This has to be one of the most frustrating and confusing subjects I've ever researched! There is so much conflicting advice on what alternative sugar options are good for you and some are even more damaging than sugar itself.
Agave nectar is the biggest offender, it sounds healthy, it comes from a plant, so it must be natural? Wrong, it is massively altered and processed from its original state and it becomes a highly concentrated refined sweetener. We all thought it was a great substitute for sugar and it is suitable for diabetics and vegan's, it is around 1.4 times sweeter than sugar and contains unnatural fructose. High levels of synthesised fructose can cause risk to the heart, liver and contribute to obesity.
Xylitol is another myth when it comes to a sugar alternative, I have seen people recently posting recipes with it in thinking it is a good substitute but it's not natural and is processed using man made chemicals.
From what I have learnt and read the only way to go is the natural way when it comes to sweetening, I've compiled a list of safe natural alternatives.
- Raw Honey (local if possible)
- Organic Maple Syrup
- Date Sugar/Paste
- Coconut Syrup/Nectar/Sugar
I have been using Medjool dates to sweeten anything I make now and sometimes organic coconut nectar/syrup, this seems for now to be the best option.
What do you use? Please leave your comments below.. love to get some feedback. Thanks