Sugar is best kept to a minimum in your diet in order to decrease your risk for diabetes, heart disease, and to help you lose weight or prevent weight gain. There are a slew of alternative sweeteners out there, but they're not all created equal. All artificial sweeteners — including aspartame, sucralose, acesulfame potassium and saccharin — should be avoided due to evidence linking these sweeteners to a possible increased risk of cancer.
When looking for natural sweeteners, there are a few important things to consider. It’s wise to use sweeteners that are naturally derived, minimally processed, not contaminated, and contain some nutrients and antioxidants. Here are my top five natural sweeteners: