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Choosing a Safe Sweetener

By on July 6, 2017

by Tami Mungenast CPT CNWC

If you are watching your waist line and your carbs you know that added sugar is a “No-No.” With all the alternative sweeteners out there it is often a struggle to know which ones are the healthiest choice.

Finding a sweetener that doesn’t cause insulin to rise or isn’t loaded with chemicals can be tricky but here are two types that are great choices:

steviaStevia – Stevia is a plant in the ragweed family and has been used for thousands of years in South America. Stevia has zero calories and zero carbs and is 300x sweeter than sugar. It has no impact on blood sugar levels and some studies suggest it may even improve insulin signaling. Stevia extract does boast of a diverse source of nutrients to include polyphenols, caretenoids and amino acids. It also has some other micronutrients that can reduce stress and potentially control the development of cancer and support immune system function.

monk-fruitMonk Fruit – Monk fruit is also a small plant native to Southeast Asia. A small melon looking plant, monk fruit has been harvested and used for hundreds of years in eastern medicine.  Although there is less research on Monk Fruit compared to Stevia, it does have studies that indicate it has a positive impact on blood sugar levels by improving signaling. Monk fruit has zero calories and zero carbs. It has some nutrients in it that are considered to have cancer fighting potential especially in inhibiting tumor growth of pancreatic cancer. It also has very similar properties as Stevia in helping boost the immune system.

When choosing either Stevia or Monk Fruit look for the purest form or a whole food extract. Often natural sweeteners can be chemically altered with sugar alcohol or combined with artificial sweeteners. Try to avoid these commercial forms of the sweetener.  Lastly, its always best to use the organic options or at least ones harvested from its natural habitat.