How could you do an article about natural sweeteners and leave out the only one that is healthy and contains no calories? Stevia. Shame on you. (P.S. the question is rhetorical.)
7/16/2012 7:20:16 PM
Interesting information on sweeteners. And...somewhat OT: Wanted to ask where one commenter got the information that beekeepers kill their bees every year? This is false.
Commercial beekeepers make a great deal of money on their bees using them for pollination services. They also spend a great deal of money keeping their colonies healthy. Colony collapse disorder has been a huge problem in the US and elsewhere...far from killing colonies every year, beekeepers are working overtime trying to preserve them. It takes a year to establish a colony, and it would be counterproductive to try to build from scratch, so to speak, every season.
Molasses is considered by many, especially raw foodies, practically poison because it it SO refined. It is actually a by-product of manufacturing sugar. It's one of those "foods" that is made because manufacturer's would rather SELL it as a product, than pay someone to haul away their leftover GARBAGE/waste products.
Like others, I think this article posed more questions than it answered - perhaps not deliberately but it did nonetheless.
7/15/2012 5:55:35 PM
Dr. Oz said on his show that brown rice syrup has been found to contain high levels of arsenic so he is cautioning people about use in spite of his earlier push for this organic sweetener.
7/15/2012 1:00:30 PM
You have to look for "raw" honey. Most of the stuff you find in your local supermarket has been pasteurized (heated). This does remove some of the health benefits you get from raw honey. Check your local farm markets, health fod store, some retailers also sell local farm products. "Local" honey has been shown to help reduce allergy symptoms. Honey is also a natural antiseptic. If your honey crystallizes in the container, gently warm it to melt the crystals, never microwave.
"Natural" doesn't necessarily mean healthy...Stevia's long term side effects have yet to be determined. Hey--cocaine is "natural" too...made from the Coco plant. But I'll pass on that too.
I tried molasses in my coffee...YUCK! Tasted terrible. Not at all sweet.
I'll stick with sugar. Sugar isn't evil...it's just sugar. Obviously, if you eat ANY "bad" food in huge quantities, it's bad. I don't worry about my sugar consumption anymore than I worry about eating pasta. Food is fuel...eat healthy most of the time, and you'll be fine.
7/15/2012 11:05:19 AM
Like many other folks, I was surprised that there were no mention of Stevia.
Nice information on how these different sugars are made, except for honey. Why gloss over how honey is made? I think it is worthy to note that most honey is boiled and filtered, that it takes on various flavors depending on what plants the bees harvested nectar from, and also takes on various pollutants from the environment as well. The reason vegans do not use honey is because bees don't make honey for us, they make it for themselves. Most bee keepers kill their colonies yearly where a colony in nature would live for 5-7 years.
I notice that you do not mention sorghum molasses made from the sorghum cane. It is similar in consistency to blackstrap molasses but much milder. How does it compare to these other types of sweeteners?
I agree with Eric, Stevia is the best naturlal sweetener, the only one that doesn't raise the glyemic index. Here are a few extracts from an article I wrote about Stevia.
Stevia extracts, from the leaf of the Stevia plant, have up to 300 times the sweetness of sugar. This remarkable herb originating from Paraguay is noncaloric. Stevia comes in liquid or powder form. Check the label, as some companies add maltodextrin or other fillers to the powder form, so it is best to find it in its pure form.
It is a little difficult to give exact equivalents for Stevia as everyone has their personal preference for how sweet they like their food. In general replace 1 cup of sugar with 1 teaspoon liquid or powder Stevia, and 1 teaspoon of sugar with a pinch of Stevia powder or 2 to 4 drops of liquid Stevia. Start with small amounts, if you use too much liquid Stevia it will be overly sweet and have a bitter after taste.
The goal is to start by replacing sugar with healthier alternatives in order to work towards reducing our intake of sweets over all. Improve your health and make life sweet.
I was expecting the article to have more to say on the topic. The title led me to believe I was going to learn more than just about calories and nutrients. Both are important, but I even from the comments here those are not the main reasons people are choosing the alternatives.
Yacon syrup! It's harder to find than agave/honey...but so much better! Far fewer calories
7/9/2012 11:27:26 AM
IS THERE AN ERROR ON THE CHART? I don't understand. If the descriptions are correct regarding "RAPADURA" being the least processed, shouldn't the "RAPADURA" have more vitamins and minerals than "EVAPORATED CANE SUGAR?"
(BTW, I've been using Rapunzul natural sugar for some time now.)
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