If you feel you must have a sweetener, here are a few guidelines to follow:
- Avoid ALL artificial sweeteners.
- Avoid agave like the plague.
- Limit sugar of all types as much as possible. You can buy pure glucose (dextrose) as a sweetener for about $1 per pound, which has none of the adverse effects of fructose if used moderately. It is only 70 percent as sweet as sucrose, so you’ll end up using a bit more of it for the same amount of sweetness, making it slightly more expensive than sucrose -- but still well worth it for your health.
- Use raw, organic honey in moderation or avoid it completely as it is 70 percent fructose which is higher than HFCS. However the fructose is not in its free from so that moderates the damage. But each teaspoon of honey has nearly four grams of fructose so you will want to carefully add the total grams of fructose (including fruits) and keep them under 15 grams per day.
- Use regular stevia in moderation, but avoid stevia-based sweeteners like Truvia and PureVia because they have undergone more processing.
- Lo Han is another excellent natural herbal sweetener.
- Exercise can be a very powerful tool to help control fructose in a number of ways. If you are going to consume fructose it is BEST to do so immediately before, during or after INTENSE exercise as your body will tend to use it directly as fuel and not convert it to fat Additionally exercise will increase your insulin receptor sensitivity and help modulate the negative effects of fructose. Lastly exercise will also help to blunt your appetite and control your sweet tooth.
If you have insulin issues, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, or if you’re overweight, I suggest you avoid all sweeteners, including stevia, since any sweetener can decrease your insulin sensitivity.
So, lesson of the day: Check your pantry and chunk anything with agave in it! When you're at the store, READ THE INGREDIENTS and don't buy anything with agave or high fructose corn syrup in it to help protect the health of you and your family.