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The Truth about ''Natural'' Sweeteners

Does Sugar by Any Other Name Still Taste as Sweet?


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  • Interesting article! One respondent mentioned "date syrup". Wonder where you buy that!!!
    I use quite a bit of honey because it is so natural. Like to get local honey, if possible. - 8/17/2011 6:48:28 PM
    But really, there has to be some value to using something as close as possible to its origin, as opposed to chemically derived. It seems like common sense - as does everything in moderation of course. There is so much that hasn't been studied. I anticipate that more evidence will make itself known showing natural sweeteners to be even better than thought. (I'm not sure some of these, such as agave, will ever qualify as natural.)

    By the way, I didn't see date syrup on your list. We go through 2 jars of this a week in our home as it's about all we use for sweetening.

    Thanks for taking the time for such an informative article! - 5/28/2011 8:26:28 PM
    Thank you for putting together this list of natural sweeteners! I have an intolerance to artificial sweeteners, stevia, and xylitol. It's nice to see some attention paid to natural sweeteners on a weight loss site. As a user of these products, it was nice to see the conversions all in one place. - 5/1/2011 12:31:47 PM
  • Excellent article. I especially enjoyed the mineral content comparisons and best applications. I love to cook, and try to make healthy choices, so I have quite a collection of these sweeteners, and need to know how to use them to best advantage. Honestly, though, I really agree with you that "sugar is sugar" and for the most part, the health advantages of the different types are overblown. I always get a chuckle when I see "evaporated cane juice" on an ingredient label. I think, "Oh, you mean sugar?" :) - 7/19/2010 10:32:01 AM
  • Agave nectar is the same thing (process wise) as high fructose corn syrup - 4/26/2010 4:50:19 PM
  • Thank you so much for the useful information. Especially the substitution ratios, and baking adjustments. - 2/22/2010 3:35:42 PM
  • This is a very informative article. Thank you! - 10/31/2009 4:08:59 PM
    I really enjoyed this article and learned a few things! I'm printing off the chart for a handy kitchen reference. Thank you! :) - 7/9/2009 8:01:03 AM
  • I learned quite a bit from this article on sugar. The chart comparing the different types of sugar would have been more helpful if another column listing the "sugar equivalent" had been added (especially since it was discussed in the narrative portion). Printing this one page versus six would have been ideal. - 6/23/2009 10:21:32 AM
  • Thank you... I needed to really see in black and white, what the process is and what it will affect my choices. HOWEVER, please forgive me for wanting to poke at another area of "sweetness" I grew up in a very "hippyish" household in Berkeley, CA (I am still recovering) and Stevia was a mainstay in our summer teas long before it hit public awareness... Can you recommend an article on that, or offer one here on Sparkpeople? I think it's worth looking at... Thanks so much for your efforts, every tool I receive from this site has galvanized me to really move it!

    Alexis - 4/1/2009 8:34:07 AM
  • I think it is also good to mention that there are different types of agave nectar on the market such as raw vegan which is not boiled down from the agave. It is much healthier than the boiled kind. - 4/1/2009 7:59:35 AM
  • Very important guys - will say it one more time sugar is sugar is sugar. People say they are afraid of splenda because it's supposed to cause cancer (they said the same about Equal but how many people have died from that), but sugar ages you faster than normal, it causes weight gain which brings on all types of other ailments like high blood pressure and heart disease. I prefer Splenda and I just purchased Truvia to give it a try. Agave, Black Molasses, and all these fru fru names are no better than regular sugar. When you digest it your body treats it and processes it as glucose. - 2/19/2009 8:25:41 PM
  • The end of the article is what readers should focus on. Sugar is Sugar PERIOD! Your body doesn't care whether it came from specially bred bees from Nigeria or a 5lb bag of Dominoes sugar - it processes it the same. The amount of vitamins and minerals are trace meaning "don't even bother looking". I laugh when people or labels say they don't eat or contain refined sugar but will list 6 different types of sugar with pretty names. - 2/19/2009 8:18:54 PM
  • I'm a big fan of sugar in the raw. Wish there was more nutritional benefits to using it as opposed to refined sugar but it tastes good. I can get it at walmart. - 1/21/2009 5:23:42 PM
    Very informative article. I've been using honey and Sugar in the Raw for a couple of years now, but after reading this article I'm definitely going to try some blackstrap molasses in my morning oatmeal.

    I don't really understand all the Stevia love here. Perhaps most of these comments were made prior to the news that some studies have shown that it may cause cancer. It's currently banned in the EU and I trust them much more than I do the FDA. - 12/29/2008 5:53:47 PM

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