In the article title Can you really have your cake and eat it too? we told you all the reasons why you can’t eat your cake. Today, take heart! Here’s the good news. Following is a list of sweeteners that are good for you and that you can use instead of artificial sweeteners or table sugar. There are many, but here are the top five.
Honey is at the top of the list because it is not only sweet, but also contains enzymes, trace minerals, and pollen, which is high in B vitamins. Keep in mind that it can spike your blood sugar more quickly than regular sugar, so use in moderation. Don’t give unpasteurized honey to children under the age of two due to the risk of botulism. My 94-year-old dad loves to put honey in his green or herbal tea. He also uses a little on a brown rice cake for dessert when he’s eaten all the homemade cookies!
Stevia is an excellent sugar substitute that comes from the stevia plant. It has zero calories and does not cause your blood sugar to spike. It’s 200 to 300 times sweeter than sugar, so you only need a tiny amount. Some people don’t like the aftertaste. If you eat the whole leaf rather than the powder, the aftertaste won’t be as strong.
Dates contain fibre, vitamins, and minerals, which makes them a great sugar substitute. Eating them raw with some nuts makes a great snack that won’t spike your blood sugar. You can also puree them in a food processor to use in baking instead of sugar. Try it!
Coconut palm sugar comes from the nectar of coconut tree blossoms. The nectar is boiled into a caramel, then ground into crystals, without bleaching or processing. Coconut palm sugar is high in magnesium, potassium, zinc, iron, and also contains some B vitamins. If using dates in your baking doesn’t appeal to you, coconut palm sugar is a great alternative!
Maple syrup comes from the boiled sap of maple trees. It has more minerals than honey and also fewer calories. Make sure that you buy organic maple syrup. Anything else is likely corn syrup made from GMO corn. Maple syrup is not only good on pancakes and waffles! You can use it in baking. I’ve used it to make zucchini brownies.
Even though these natural sweeteners are much better than the artificial ones because of their nutrient content, they should still be used in moderation. However, at least now you can have your cake and eat it too!