Sweet, Sweet Sugar

How is it that something that can taste so good, can also be the source of severe and in some case, fatal, health risks? Sugar fits that description, but it’s the usage, not the product, that can compromise our health. So, whether your doctor has told you to avoid refined sugars, or your body has guided you toward more healthy alternatives, you have a number of options for sweetening your dishes without harming your body.

Grade A Maple Syrup: Usually sourced from wild maple trees, maple syrup is considered a natural sweetener, and is lower on the glycemic index than refined sugar. It contains riboflavin and zinc, among other nutrients.

Honey: Best if sourced locally, honey is perhaps the most flexible of sweeteners in that it melts well in hot drinks, adds flavor to desserts, and works wonders for sauces, dressings, drizzles, and marinades. Opting for honey in its raw, unstrained form will give you the benefits of ingesting the antioxidants and phytonutrients it contains.

Coconut Nectar: Did you know that palm trees carry a sap that can be made into a delicious sweetener? In fact, this wonderful treat has a consistency like maple syrup, but with coconut’s unique flavor, and far more nutrients.

Coconut Sugar: If you prefer your coconut nectar in a granulated form, then this sweetener might be ideal for your palate. This gluten-free option is low on the glycemic index and has a very similar texture to refined sugar, making it a virtually undetectable, healthier substitute.

Stevia: This calorie-free option may work well for your body’s needs, particularly if you need a versatile, gluten-free option to any form of sugar.

Try out these options, ideally in organic form, and start minimizing your refined sugar intake as a way to boost your health and wellness.