sugar alcohol is absorbed by the intestines and then excreted through urine without being changed into calories, its use can still sometimes lead to digestive discomfort such as gas or diarrhea if taken in large doses.
Although Xylitol is a low-calorie sugar alcohol just like Erythritol, it can have more serious digestive effects. Therefore, be sure to use it in moderation. That said, Xylitol has been proven to promote dental health which makes its benefits worth considering despite the potential drawbacks.
Monk Fruit Extract
Monk fruit extract comes from a Southeast Asian native fruit and has no calories yet may house advantageous components such as antioxidants. This costly ingredient is less commonly used compared to the other ingredients in this list, however its value surpasses the price tag!
Coconut sugar is a whole food, so it does contain calories, and it has a slightly lower glycemic index than regular table sugar, which means it doesn't spike your blood sugar as much. It also packs in more nutrients per calorie compared to regular sugar - so even though it's close enough to be considered almost the same as white sugar, you'll get far more nutritional value!
When looking for a healthier alternative to sugar, don't miss our blog post outlining the varied hierarchy of sweetener substitutes! From stevia and honey to monk fruit and maple syrup, you'll find out which one is best suited for your lifestyle.
What's the bottom line?
The healthiest course of action is to consume foods as close to their original, whole form. When a sweet craving strikes, satisfying it with luscious fresh fruit will always be the best option. But if you really want something sweeter? Reach for an all-natural alternative and don't forget - everything in moderation!