You want to cut down on your sugar intake, but you like some sweet in your day, and the idea of downing packets of chemicals in your coffee just isn't your style. Us too, so we tasted six all-natural alternatives for cooking, baking, and sweetening our beverages, then compared them in terms of their calorie count and overall nutritional impact. Check them out in the slideshow above and then consider the cold hard facts below, with the sweeteners listed in order of highest calories to lowest.
- 1 tb of granulated sugar (white, brown, pure cane, organic, etc.) = 54 cal, no nutritional value
- 1 tb of natural honey = 43 cal, trace amounts of B6, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and zinc, slightly sweeter than sugar so you use less
- 1 tb of organic raw agave nectar = 40 cal, half the glycemic index of refined sugar, 1.5x sweeter than sugar so you use less
- 1 tb of cane syrup = 39 cal, iron and a small amount of calcium
- 1 tb of 100% pure maple syrup = 36 cal, significant manganese and zinc plus trace amounts of iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium, 3x sweeter than sugar so you use less
- 1 tb of organic palm sugar = 30 cal, half the glycemic index of refined sugar, potassium, magnesium, zinc, and iron
- 1 tb of organic yacon syrup = 20 cal, a high concentration of the indigestible sugar inulin is makes it a prebiotic – undigested sugars feed the "friendly" bacteria in your gut to help you absorb more vitamins and minerals and improve your overall digestion