Cheryl said

Sweeteners - 5 Best and 5 Worst

I subscribe to the “Eat This, Not That” newsletter, and this article was linked by them today:

http://www.rodale.com/best-sweeteners?cm_mmc=ETNTNL-802804-_-02112012-dek

According to their list, here are the 5 Worst:

  1. Worst: Aspartame, then Agave Nectar, Sucralose (Splenda), Sugar and High Fructose Corn Syrup
  1. Best: Stevia, Sugar Alcohols, Raw Local Honey, Blackstrap Molasses and Real Maple Syrup

They go on to explain their reasoning on each. I’m not an expert and do not intend to debate each choice, but wanted to pass on the information (as it appears useful to tea drinkers, at least those who sweeten their teas).

51 Replies
Tamm said

Wow I’m actually surprised about the agave nectar. I know TONS of people that love that stuff to death. I don’t personally use any of these on a regular basis; but thanks for the information!

Cheryl said

Yea, I see a lot of people mentioning it too.

Will said
Cheryl said

Thanks for reinforcing links Will…

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but but but, I love my agave!! no no, I shan’t give it up!!! :)

Cheryl said

As long as you read the reasons they gave, nobody will call the sweetener police : )

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Bonnie said

I use Sucralose because of calories and taste. It’s not bitter, imparts no flavor of it’s own. Stevia heated is bitter. Honey, maple have flavor and calories. Forget Aspartame. Agave is nice but calories not good.

I agree Bonnie. I am also Diabetic, so if I want my tea sweetened, I have limited choices. I have never found Sucralose to be a problem.

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brandy3392 said

I’ve had good luck with Now Foods Stevia Powder. It is the only thing I use for sweetening tea, yogurt, oatmeal, etc. I’m not sure if it works for baking though. Just remember that a little goes a very long ways.

Jessie said

I agree that the NOW stevia is good on the minimal aftertaste front. I use it in baking a lot, so indeed it works! Flavoured stevia drops (there are a couple different brands) are also great for adding to things like tea and yogurt.

Cheryl said

Thanks for specific brand (will look for it).

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Jessie said

Thanks for posting this! I’m surprised to find an article on the topic I agree with. :) I’ve done a lot of reading to come to my conclusions about sweeteners so it’s cool to see it summed up like that.

Cheryl said

You’re welcome!

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Good stuff! I personally cannot stand agave, and don’t understand why tea drinkers like it. The aftertaste, to me, is just awful, and I don’t know what sort of flavour that’s imparting to the tea.

I personally tend to use raw honey or turbinado. Occasionally I’ve used brown sugar when out of the latter, though. I have pure maple syrup (of course, being Canadian), but I’ve never thought to put it in any tea that wasn’t already maple-themed – it would certainly add it’s own flavour. And molasses never occurred to me, but now I’ll have to try it just to see how it is.

I was clueless about Stevia; when I heard the name, I just assumed it was a Splenda clone.

Cheryl said

Maple syrup wouldn’t work for me either. Molasses probably wouldn’t either, because of taste? (strong). Let us know : )

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I love my splenda and I don’t care what anyone else says. So, there.

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mrs tea said

thanks for posting this! very interesting, i’m glad i didn’t waste my money buying agave on my next health food store run. I am surprised that they didn’t mention brown rice syrup.

Cheryl said

They did just list top 5 of worst/best, so maybe it’s #6 or 7 :)

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momo said

Thanks for this! The curiosity afterwards helped me find out that a) the honey I love is raw and b) the samples of sweetener I got a couple months ago are made from sugar alcohols/stevia so I should probably try them out finally.

Cheryl said

I need to find local honey… very rural here, so hopefully can find before Farmers Market season. Let us know how the samples turn out…

momo said

I tried it out today, it’s called Skoopz. It’s okay, I think it has a bit of an aftertaste on its own, but that’s probably just the xylitol. In tea, I couldn’t really tell. Only thing I don’t like is that it’s crystals of all different sizes but that doesn’t really affect what it does.

Also it only comes in packets, it looks like. I would prefer a bulk bag, but that could be in the works.
If anyone’s interested, here’s their website: http://www.skoopznatural.com/ They don’t seem to have a big retail presence yet.

Cheryl said

Bookmarked it for when I can concentrate on those ingredients and google around about it more : ) Doesn’t seem expensive, but agree about the bulk part. Thanks!
p.s. This does say it’s ok for diabetics (Infusin Susan) ….

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I have Type 1 diabetes, so I’m always on the lookout for healthy, sugar-free sweeteners. Out of all the brands of stevia, my favorite is Truvia, because it does not make tea cloudy. I’m also of the opinion that a small amount of Splenda won’t kill anyone.

I wonder why saccharin (Sweet N Low) is not on this list? I still see packets of it at restaurants everywhere. I also wonder if the legions of diet soda drinkers realize how much aspartame they are consuming.

Uniquity said

I only know one diet soda addict, but she refuses to hear anything I have to say about Aspartame. Her defence is that she’s already a smoker so aspartame can’t hurt, and it’s “better for her than sugar”. : (

Cheryl said

I’ve seen Truvia, so will have to grab some next time at store. I can’t get by the taste of diet soda, so drink straight up Coke (addiction that trying to overcome). Splenda has a similar aftertaste to me.

Azzrian said

I have had type 1 diabetes for 41 years – my daughter 8 years. We both use raw sugar and pure un-pasturized honey. Now I am by no means telling you how to manage your diabetes as we are all different however I find that especially with Honey it does not raise my blood sugars past a manageable range as long as I accommodate for the insulin / carb ratio accordingly. Of course there are health benefits to honey as well. We are both on the insulin pump as well so an extra bolus of insulin is less a problem than a shot.

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