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Healthy Sweeteners

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You may be looking for alternatives to refined sugar, which has been linked to a host of chronic diseases, including diabetes, obesity, and high blood pressure. But many synthetic sugar substitutes such as sucralose, saccharin, and aspartame also pose potential health risks.

If you're concerned about the risk of type 2 diabetes, you may be looking for alternatives to refined sugar, which has been linked to a host of chronic diseases, including diabetes, obesity, and high blood pressure. But many synthetic sugar substitutes such as sucralose, saccharin, and aspartame also pose potential health risks.

What's safe and sweet and good to eat? Here are some of the healthiest sugar alternatives.

Honey

You may be surprised to learn that honey has more calories and carbs than refined sugar, but it contains small amounts of trace minerals. Because it's sweeter than sugar, you can use less of it. Choose organic honeys.

Maple Syrup

It's Canadian, eh? Make sure it's maple syrup and not an imitation. Grade B maple syrup, which is darker than the more popular Grade A, contains more minerals. Recent research shows that maple syrup is also a good source of antioxidants.

Stevia

Made from an extract of the Stevia rebaudiana plant, stevia boasts zero net carbs, zero calories, and a rating of zero on the glycemic index. It's also about 300 times sweeter than sugar, so only a tiny amount is needed.

Xylitol

A sugar alcohol, xylitol is a good low-calorie alternative to refined sugar. Because it is absorbed more slowly than sugar, it doesn't contribute to spiking blood sugar levels in the body, which can lead to both hypoglycemia and diabetes.

The Bottom Line:

Cut back on the amount of not only sugar itself but sugary and sweet foods you consume.

Read More About Healthy Sweeteners:

Get the Sugar Out for a Healthy Holiday

Good Sugars, Bad Sugars

Unrefined Tastes

Sweetening Power of Honey

How Sweet It Is

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