When you dive deep into the question of just what exactly is the healthiest way to sweeten your coffee you really open up a big can of worms.
You wouldn’t think that this would be a controversial subject, but it is.
It’s amazingly controversial and there are a lot of companies and industries attempting to protect their stake in the overall sweetener market.
Think about this for a moment if you will please.
Sugar is a monstrous business.
The global sugar sales for 2019 were 176.45 million metric tons.
That doesn’t count all the sales of corn syrup, corn syrup solids and other sugars like dextrose, fructose, glucose, maltose and many more, that’s just sugar.
If you think that any industry that large wants people out there saying that their product is bad, you have another thing coming.
They will use their billions of dollars to shut you up.
If you’re a small little natural company and come out with a healthy sugar replacement you can expect that they already have a slew of lawyers ready to come after you.
Then if you go into the chemical companies that own all the artificial sweeteners out there, it really starts to get crazy.
No, we are not going to get into the politics of it or tell you all about the dark side of it either.
However, because we are willing to tell you the truth of it and give you information that others wouldn’t dare, you’ll really need to read every word below or you’ll miss out on some great information.
There are a ton of ways we could have written this article for you.
What we decided to do was take all of the top questions across the internet that people just like you are asking.
Then just talk about all your different sweetening options while also answering all the top questions.
This way we can answer all your questions and give you information on each sweetener at the same time.
So, without further ado, let’s dive into them one by one.
Is Maple Syrup A Healthy Coffee Sweetener?
No, not really.
You see, the sugars in maple syrup are primarily sucrose, the same thing as table sugar.
And because they have to cook it down for between 12 and 14 hours to concentrate it, the sugars are no longer bound to anything like fiber that would slow their absorption.
The sugar from maple syrup enters the blood stream slower than sugar because it does contain a few minerals, this is true.
However, once there it disturbs the bodies insulin levels just as much.
The junk they sell in most stores that they call maple syrup isn’t maple syrup at all.
It’s sugar, colorings and flavorings. It has nothing to do with maple syrup whatsoever.
Real maple syrup will cost 5 times what those products cost or more.
So, to conclude. It does enter the blood stream slower than table sugar, so in that measure it is better for you than table sugar.
Even so, we would not regard this as a safe coffee sweetener.
Can I Sweeten My Coffee With Dates?
Yes, absolutely you can.
You can make it easy on yourself and buy date sugar, which with the good brands will be nothing more than dried ground up dates.
You’ll need to check the label to be sure that’s all they’re putting into the product, and if yes then it works rather well.
Dates are low glycemic index foods with an index number of between 46 and 55 depending on the variety.
There isn’t any available data on how much grinding them into powder raises their index number, but it stands to reason that it would.
Dates have a decent vitamin and mineral complex in their flesh and this along with the fiber is what slows their entrance into the bloodstream.
In other words, they must be digested first, before they can enter the blood, whereas table sugar has no digestive requirement.
Date sugar does not have the same sweetness profile that sugar does and so you’ll have to use considerably more.
The fiber and mass settle at the bottom of your coffee cup making the last few drinks from each cup a little bit of a pain in the butt.
Speaking of which; because they do contain so much fiber you should test them on your days off when you’re staying home.
You may find a need to go to the bathroom within just a short time after your coffee.
Overall, it’s a very safe sweetener, it’s just not a very effective or practical sweetener to use in coffee.
Is Agave A Good Coffee Sweetener?
Yes and no.
There are several reasons it’s never taken off to become a major player in the sweetener market.
Yes, it does sweeten, and it does have a relatively pleasant taste.
Yes, it’s incredibly low on the Glycemic index chart at only 17.
However, it has a few drawbacks that for some can be pretty hard to get over.
A). It can cause stomach upset for percentage of the people who try it.
B). It’s rather costly to use. Depending on where you shop, it may have the highest per use cost of any sweetener that we will discuss today.
C). You have to use quite a bit of it because it’s really not as sweet as people had hoped it would be.
D). Its flavor is not what most people expect, and some say it takes a bit of getting used too.
Is Agave safe? Yes, for the most part, with the exception of the stomach upset.
The problem with it is, It’s just not a really good at sweetening.
Can I Sweeten Coffee With Almond Milk?
Almond milk in and of itself is not actually sweet. If you buy almond milk that is sweet you should check the label as it likely contains a sweetener of some sort.
Almond milk can be used in place of a creamer and works rather well for that purpose.
And if used in conjunction with a sweetener it can enhance its sweetness profile so that you can actually use less of the sweetener and still achieve the same sweetness perception on the tongue.
Is Stevia A Healthy Coffee Sweetener?
Yes, it is.
Stevia rebaudiana is a plant native to both Paraguay and Brazil that is naturally 30 to 150 times sweeter than sugar.
As such on a per dose or use basis it contains zero calories.
The active compounds of the plant are called Steviol glycosides, which have both a super sweet taste and a very bitter licorice taste at the same time.
The stevia can be de-bittered so that the majority of the flavor profile will be sweet.
However, this only works to a limited degree of success and so most still have a definite aftertaste that many people find very unpleasant.
Also, stevia should not be used to cook with as it reverses the debittering process and your food can taste horrible.
Stevia shows great promise as a sweetener, but it looks like we are a few years away if at all from having resolved all of its inherent problems.
How To Sweeten Coffee For Weight Loss?
This is a question that we get asked quite a bit.
The best answer to this would be to use sweeteners that are natural, healthy and don’t raise your insulin level dramatically.
Let’s go through a quick scenario and show you how a number of natural sweeteners could be great to use during weight loss.
Let’s say that you’re dieting on 2,000 calories per day (that’s just an example).
You’re eating a diet that’s rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and very lean protein sources such as fish and turkey.
Both honey and agave have 21 calories per teaspoon, and it should not take more than one teaspoon of honey and likely 2 of agave to sweeten a cup of coffee.
You simply factor in your cup of coffee with your sweetener into your total daily calories. Just so long as you don’t go over in calories per day you should be fine.
Here’s a look at each of the two so that you can decide for yourself.
A). Agave has a very low glycemic index and doesn’t raise blood sugar levels very rapidly.
The problems with it as we discussed above are that it can cause stomach upset until you get used to it. You’ll need to use more and it’s not the same type of sweetness taste that you might be used to.
B). Honey is actually sweeter than sugar and so overall less will be needed to achieve the same sweetness levels.
Honey has nice enzymatic and antibacterial properties and is loaded with micronutrients.
So, for this usage honey would be your best choice.
As an aside, let’s also look at stevia.
While stevia has no calories, concentrated sweeteners such as artificial sweeteners and stevia all cause the body to think that sugary calories have entered the body and so the insulin rises anyway.
It does not rise as badly as it would in response to sucrose. But it does still go up.
If you can handle the taste and aftertaste of stevia it too can be a good choice, although we would still stick to the honey.
What Is The Best Artificial Sweetener For Coffee?
The answer is, none of them.
They have not yet invented an artificial sweetener that is truly safe and especially not one that is healthy.
While honey as an example actually promotes health, most if not all artificial sweeteners destroy your health.
You can simply Google the main ingredient in the artificial sweetener that you want to check out and then add the words bad, unsafe or safety next to the ingredient you’re Googling one at a time and you’ll be shocked.
You’ll find serious concerns with each of them. There is not one of them that we have ever found that would pass our muster.
The best advice we can give you on them is to stay away from them. They are just not worth the risk.
How To Sweeten Coffee Without Breaking My Fast?
This can be a challenge. If you’re water fasting, then you’re looking to achieve autophagy, which literally means self-eating.
Don’t worry, it’s not nearly as bad as it sounds. As a matter of fact, it’s really good for you.
In this case your cells are going around, cleaning up all the broken, dead or malformed cells and recycling their materials into the creation of new healthy cells.
You might think, well, wouldn’t stevia work for sweetening my coffee while fasting?
Yes, it would sweeten it.
But it will also as we spoke of earlier tell your body that a sugary substance has entered it.
You see, when you eat sugar or use a concentrated calorie free sweetener your brain reads that as sugar because it never evolved on concentrates, so it still doesn’t differentiate very well.
In response, the brain tells the body to secrete digestive enzymes and prepare for insulin secretion.
Which means that much of the same autophagy stopping things that sugar does will still occur.
In an effort to not just give you sunshine and rainbows, but to just tell you the way it really is, we would say that for the purpose of fasting you just need to drink your coffee black.
What Is The Healthiest Way To Sweeten Coffee?
In our view, to determine the best, healthiest coffee sweetener you have to establish some criteria.
A). It can’t be harmful to human health and it must have years and years if not centuries of use proving its safety.
B). It should ideally be good for you and not just be safe, but also help improve your health at the same time.
C). It must effectively sweeten your coffee with little or no downside to it at all.
After applying these criteria to each of the sweeteners there is only one clear winner.
Why did we choose honey over every other sweetener to use in your coffee?
Its 100% natural.
It has a very low glycemic index of only 55 which when used in conservative amounts raises insulin only minimally in healthy, non-diabetic people.
It has thousands of years of use proving its safety.
Other than getting stung by bees if you collect the honey yourself, honey has the longest track record of safety of any sweetener that we know of. It’s been around since bee’s have been around.
Not only is it safe, but raw honey has near magical health properties.
Hospitals around the world put raw honey on burn and skin graft patients’ wounds to help them heal and avoid infection.
Most families use it to sooth sore throats along with lemon, tea and sometimes ginger as well.
Apple cider vinegar and honey were the main remedy in the legendary book Folk Medicine by D.C. Jarvis.
He used them for most everything from treating people to treating livestock with unbelievable results.
Why does your honey have to be raw?
When they make non raw honey, they cook it until the enzymes are dead in the process called pasteurization.
Most if not all of the health benefits are destroyed during the pasteurization process rendering the once nearly miraculous raw honey into not much more than sugar water.
Switch to real raw honey and you’ll be surprised at the difference it can make in your health and wellbeing.
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