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Medical Edge: Sweetener Options

Updated: Tuesday, November 12 2013, 09:13 AM EST
CINCINNATI (Liz Bonis) -- 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.  Medical reporter Liz Bonis shares more in Mondays Medical Edge.

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 sweeteners popping up on store shelves.

This report, which comes from the American Dietetic Association, took a closer look at some of these newer sweeteners.  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.

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 and click on the red, Get It button.

Watch video HEREMedical Edge: Sweetener Options

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