What Is The Healthiest Natural Sugar You Can Use In Your Diet And Recipes?

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In ‘natural’ I mean honey, raw sugar, etc… NOT the artificial ‘no calorie’ sweeteners like splenda or sweet n’ low…
I’m looking for the one natural sweetener that has the least negative impact on your health.
I’d like to see a link to websites or information about it, not just an answer of an opinion. If you don’t have a link, instead of just saying ‘Honey’ or ‘Stevia’ maybe tell me why you believe this to be so?
Thanks!

All the health “Gurus” recommend Stevia. I have tried stevia and simply can’t get used to the taste. I use  xylitol simply because I just love my cup of tea with both milk and sugar (sorry health Gurus, but we’ve got to have some pleasures!).  Xylitol is a natural sweet substance obtained from the bark of Birch trees or from the cores of corn cobs. The main advantage is that is doesn’t cause an insulin spike as ordinary sugar or honey does, but it still tastes like sugar. It is suitable for diabetics.

Xylitol is also good for the teeth and is added to some chewing gum for this purpose. It is also used to clear sinuses.

The downside? It can give you stomach upset and diarrhea and flatulance if used in large amounts. however it has no serious side effects for most people.

So, the healthiest sugar? I think it has to be!

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19 Responses to “What Is The Healthiest Natural Sugar You Can Use In Your Diet And Recipes?”

  1. mikedraz says:

    i use organic cane sugar, it’s brown, it can be used in tea, coffee, cooking, baking, look for it in health food stores, about $4 a jar

  2. kinoko-p says:

    I like to use ” dark brown sugar! “

  3. Vara$ says:

    Alternative sweeteners are used to sweeten hot and cold beverages, and are used in place of refined sweeteners in cooking and baking. Most dry, powdered alternative sweeteners are easily substituted for white sugar (1 part for 1 part) in recipes. Any liquid alternative sweetener can be substituted for corn syrup or molasses in equal amounts. When using a liquid sweetener in place of white sugar, reduce the liquid content in the recipe by 1/4 cup (60mL). If the recipe calls for no liquid, add 3 to 5 Tbsp (22.5 to 37.5g) of flour for each 3/4 cup (180mL) of liquid sweetener.
    Buying and storing tips
    Liquid alternative sweeteners (amasake, barley malt, brown rice syrup, honey, and maple syrup) can be stored at room temperature in the original packaging until opened, but should be refrigerated after opening. Dry, powdered alternative sweeteners should be stored in a dry place at room temperature. Fruit juice concentrates should remain frozen until ready to use.
    Varieties
    Amasake
    Amasake is a traditional Japanese product made by fermenting sweet brown rice into a thick liquid. It is a creamy, quickly digested beverage used by athletes after a workout or as a sweetener in cooking or baking.
    Barley malt
    Barley malt is a thick, dark, slow-digesting sweetener made from sprouted barley. It has a malt-like flavor. Some say barley malt is to beer as grapes are to wine. It is ideally suited to brewing for many reasons: Malted barley has a high complement of enzymes for converting its starch supply into simple sugars; it also contains protein, which is needed for yeast nutrition. Another important element is its flavor. Pure malt extract, which is relatively expensive, is sometimes adulterated with corn syrup, which is cheap. Barley malt extract (available in powder and liquid forms) is also used medicinally as a bulking agent to promote bowel regularity.
    Brown rice syrup
    Brown rice syrup is a naturally processed sweetener, made from sprouted brown rice. It is thick and mild-flavored.
    Date sugar
    Date sugar is a powder made from dried, ground dates.
    Fructose
    Also known as levulose and fruit sugar, fructose is the sweetest of all the simple sugars (e.g., glucose, fructose, galactose). Fruits contain between 1 and 7% fructose, although some fruits have much higher amounts. Fructose makes up about 40% of the dry weight of honey. It is also available in crystalline form, but its sweetness rapidly declines when dissolved in water.
    Fruit juice concentrates
    Fruit juice concentrates are made by cooking down peach, pineapple, grape, and pear juices to produce a sweeter, more concentrated product. The product is then frozen to increase shelf life.
    FruitSource®
    FruitSource is the brand name of a granulated sweetener made from grape juice concentrate and rice syrup.
    Glucose
    This is the most widely distributed sugar in nature, although it seldom occurs simply as glucose. Typically, glucose is found as a component of starch and cellulose (vegetable fiber).
    Honey
    Honey is a sweet substance made from plant nectar (sucrose) by the honeybee. The source of the nectar determines the color, flavor, and texture of honey. Alfalfa and clover honey are the most common types, but blackberry, heather, and acacia honeys are also popular. Honey is sold in liquid or crystallized form, and is available raw or pasteurized. Commercial honey is heated to 150 to 160°F (65.5 to 71°C) to prevent crystallization and yeast formation. “Organic” or “raw” honey has not been heat-treated. About 40% of the sugar in honey is fructose. Honey may contain Clostridium botulinum spores, the bacterium that causes botulism. Heat treatment is not sufficient to destroy C. botulinum spores, but the high sugar content of the honey prevents the spores from germinating, thus preventing the risk of deadly botulism. Normal adults are not at risk of botulism from eating honey; however, the gastrointestinal tracts of young infants (under one year of age) may promote spore germination. For this reason, infants under one year of age should not consume honey in any form.
    Maple syrup
    Maple syrup is made from the boiled sap of sugar maple trees, primarily in the Northeastern United States and Canada. The taste and color vary depending on the temperature at which the sap was boiled, and how long the sap was cooked. USDA Grade A maple syrup is the most popular grade for everyday use as a topping on pancakes, desserts, and other foods. It is usually made throughout most of the short syrup production season. Grade B syrup is generally made toward the end of the season, as the weather warms toward spring and the trees end their winter dormancy. USDA Grade B syrup is much darker and has a stronger flavor, which makes it more suitable for flavoring and cooking purposes. It is thought that this late season syrup contains more minerals. Grade C syrup is no longer an official USDA syrup grade.
    Stevia
    Stevia is derived from a South American shrub (Stevia rebaudiana). A good quality leaf is estimated to be 300 times sweeter than cane sugar, or sucrose. Also known as “honey leaf” and yerba dulce, stevia is not absorbed through the digestive tract, and is therefore non-caloric. Although stevia adds sweetness to foods, it cannot be sold as a sweetener because the FDA considers it an unapproved food additive. However, under the provisions of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) passed in 1994, stevia can be sold as a dietary supplement. Stevia also appears to have medicinal properties. Preliminary evidence suggests that it may lower blood pressure, prevent and reverse diabetes, and possess anti-viral properties.
    Sucanat®
    Sucanat is a branded ingredient made from evaporated sugar cane juice. It resembles raw sugar in appearance and taste, though it is slightly less sweet. It is considered to be less refined than raw sugar.
    Nutrition Highlights
    Barley malt (flour), 1 cup (120g)
    Calories: 585
    Protein: 16.6g
    Carbohydrate: 127g
    Total Fat: 3.0g
    Fiber: 11.5g
    *Excellent source of: Iron (7.6mg), Magnesium (157mg), and Zinc (3.3mg)
    *Good source of: Vitamin E (3.2 IU)
    Brown rice syrup, 1/4 cup (75g)
    Calories: 170
    Protein: 0.0g
    Carbohydrate: 42g
    Total Fat: 0.0g
    Fiber: 0.0g
    Concentrated fruit sweetener, 2 Tbsp (15g)
    Calories: 60
    Protein: 0.0g
    Carbohydrate: 15g
    Total Fat: 0.0g
    Fiber: 0.5g
    Honey, 1 Tbsp (21g)
    Calories: 64
    Protein: 0.06g
    Carbohydrate: 17.3g
    Total Fat: 0.0g
    Fiber: 0.042g
    Maple syrup, 1 Tbsp (20g)
    Calories: 52
    Protein: 0.0g
    Carbohydrate: 13.4g
    Total Fat: 0.04g
    Fiber: 0.0g
    Stevia, 1 packet
    Calories: less than 1.0
    Protein: 0.0g
    Carbohydrate: less than 1.0g
    Total Fat: 0.0g
    Fiber: 0.0g
    *Foods that are an “excellent source” of a particular nutrient provide 20% or more of the Recommended Daily Value. Foods that are a “good source” of a particular nutrient provide between 10 and 20% of the Recommended Daily Value.

  4. THE BOBBY says:

    theres a hreb sweetener 300 times sweeter than sugar called stevia. i use ot all the time

  5. Blackfly says:

    Stevia is a good alternative, its natural and non caloric. This wild plant grows and thrives from Argentina to Mexico. The sugar alternative is refined from its potently sweet leaves. Stevia lends a soft spice flavor to your drinks not unlike cinnamon. It mimics the flavor of sugar without its calories or carbs and without adverse effects on blood sugar levels. Unlike old-fashioned artificial sweeteners, Stevia can be used in baking. You asked for 2 answers, what is the healtiest “natural sugar” and one “natural sweetener”, stevia is probably the best “natural sweetener”, Fructose is one of the main sugars found in fruits and honey. It is often preferred to straight glucose and sucrose as an energy source, since it is absorbed more slowly into the bloodstream and, therefore, has a less erratic effect on blood sugar levels. It is a popular sweetener.

  6. ixheartx says:

    honey would be your best option.

  7. Always Camera Ready says:

    Honey or organic maple syrup.

  8. Guess Who says:

    Pure cane sugar, or natural honey.

  9. Shredded Cottage Cheese says:

    raw sugar because it is the least processed or refined of all the sugar products. i would stay away from honey as a universal sweetener only because raw honey can be hard to digest, especially in infants,leading to botulism.

  10. toothyma says:

    i dont know i heard raw coconut sugar was healthy or something

  11. Roberto B says:

    The healthiest sugar to use is NO sugar. Regardless of their natural state or not, the use of sweeteners in food in not natural for human consumption except for very rare occasions (like once or twice a year).
    On the other had, since we all became so addicted to the blasted thing, the least damaging imitation is Xylitol, which is natural, tastes like sugar but only a few percent of it is absorbed in the metabolism. Example, a regular candy bar would have 30 to 35 g of sugars, if sweetened with Xylitol (which chemically is an alcohol, but it won’t get you high) it will have only about 2 to 4g of effective sugars (the part that will sit on your tummy and behind for years!).

  12. domain says:

    Between raw sugar, granulated or honey, I’m not certain which is worse. Just use things sparingly and in moderation and you’ll be fine.

  13. j a says:

    BROWN SUGAR

  14. FRAZER says:

    Raw unpasteurized honey…

  15. Coco Palm Sugar, of course -the eco-friendly natural sweetener.

    The key to a healthy diet is moderation.

  16. Briana says:

    Please read my press release, “What’s The Best Sugar Substitute?” at my blog as it has links to all my research material associated to the various benefits and alternative sweeteners.

    As you will note, most people recommend honey, sugar or agave, however these are not 0 calorie sweeteners or 0 glycemic impact which makes them off limits for people with diabetes, candida or other sugar related health issues.

    Xylitol and other sugar alcohols like Maltitol and Sorbitol can cause severe gastric side effects. However, erythritol is the most mild sugar alcohol available and clinical studies have shown it does not cause side effects and therefore does not require a warning label like the others.

    ZSweet made with erythritol is the sweetener I recommend because plain erythritol is minty and not as sweet as sugar, but ZSweet uses natural ingredients for their same as sugar blend and their supersweet packets. The two options give you a natural, zero calorie, zero glycemic, zero net-carb, gluten-free, kosher, vegan, non-GMO, non-artificial alternative to any other possible sweeteners you would have to sort through to meet your needs.

    It’s all in one. = )

  17. Vic D. says:

    i use coconut palm sugar. its low-glycemic and taste amazing!! Wayyy better alternative than agave and it taste better too! Works great for anything and everything..

  18. MsB says:

    No sugar or sweetner is healthy. All have very high levels of fructose (not sure about stevia) which tax the liver and is implicated in almost any modern disease from diabetes to cancer.
    Read Gary Taubes and Robert Lustig.

    Even agave can cause liver damage. Use as little as possible of organic raw honey, agave (in small amounts) and maple syrup because they are the least processed.

  19. Amy says:

    No sugar is of course the healthiest.

    Stevia is best (although it is technically a sweetener, not a sugar) in terms of weight loss.

    Overall healthwise, raw agave nectar or raw coconut sugar (low glycemic index) is your best bet, but should be consumed in small amounts.

    It is hard to stop using added sugar, but once you stop for a while you can appreciate the natural sweetness of things like milk, tea (fruit and floral teas especially), and raw fruit. Mixing 1 part fruit juice to 10 parts water gives you a sweet drink without added sugar.

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