Sugar is deadly! It's true...it's been documented. It can cause all sorts of bodily harm, contributing to diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
But if you like some sweetness in your life without sugar....and don't say agave (we'll get to that soon)...there are two natural sweeteners that have no calories and are actually good for you. They are stevia which is a leafy herb used for centuries by native South Americans. The extract is approximately 100 to 300 times sweeter than sugar. And then there's monkfruit made from the extract of dried fruit native to Southern China, where it's been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for decades,. The extract is 150-250 times sweeter than table sugar, has zero calories and carbs, and does not raise blood glucose levels
Why do I say forget agave? Because, while it's the go-to sugar substitute in most health food restaurants and it's vegan, it's actually as bad for you as sugar! Agave contains higher levels of fructose than sugar, and the body releases less insulin in response to fructose. This means that blood sugar may remain higher after eating agave than other sugars. And agave has more calories!
Stevia is easier to find than monkfruit, although I've started seeing monkfruit products on store shelves in the last few months. I use both in cooking and baking and to sweeten beverages.
What I'd like each and every one of you to do is to let those running establishments that tout agave as their sweetener know that they're not doing anyone any good and that they should turn to monkfruit or stevia. If enough people complain, hopefully we can have our sweets and consume them in a healthier way too!
Happy Valentine's Day!