Today we are here to share with you our top five natural sweeteners and sugar substitutes, and so this is a big deal today. So many people are over consuming high fructose corn syrup, processed sugar, and just carbs in general.
Now when you’re buying honey, you want it to say raw. You want it to ideally even be from a local source. One of the reasons it’s so beneficial is that honey that is not just a sugar. It’s actually a food. Honey doesn’t just contain sugar. It also contains amino acids. It contains specific types of electrolytes and antioxidants, and antimicrobial compounds that can really support your body and the health of your body. So pure, raw honey. Now again, you want to use it sparingly, as the proverbs say. You don’t want to go overboard with using these sweeteners. But one tablespoon, one to two times daily, is a good, healthy amount that most people can do well with.
A few other benefit here of honey is that it helps reduce allergy symptoms. And the reason it does it is this local pollen, and this is if you buy local honey, it actually really helps with allergies because it helps your body adapt to local pollen. It’s kind of natural immunizations over time, the truth of how we were supposed to adapt to our surroundings, we have in bee pollen, which is found in pure raw, honey. By the way, there was a study at Texas A&M University. They found that about 80% of honey on supermarket shelves don’t contain any pollen whatsoever. That’s why you’ve really got to buy the raw stuff if you want the real deal.
This is especially good if you have blood sugar issues, if you’re overweight, or if you have something like diabetes, and that’s Stevia. Stevia is a no-calorie, all-natural sweetener that comes from the leaf of, actually, a flowering plant. And Stevia, there are many types of Stevia. Ideally you get full, green-leaf Stevia. Another form of Stevia that’s suitable is doing Stevia that is basically just ground and part of it is extracted. Now there are other brands out there today that I am not a fan of, like Truvia, because it’s so highly processed. And they’ll also add in other chemicals, and they come from GMO corn or add in GMO corn derivatives, and we all know we don’t want GMOs in our diet.
But the great thing about Stevia is there’s no sugar involved. And so if you do have diabetes or blood sugar issues, or are looking to lose weight fast, this is a great no-carbohydrate solution. And again, just like using honey sparingly, you shouldn’t be dumping this in your foods and going overboard, but just a little bit goes a long way.
Now dates, we could throw other fruits here into the category, things like raisins, apricots, other dried fruit, pineapple juices. But the great thing about dates are they’re also very high in fiber and potassium, as well as other vitamins and minerals. In fact, of all the sweeteners I’m going to go over, dates have the highest nutrient value. Now in terms of phytochemicals that heal the body, honey is the highest, but in terms of actually vitamins and minerals and fiber content, dates are the highest. And that fiber actually slows down sugar absorption.
So remember, if we’re comparing this to white sugar or high fructose corn syrup, dates are not sugar. Dates are a food that contain sugar, and this food also has fiber and antioxidants, and minerals like potassium, that helps you slowly absorb sugar and really helps regulate sugar within your body. And so dates are very sweet.
And it’s really great if you’re into raw food and vegan foods. Dates are probably the number one naturally sweetener used. And again, potassium is great for flushing out toxins. It’s great for balancing electrolytes in the body, so this is great for athletes.
It’s vegan. It’s not GMO. And especially when you’re baking, if you’re looking for an equal comparison, let’s say you’re baking a cake and you want a recipe that has the equal amounts of one cup of sugar to one cup of an alternative natural sweetener, well, here you go. Coconut sugar or coconut palm sugar here is the ideal replacement. We know coconut, juice especially, which is where a lot of this comes from, the coconut juice is full of potassium. It’s full of electrolytes and nutrients.
So again, if you’re looking for equal comparison that’s nontoxic, non-GMO, that your body’s going to be able to digest better, organic coconut palm sugar is better. All of these sweeteners, by the way, they’re lower on the glycemic index. Where regular table sugar scores 100, many of these sweeteners score closer to a 50, so half the glycemic index. So it’s going to affect your body in a lesser amount to where it’s not going to cause your energy levels to drop or increase, spike your insulin levels, increasing your risk of diabetes like a lot of the other sugars out there today. So this is a great replacement, equal replacement, to actual table sugar, especially in baking cookies and pies and things like that.
Organic maple syrup
And last but not necessarily least in terms of a natural sweetener is 100% pure, And when you buy it, look for Grade B or even a lower grade, even Grade C. But you want a Grade B maple syrup. This is USDA organic. And maple syrup we know is a fantastic sweetener. It’s good especially over things like pancakes and waffles. It’s good in certain recipes where you want more of that, sort of that earthy flavor along with it. And so again, 100% pure organic maple syrup, another good sweetener to add in.