Last time, I talked about the false promises of artificial sweeteners. Let’s focus today on what are some healthier alternatives for the chemical stuff.
Sugar – Regular table sugar doesn’t offer any nutritional benefits, but it’s certainly not as harmful as the artificial chemicals that come in pastel colored pouches. If you just need something to sweeten your occasional cup of tea, a teaspoon of plain old sugar isn’t the worst choice you could make.
Agave nectar – Derived from the agave cactus, this natural sweetener is similar to honey. It’s somewhat sweeter than sugar, so you’ll use less to sweeten your cup of tea. Experts recommend agave because it’s less likely to spike your blood sugar than regular table sugar and has no bitter aftertaste like some artificial sweeteners. Agave’s mild taste is also good for those who don’t care for the taste of honey.
Honey – Used sparingly, honey is an excellent choice because it’s a natural food that, while not calorie-free, offers trace amounts of vitamins and minerals in addition to its role as a sweetener.
Stevia – Considered by some to be the best of the zero calorie options, stevia is derived from the stevia plant. Refined stevia, processed and sold as a no-calorie sugar replacement, is still a processed food that is up to 150 times as sweet as sugar.
Coconut palm sugar – Used as a sweetener for thousands of years in Southeast Asia where coconut palms grow, coconut palm sugar is a natural brown sugar that is not highly processed. As a natural food, it can vary in color and taste, depending on the palm trees from which the sap was derived. Coconut palm sugar is generally sold at health food stores.
As a general rule, both while your adjustable gastric balloon is implanted and after, the more natural and less processed your choice of sweetener, the better for your overall health.
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Rebeca Espinoza writes about health, fitness and weight loss for Spatz Medical, makers of the Spatz3 Adjustable Gastric Balloon. You can find her on Google+ or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Like the Spatz3 Adjustable Gastric Balloon page on Facebook or follow us on Pinterest for healthy eating tips, inspiring quotes, videos and photos and more.