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As mentioned in my previous article, refined sugar can cause a spike in blood sugar. This leads to higher sebum production, and in turn, acne. You’re already probably familiar with alternative sweeteners like honey and maple syrup. Here is a list of other options to consider when you choose a cane sugar substitute to bake or sweeten your drinks with!
1. Agave Sweetener: Like tequila, agave syrup comes from agave plans (although a different kind) and is a delicious alternative to white sugar. I like it best for sweetening my homemade margaritas and palomas. However, you should limit the amount of agave you consume because it raises blood sugar levels, just not to the extent that refined sugar does.
2. Erythritol: Erythritol is an organic compound known as a sugar alcohol that does not raise blood sugar levels at all which makes it a popular baking choice for diabetics. I have used it a lot and find that it is best used for baking cookies. It has a very light taste that evaporates quickly in your mouth, sort of like cotton candy does.
3. Coconut Palm Sugar: Made from the sap of a date palm tree, coconut palm sugar has a deep brown sugary taste that makes it great for baking and sweetening coffee drinks, in my opinion. Coconut palm sugar does impact blood sugar levels and is the same in terms of calories as white sugar but it has a lower glycemic index than white sugar, so the spike in blood sugar is less significant.
4. Monk Fruit Sweetener: Monk fruit sweetener is made from compounds found in monk fruit that are much sweeter than sugar. It is a zero calorie sweetener that ideal for hot drinks because it is known to lower histamine levels, which are responsible for allergy and cold symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, runny noses and itchy eyes. If you’re sick, you’ll want to sweeten your cup of tea with it! It does raise blood sugar levels a small amount, but it is so sweet that only a small amount of it is needed.
5. Stevia Sweetener: Made from the stevia plant, stevia sweetener is zero calorie, sweeter than white sugar, and does not raise blood sugar levels. Stevia sweetener was banned for time by the FDA because of reports that determined that it caused cancer. However, this was refuted by later studies, and stevia is currently determined to be safe by the FDA when consumed in moderation. It is good for both baking and sweetening drinks.