Take a teaspoon out along with a bowl. Now measure 20 tsp. and put into the bowl. On average, that the average daily consumption of sugar. Note that this does not include fruit, beans and other naturally occurring sugars.
As you can see, that is quite a bit. Many consider this the number one reason for our obesity epidemic – excessive consumption of sugar. It is also one of the top 3 reasons for dental problems.
What to do? Consume less is the obvious answer but few want to hear this. So let us take a look at the top 4 alternative sweeteners.
- Stevia.Stevia is a green plant also known as sweetgrass. It is a zero calorie substance that is a great substitute. Why? Aside from the taste, there are other health benefits from it. For starters, stevia can lower blood pressure. It also lowers blood sugar levels and helps fight diabetes. Finally, there are some small studies which show this to have anti-cancer qualities.
I would rate this an A.
- Honey.Honey has medicinal qualities that have been used for centuries such as immune boosting, energy boosting, anti-allergy and anti-viral qualities. It also has more fructose than sugar, which causes less stress to the pancreas and spleen. The downside is that it can be a contributor to dental issues.
Overall, I would rate honey an A-.
- Splenda.This is an artificial sweetener is about 600 times sweeter than pure sugar. It is not all-natural and comes only in part from sugar. The other components are dubious at best. Though it is FDA approved, whether it is safe for long-term consumption is another question.
I would rate this as a D-.
- Aspartame and its variations.These artificial sweeteners are still being added to drinks and foods. In my opinion, these should be avoided at all costs. They have a tendency to accumulate as “clumps” in the brain.
I would rate them as an F.
There are other choices, some of which are healthy too, but as a general rule, consider #1 and #2 as your primary ways to add sweetness to your foods.