Food Focus: Natural Sweeteners

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If you’re like me, sweets are something that are hard to avoid. However, if you indulge in the right way, you do not have to avoid them totally. One healthy way to get that sweet taste without all the harmful additives we find in most processed foods, is through natural sweeteners.  But what exactly are natural sweeteners and why are they better than plain sugar? Natural sweeteners are better than refined sugar because their nutrient content is not destroyed. Refined sugar loses the vitamins, minerals, and fiber and can tend to spike blood sugar and actually cause cravings. Natural sweeteners are made in a way that keeps their nutrient content intact. Some good natural sweeteners to use include raw honey, maple syrup, and stevia. When looking for a good honey, try to opt for raw honey because this is the most pure form and contains the most vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. Maple syrup is also a good substitute for refined sugar, however make sure you get 100% pure maple syrup with no added flavors. Finally, stevia is also a great substitute for sugar especially in cooking and baking. One thing to take note of when purchasing stevia is to make sure you get the green or brown liquids or powders because the white can be very refined. These natural sweeteners are great alternatives to refined sugar however, just like anything they should be consumed in moderation.

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