When you want to enjoy your favorite sweet treats and drinks without the added sugar, you have likely looked at the sugar-free varieties made with common artificial sweeteners like aspartame and sucralose. However, if you are also interested in a more natural approach to your food, this is likely the last thing you want to ingest in your body (i.e. a more holistic approach).
Luckily, there are some safer, more natural sweeteners that don’t affect your body like sugar, but also won’t come with many of the side effects that the artificial sweeteners come with.
Stevia is definitely one of the most popular natural sweeteners on the market. While often labeled as an artificial sweetener, it is anything but. Stevia actually comes from the stevia plant, which has a sweet taste without the glucose effects of other forms of sugar. It is a type of herbal supplement and considered a non-nutritive sweetener. It can mimic sugar in many foods and drinks and is being found more and more in processed diet or sugar-free varieties of foods.
Agave nectar is another sweetener that can be considered healthier than sugar, with some added health benefits. However, it is not low in carbs like these other natural sweeteners or artificial sweeteners – so it is often used simply in place of regular white table sugar. It provides a lot of sweetness while providing some nutritional benefits. It’s suggested that it be used sparingly to help regulate blood sugar.
The newest natural sweetener to hit the market is perhaps one of the most popular. If you have not heard of monk fruit yet, you likely will soon. This sweetener has no weird aftertaste like stevia sometimes can but has all the benefits of other sweeteners. It is extracted from the monk fruit, which has a sweetness very similar to sugar.
You might ask the question, “is there any part of a coconut you can’t eat?” And it’s a valid question. While you might love coconut milk for your dairy alternative, I promise you’ll fall in love with its sugar as well. Benefits ranging from being high in inulin which helps keep your gut healthy, prevent colon cancer, and balance your blood sugar to being dehydrated coconut sap which makes it rich with raw antioxidants – you’re welcome raw vegans
And lastly for my personal favorite, maple syrup. This delectable iconic sweetener has been used for generations. Best when locally sourced it can come with amazing health benefits such as:
- Manganese (aids in energy production)
- Zinc (helps your immune system)
- Calcium (great for strengthening bones and teeth)
- Riboflavin (aids in metabolic processes)
- Magnesium (associated with lowering risk of heart disease)
- Potassium (helps to maintain a normal blood pressure)
Whatever natural sweetener you decide to go with, know it’s a health decision on your mind, body, and soul. And, that you have options other than artificial and ultra-refined sugars. I hope you enjoyed my top five favorite safe & natural Sweeteners