Are There Any Good Natural Sweeteners? : Renegade Health Exclusive Article

Monday Aug 15 | BY |
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Not ripe yet, but these red bananas will be amazingly good when they’re ready…

Sugar is a hotly contested topic in the health world…

Is it good? Is it bad? Does it feed the brain or does it feed cancer? Can diabetics eat it or not?

This week, I’m going to address various viewpoints from the sugar or no-sugar arguments so you can come up with your own conclusion.

Annmarie and I do eat sugars and the reason why is because I’ve found science to support both sides – which leads me to believe that there is a little truth in both. This evidence means that in moderation – as cliche as it sounds – is the best way to eat natural sugars (unless you have a medical condition that advises against eating it.)

Today, I’m going to start the week with a sugar hierarchy of sorts. This is a list from best to worst sugar substitutes that we eat and don’t eat – with commentary on the good and bad of each one.

So here we go…

1. Fruit!

Of course, the top of the list is real fruit. Full of nutrients, water, fiber, vitamin C and more, fruit provides sweetness to whatever you’re whipping up in the kitchen – or just plain solo.

The Good: There’s nothing like a fully ripe fruit – no matter what kind really. (I almost liked the ripe durian that author Paul Nison told me was the best he ever tasted – that’s saying a lot, since I can’t stand the stuff.)

Ripe fruits have many nutrients, micronutrients and fiber – which helps slow the absorption of sugars into the blood stream keeping blood sugars in check – as long as you don’t eat a lot of fat with your fruit.

Negatives: Many fruits you find in the grocery store are hybridized to have more sugar, taste sweeter and stay on the shelf longer. This means that it’s best to look out for heirloom fruits from your local farmer’s market. I remember being in the Ithaca farmer’s market just around apple season and 3-4 of the vendors had at least 8-10 different apple varieties that I’d never heard from – each was better than the last. This fruits tend to be a little less sweet and more nutrient dense.

Also fruits that you find in the store are usually picked too early and don’t ripen properly – many in fact are under-ripe when you eat them. While this condition isn’t ideal (or the other ones above), it shouldn’t make anyone completely demonize this incredible source of calories and energy.

My favorite choices: For sweetening? Heirloom dates and fresh figs. For eating? Everything except durian.

2. Dehydrated Fruit.

Next up, if you can’t find the freshest fruit or live in an area where it’s $100 for a couple of peaches and a tray of blackberries, dehydrated fruits are a great way to sweeten up your recipes, smoothies, yogurts (vegan or non), and more.

The Good: If you get a good dehydrated fruit or fruit powder, you can use it to sweeten your cereals, oatmeal, baked or non-baked goods and more. I prefer dehydrated fruit or fruit powder to other sweeteners because they still have the fiber and are now a more concentrated source of nutrients.

Dried fruits and powders are also good because they’re usually dried when the fruit is very ripe. This allows you to get the maximum amount of nutrition from the source.

The Bad: Dehydrated fruit and fruit powder sweeteners don’t have much water (almost none!) You can overcome this challenge by drinking water to offset the lack of hydration – so in some ways if the fruit that is being dried is heirloom quality, is dried at low temperatures and you drink some water with whatever you’re eating – you could get very close to eating some of the highest quality sugar you can find.

My favorite choices: Banana Powder, Lucuma Powder, Coconut Sugar (Raw palm sugar), Raisins, Dried Dates, Dried Figs, Dried Pineapple

3. Sugar Syrups.

Under this category, any sugar that is syrupy will fit just fine.

Sugar syrups are generally delicious and easy to use when making foods that require a soft or smooth consistency. Under this category, I will include honey, yacon syrup, coconut sap, carob syrup and maple syrup.

The Good: These syrups are sweet, delicious and easy to use.

The Bad: They fall behind the top two because many of them have little to no fiber. Fiber is essential in slowing down the absorption of sugar into the body to keep insulin levels stable. Any fiber-less or low fiber syrup should be eaten with fiber of some kind. Yacon syrup does have fructo-oligosaccharrides or FOS which is a fiber-like substance in its action and slows the absorption of sugar into the body.

Other considerations: Because this is a broad category, there are more considerations to figure into which one of these products you choose to sweeten with. Honey has the best flavor profile, works great as a substitute to other – more processed – sugars, but it’s not vegan. Yacon, carob and coconut syrup are delicious but have a stronger, more molasses flavor which may ruin delicate recipes. Finally, maple syrup has a great flavor profile as well, is a good source of minerals too, but is slightly caramelized because of the cooking process – because of this I’d recommend this syrup more infrequently.

My favorite choice: Honey, carob syrup

4. Stevia

Stevia, in green powdered form, is a great herbal sweetener that has almost no calories. You really don’t need much at all to give what you’re sweetening a serious boost.

The Good: This sweetener has almost no calories and does not cause any blood sugar spikes. It’s good for those on a no-sugar diet. I used a lot of stevia in my chia porridge and just about everything else when I was on a no-sugar, anti-candida diet a few years back.

The Bad: While there’s no evidence that eating too much stevia could be harmful in any way in humans, I would caution anyone using it every single day to take a break from time to time. Most herbs are best used in smaller doses, so I think we should apply the same rules to stevia.

Another negative to stevia is that to some it just doesn’t taste the same as sugar. It has a more bitter and strikingly sweet combination of flavor. Many people I know who use stevia “cut” it with another sweetener like honey to give it less bite.

The only choice: Stevia in green leaf powder. (None of the white stuff!)

5. Other considerations… (You can use infrequently!)

These are some of the other sweeteners that we’ve come across and have tried, but don’t use regularly or at all, since we prefer the ones mentioned above.

Lakanto: This is an almost no-calorie, sweet mixture of non-GMO erythritol (sugar alcohol) and the extract of the luo han guo fruit. I like the taste of Lakanto, but it’s hard to justify buying it since the price is incredible – about $30.00 for a pound at retail prices!

Xylitol: Is another sugar alcohol that is derived from corn or birch. I like the idea of using this sugar in dentistry or in gum (if have to chew it), but I wouldn’t add a bunch of it to my smoothie and think I was doing something healthy.

6. The Bad (Never use or, if so, once in a blue moon)…

This list includes:

  • Agave nectar
  • Bleached, non-organic cane sugar
  • Sugar from sugar beets
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Splenda
  • Nutrasweet
  • Sweet ‘n Low

We don’t have any of these in the house and the only time one crosses our lips is generally when we are given something that we assume is clean, but turns up to have a little agave or sugar in it. (The added sugar is definitely an issue in South America and Central America, so you have to be diligent.)

Which one to choose?

I think the best protocol is to stay in the top four of this list, have fun with them, use them moderately and don’t freak out. Of course, if you have a health challenge that makes it best to not use any sugar at all, please listen to your health practitioner and not me.

If I didn’t list a sugar here in this list, that means we definitely don’t use it. That doesn’t mean it’s good nor bad, it just means we have either not tried it or we like some of these others better.

(Although, it’s also entirely possible that I’ve forgotten one or two that I like as well – even though I’ve reviewed this list about 15 times.)

I want to know your thoughts: What is your favorite sweetener?

“This Stuff is Amazing!”

That’s what everyone in our office is saying about our new banana powder. I don’t even think words will explain how good this product tastes.

You can try some today at a discount here…

Live Awesome!

Kevin Gianni

Kevin Gianni is a health author, activist and blogger. He started seriously researching personal and preventative natural health therapies in 2002 when he was struck with the reality that cancer ran deep in his family and if he didn’t change the way he was living — he might go down that same path. Since then, he’s written and edited 6 books on the subject of natural health, diet and fitness. During this time, he’s constantly been humbled by what experts claim they know and what actually is true. This has led him to experiment with many diets and protocols — including vegan, raw food, fasting, medical treatments and more — to find out what is myth and what really works in the real world.

Kevin has also traveled around the world searching for the best protocols, foods, medicines and clinics around and bringing them to the readers of his blog — which is one of the most widely read natural health blogs in the world with hundreds of thousands of visitors a month from over 150 countries around the world.


Comments are closed for this post.

  1. I’ve been experimenting with eliminating sugar from my diet at times, and boy oh boy is it tough. I love fruit so much, and was jonesing for a smoothie like a crack fiend wanting a base hit. Thanks for the write up.

  2. Anne says:

    Hi Kev,

    I currently use green leaf Stevia as I’m on a no sugar diet for a while. The only other fruits I have are lemon, limes, unsweetened cranberry juice and occasionally I use blueberries in my fermented veggies but it’s far from sweet of course. I use cinnamon as well, even if it’s not a sugar it gives a sweet taste to foods and helps control blood sugar levels.

    Although I use stevia is small quantities most days I wouldn’t say I use it everyday. Helps the green smoothies taste a bit sweeter. For vitamins (which might be missing because of my lack of fruit) I use amla powder or camu camu powder and Acai powder.

  3. Nomi says:

    Now I am just downright tickled and thrilled to know that you don’t like Durian, Kevin. I thought I was the only die hard raw food author/teacher/whatever I yam who doesn’t like the stuff. Actively dislike in fact. I just feel that much more normal now that I know that you too can’t stomach the stuff.
    Just walking a little taller right now.

  4. JT says:

    I have a friend who is a beekeeper so we are able to get honey for free and it is local honey. He jokes that because he doesn’t do anything to it that if there is a leg or a wing in there, it will be good for us! Orange Blossom honey is our favorite. My next favorite is the Coconut Secrets sugar.

  5. Angela says:

    Hi, I wanted to buy the 2 bags 1LB each deal of the banana powder, but the USPS shipping didn’t work and the UPS shipping was $162! Is there any other way to get orders to Australia?

  6. anita says:

    i have heard a couple of people say not to use white stevia, but i have never heard why not to use it. can you please explain why?

  7. PV says:

    Interested in your new banana product but would like to know for sure what it does to blood sugar levels.

    Remember when it was believed that agave didn’t spike blood sugar levels and we now know it does.

    Thanks Kevin!

  8. hyesun says:

    ugh……..i use way too much white stevia! trying to stop. i usually use a combo of organic erythritol, raw honey, and white stevia when i make homemade coconut milk or raw milk/cream ice cream and other desserts. i use green stevia leaves/powder in my smoothies and liquid green stevia concentrate in some drinks. i have such a sweet tooth, and i guess i’m fearful of eating any kind of sugar (fructose), even if it’s natural. but i maybe i should get over it.

    btw, durian’s my favorite fruit in the world!! 🙂

  9. Susie Beiler says:

    Xylitol? Really??
    I learned years ago from AnnLouise Gittleman that this substance nourishes streptococcus mutans, which is the bacteria that causes cavities. I’m appalled when I see it in toothpaste and “healthy” gum!

  10. Gini says:

    I too would like information on blood sugar effects of the banana powder and also Coconut Secret oconut sugar. I hadn’t thought about it being palm sugar. It is so good it tastes like brown sugar yet is supposed to be low glycemic according to Coconut Secret. Is it really? I used to buy banana powder 4o years ago when it was used for a baby food. You just added water to it.

  11. Veronica says:

    Hi Kevin,

    I agree with PV. I, too, am interested in tryng the banana powder, but since we know bananas are high in sugar, wouldn’t this powder/flakes be high in sugar as well, especially in concentrated powder form?

    And I, also, the same as Angela, want to know why the white stevia is not good.

    I have to admit that I consume alot of stevia everyday, am finding it almost addicting, and seem to want to add more and more to my smoothies and tea. Can anyone help me out here, as to what to do, and how to quit drinking so much?



  12. Stephanie says:

    Can someone clarify why Agave is on the list? Suprised by the call on that one…

  13. Ivy says:

    White stevia is mostly maltodextrin powder and very little actual herb extract. Why did they do that? I liked the small packages, but why not just green leaf powder like I get from my garden.

    It seems like food companies just insist on all the preservatives, chemicals and other harmful ingredients, or they refuse to market it as a shelf item. Similar to cosmetics like Anne Marie explained at the Raw Food Expo – they won’t report trace amounts and they insist on trace amounts.

    I really liked the avocado face cream recipe 😀

  14. Ivy says:

    Good natural sweeteners – not low glycemic. Good – meaning you can eat them without consuming a huge amount of chemicals. Good is for people who can consume sugars. If you are on a low glycemic diet then consider the options like Jerusalem artichoke syrup and avoiding things high in sugar like carrot juice.

  15. June says:

    Hi Kevin

    I have some Rapadura sugar in my cupboard which someone persuaded me to buy. I’ve not it tried yet as I haven’t got a sweet tooth apart from natural sources from fruits. It’s made from evaporated sugarcane juice and costs around $40 per kilo. Just wondered if you’ve come across it? We grow a lot of sugarcane here in Australia so it’s inevitable we would produce something like this.

    Thanks, June

  16. joel brown says:

    i like maple syrup best, because it has the most noticeable unique flavor in addition to its mere sweetness. honey is nice in a similar way. glad to say that when i think about it, i rarely add any sweetner to anything.

  17. Sharon says:

    So I guess I’m to assume that the flavored liquid Stevias are not good for us either?
    Sweet Leaf makes many yummy flavors along with the regular clear and the dark brown one.

    I know they use alcohol. Anything dangerous about them to use once in awhile?

  18. Larry C says:

    I use ‘Just Like Sugar’. It looks and tastes just like sugar. My wife uses it in her morning coffee and can’t tell the difference from reqular sugar. It can be used for baking too. Here are the ingredients: •Chicory Root •Dietary Fiber •Vitamin C •Calcium •And all Natural Flavors from the peel of the Orange. Here is the web site When I get low I may try your new product.

  19. Adrienne Baksa says:

    What’s wrong with agave nectar??? And you can even get it organic raw. Please let me know: Thanks.

  20. Jim Dee says:

    You know what’s funny is that “100% pure cane sugar” seems to be becoming a marketing tactic these days. Labels boldly state this, as though proudly stating: “Hey, we’re not using HFCS or anything weird in here.” They don’t merely say “sugar,” though; they say “cane sugar.” And that’s an important distinction… In my opinion, they do this because “sugar” (alone) still carries some negative connotations, just like HFCS. But “cane sugar” reminds people that, at some point, sugar is (or was) a *plant* — and, hey, plants are healthy, right? Anyway, that’s my official analysis of it. (BTW, I noticed this trend by examining a lot of soda bottles lately.)

  21. Melissa says:

    Please comment more on the use of Stevia. We cannot have any type of sugar since it feeds candida, cancer, etc. No fruit, either, except limes, lemons, cranberries. I want to try the straight green leaf, too. I was wondering why not the powder or the liquid they make? I thought they just naturally extracted the sweet part out. It sure helps gets good stuff into the children!

  22. Lauren says:

    I use liquid Stevia Clear by Sweet Leaf–a clear liquid used by the drop. Ingredients:
    purified water, stevia leaf extract, natural flavors. NO glycerin. It seems pure and has quite a sweet taste when you put it in something–don’t taste it plain. What do you think of this, Kevin?

  23. Kuru says:

    Did I miss it, or have you completely ignore your intention to show us the finished crepes and a recipe for stuffing?

    I like Stevia extract, pure and simple.

  24. Grace says:

    Like other, I’m keen on knowing why agave is out of the list? I’m not on a raw diet, so if it is because of the cooking process, this doesn’t bother me. I heard that agave was very low GI.

    Also, could someone explain the negatives of white stevia? I hav always had my concerns about it (mostly becuase it looks like processed cane sugar) but I would like to know why it is in your “not so great” list.


  25. Satori says:

    They made mango salsa to stuff the crepes:)

    As for the sweeteners, I use green stevia or lakanto sometimes.

    I also would like to know if Coconut sugar is ok to eat. I got a sample of coconut sugar several years ago at a health expo, but didn’t want to try it because it seems too good to be true that the stuff is good or ok for you.

  26. Samantha says:

    Yeah, you definitely have to read the labels on the stevia products. A friend of mine told me she was buying her powdered stevia from Walmart (already I’m not super impressed! lol) and when I looked at the back of the package, the main ingredient was maltodextrin…gross. Actually, while we’re on the subject, if I want to bake cookies with stevia will it work with liquid stevia, or do I need the powder? The only reason I ask is that it’s sometimes hard to find a non-maltodextrin powder where I live…the good stuff sells out a lot. Also because I’m a total idiot with baking. :-p

  27. Darla says:

    Hi! I am wondering if the banana powder is high in carbs or high glycemic? I would think that it is since bananas are high in sugar. Can you also expand more on Stevia? Why is the white stevia bad and Kevin what do you recommend?
    Thank you,

  28. Lori says:

    As a type I diabetic I only use green leaf stevia and sweet leaf liquid stevia, nearly every day. Now I am wondering about the sweet leaf liquid stevia and liquid stevia flavors, are they not okay?

  29. Sandra says:

    I suggest everyone read this article before they decide to use Stevia.

  30. Dr. Casey says:

    I have always wondered about erythritol. It just sounds like a chemical to me and makes me suspicious. Just haven’t read anything to change my mind – but I am open. I would love for someone to tell me it is totally natural and healthy. As to xylitol – a friend’s dog died from it, so I can’t imagine putting into my body.

  31. Velda says:

    Well, in my shake I use green-leaf stevia that I get from Renegade Health Store. However, I just got introduced to coconut sugar and coconut crystals. They are really good!! I have also used lakanto, but it is way too expensive. I haven’t tried it, but Suzanne Summers has a natural sweetener that she sells on her site that is made from fruit. I think it is called summersize or something like that. I have actually thought about trying it. She has some you can measure like sugar (if you need that for baking) and then some that measures differently. She is really into natural health.

    Anyway, I sure am going to try this new banana sweetener. Thanks, Kevin.

  32. Eden Bee says:

    What about brown rice syrup. I’ve always found this to be a good choice. Is this on the safe list?

  33. Edith S Seaman says:

    I have been using xylitol for years, as an alternative to fluoride. I have read numerous books and it does not promote decay, in fact just the opposite. It prevents the steptococcus from forming the columns necessary for decay. It has been used in areas without fluoride and is far more successful in preventing cavities than fluoride without the side effects of thyroid dysfunction, liver cancer etc. It can result in diarrhea if used in excess, just like sorbitol. Dogs die from aspirin, chocolate etc. and humans do not. They are carnivores and have a different digestive system.

    Where is aloe in your list?

  34. Ira Edwards says:

    Several people asked questions, and I have answers.
    Agave nectar is higher in fructose than high fructose corn syrup. Is this good enough an answer?
    White stevia powder packets are diluted with maltodextrin to add bulk. Otherwise, the tiny amount of stevia would get lost in the fold.
    I buy pure white stevia in bulk without the added bulk. I think I paid $22 for a pound, which is enough to last for the rest of my life. A purer product without as much herbal taste costs about three times as much, which is still very cheap. I use it in a shaker, and for most uses a tiny sprinkle is enough.
    I have seen stevia recipe books, which should be easy to find on Amazon.

  35. Nice article Kev! I would say fresh organic medjool dates are my favorite. I love to drop a couple in smoothies.

  36. Jessica says:

    I also would like to have more information on why liquid stevia is not good! I use it for myself, and agree that it’s great to use to get my child to eat many more healthy items than he would otherwise. Thanks!

  37. Jordan says:

    I make my own mix with stevia (now green), raw coconut sugar, inulin, lo han, and sometimes a little erythritol. I’ve used a bunch of xylitol in the past, but not as much anymore. And now, I’m getting banana powder and flakes and will try adding that to my mix.

    I like having the blends better than a single source. To me, it has a better overall flavor, and it makes me feel better blending the pros and cons of each.

    I have raw honey and agave in the house, but I don’t use them as much. I have agave mostly as a leftover from when I didn’t know better.

  38. Suni Ferrer says:

    Great article! Where does organic evaporated cane sugar fall on your list?
    It’s an important distinction on ingredients list whether to say “sugar”, or “cane sugar”, at least for my family since our son is sensitive to corn but not to cane.

  39. Sam says:

    Edith and Ira, thank you.

    Kevin, can you confirm what type of sugar is in the banana powder? I’m assuming it’s fructose / sucrose at about 50/50 ratio which imo would be a no-no for anyone with liver problems.

  40. Lorna says:

    Most low-GI sugars and sweetners are low GI because they are mostly fructose, not sucrose. This means they contain just as much ‘sugar’ but that sugar is absorbed by the body in a different way. It does not require insulin from the pancreas, which is good, but does have to be processed by the liver, which can be bad.

    There are studies that suggest that the rising incidents of non-alcoholic fatty liver in North America is due to the high level of fructose ingested (we don’t use HFCS here in the UK, still using plain sugar, which obviously has it’s own problems).

    I have a seriously sweet tooth and had fallen for the ‘low-GI sweetners are good sweetners’ line and guzzled honey, dried fruit (esp apricots), coconut sugar, agave etc etc, but the bottom line is, all sugars should be eaten in moderation (sadly!).

    What do I do now? Firstly I try and keep my mineral levels healthy as I know I crave sugar when I don’t, secondly I used EFT to reduce emotional cravings (actually I was using it for something else, but this was a great bonus) and when I do eat sugar (still quite often), I acknowledge it is not healthy and treat it with respect.

    There is loads of information about fructose metabolism on t’internet: have a look if you haven’t already done so – it is sobering.

  41. Marty H says:

    My problem is with coffee. It must have some heavy cream and just a little sweetness in it. Stevia tastes crappy in coffee. The fruity options, including, I suspect, the new red banana powder, are really strange in coffee. The two sweeteners I tolerate in coffee are xylitol and Lakanto. I can justify the cost (and xylitol ain’t cheap, either!) because coffee the way I like it is my one guilty pleasure and because I only have it perhaps ever other day. So a pound of sweetener lasts a long time.

    I do use stevia, with whey powder, almond milk, and frozen berries, in my smoothies.

  42. kL says:

    Not that I use it, but why is beet sugar bad?

  43. mary says:

    I understand that heat processed agave is as bad as corn syrup… but whats wrong with organic raw agave??
    My father, a type 2 diabetic, regularly uses it and does not notice any blood sugar irregularities when he does his testing.

  44. Tyra McMahon says:

    Who won the contest guessing what you put in the wrap?

  45. violet says:

    Question about the banana powder, does it cake in humidity? i like stevia but cannot use it here in the south because it becomes a hard rock in very little time. so i rarely sweeten anything, and use honey medicinally for coughs. my son’s very conventional pediatrician told us about a study where honey was tested against the other childrens’ cough syrups and it worked better overall. i guess that’s a separate issue, my kid is always sick and will not touch drinks or soups that are green. i know you do not have kids, but seriously, it is many times harder to maintain a healthy household when you do. anyone who knows how to get a kid to take a green drink? please share.

  46. roni says:

    I have those bananas growing here! They are very fruity and quite different in flavor than the regular yellow ones. I would LOVE to know how to turn them into a sugar for keeping them longer!

    But Kevin, here is one you didn’t mention – some people in warmer climates have access to fresh pressed pure cane juice. Besides being super easy to grow, it is very sweet – I have to water it down about 3 to 1 (water to cane) but it is a great addition to smoothies, and is also delicious mixed into a tea with ginger, mint or lemon.
    I am pretty sure the Rapadura product is the dehydrated version of this juice.
    what’s your take on that?

  47. Anna says:

    Just to follow up on the “dog died from Xylitol” comment. YES, it is extremely poisonous to dogs (don’t know about cats).

    A client’s dog ate a bunch of Xylitol-sweetened gum and the vet recommended immediate action (making the dog vomit and keeping it in the clinic for observation), seconded by the ASPCA Poison control center vet. Dogs cannot metabolize it, and relatively modest amounts can lead to dangerously low blood glucose levels in the first few hours and liver failure within a few days.

    So even if you eat it (human systems seem to be fine with it), don’t feed it to your pets.

  48. Erika says:

    Kevin, what about sucanat and the new “hot” one: coconut sugar? Once in a while I bake and I use sucanat instead of any other type of bad sugar. I sometimes lessen the amount and add 1 package of stevia instead.

  49. Osheena says:

    I use a small handful of frozen red seedless grapes and half a frozen banana in my green smoothies and don’t need to add extra sweeteners. But I don’t have sugar problems. I recommend the movie, Simply Raw, which is the inspiring story of 5 diabetics who overcame diabetes by eating healthy and raw at a program in Arizona for a month. One of them was a Type 1 Diabetic. I also found in the past that when I was craving sweets, I needed more B vitamins.

  50. Thomas says:

    You could always type “stevia plants” into Google and view the myriad of options (links) for growing your own ‘green’ stevia. You can get seeds or plants online these days.

    Banana powder comes from dried bananas that are ground. So if you have a dehydrator and a coffee grinder . . . 🙂

  51. Debra says:

    Kevin, Some time ago you mentioned David McComb’s website for information on Candida. People might want to listen to what he has to say about stevia in terms of trying to overcome a fungal problem. He’s not in favor of it and gives his reasons, but I can’t remember what they are off the top of my head. I’ve had problems with overgrowths of one microorganism or another and have found that I need to gravitate away from stevia.

  52. Andrew Chin says:

    Mary: Organic raw agave is slightly better than cooked agave, but it’s still high in free fructose. Fructose, esp. in its free form, is a highly reactive sugar which can cause fatty liver, insulin resistance, high triglycerides, and high levels of VLDL. Please see Ira’s post, #35.


  53. shine says:

    i bet if you put in agave in the search you would find kev talking about agave .

    its taken me years to accept the issues and let go of fruit and now im using yacon powder or syrup.occasionaly zylowhatsit or coconut suger.once i got used to it its working fact now anything else is too sweet.
    glad of this been talked about and looking forward to the rest of the week.

  54. suzanne says:

    Concerning the filling for the coconut tortilla when I tried to view the video it repeated the first one, so I never saw the mango salsa.

    Also, wondering why the ingredients weren’t listed like you have been doing.

  55. Cat Hunter says:

    yacon and coconut sugar – stevia is kind of bitter, but the most cost effective for me is dates – have become quite the date epicurist and I only use these as sweeteners and even then only rarely

  56. Chris Clark says:

    Would LOVE for someone more enlightened than I to explain the ins and outs of BROWN RICE SYRUP. According to Lundberg’s (a large organic rice company) it’s sugar content is mostly maltose and maltotriose. Many sites claim these to be complex carbohydrates with SLOW absorption rates. However the glycemic index of maltose is 105 (higher than fructose and sucrose). I know glycemic index isn’t always the best gauge of healthfulness. Hmmm, this is confusing!!

  57. Andrew Chin says:

    Hello Chris,
    Yes, brown rice syrup does appear to be pretty high-glycemic.
    Maltose is actually a disaccharide, like sucrose and lactose. Maltose is composed of two glucose molecules bound together. It’s better than free fructose, which is highly damaging to the human body, but it still gets absorbed pretty quickly. On the plus side, every cell in your body can use glucose, whereas most of the fructose consumed gets metabolized in the liver.
    Maltotriose is a trisaccharide, composed of three glucose molecules bound together. It will be get absorbed a little more slowly than maltose.
    Brown rice syrup is not ideal, but it’s a step up from high fructose corn syrup, agave, and maybe even white sugar.


  58. Chris Clark says:

    thanks andrew! this helps a lot…could you tell me how you think BRS compares to maple syrup?

  59. Andrew Chin says:

    Hello Chris,
    I would put maple syrup slightly above brown rice syrup.

    Maple syrup has a glycemic index of 54, but it’s likely more mineral-rich than brown rice syrup. It’s about 95% sucrose, 1% free fructose, and 4% free glucose. Sucrose is 50% fructose, and 50% glucose. The fructose is conjugated; in other words, it is bound to another sugar molecule, in this case, glucose. So it won’t get absorbed as quickly as free fructose.

    Also, a novel flavonoid is produced during the boiling process of maple syrup, called quebecol (hamed after the province of Quebec). It’s being studied for its positive health effects.

    Brown rice syrup reportedly has a glycemic index of 25, but I have a hard time believing this, considering the glycemic index of maltose. I’m not sure if adequate testing has been done to determine the glycemic index (see the link below). It doesn’t seem to be overly processed, but it seems to be be more processed than maple syrup, which is concentrated through the boiling process, and then filtered. Brown rice syrup, on the other hand, is produced through enzymes added during the boiling process. The syrup is filtered, and the carbohydate mixture is adjusted as needed.


  60. lilWoolie says:

    What’s going on?

    When googling aspartame, I was led to some videos on I found a lot of interesting things about poison in our foods. So MANY foods contain some kind of poison. It got me wondering what’s going on, so I kept searching until… I realized, someone is doing this on purpose.

    I’ve come to the conclusion that, ALL artificial sweetners are HARMFUL to humans. Every NEW sweetner that they come out with is as a slow poison to humans.

    After watching all those different videos on artificial sweetners and other types of foods, I conclude that there is something underhanded going on. My suggestion is everyone do some searching on their own, to find out for themselves. Let me know if you can prove me wrong. bye for now.

  61. Hi Kevin,

    Pls help me out here. I’m looking for the BEST substitute for Splenda. Would banana powder work
    in coffee? That’s my real quest, a sweetner for coffee.



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