Nature’s Top 5 Sweeteners

Hello, my name is Rosie and I’m a sugar addict.

As we all may or may not know, sugar can be an addictive substance. Artificial sweeteners like aspartame or sucralose are two of the main artificial sweeteners that have been infiltrating our foods for close to fifty years. These are a popular choice among many of my fellow dieters because they contain zero calories and rate a zero on the Glycemic Index. What some of us don’t know is that these artificial sweeteners still promote cravings for sugary treats.

I myself am not a big fan of foods that are made in a science lab. I prefer to enjoy what nature has to offer. What did the ancient civilizations like the Mayans do when they wanted a sweet treat?

In my search for this question, I found that there are several options we can use that are more suited to our bodies. Nature has provided us with sweeteners that are natural and organic and promote our natural state of being. Here are nature's top five ways to help sweeten your palate in a safe and natural way:

Stevia: Is a plant that was first discovered centuries ago in Paraguay by the native population, its originally called stevia rebaudiana. It is known as a sweet leaf and is extremely potent. This has become a popular choice for diabetics, as it is a better than aspartame and sucralose and measures at zero on the glycemic index. The taste takes a bit of getting used to, so try a few different brands.

Agave Nectar: Natural agave has been traditionally harvested in Mexico, and is ranked fairly low in the glycemic scale. Only purchase the highest quality brands that are made All-Natural and ensure minimal processing. Using a small amount of agave in recipes, coffee or tea gives you a nice and warming flavor similar to honey but without the bitterness.

Raw Honey: Honey has been used for centuries for its incredible healing properties. It is used as a home remedy in almost every culture. Organic Raw honey provides energy boosts because of its carbohydrates. It also aids in relieving muscle fatigue and great for alleviating morning sickness. Honey in tea is the absolute best in my book.

Xylitol: This a sweetener found in birch trees and many fruits and vegetables. It is very low calorie and if you are watching your diet, this is a great substitute. Xylitol is 100% GMO-Free and can be used for cooking and baking. Out of all the substitutes, this has the most similar taste and consistency as conventional sugar. If you are trying to take slow steps, this may be the best option for you.

Cinnamon: This spice is a great way to keep your metabolic rates high. This means more calorie burn, and who doesn’t want that? Pungent spices like garlic and cayenne pepper are just a few of natural spices that give our foods those unforgettable and indescribable tastes. A little bit of Cinnamon can be used to spice up tea’s or coffee’s in the morning and can also be used in countless recipes to add its warming effects.

The benefits of organically grown sweeteners go beyond one's health. Buying locally grown honey and all-natural agave are just some of the few things we can also do to support our local farms. By purchasing organic products whenever possible, and making better choices at the grocery store, will help both ourselves and our society live a healthier and more environmentally sustainable lifestyle. By changing our lives in one small way, the potential benefits are beyond measure.