Sweet Talk: Which Sweetener is Best?

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Which sweetener do you think wins when it comes to good nutrition:  Agave or honey? Or should we go for stevia, the other natural sweetener that’s big on health foodies’ lists? What about xylitol and other sugar alcohols?  Then there’s blackstrap molasses, which contains the same antioxidants found in nuts and berries (although you’d have to eat 32 1/2 teaspoons of the stuff to get as many as in one serving of nuts or berries).  Are artificial sweeteners taboo for healthy eating?

It’s a confusing world out there, but we try to clear things up a bit in our latest FitBriefing Natural vs. Artificial Sweeteners: What’s Best for Healthy Weight Loss.”

Hint about one of our conclusions:  How do you think blackstrap molasses would taste in your coffee?

Curious?  Click on the link and read it for three points to consider when choosing the sweetener that’s best for you.

If you would be so kind, we’d love to hear which sweeteners you prefer and why.


9 responses to “Sweet Talk: Which Sweetener is Best?”

  1. Dara Chadwick says:

    Great info! I drink my coffee extra sweet, so this is an ongoing issue for me.

  2. Hanlie says:

    I hardly ever sweeten anything and I don’t bake, so it’s not much of an issue for me. When I do sweeten something I use honey, ground dates, freshly extracted fruit juice or actual fruit like bananas. I’d be willing to try stevia in future, as I’ve just read an article about it.

  3. Gayle says:

    I love the sweet stuff. Am a Splenda girl because it tastes good. Looking forward to trying Stevia though.

  4. laine says:

    sugar. plain old sugar.

  5. Christine says:

    Truvia! I have found that I really enjoy the taste.

  6. Gina says:

    I’ve been posting a lot about sweeteners lately. I have a philosophy regarding sweeteners and it’s “I use many different sweeteners, in moderation”. Basically I try to use as little sweetener as possible (including sugar) but when I do use them I vary my choices; sometimes I use Purevia, sometimes Splenda, sometimes Sugar, other times honey. I use the Purevia and Splenda on plain yogurt and in my cereal. The honey is used in my granola, and the sugar I use in my homemade ice cream, and it’s in the desserts I eat (chocolate candies, cake at parties, etc.).

  7. Sagan says:

    I try to use as little sweeteners as possible- I prefer sweetening things with fruit- but in baking etc I like using agave, honey, or molasses. And NEVER artificial sweeteners. I’m all about the real thing.

  8. Marsha says:

    Thanks for everyone’s comments. As I suspected, there’s a wide range of opinions about sweeteners. Fortunately, our bottom line rec — moderation — is an equal opportunity message. No matter what sweetener we choose, it’s probably best to try to minimize our dependence on intensely sweet tastes so we can better appreciate the natural taste of foods.

  9. susan says:

    Once I gave up artificially sweetened food, I found that I only needed 1/2 tsp of sugar to sweeten a whole bowl of oatmeal (or none if I mashed in a small banana). When I used Splenda and other artificial sweeteners, I used to put TWO PACKETS! I like real maple syrup or honey to sweeten things like greek yogurt, but I really don’t need to use much.

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About the Author

Marsha Hudnall, MS, RDN, CD

If you’re looking for an embodiment of dedication disguised as obsession, look no further. Marsha is a registered dietitian who has spent the last four decades working to help women give up dieting rules and understand how to truly take care of themselves. Her mission in life is to help women learn to enjoy eating and living well, without worries about their weight. She encourages women to embrace their love of food, which you might call being a foodie. If so, it’s appropriate because being a foodie means you pay attention when you eat. That’s a recipe made in heaven for eating well. Marsha is the President and Co-Owner of Green Mountain at Fox Run.

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