Ever wonder if there was such a thing as a healthy sweetener?
The fact is this: Healthier sweetener, maybe.
Healthy…not so much.
That’s because sugar, even when it comes from unrefined or natural sources, still contributes to your added sugar intake, something that is critical to control in a healthy diet.
Yes today’s post is about natural sweeteners.
But I wanted to get this off my chest before diving-in because I don’t want you thinking that recipes made with natural sweeteners or “without refined sugar” (a trendy slogan which seems all the rage on social media lately) are good for you.
But aren’t natural sweeteners more nutritious?
Some natural sweeteners like blackstrap molasses, maple syrup and unpasteurised honey do have a nutritional edge over refined sugars.
But when you compare the teeny-tiny amounts of nutrients and antioxidants they supply to the amounts in whole foods (foods you should really be relying on) then you quickly realize that sweeteners aren’t to be depended upon as a source of good nutrition.
Nonetheless, if you’re reaching for a sweetener, there are still 2 big reasons I recommend natural sweeteners over refined.
1. Refined sugars are environmentally taxing: Virtually all sugar beets grown in Canada since 2009 (from which sugar can be made) are genetically modified to be resistant to Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide. A consequence of this GM crop would be the genetic contamination of non-GM plants…think red and yellow beets, or lovely swiss chard. This of course is besides the toll sugar production takes on soil, water, air and the deplorable conditions many of the world’s sugar workers endure.
2. Natural sweeteners taste better. Since your biggest focus should be monitoring the quantity of sugar in your diet, it’s a smart bet to choose the sweetener that will satisfy your tastebuds the most by using less.
In today’s episode of the Friday Five, I share my personal picks of 5 natural sweeteners to use every day.
What’s your favourite natural sweetener?