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Your Guide to Zero-Calorie Natural Sweeteners

We already know that having too much refined sugar in our diets can be detrimental to our health and waistlines. And since Americans seem to have an addiction to it, giving up the sweet stuff has proven harder than ever imagined. So when artificial sweeteners were introduced, promising you can still satisfy your sweet tooth without risking your health, people got excited.  But then we found out artificial sweeteners can wreak havoc on your system too! Are we doomed?

 

Too Much Stevia in America

Fast forward to when Stevia came on the market. Finally, a zero-calorie natural sweetener that didn’t pose a health risk – or so we thought. Let’s remember, there are no magical powders or potions and Stevia is no exception. If only food and supplement manufacturers would take notice. Newsflash to those execs – overusing Stevia does not make your products taste better – in fact quite the opposite. Americans are catching on – food products sweetened with Stevia are in fact not better, but instead riddled with a terrible chemical-like Stevia aftertaste and a list of uncomfortable Stevia side effect symptoms like sneezing and runny nose, upset stomach, and occasional feelings of weakness. There’s even a name for Stevia side effects – Stevia fatigue. It’s no surprise Americans are growing tired of Stevia and turning to other natural sweeteners.

In its day, stevia seemed to sweep in and save the low-calorie sweet foods market. With the natural foods boom, Stevia fit right in! It’s one of the only zero-calorie natural sweeteners that delivered a pleasant sweetness without an effect on blood sugar. This meant those with diabetes or on a low-calorie diet program could enjoy more palatable, sweet foods on a more regular basis. So if Stevia is so great on paper, why are people complaining so much?

 

Are you Allergic to Stevia?

The poison is in the dose! This means too much of anything can have negative side effects or characteristics. What we’ve found is that when manufacturers put too much Stevia in a product, the sweetness takes over and so do the digestive issues – no thank you! If you use less of it, you’re left with little to no aftertaste and your body is better able to process it. Only challenge is if you don’t make a product sweet enough, consumers won’t buy it. So what’s the happy medium you ask?

Simple. Blend Stevia (in a lower dose) with other top-notch zero-calorie natural sweeteners for an abundance of flavor and palatability without unwanted aches, pains and gross Stevia aftertaste.

 

Zero-Calorie Natural Sweeteners Review -- HINT: they’re not all bad for you!

Stevia

Aside from the Stevia side effects, this natural sweetener does have some positive qualities. For one, it’s a zero calorie natural sweetener and it may not spike blood sugar. This makes it a good choice sugar alternative for those on a weight management diet and people with (or at risk for) diabetes. But if you can’t get past the chemical Stevia aftertaste and Stevia side effects like upset stomach, you’ll have to reconsider.

 

Yacon Root

Yacon root is not only packed with sweetness, it’s also chock full of other health benefits including potential weight loss properties, cholesterol and triglyceride control, prebiotic fiber function that can improve digestive health and help treat colitis while also improving gut health. Plus, it’s side effect free!

 

Lucuma Fruit

Lucuma ice cream is the latest to hit the super food market. Thing is, lucuma doesn’t only make for a delicious, creamy, cold treat – it’s also a natural, low-calorie sweetener. Lucuma fruit is a super fruit grown throughout South America. On the outside, it looks like an oversized avocado, but on the inside it has sweet, orange flesh that can easily be dried and turned into a delicious powder. This sticky orange powder has a very similar taste to maple syrup. Lucuma powder is a low glycemic sweetener that is easily digested and absorbed slowly so you avoid any unwanted blood sugar spikes and sugar crashes. And because it tastes more like maple syrup than chemicals, you won’t get that unpleasant aftertaste that so many other sweeteners leave you with. On top of that, Lucuma powder is packed with vitamin C, calcium, and 14 other trace minerals that help keep your immune system on running efficiently.

 

Monk Fruit Powder

When it comes to sweetness, monk fruit as a sweetener is 100-250 times sweeter than sugar. This means a little goes a long way! Plus, it contains zero calories and no carbs making monk fruit keto approved. Monk fruit extract’s unique antioxidants called mogrosides are what provide its sweetness. Since monk fruit was only recently introduced (approved by the FDA in 2010), there aren’t many studies on its weight management properties; though we can expect its use as a sugar alternative to help reduce daily calorie intake. Bottom line, monk fruit benefits as a zero calorie sweetener that doesn’t spike blood sugar and may boost health markers due to its powerful antioxidant properties.

 

Raw Honey

While raw honey is an excellent natural sweetener, it’s not ideal for someone who is trying to lose weight or control blood sugar -- it’s still a form of sugar. However, the health benefits are just as sweet as the flavor. Raw honey is most known for its beneficial plant compounds called polyphenols. These polyphenols act as antioxidants that help reduce inflammation, improve liver function, and may help fight against heart disease and stroke. Not to mention the many home remedy uses for honey like soothing a sore throat.

 

Agave Powder

Similar to honey, agave is also a natural sweetener that is not calorie free. However, it is 30% sweeter than refined sugar and has a low glycemic index making it a good sweetener choice for those with (or at risk for) diabetes. Just be wary, too much agave is not good for your metabolism. That’s because it’s high in fructose – a sugar that your body has trouble metabolizing and can contribute to insulin resistance, raising triglycerides and cholesterol, and may even contribute to belly fat gain.

 

How Does Your Sweetener Measure Up?

[On a scale of 1-5 stars; 5 being the best choice]

 

Stevia    

Yacon Root  

Lucuma Fruit 

Monk Fruit 

Raw Honey  

Agave Powder      

 

The Best of the Best…

When it comes to natural sweeteners, sometimes you can’t pick just one! In fact, we’ve found that blending a number of quality sweeteners together provides the best tasting products with the most notable combined health benefits. This is especially true for Stevia – when used in low amounts and combined with other sweeteners, the Stevia side effects and Stevia aftertaste are basically gone; but when used as a standalone, it may not be the best choice as a sugar replacement. We use the best kind of Stevia Leaf for a natural balance of sweetness that offsets any bitterness within PlantFusion. Plus, PlantFusion Complete is now fructose free! We have the perfect blend for your goals – grab a bottle of PlantFusion Complete Meal or Lean today!

    Looking for a Stevia free protein powder? Try our delicious Natural Stevia Free Complete Protein powder. It won’t disappoint on flavor, texture or nutritional profile! Order your jug of Stevia free protein powder now!

    Don’t take our word for it. Try a free sample of our new Natural Flavor Complete Protein that is now Stevia Free !

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    9 comments

    • This is such great info. I love your products. I’ve been using liquid stevia occasionally to add a bit of sweetness here and there. But perhaps there are healthier alternatives.

      Yearn Life
    • I do agree with this article about sweeteners. I was surprised that the number one bad thing of stevia is the taste and bitter taste it leaves in the mouth after you get the initial sweetness of it. Also now looking on the shelves and seeing the different brands I notice that it is getting more process and even higher concentration of sweetness. When I purchased my first Plant Fusion complete protein chocolate I was already in this frame of mind of knowing you have to balance stevia with another sweetener to make it taste and feel much better. Also I was looking for the words Stevia leaf extract not as much process as others. Which it stated with some fructose added to it. Really a good product and I crave for in the mornings. Now the new product formula gets rid of the sugar calories but than again balance the sweeteners. Just as good and no calories added or no sugar now. I usually have mine with non sweeten soymilk instead of adding just water or other fruit to it. I like to point out I am glad you brought in Raw Honey as a alternative not the best but the best sugar calories to add. It is not process at all unless it is pasteurize. I do not use Agave anymore and consider it a process sweetener. It is the based plant cut and boiled to the extreme to get the concentrated sweetness comes out.

      Fred Kunisch
    • Like to concept but the sodium is too high for me-so sorry……
      can you lower it?

      vee

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