The Sweet Life: What’s the Best Sweetener For Losing Weight?

November 19, 2012 Comments Off

You’re faced with vast options for sweeteners every day. Sucanat, coconut nectar, and stevia to name a few, but what’s the best option while trying to lose weight? Unfortunately, hype in the sweetening market often overshadows the facts.

Check out the pros and cons of these top sweeteners to find the best match for your weight loss journey.

 

Agave Nectar

As you may have heard, much debate has surrounded the purity of the agave nectar industry. However, this sweetener’s low ranking on the glycemic index makes it a worthy sweetening alternative and is thought by some to be a better sweetener than options with high fructose contents. When choosing agave nectar, do your research on the available brands and reach for a raw version. (Browse these tips for reading and understanding nutritional labels on all foods, including sweeteners.)

Raw Honey

The high levels of antioxidants and natural enzymes in honey earn this sweetener a spot on the list of top natural sweeteners. Unfortunately, the high fructose content in honey dips its credibility ranking a bit. As one of the longest-standing sweetening options, many versions of honey line the grocery store shelves. Opt for raw honey rather than a highly processed version that has been stripped of its natural properties.

Sucanat

Sucanat is organic dehydrated sugar cane juice and is sugar in one of its purest forms. This minimally processed sweetener is ripe with nutrients and offers a rich, molasses flavor. Because of its nutrients and natural state, Sucanat is a desirable alternative to refined sugar and brings rich flavor to baked goods.

Maple Syrup

Similar to other sweeteners such as honey, only choose pure maple syrup, not the highly processed versions. Maple syrup comes from the sap of maple trees and offers caramel flavor. This sweetener is often used as a sweetening alternative in baked goods and is rich in minerals.

Stevia

Stevia is receiving much praise across the board in the sweetening world for having a low glycemic index and for being calorie-free. This sweetener is 200 to 300 times sweeter than refined sugar which means a little goes a long way. One drawback of this sweetener is it’s often claimed to have a bitter taste. With stevia’s growing popularity, keep a keen eye for imitators when making your purchase.

Coconut Nectar

Where agave nectar seems to have failed in the eyes of some, coconut nectar is picking up the slack. This sweetener has a low glycemic index of 35 and is rich in nutrients. As coconut nectar gains popularity, watch for imitator brands that may be heavily processed.

Coconut Palm Sugar

No, coconut palm sugar doesn’t taste like coconut. Rather, this sugar comes from the nectar of the coconut palm tree, and offers a taste and texture similar to brown sugar. Coconut sugar has a milder flavor than sucanat and is often easier to incorporate into baked goods.

Today’s market is ripe with a great selection of natural sweeteners. Ultimately, your decision should be based on the factors impacting your personal weight loss journey. No matter which sweetener you choose, remember two things: steer clear of processed versions, and moderation is key when using any sweetener.

Looking for more weight loss tips? Check out these weight loss myths that you shouldn’t believe.

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