Natural Sweeteners

Before recommending natural sweeteners I would like to share these excerpts from “Replacing Refined Sugars with Natural Sugars One Step At a Time” by Lori Lipinski. You can read the entire article on the Weston A Price Foundation web site:

“The average American now consumes 175 pounds of sugar per year! That’s 46 teaspoons a day! If we pretend that sugar actually had some benefits, eating one-half pound every day would not seem like such a bad idea. But the truth is that sugar has absolutely no nutritional value whatsoever. Not only does it totally lack nutrients, but when you eat sugar it actually robs your body of nutrients– vitamins, minerals and even enzymes.”

“Blood sugar imbalances occur after eating too many sweets, even the natural ones! So it’s important to limit even the natural sweets in your diet. And remember, the best way to prevent sweets from causing a major crash in blood sugar is to avoid eating them by themselves. Instead include dessert as part of a balanced meal. A steak with some steamed veggies, a salad topped with olive oil-based dressing, and a couple of natural cookies made with butter and eggs would be a healthy and balanced way to include dessert. Avoid having dessert with a meal that is high in carbohydrates like pasta, bread, or rice.”

Now on to some natural sweeteners that you may want to use in moderation:

Organic Sucanat is dehydrated, freshly squeezed sugar cane juice. The sugar cane is cut, crushed and the juice is heated to reduce it to a thick syrup, which is stirred to create the Sucanat granule. One tablespoon contains 15 calories, 4g carbohydrates, and 4g sugars.

Organic Brown Rice Syrup is brown rice that has been cooked and then most of the water is evaporated. Two tablespoons contains 150 calories, 70mg sodium, 105mg potassium, 36g carbohydrates, and 22g sugars.

Organic Maple Syrup is made from the sap of a maple tree. ¼ cup of Grade B maple syrup has 210 calories, 5mg sodium, 53g carbohydrates, 50g sugars, 4% calcium and 6% iron.

Organic Unsulphured Blackstrap Molasses is sugar cane juice that has been boiled to create a syrup. One tablespoon contains 60 calories, 730mg potassium, 115mg calcium, 14g carbohydrates, 10g sugars, 15% daily value of iron, 10% daily value of Vitamin B6, and 8% daily value of magnesium.

Organic agave nectar is made from juice from the core of the agave plant, which is then filtered and heated. One teaspoon contains 15 calories, 4mg sodium, 4g carbohydrates, and 4g sugars.

Honey is composed primarily of carbohydrates and water, and also contains small amounts of a wide array of vitamins and minerals, including niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium and zinc. 1 tablespoon of Really Raw unprocessed honey contains 70 calories, 17g carbohydrates, and 15g sugars.

Stevia extract is made from the herb Stevia Rebaudiana which is in the Chrysanthemum family. Stevia is used as a no-calorie sweetener but in the United States may only be sold as a dietary supplement.

Sweet Life is made from Lo Han Kuo, an intensely sweet fruit that grows in China and is a member of the melon family. One gram contains no calories and 3g protein.

Organic Zero is produced from organic sugar cane juice which is naturally fermented to create organic erythritol, a naturally occurring sugar found in fruits and fermented foods. A 5g packet contains no calories, 5g carbohydrates and 5g sugar alcohol.

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