Something Sweet

The truth about sugar is not very sweet. Overconsumption of it has been linked to a slew of health problems, from obesity to heart disease. This news might discourage your sweet tooth, but fear not. There are healthy alternatives to sugar that will leave both your body and taste buds thanking you. Agave syrup/nectar is widely lauded for how effective it is in even the smallest doses. A product of the agave plant, this honey-like product is very sweet and therefore requires much smaller quantities than sugar in order to sweeten something to a person’s liking. However, users should look out for its high fructose content. The high fructose problem is one skirted by Stevia, carb-free and calorie-free dried leaves that, although somewhat bitter, will satisfy the sweetness craving. When selected carefully, coconut palm sugar can be high in both vitamin C and potassium. However, those who do not read labels closely enough might find themselves with a product on their hands that is mixed with just as many carbs and calories as cane sugar. The same goes for honey, which is only a healthier alternative to sugar when purchased in its raw form — otherwise it is just as dangerous as sugar. As with all things “sweet,” these alternatives are best enjoyed in moderation and with a discerning eye for ingredients. But we promise not to tell if you find yourself reaching for a second (and third) spoonful of agave.

Categories: Recipes