As consumers learn more about the negatives effects of sugar, new natural sweeteners are helping to save the day. Americans have long had a love affair with sugar. But the truth is, most Americans consume way too much sugar. The World Health Organization recommends that sugar account for 10% or less of daily calories. The American Heart Association recommends women consume no more than 6 teaspoons of added sugar per day, and men consume no more than 9 teaspoons. Yet, the average American consumes approximately 17 teaspoons of sugar per day—roughly 57 pounds of added sugar annually.
The result? A host of health problems. A high consumption of sugar is associated with escalating diabetes and obesity rates, inflammation, suppressed immune function and heart disease, among other ailments. A 15-year study published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine outlined that individuals who consume 25% or more of their calories from sugar more than double their risk of dying from heart disease.
But Americans are catching on. Research shows that 70% of Americans are concerned about their sugar intake. Still, cutting out sugar entirely is easier said than done. Sugar is estimated to be in 73% of packaged foods—everything from pasta sauces to cereals and yogurts. It’s hard to get away from. Not to mention, we like its taste.
Approximately 50% of Americans say they want to reduce their sugar intake and are actively looking for substitutes. Lucky for them, new varieties of natural sweeteners enter the market every day. These “keto friendly,” “diabetes friendly” or “zero calorie” alternatives taste great while serving up few to no calories. They also tend to score low on the glycemic index. With these offerings, it’s easier to have your sweets and eat them too. Take a look at eight of the newest natural sweeteners.