Sugar is Sugar is Sugar

This morning I tried NuStevia in my coffee. I got a sample of it at Whole Foods this weekend. It was the perfect amount of sweetness and didn’t have a weird aftertaste :) I like stevia, but also use brown sugar, maple syrup and even Splenda depending on what I’m making…


My exploration of Stevia reminded me of a very good question reader Emily asked recently, and I thought a post was in order…

All though I have been pretty successful with my weight loss (just a few more stubborn pounds to go) … I want to start eating better and eliminate as much processed crap as possible.  My huge issue is artificial sweeteners and sugar free products!  I usually eat a sugar free packet of instant flavored oatmeal and add a packet of equal.. (i also add berries, and about 1/4 cup of dry cereal for crunch) but I obviously know this is not the best for my body.  I have tried eating regular oats.. and it tastes awful to me!  Almost like cardboard.  Tomorrow I am planning to try regular oats with some honey as my sweetener… however since I plan to have oatmeal most mornings.. I’m wondering if something like agave nectar is a better choice for such frequent use?  Do you use this or have you ever?  Can you give any insight on agave versus honey?   I know they are just about the same in calories… but don’t know about sugar and all that.

I too want to get away from too many artificial sweeteners and have tried all the different natural options out there. I’ve researched the best sweetener and tried them all out so I was all over this question :)

When it come to oatmeal – I don’t use much sweetener because I make it with a ripe banana. Ripe bananas cooked with the oats are the key a sweet, fluffy bowl of goodness! I have made whipped banana oats in the microwave and on the stove so it works either way.

agave nectarIf they are still not sweet enough I add a bit of brown sugar to the top of my oats. Brown sugar melts and turns to a syrup of sorts on hot oats so this works really well.

Regarding your agave dilemma…

Agave nectar is a great choice – but you have to realize that it still has calories (unlike artificial sweeteners you’ve been using). But, it isn’t packed with shady chemicals that may cause cancer (like artificial sweeteners have been accused of).

One of the benefits of Agave Nectar is a low glycemic index. If your blood sugar is easily spiked (and everyone is different) than it may be a better option than other sugar – but it’s still sugar.

Supposedly agave has a lower glycemic index than sugar and honey.

A light agave syrup is usually a little thinner than honey and therefore easier to pour and spread – this might help you use less.

Really, the benefits of agave over similar sweeteners aren’t big enough to base a decision on. If you like the taste of agave over honey – use it. But, if you prefer the taste of honey or maple syrup – use that. If I’m going to “spend” calories on something it better be something I like!

This morning started with a cup of coffee, a handful of cereal and a 5 mile run. Luckily, I missed the rain. After I ate breakfast and showered it started POURING! And now it’s thundering super hard. Ahhhh!white coffee cup

When I got back I layered fruit, yogurt and granola in a bowl for breakfast. First, the fruit…lots of fruit…fruit bowl

Then, strawberry oikos and granola. I smartly got granola from the bulk bin when we hit up Whole Foods. This way I don’t have a whole box in my house, but still get to enjoy some of my fave food. I <3 granolaIMG_6438

I also topped it off with a spoonful of TJ’s almond butter because I felt like it.IMG_6439

Q: What’s your sweetener of choice???

Happy Monday!!!


  1. says

    I usually use stevia for my beverages, and agave or maple syrup for most everything else. I think the more sweet foods in your diet, the more you crave them, so it’s better to use a little of the real stuff than a lot of the fake stuff and end up wanting a big slice of cake later in the day

  2. beth says

    The other benefit of agave over honey, is that there is a lot of research surfacing about the rapid decline in bees (which despite their sting, we need them) because humans are taking all of their honey, which is the preferred food choice. Just throwing some ethics into the discussion.

  3. says

    I use splenda for the most part because Nutrasweet used to give me major headaches but have been wanting to try agave for some time. Maybe I will sucki it up and spend the $6 on it one of these days!

  4. says

    I’ve cut out all artificial sweeteners as well, now when I do try them they just taste awful! I can’t believe it took me so long to get to this point.

    In oatmeal I do the same as you, use a ripe banana – but if I’m out I’ll use some brown sugar or maybe a drizzle of pure maple syrup.

    I do use about 1/8 teaspoon (just a pinch) of stevia in my tea in the morning but I drink my coffee unsweetened with just a splash of half & half.

  5. Yasmin says

    I think it all depends what I’m trying to sweeten. Stevia for coffee/tea. Agave or maple syrup for oats. It’s all good!

  6. says

    I use a mixture of sugar, agave, maple syrup, brown sugar etc. I try to stay away from artificial sweetners!

    I think the reader has become used to having her oatmeal SUPER sweet. I used to be like this with my tea coffee. If you start to eat it with just a banana for a few weeks, you will get used to the less sweet taste. Then adding a little agave/maple/whatever will seem super sweet. Your tastebuds just have to adjust….trust me!!

  7. says

    I stay away from artificial sweeteners, and am currently trying to eliminate some of the white, refined sugar in my diet. It’s really tough to find a sweetener that’s natural and minimally processed! Right now I use mostly stevia and agave.

    Has anyone used Sucanat? I hear it’s like brown sugar but less processed. I’ll have to look into it more!

  8. says

    I don’t use any sugar in my oats, either — a banana is the perfect sweetness for me. While traveling with limited fresh fruits, I sometimes add a spoonful of jam and it gives the oats a nice sweet flavor. And always PB, of course. 😀

  9. says

    I use granulated stevia in my oatmeal and (plain) yogurt, although I’d like to try the liquid drops. I’ve got a bottle of chocolate liquid stevia, which I sometimes put in mint or sugar cookie tea, but I wouldn’t like that flavor in oats. For black tea, I just use real sugar. That’s about all the sweetening I do!

  10. says

    I am all about my natural sweetners these days. Although I have never tried NuStevia, I really like the idea of eliminating as much processed crap as possible :) Therefore, I have kicked the splenda habit (trust me, it took a WHILE) and now rely mostly on honey and light agave. MMMMM

  11. says

    i absolutely love splenda. i don’t use much of it in general but i don’t think i’d ever give it up, i’m just so used to the taste that everything else seems weird. i figure that it’s pretty much my one indulgence so it’s okay :)

  12. Amanda says

    I can’t add artificial sweetener to any food I eat or drink…. but I like diet coke. Weird. Usually I use agave or white clover honey from teavana.

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