For years we have been told to avoid sugar. And it’s true that many of us have diets filled with more sugar than we realize.
But amid claims that artificial sweeteners can be hazardous to our health, people are taking a fresh look at natural sweeteners, including stevia, agave nectar, honey, and sugar.
Can sugar have a place in a healthy diet? The answer may surprise you.
In terms of calorie content, all except artificial sweeteners provide about four calories per gram. Many artificial sweeteners contain fewer calories, many of which come from added fillers or fiber.
No sweetener really provides significant nutrition, though the less processed the sugar source, the greater the possibility that there may be other nutrients along for the ride.
And that’s the real answer to our question. Sugar can have a place in a healthy diet if it primarily comes into your diet via fruits and vegetables, which are also packed with nutrition and fiber.
If you want to add sweetness to any other food, your healthiest option is molasses, which contains some antioxidants. If you don’t like the taste of molasses, your next healthiest choices are brown sugar, honey and maple syrup.