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The Latest Scoop on Sugar Substitutes

I have recently come across the ingredient monk fruit in recipes and since I had never heard of it or cooked with it, I decided to dig in and check it out. Here are the details on monk fruit and other common sweeteners…

Monk fruit , also known as Buddha fruit or Luo han guo is a plant native to Asia and is about 300 times sweeter than white sugar. It has ZERO calories and doesn’t spike blood sugar. In fact ,it is believed to stabilize blood sugar! It is a bit pricey, but a little goes a long way. Monk fruit can be used for baking and cooking, but adjust the amount to taste. You can find it on Amazon.

Erythritol is a powdered or granulated form of the natural sugar alcohol that is found in fruits and veggies. it is less than a quarter of the calories of white sugar and doesn’t spike blood sugar. It isn’t as sweet as sugar, so a bit more is needed to get the desired sweetness in your iced tea or on granola. Baked goods taste best the day you make them with erythritol. Possible side effects are digestive issues or headaches. Available at most specialty markets.

Stevia is extracted from an herb and contains no calories or carbs. It is 200-300 times sweeter than white table sugar, so use sparingly. It is widely available at most grocery stores in a powdered or liquid form.

All of the above sweeteners are natural and approved for the Keto diet.

I have also recently purchased date syrup, which is 100% natural and organic. Although I am still experimenting in the kitchen with it, I like it in smoothies, homemade granola or plain yogurt. It has a little added bonus of magnesium and potassium too. 54 calories per tablespoon, but a little goes a long way. Available on Amazon.

Artificial sugar substitutes that aren’t derived from nature like aspartame, Splenda and sucralose are chemicals that can cause more sweet cravings or disrupt hormone balance in the body.

So there you have it. I suggest you buy the smallest package possible until you taste test them and see which one you like the best.

Patty Kelley