Many people are now aware of the potential dangers of having too much processed sugar and artificial sweeteners, are opting for a natural sweetener approach. Depending on the type of natural sweeteners that you choose, some will have caloric value, and some will not. Honey for example, is a natural product that contains vitamins and nutrients, and although does contain calories, is a healthier substitute than normal, processed sugar. If you are looking for an option that will better suit blood glucose / sugar management, then a product such as stevia may be the best option for you.
Sugar Free Sweeteners:
Xylitol: a sugar alcohol that is naturally derived and doesn’t spike blood sugar levels. Excellent for diabetics or those looking to watch their sugar intake. You’ll find xylitol in many sugar-free candies, toothpaste, chewing gum and mints. You can find it here in powder form or mouthwash. Extracted from birch wood or a plant fibre called xylan, It has 40% less calories than sugar.
Stevia: Also known as stevia rebaudiana. The active component is steviol glycosides and is up to 200 times sweeter than sugar. You’ll find it in many health food products, natural protein powders and you can find it on its own in tablets, liquid or powder. Like xylitol, stevia is another excellent choice for weight-loss management.
Other Natual sweeteners:
Honey: Considered a superfood, it is an excellent substitute for regular, processed sugar, that contains health properties normal sugar does not, such as anti-inflammatory and antioxidant components. Enjoy raw honey or manuka honey for the greatest benefits!
Yacon Syrup: Coming from the roots of the yacon plant in South America, it is similar to maple syrup and molasses. The body doesn’t digest it all so it can be used as a lower calorie sweetner, that also feeds friendly bacteria in the gut.
Rice Syrup: Also called rice malt syrup, it is derived from brown rice. It is thick, sugary syrup that is delicious in many recipes. As it is high in glucose, it is still advised to use in moderation, but can be a delicious alternative for your favourite foods.
Lucuma: A natural, low GI sweetener that is derived the South American Lucuma fruit. It is safe for diabetics and ideal for anyone looking to stabilise their blood sugar. Lucuma is rich in antioxidants!
Coconut Sugar: Also known as coconut palm sugar, it comes from the coconut palm tree and is a great low GI option. In comparison to regular sugar and high fructose corn syrup, it contains more nutrients, minerals and antioxidants.