Latest Food Fads? Which Sugar Substitutes are Safest?

             The latest health food fad may be passé by this time next year. We all know that processed sugar isn’t good for us. But what substitutes are the safest?

Here is Ask Granny’s  list of several health food sites documenting the current best information on the safest sugar substitutes available today.(Check with your health professionals for advice before using any of these.)

Stevia

                                                                                                                                                                               Stevia is a zero calorie sweetener extracted from the leaves of the plant Stevia Rebaudiana. It has been used in South America for medicinal purposes and for its sweet flavor. It is good for diabetics because it doesn’t spike blood sugar and some believe it is helpful for those with high blood pressure

Sugar Alcohols

Sugar alcohols are formed from the fermentation of corn, sugar cane or fruits. Erythritol is one sugar alcohol commonly used for its sweetening value. Sorbitol is another and Xylitol is popular for its absence of fructose. One precaution with xylitol is that it is extremely toxic to dogs. It is said to be healthy for both teeth and bones. Overuse of all sugar alcohols can cause intestinal distress.

Yacon Syrup

This syrup is distilled from the root of the Yacon plant. The leaves are known to cause kidney damage, so it is vital that the product has high standards and is made by a reputable company. The three best products according to quality tests are Research Verified, Sunfood and Dietwork.

Agave   

Agave is found in health food stores, but has a high fructose content. It is best used with the lowest possible percentages of fructose.

Raw, organic, local honey

Honey made in your own area has the benefit of alleviating allergic symptoms. Many believe that honey also is a cancer defender due to its antioxidant content.

Blackstrap Molasses

Molasses, made from sugar cane, is rich in iron, potassium and calcium. It has a fairly high caloric count, but is pleasantly sweet.