Welcome to our latest topic on the theme of This And That….artificial vs natural sweeteners…which is best?
This week we will focus on natural sweeteners, and next week we will look at artificial sweeteners.
White granulated sugar is our starting place. This is good old-fashioned, normal, white table sugar. It used to be quite the delicacy. However, as it became cheaper to produce, people started eating more of it and putting it in more packaged products.
Then it became a problem because in larger quantities it caused a variety of health issues, including diabetes, weight gain and inflammation.
So people have become interested in exploring other options.
Here are some of the most popular.
Natural cane sugar is made from sugar cane, while regular white granulated sugar may be made from either sugar cane or sugar beets. There is not much difference between them. It’s mostly labeling. Natural cane sugar has a slightly different color and flavor. It’s a little darker yellow.
Honey starts as flower nectar which is then collected by bees who break it down into simple sugars and store it for their future eating needs. Beyond being sweet, honey is a real food. It has amino acids, electrolytes, anti-oxidants, and anti-microbial compounds. Raw or unprocessed honey is best. The honey in the little bear in the grocery store has been heavily processed, and while delicious, may not have all of it’s original health benefits.
Stevia is an all-natural sweetener that comes from the leaf of a flowering plant. Interestingly, stevia has no calories, carbs or artificial ingredients but is much, much sweeter than sugar, so use it sparingly. Some people don’t like how it tastes.
Maple syrup is a fantastic sweetener, that, like honey, has many health benefits. Pure maple syrup contains up to 24 different antioxidants, protein, fat, carbs, minerals and vitamins including calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus sodium, potassium, zinc, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, and B6.
Wishing you all the best,