Healthy Sweetener Options
Refined sugar is incredibly harmful, and artificial sweeteners are just as bad if not WORSE for humans depending on who you talk to. For this reason, clean eaters are looking for healthy alternatives, and the GOOD NEWS is that there are many low-calorie, low glycemic, whole, organic, nutrient dense sweeteners on the market that taste just as good.
Best Natural Sweeteners
Pure Raw Honey
Honey will not spoil or rot, it can crystallize overtime, but do not mistake this for it going bad. If honey does crystallize, simply loosen the lid and let the jar sit in hot water, as this will allow the honey to liquefy naturally. It is important not to heat honey in a microwave as it will kill the beneficial enzymes. It also stops the growth of bacteria, and when used topically, it heals wounds & minor burns. It relieves sore throats, and is touted for it’s ability to treat high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
Pure Maple Syrup
Pure Maple Syrup is the product of the sap from sugar maple, red maple or black maple trees, and should not be confused with ordinary syrup made with high fructose corn syrup and imitation maple flavorings. Healthy sweetening foods can be tricky to find if you’re trying to clean up your diet, but researchers have found that the compounds contained in pure maple syrup offer cancer prevention benefits, and the ability to prevent the proliferation of cancer cells. These cancer fighting properties are greater if the syrup is dark in color. Another benefit of pure maple syrup is that it has been found effective in lowering blood glucose levels.
Blackstrap Molasses is a sweetener that is a healthful sweetener that contains significant amounts of a variety of minerals that promote your health. Unlike refined white sugar and corn syrup, which are stripped of virtually all nutrients except simple carbohydrates. It is also much better than artificial sweeteners like saccharine or aspartame, which not only provide no useful nutrients, but have been shown to cause health problems in sensitive individuals. Blackstrap is darker than other versions and adds a distinct flavor into foods. Molasses supplies energy to your body in the form of simple sugars, or carbohydrates that are readily absorbed by your digestive system providing a quick burst of energy to fuel your activities. Consuming decent amounts of the correct carbohydrates spares your dietary protein, so it can support the maintenance of muscle mass as well as other protein needs. The carbohydrates in molasses also help your body during strenuous physical exertion. Some people have even said that taking blackstrap molasses regularly can prevent your hair from going gray too early, and that it can change graying hair back to it’s original color.
Coconut Palm Sugar
Navitas Naturals Coconut Palm Sugar is an ideal replacement for regular sugar. It’s low-glycemic, has a wonderful brown sugar flavor, that works well for baking. It also dissolves easily in hot and cold liquids. A sweet bonus: coconut sugar’s nutritional profile includes amino acids, potassium, magnesium, zinc, iron and B vitamins, and it is low on the glycemic index so it enters the blood stream more slowly to help curb blood sugar spikes!
Lucuma Powder offers an abundance of healthy benefits when added to your favorite food or beverage. In addition to satisfying your sweet tooth, this powdered all natural, organic sweetener is also gluten-free and an amazing source of antioxidants to boost the immune system, fiber, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals necessary for bodily functions. I use Navitas Naturals Lucuma Powder, that is made from whole Peruvian lucuma fruit that they dry at low temperatures and mill into a fine powder. It is also a is low-glycemic sweetener like Coconut Palm Sugar, contains many nutrients including beta-carotene, iron, zinc, vitamin B3, calcium and protein, and has a unique, maple-like taste that’s perfect for a variety of recipes. Lucuma provides 14 essential trace elements, including a considerable amount of potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus. Studies has shown it has anti-inflammatory effects and is wonderful for wound healing, promoting tissue regeneration and skin aging.
Apart from being a healthy and safe sugar substitute, Monk Fruit is widely used for the treatments of whooping cough, constipation, acute bronchitis, acute tonsillitis, sore throats, cute gastritis, etc. Different parts of Monk Fruit have different medicinal uses. The mashed root is able to help psoriasis & boils, while external use of the fruit hair can be used for wounds. Monk Fruit tea can be a cool refreshing drink that can prevent respiratory infections, and provide longevity if used on a daily basis. In addition, the monk fruit concentrate and extract are often utilized as a condiment to make nourishing stew, broth, cakes, candy, cookies, granules, syrups, fruit essence, cough syrup, and so on.
Stevia is a sweetener that has become immensely popular in recent years. Stevia is a 100% natural, zero calorie sweetener with a number of health benefits that have been confirmed in human studies. It is a green, leafy plant that is native to South America, and has been used for medicinal purposes for many centuries. The plant has also been bred for its strong, sweet flavor and used as a sweetener. Stevia comes in either liquid or a powder, or a version of the plant’s isolated sweet compounds, that are hundreds of times sweeter than sugar.