Food For Thought: Calling all sweet tooths – There are some new sweeteners in town!

Some time ago I wrote a post about sweeteners. More specifically, which sweeteners are terrible (aspartame and agave nectar) and which aren’t so terrible (stevia and xylitol). Since then, a couple of other sweeteners have appeared on the scene and even though I think we should all be training our tastebuds to need less sweet, I feel it’s my duty to share these new kids on the block with you.

First up is Lo Han (no, not Lindsay!)

Lo Han Like stevia, lo han (or lo han kuo or luo han quo, depending on who you ask) is a natural sweetener derived from an herb. Lo han has been used in its country of origin (China) for hundreds of years as a sweetener and also, for its medicinal properties. Not only is lo han much sweeter than sugar, but the fruit that it comes from has been used in China for centuries to treat heat stroke, constipation, infections, coughs, and diabetes. Yes. Diabetes! Lo han has hardly any effect on blood sugar making it a safer choice for diabetics.

Here in the Western World, we haven’t proven any of these properties to be present in lo han sweetener but they’re definitely worth mentioning.

If you like using stevia for its natural properties, but you aren’t big on the bitter taste, give lo han a try. It has a cleaner taste that you’ll probably enjoy.

Coconut Sugar

Everyone is nuts over coconuts these days. We’re using coconut oil and coconut butter. We love our coconut flour and our coconut aminos. So it only makes sense that we’d use coconut for its sweet factor too, doesn’t it?
Coconut sugar (or coconut palm sugar or coco sugar or coco sap sugar) comes from the nectar of the coconut flower. You can find it granulated, in the form of a paste or in a dry sugar block.
Not only does this natural, unrefined sugar have a very nice caramel-like flavor, but it actually has many nutrients as well, including:

  • Zinc
  • Iron
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
  • Nitrogen
  • Phosphorus
  • Chloride

Now I’ve said it before and I will say it again. Instead of finding new and exciting ways to get your sweet fix, I believe you should be working on retraining your tastebuds. That being said, from time to time you really can’t avoid having to sweeten something up a bit. So when that happens, I’d prefer you use one of these great natural products over the evil, refined white sugar we all grew up with.
Have you tried either of these sweeteners?  Let us know your thoughts on our Facebook page!

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