Granulated sugar is the most popular sweetener that is around. But studies are coming out that show how dangerous it is to the overall health of the body. Therefore many new sweeteners have been developed and are starting to become popular. There are many unhealthy, zero calorie sweeteners, but there are also many natural sweeteners, that are much healthier in moderation.
Honey has been used to sweeten things long before sugar and other sweeteners came on the scene. Honey is naturally made by bees from the nectar they collect from different flowers. It is available raw as well as pasteurized.
The sweetness of honey is about the same as sugar. However, honey is natural, and therefore it is a better choice for healthy living. It is mainly made up of sugars, but it also contains small amounts of healthy vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that help the body to build a strong immune system so that it can fight off disease.
Honey can be used in baking, desserts and many drinks such as coffee, tea and milk.
Stevia is produced from an herbal plant. It is available in dry powder form or in a liquid extract. It is said to be 200 to 300 times sweeter than regular table sugar. Thus the amount needed for sweetening is very little. It is great for using in smoothies, tea, coffee, cereals and anywhere that sugar is normally used.
The great thing about stevia is that it can help to reduce food cravings for sweets and foods high in unhealthy fats. Therefore it is great for those who are trying to lose weight. Stevia is also great for those who suffer from diabetes as it does not spike the blood sugar levels.
The only downfall of stevia is the mild aftertaste that it produces.
Agave is harvested from the agave plants that are naturally grown in Mexico. The sap is harvested and heated at low temperatures to break down the sugars. This ensures that the enzymes are kept alive, and thus it is considered natural and can be consumed safely in moderation.
The agave nectar contains the same amount of calories per tsp. as does sugar, but, agave can be up to three times as sweet as sugar. Thus the amount that is needed is far less.
However, the sweetener is high in fructose, which may not be suitable for some. But nevertheless, it is great for those who suffer from diabetes as it does not spike the sugar levels.