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Top 5 Healthiest Natural Sweeteners

Mar 1, 2010

One of the best ways for people to lose weight is to use natural sweeteners instead of sugar. Sugar can be detrimental to your health because it can contribute to obesity and increase the risk of diabetes. Many people who are health-conscious have relied on natural sweeteners to keep their food and beverages sweet and tasty. The most popular forms of natural sweeteners are:

1. Stevia

Stevia is a sweet tasting natural herb, and it can be found in a variety of foods. Though it is not available as a sweetener, it can be bought as a dietary supplement. It can be safely used in tea, coffee, sweets and other foods. Since it's low in calories, it's the ideal option for those who want to lose weight. It also has other health benefits such as treating diabetes, hypertension, dental problems, dermatitis, acne, stomach ache, digestive problems and flu. With so many health benefits, stevia is one of the best natural sweeteners.

2. Maple Syrup

Most people think about using maple syrup only when they are baking bread or pancakes; however, it can be used as a substitute for sugar in many ways. It can be used for making cookies, cakes and many such sweets, as well as a topping for toasts, ice-creams and pancakes. It is known that maple syrup can bring many benefits to the body, including promoting the health of the heart, boosting the immune system, lowering the risk of prostrate cancer and others.

3. Honey

Raw honey is a natural sweetener that is easily available. Honey has been used as a sugar substitute for centuries. You can mix it in milk or spread it on bread for a great breakfast. Since it has a low glycemic index, it's ideal for those who want to lose weight. If you're trying to lose weight, you should take some honey every morning. Honey is rich in antioxidants, which can protect your body from a variety of illnesses. It can also treat insomnia, beautify the skin, help wounds heal and promote digestion.

4. Agave Extract

Agave extract is taken from the agave plant, and it's usually converted into syrup. It tastes similar to honey, and it's available in the dark or light variety. Agave also has a low glycemic index, and therefore, it takes more time for it to get absorbed into the bloodstream. This property of agave extract makes it the ideal option for those who want to lose weight the natural way. It has been proven that agave extract can relieve inflammations, enhance the immune system, lower the risk of cancer and improve the absorption of certain nutrients, such as calcium, magnesium and isoflavones.

5. Date Sugar

Though it's called "date sugar," this sweetener is not a form of sugar. It's actually an extract taken from dehydrated dates. Date sugar is widely used as a substitute for regular sugar, because it is a healthier alternative. It contains essential minerals such as iron, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc and selenium, and it's effective in improving cognitive functions, maintaining healthy blood pressure, enhancing immune system and relieving migraine, asthma and sore muscles.

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