A dash of sweetener..
If you are like most people, you are probably getting tired of all the hype about sweeteners – those that are new, those that are touted as good for you, those that are being discussed as bad for you now. You may be wondering where to turn for factual information. Unfortunately, even the professionals don’t seem to agree on which sweetener is best for you and it differs even more if you have any particular health concerns. Once upon a time, we pretty much only had natural sweeteners – sugar, honey, maple syrup, molasses and the like. Then suddenly there was a concern about the whopping (sarcasm intended) 16 calories in a teaspoon of sugar and zero calorie artificial sweeteners began to be developed and hit the market. The following ten websites may help you make a decision. Some were chosen because they discuss the pros and cons of various options, others because they give in depth information about a specific sweetener. The sites are listed in order of their Alexa traffic count rating.
Global Alexa Rating: 105,496
This is an article that is compilation of article links put together by the Physicians’ Desk Reference as regards artificial sweeteners. There are top articles, expert content and related search terms that can direct you to hundreds of articles about artificial sweeteners and their potential risks. At the current time there are 1,000 linked articles. This may seem overwhelming but it will be your most comprehensive tool to researching what the medical community and others are saying about artificial sweeteners.
Global Alexa Rating: 141,905
Honey is the oldest sweetener known to mankind, having been utilized since the dawn of time. This site gives you a comprehensive look at honey including its natural benefits, nutrition and ways to use it. You can also use the site to locate honey supplies in your state, by floral source or by type. You can also learn all about the honey industry including statistics, research, regulations and more. Be sure to check out the recipes section which includes appetizers, baked goods, breakfast, beverages, desserts, holiday recipes, main dishes and much more.
Global Alexa Rating: 153,708
This article in the archive section of Today’s Dietitian was written for dietitians to provide information about how to counsel patients regarding sweeteners. You can read it and skip the middle man. The articles describes how some sweeteners are nutritive and others are nonnutritive, should that be something you are unclear about. It also discusses safety concerns about nonnutritive sweeteners.
Global Alexa Rating: 296,221
Green Lite Bites is a site devoted to healthy eating. This link is to an article about the various natural sweeteners – honey, agave, molasses, sugar and maple syrup. It gives an informative table of information so that you can compare such things as the number of calories, estimated glycemic load and nutritional figures. The writer, Roni, also gives her input as to what she prefers and why.
Global Alexa Rating: 315,551
This is another source for reading about the natural sweeteners available. You can read the article as well as download a PDF of their sweeteners brochure. This article gives a few more options than the Green Lite Bites article does, including barley malt syrup, brown rice syrup and date sugar. The article also gives directions on how to replace white sugar with the substitutions mentioned in the article.
Global Alexa Rating: 836,637
This site is devoted to information about one sweetener – Stevia. It includes articles, a stevia-sugar substitute chart, comparison chart, how to grow stevia and a number of news articles about stevia. The site also includes recipes, testimonials, a library and FAQ section. You can also purchase stevia from the site, including special liquid stevia flavors that are great for using in coffee, tea, smoothies and other things.
Global Alexa Rating: 1,002,731
Before you rule out sugar as the big, bad guy of the sweetener industry, take a few minutes to check out the Sugar Association website. You can read about their current lawsuit regarding HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) and the alleged false and misleading marketing campaign by those that manufacture HFCS. The site includes sugar basics, sugar in your diet, FAQ, press releases, publications, video and a section on sugars and sweeteners research.
Global Alexa Rating: 1,052,853
This is probably the most comprehensive guide you will find on the web in regards to sugar and sweeteners of all types. The site includes everything from the history of sugar, details about natural sweeteners, list of all types of sweeteners, sugar substitutes, sweetener values, information about glycemic load and key findings regarding sweeteners and sugar. It should prove as a valuable resources as you wade through the options for sweeteners, both natural and artificial.
Global Alexa Rating: 2,366,306
Agave nectar is one of the newer sweeteners to get public attention. This site provides information about what agave nectar is, how it stacks up to artificial sweeteners, granular sugars and liquid sugars, recipes using agave nectar, health benefits and how to substitute it for other sweeteners. There is also a section on agave nectar and the glycemic index. Also on the site is a link for purchasing Madhava Organic Agave Nectar Light and Organic Blue Agave Raw from the Vitamin Shoppe.
Global Alexa Rating: 2,665,795
You may not have heard about monk fruit before, and few websites that discuss sweeteners include it, hence why this site is added to the list. The site includes information on the monk fruit story, news about monk fruit and other information so that you can learn about this rarely discussed sweetener option. The site includes a video about the history of monk fruit. Since powdered monk fruit concentrate is 150 to 200 times sweeter than sugar, it just might be the perfect solution for that sweet tooth!
Before you decide on any particular sweetener, you can go into a more in-depth search about it, but this at least gives you an idea about what is out there. It is not an endorsement of any one type, as that is for you to decide based on your particular needs. Hopefully these sites will aid you in understanding the choices, so at least you can make an informed decision.