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Sugar Substitutes

 If your holiday menu includes some *Sweet stuff* --you now have a lot of choices besides *sugar.*
But a new report says that doesn't mean some of the alternatives -- are better for your health.
Tarasina Britten/ Shopper
I come down here and get that wild cane sugar and put it in my tea.

Tarasina Britten prefers raw cane sugar because -- it's a different taste, it taste better than the sweet,  I don't  them real, real sweet, but it taste good.

Taste preference is one thing - but a word of caution from a recent report if you think raw sugar is healthier than traditional table sugar.

It's not.  It's made from the juice that remains after the sugar cane has been processed.

Raw sugar, along with  Stevia, Agave Nectar even Monk fruit are some newer sweetners popping up on store shelves

This report, which comes from the American Dietetic Association, took a closer look at some of these newer sweeteners and they say even though they might sound a little healthier, it's important to separate fact from fiction when it comes to the sweet truth.

So here's what you need to know -- If you *do want a lower calorie  sweetener --Stevia -- is in more foods now --such as this sorbet at Madison's Market --

Brian Madison / Madison's Market
We started out with a raspberry sorbet, we now have a cranberry sorbet
Stevia  comes from compounds extracted from the leaves of the Stevia plant.
It is calorie free --unless it's blended as it is in this coconut sugar --that also has Stevia added to that as well for a little extra kick on the sweetener side of that particular product.

Monk fruit contains a super sweet compound called Mogroside --it's 200 times sweeter than sugar, but has no calories.

Agave Nectar is juice from the Agave plant -- it's sweeter than sugar but *not calorie free.
Brown sugar -- is a combination of sugar and molasses and powdered or confectioners sugars --is crushed table sugar with cornstarch --both have calories

Finally, honey, maples syrup and molasses are natural sweeteners, but not calorie free.
Molasses is  made from the liquid after the sugar cane is refined-- but does have minerals for bone health -- such as calcium.

If you'd like more information about artificial sweeteners, we have the position paper from the American Diabetes Association on those -just go to our link on line.

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