In Your Natural Sweeteners

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April 04, 2010

The average American consumes 130 g of added refined sugars each day. If you cut excess sugar and use natural sweeteners like molasses, honey, brown sugar, and maple syrup instead of refined whenever possible, you can add the equivalent of antioxidants from an extra serving of nuts or berries to your daily diet. That's according to researchers at Virginia Tech University who examined the antioxidant content of several natural sweeteners and found that molasses (particularly dark and blackstrap varieties ) had the highest amounts. Their study, published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, showed that honey, brown sugar, and maple syrup also contained significant levels of antioxidants. While the university study looked at commonly available commercial honeys (usually refined from clover nectar), earlier studies have measured antioxidants in a variety of honeys and found that darker types tend to have significantly higher polyphenol counts. For example, buckwheat has an antioxidant level 8 times higher than clover, which is outranked by sunflower and tupelo honeys.

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