I have noticed of late that many people on the various blogs I visit differentiate between artificial sweeteners like aspartame, sucralose (Splenda), saccharine, and such, which are chemically created versus growing naturally.
Stevia is a plant, and the popular natural sweetener that many feel is safe, and it is the one I use for what little sweet I use these days. It is hard to over use stevia since it gets bitter or has a bitter aftertaste if you use too much.
The questionable category includes agave nectar, maple syrup, and honey. Honey is indeed natural, but it is a sugar and for sugaraholics represents a real and present danger of over use. I will have a teaspoon of honey for an upset stomach, but don’t eat it for food, since it is a concentrated sugar which I could easily overdo. Maple syrup requires something like 40 gallons of maple sap to be boiled down into one gallon of syrup, so natural, but certainly highly processed. Agave nectar is similar to maple syrup in that the sap of the agave cactus is reduce for the nectar or syrup; plus there is a lot of product sold as agave that is mainly corn syrup so you have to know which you are getting (this is also a problem with much of grocery store honey, only use local honey or honey from well known producers).
There is certainly a spectrum of possibilities for abuse with any of these products; some people can handle some of these, others cannot. My rule is if you can manage it, then enjoy, but if you use too much and either gain weight or can’t lose and become trapped by cravings, then you know it must go.
Yours in discovery,
Nan aka Sugarbaby