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What To Put In Your Coffee: A Study on Sweetening

You've got your coffee and you're at the milk and sugar station. Panic rushes over. First of all, what milk do you choose? Half and half? Skim? Soy? You've heard different things about each, but on a whim, pick whole. Why not? Now it's time for the sugar. More panic. Pink, white, brown, green -- what's the difference? To go artificial or to go raw? To skip the sugar entirely? Don't panic. Here's what you need to know about sweeteners.

Raw

Yeah, man. Let's go raw. This is that brown, crystallized sugar that crunches and doesn't totally dissolve in your drink. For a while, people thought it was better for you, but actually, it may not be. The difference between raw sugar and regular refined sugar, is that raw still has some of the molasses in it -- it hasn't been boiled as many times. This molasses adds a bit of a smoky, deep flavor. But in all actuality, you would have to eat 7 cups of raw sugar to equal a standard banana.

Stevia

This stuff comes from plants. So that means healthy, right? The good thing about stevia is that it doesn't add calories and still does the job of sweetening. In fact, it almost does too good of a job. Stevia is 200 times sweeter than sugar. But if you're looking for weight loss from a no-calorie-added perspective, we urge you to tread carefully. Sometimes it could lead to some metabolic problems.

Agave

Hey, this one also comes from a plant. It's sweet and works like honey does, and was for a long time thought to be a healthy option. But now, concerns arise because it has a lot of fructose in it. This could lead to insulin resistance and weight gain, as well as increased risk for metabolic syndrome and heart disease. Dr. Oz even admits that he was wrong about this one.

Artificial Sweeteners

Avoid them if you can. They cause all this bad stuff too.

That doesn't leave you with a lot of sweetening options. So, we say, learn to embrace the bitter. Enjoy the natural flavor of your coffee or tea, or whatever you're sweetening. Sugar might be sweet, but it has some sour consequences.

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