Sweeteners You WANT In Your Kitchen

various types of sugar
High fructose corn syrup. Refined sugar. You probably know by now that neither of these are that great for your health, right? But given all the marketing hype behind different “natural” alternatives, it’s hard to know if any of them are really any better for you.

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Complicating matters, new studies, like one just published in the journal Cancer Research, are finding that fructose, a sugar found in high-fructose corn syrup, agave, honey, and, in small amounts, even in fruit, actually feeds some cancers.

But don’t give up apples and oranges, or even honey, based on a single study!

“Natural sugars found in fruits and vegetables—things like berries, green apples, grapefruit, kiwi—are needed to feed beneficial microflora in the gut for a healthy immune system,” explains Donna Gates, who led the movement to bring stevia, a natural sweetener, into this country more than a decade ago. “That’s why nature put a little bit of sugar in fruits and vegetables. It keeps the ecosystem alive in us,” she says, adding that the small amounts of fructose in fruits and vegetables are balanced with minerals, vitamins, and other vital nutrients.