After part 1 where we explained about sweets the reasons for sugar addictions we decided to make a list of the most common unrefined natural sweeteners along with their pros and cons. Hopefully you will find this information useful in this little guide and help you to make a more informed decisions for your intended use.
List of sweeteners
Unrefined, natural, nutritional and with a lot of benefits
Very very rich in minerals ( k, Ca, Fe, Zn, Mn ) also vitamins ( C, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6 ) contains more than 24 antioxidants. Helps for a better digestion, very suitable for diabetics. Flavor is really sweet but this product doesn’t contain any measurable fats. Its one of the best sweeteners.
Helps to strengthen your immune system and so much more. One of the most nutritional products containing high levels of vitamins and minerals. Containing folic acid makes it great for during pregnancy. It’s not suitable for thermal use as you lose most of the beneficial contents when its heated over 40°c. The down side – honey has a high GI making it unsuitable for diabetics and people who are overweight.
Rich in fibers, amino acids, vitamins and minerals. 300 times sweeter than sugar, Its with very low GI which makes it suitable for diabetics, also people on a light food diet with slow metabolism. It helps toward strengthening tooth enamel. Stevia is a tricky sweetener to use as it has a bitter sweetness to it and specific after taste, in my opinion its best combined with another sweetener.
Use them, just be sure to use 100% natural or organic. Most of the fruit syrups are with added synthetic fructose. This unnatural fructose cant be digested and ends up being stored as fat, this can lead to metabolic imbalance, heart and lung disease and over weight issues.
Unrefined cane sugar
There are so many different names and brands for this sugar product, its difficult to understand which ones are high quality and pure and which ones are just commercial. In pure form its know as treacle or molasses. The darker it is the purer it is, the darker ones have a more specific taste and aroma. High in iron it makes this sugar very suitable for people suffering with anemia.
Consistency has to damp. This comes from the high level of molasses that’s present. The dark it is, the higher the molasses content and therefore richer in vitamins and minerals. Be careful what kind of brown sugar your using as a lot of them contain refined white sugar with added molasses. These sugars are completely commercial and don’t give you much health benefits.
Coconut and palm sugar
Low GI, high on amino acids, B vitamins and minerals, suitable for diabetics. It comes from the blossom of the coconut/palm sugar tree. It’s important to know that coconut sugar and palm sugar are different types of sugar, but the process of production is very similar. It’s not a refined sweetener and on that point its better than stevia.
Pure agave syrup is with a very low GI, helps with respiration infections and coughs, rich in vitamins and minerals. Agave is richer in fructose compared to the other natural sweeteners, this makes it sweeter than most of the others but comes with more calories. If you use it well, it’s very cheap and will save you money on a lot of other sweeteners.
Dry fruits and dry fruit syrups
They are a perfect choice for a healthy snack or a natural sweetener for baking. It’s good to know that most of the dry fruits are with added preserves, refined sugar or worse still – chemicals and sugar replacements, one of them is E951 know as “aspartame”. All of these additions make these dry fruits not such a very good choice. So its essential to read the label on the back. My advice is to use 100% natural dry fruits, if they are sweetened its good to be with apple juice or even better use organic dry fruits. Dry fruits are 3 times richer in vitamins and minerals than fresh ones, this is because to make 100g of dry fruits you need 300g of fresh fruit.
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