All-Natural Sweeteners That Actually Taste Good

The debate over whether or not artificial sweeteners are bad for you continues to rage on. Whichever side of the aisle that you fall on, it may be wise to switch to natural sweeteners if your diet is high in sugar or artificial varieties that can be loaded with chemicals. Cutting out refined sugar poses a problem for many of us, thanks to its addictive qualities — but using natural sugars can help offset some of the withdrawals. 

Looking for healthier options? One of the most popular sweeteners, stevia, has zero calories and stems from a natural plant source (via Healthline). Furthermore, using stevia rather than raw sugar can help lower blood pressure, stabilize blood sugar levels, and "improve insulin sensitivity." To keep your natural sugar as clean as possible, look for organic versions of stevia.

Meanwhile, sugars such as honey or maple syrup have properties that are similar to regular sugar, but with a slightly healthier twist. These varieties contain lower levels of fructose and other favorable properties. Honey, for instance, boasts benefits like improving gut health, helping to prevent the hardening of arteries, and offering small amounts of vitamins and minerals, according to Health. So, adding it in small amounts to your food or drink may give you the sweetness you need with a few added perks. 

Let's dive into another all-natural sweetener that actually taste good.

Looking for a tasty all-natural sweetener? Try agave

While cutting back on sugar of any kind can benefit your health, eating natural sweeteners can reduce the negative side effects of too much sugar. If you're looking to avoid eating sweeteners made in a lab with loads of chemicals, agave might be your new best friend.

Agave nectar provides nutrients like iron and zinc, along with compounds called saponins that help lower levels of cholesterol, according to Livestrong. These saponins may also assist in "[inhibiting] the growth of cancerous tumors," while agave's levels of inulin work as a gut-healthy probiotic. If you needed another reason to reach for this type of sweetener, it also offers a healthy amount of fiber, as well. The drawback of agave is that it does have a high level of calories compared to other sweeteners, with 21 calories per teaspoon, per Livestrong. However, if you're looking for a vegan alternative to honey that contains minerals and vitamins, agave may be the obvious choice.

Sugars don't have to be all bad — in moderation. Find a natural alternative that works for you and swap it out!