spoons with various sweeteners

Sugar: The Do's and Don'ts

Sweeteners are almost irresistible, but health professionals are warning us to cut back on sugars. Here’s some information that will help you make better choices.

All sugars pack a high-cal punch so it’s a good idea to limit your intake. Try cutting back by half or using fruits for sweetening.

White granulated sugar: The basic, all-purpose sweetener. Helps make baked goods lighter. Avoid overuse, particularly as an additive to food and drink.
16 calories per teaspoon

Brown sugar: White sugar blended with molasses (a cane sugar by-product). Enhances desserts, baked beans and salad dressing, but still high in calories.
11 calories per teaspoon

Raw sugar: Nutritionally the same as white and brown sugar. Large crystals are lightly coated with molasses. Doesn’t dissolve as easily as white and brown sugars.
18 calories per teaspoon

Powdered sugar: Also called confectioner’s sugar. Use a dusting in place of frosting to limit calories.
10 calories per teaspoon

High-fructose corn syrup: Common in processed foods. No different to your body than granulated sugar, though research at the University of California, Davis, suggests it increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
18 calories per teaspoon

Honey: Antimicrobial, antibacterial and antifungal. May boost immune system and reduce cough symptoms. Do not feed to babies under 12 months. May be harmful to pregnant or breast-feeding women.
21 calories per teaspoon

Maple syrup: High in trace minerals zinc, an immune-system booster; and manganese, important for healthy bones.
17 calories per teaspoon

Agave nectar: Processed from agave plant juice. Has more calories than sugar but tastes 1½ times sweeter. Baking with it requires adjusting other liquids, lowering oven temperature and increasing time.
20 calories per teaspoon

Fruit purees: Figs, dates, bananas, apples, prunes and other fruit purees are full of antioxidants, phytonutrients and unprocessed fruit sugars. Use in place of sugary jams and jellies. Add to baked goods and smoothies.
Calories vary.

Stevia: Contains an extract from stevia leaves. Significantly sweeter than sugar, so smaller amounts are used. Comes in baking blends that incorporate sugar to ensure browning and moistness.
0 calories per teaspoon

Photographed by Tobin Bennett
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