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Don't know if my previous question went through, if it did, please disregard this one. I know that I shouldn't be adding anymore sugar to my diet, but I love my coffee sweetened. I see some store products like Blue Agave, Stevia, and Monk Fruit in the store. Are any of these healthier than Sugar, or should I stick with my two packets of sugar?

June 19, 2014, 6:57 pm

Greetings! Great question. I did not get a previous one, so thanks for resubmitting!

Coffee is a way people can sneak in a lot of hidden calories without even counting them, especially when prepared at home (as opposed to a cafe or coffeehouse). With ½ & ½, cream, sugar, etc., one could really tally up the calories! So, if you think you are getting plenty of sugar and fat, this is a great place to start cutting/reducing these empty calories. 

The moral of the sugar story is this - if it has sugar in it, it's sugar. People can argue this until the coffee runs dry, but the fact is, the body breaks down sugars from foods in basically the same way (sugar vs. agave vs. honey, etc.) and it all turns into glucose or fructose (fruit sugar). What makes this story a bit more interesting is when you throw in non-nutritive sweeteners such as Truvia, Splenda, Equal, etc. These do not contribute to your daily calories and are fine to sweeten a beverage in moderation. There is no hard scientific evidence to suggest they are “bad for you.” See my article on Artificial Sweeteners HERE

As for Stevia, if we are talking the plant or extract from the plant, this is probably the absolute best of them all. It is an herb that has been grown in Asia for hundreds and hundreds of years, but is not allowed to be commercially farmed here in America (no surprise there). However, these products do exist and provide a sweet flavor to anything you put it in. I love steeping stevia leaves in my tea. It is a non-calorie sweetener with no additives or “fluff” that serves its purpose with no known negative side effects. If this is appeals to you, go for it! Otherwise, a standard non-nutritive sweetener will do. If in general, your added sugar consumption is low and you consume mostly fresh (non-processed) foods, then add the sugar and don't worry about it. 

I hope this information helps. Happy Eating! 

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