- quitting refined sugar can be tough. luckily there are quite a few sweeteners found in nature that areactually quite good for health. this video looks atfour of the healthiest. stevia. stevia is a very popularlow calorie sweetener. it's extracted from the leaves of the south american stevia plant. there are several sweetcompounds found in stevia leaves,
the main ones are steviosideand rebaudioside a. both are many hundred times sweeter than sugar, gram for gram, but have virtually no calories. some studies in humans have shown stevia have health benefits. when blood pressure is high, stevia can lower it bysix to fourteen percent. however, it has noeffect on blood pressure
that is normal or only mildly elevated. stevia has also beenknown to lower blood sugar levels in diabetics, at least short term. erythritol. erythritol is a sugar alcohol found naturally in certain fruits. and it's also used as alow calorie sweetener. sugar alcohols are likehybrids of carbohydrate and alcohol molecules,except they don't contain
the ethanol that makes you drunk. erythritol contains0.24 calories per gram, or about six percent ofthe calories as sugar, with 70 percent of the sweetness. it doesn't spike bloodsugar or insulin levels and has no effect on biomarkers like cholesterol or triglycerides. erythritol tastes very much like sugar although it can have a mild aftertaste.
and while studies showit is perfectly safe it can cause digestive stress if you eat too much at one time. xylitol. xylitol is also sugar alcohol with a sweetness similar to sugar. it contains 2.4 calories per gram, or about 2/3 of thecaloric value of sugar. studies have shown it has somebenefits for dental health,
and may also improve bone density, helping to prevent osteoporosis. it doesn't raise blood sugaror insulin levels either. but as with other sugar alcohols, it can cause digestivestress at high doses. oh, and it's highly toxic to dogs. so you may want to keep xylitol out of the house if youhave a dog... that you like. yacon syrup.
yacon syrup is harvestedfrom the yacon plant, which grows natively inthe andes of south america. this sweetener has recently become popular as a weight loss supplementbecause one study found it caused serious weightloss in overweight women. while it's promising, one study on its own doesn'treally count for much. but what makes yacon syrup stand out is the high fructooligosaccharide content,
which function as soluble fibers that feed the goodbacteria in the gut. it can help against constipation and has various benefits due to the high amount of soluble fiber. don't eat too much at a time though, as it may cause digestive problems. there are several other popular sweeteners that health conscious peopleoften eat instead of sugar.
things like coconut sugar,molasses, honey and maple syrup. in reality, they really aren't much different from regular sugar. so if you are heavily overweight or insulin resistant, largeamounts of the these sugars is still not going to be good for you. that's not to say they areunhealthy for everyone though. in a context of a healthyreal food based diet, small amounts of thesesugars will not cause harm.
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