There is often confusion concerning the kinds of natural sweeteners available today. Nutritive sweeteners, also known as caloric sweeteners or natural sugars, are naturally found in foods and provide energy in the form of carbohydrates. A good example of a natural sugar is fructose. It is present in a variety of fresh fruits. In addition to fructose, a whole fruit contains phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals, and fiber that benefit the body. Other natural sweeteners are low -calorie sweeteners such as Yacon syrup, black strap molasses, xylitol and erythritol. Stevia is a popular natural, zero calorie sweetener that can lower both blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Some natural sugars are “added sugars” – sugars added to foods during preparation or processing. Sucrose is most often used in this way.
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