The not-so-sweet sweeteners

When making sweet recipes there are a variety of “healthy” alternatives on the market as alternatives to sugar. I’m here now to talk about the most common sweeteners and “debunk” the healthy claims behind them.


Perhaps one of the most commonly used sugar alternatives can be up to 40% fructose. While it does have antibacterial properties, it does have quite a high sugar content. It may be better than 100% fructose but there are better sugar-free alternatives.

Agave Syrup or Nectar

This sweetener has the highest fructose content out of this whole list, averaging about 85% but can be up to 97%. It is becoming increasingly popular in the world of good health to use agave as a sweetener, despite the high sugar content, but your best bet is to stick with rice malt syrup.

Maple Syrup

Personally, I am not too sure how maple syrup is used as a healthy sweetener, but much like honey, it can contain up to 40% fructose. Although it does have very minor health benefits, as it contains quite high quantities of some minerals, it is healthier to consume these minerals from other vegetables.

Coconut nectar/sugar/syrup

Another sweetener that has become increasingly popular in health food stores and recipes, this one contains between 38-48.5% fructose. So, it is better for you and your health to stay away from foods sweetened with coconut nectar/sugar/syrup.

Some of these sweeteners are okay to use sparingly, but I find the best sweetener to be rice malt syrup due to the 0% fructose content. If you eat healthy 99% of the time a small amount of the above sweeteners (except for maybe agave) won’t dramatically impact your health.

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