I try not to use sugar - it's bad for any and everyone (and it's been shown to feed cancer cells). If I use sugar, I use organic cane sugar - never beet sugar (which is likely GMO). If I need brown sugar, I put a drop or so of molasses in with the white sugar (brown sugar is sugar with the molasses still intact). This saves money, and fighting the hardened brown sugar when not used often. (Sugar is food for cancer and other illnesses, plus plays havoc on skin, causing wrinkles.)

I don't use high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), or agave, or artificial sweeteners. They are all bad for you. Agave had been touted as a better source of natural sweetener. Its fructose level is as high as, or higher than HFCS (yes the glucose level is lower but the fructose level makes this a bad choice). Fructose can disturb liver function, cause diabetes and obesity, and may be a culprit in heart disease. HFCS is a cheap, manufactured syrup made from GMO corn - there is NO redeeming quality in it, other than being very bad for you. Artificial sweeteners - there a slew of reasons not to use them - and too many for me to write about. It's easy to just google search the Internet to find out about the bad qualities of artificial sweeteners.

Here are what I do use:

Stevia - it's from a plant, natural, and sweeter than sugar. I have my own stevia plant - I dry the leaves then crush them. I can also crush in the mortar and pestle to get the liquid from the leaves. You can find stevia powder in stores, but get what doesn't have extra ingredients in. There aren't calories when using stevia.

Honey - raw, unfiltered, local. Mainstream grocery stores are known to sell honey with the pollen (and nutrition) filtered out, so less chance of crystallization. Honey is most healthy when consumed without being baked or heated.

Maple syrup and maple sugar - also sweeter than sugar, but adds a nice flavor to certain foods. There are calories in these though, but maple syrup has good nutrients in it.

Coconut sugar - I rarely use this. I'm disturbed that when the sap is tapped from the trunk of a coconut tree, it will never produce another coconut.

Fruits - flavoring with ripe fruits is a good, healthy option. You can add its flavor to foods too. Ripe fruit is sweeter, so make sure the fruit is ripe.

The best thing you can do is train yourself to like less sweet foods. Decrease your sugar intake, and use the natural alternative sweeteners. Your health will appreciate it, as well as your body and weight.

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