Natural Sugars 101

April 01, 2013

Here is a quick SupermarketGuru guide to shopping for natural sweeteners. From what they are, to how to store, we’ve got everything you need in this quick reference article

What are natural sugars?
Sweeteners are deemed “natural” if they come from plants, leaves, bark, stem, or other natural sources, versus synthetic or man made sources. 

How to buy:
Natural sweeteners are sold in boxes, jars, cartons in powders, liquid or syrup; all shelf stable up to 1 year if stored properly. Read package label for specific instructions. 

What to look for on the label:
Check for variety and granular size, and calorie content as well as added ingredients. Depending on your specific needs or recipe you can choose what suits you best. 

Sugar comes granulated in various sizes and colors: white granulated sugar, powdered sugar, and brown sugar.

Sugar also comes in liquid forms: maple syrup, and various honey (flavored by the plants the bees pollinate i.e. lavender, clover, buckwheat, wildflower, orange); blackstrap molasses and molasses are dark viscous syrups made from either sugar cane or sugar beets.

Xylitol is a natural sweetener derived from birch trees, berries, fruit, and some vegetables. It is a sugar alcohol, and has 9.6 calories per tsp (sugar has 15-18 calories per tsp).

Stevia is a natural sugar from a chrysanthemum native to Paraguay and Brazil.

Natural sugars also include, rice syrup, coconut sugar, agave syrup, and more.

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