“I can’t believe it’s not sugar!”
(Spoiler alert…it probably is)
Raw Honey = Sugar
Coconut Sugar = Sugar
Date Syrup = Sugar
Agave = Sugar
Maple Syrup =…Yep, still Sugar
Clever marketing campaigns confuse consumers with misleading claims that foods containing ‘natural’ sugars such as raw honey, agave and others mentioned above are “healthy”. The bottom line is that these ‘natural’ sugars are still 'free’ sugars and therefore should still be included in our recommended daily sugar limits.
That’s not to say we should completely avoid the natural alternatives as they are certainly a better choice than the refined processed versions, however the supposed magical properties of the likes of maple syrup and raw honey are often greatly over-exaggerated. Whilst these do contain vitamins and minerals, you would need to be rivalling Winnie the Pooh’s honey addiction to reap all the nutritional benefits.
It is always important to remember that ‘free’ sugars are recommended to make up no more than 10% of an adult’s daily kilojoule intake to avoid nutrition-related chronic diseases such as unhealthy weight gain and type 2 diabetes (approx. six teaspoons for women and nine teaspoons for men each day).
So by all means enjoy your favourite sweet treats but be mindful of what you are consuming. Whilst the natural options are a better alternative, moderation is key when it comes to including these as part of a balanced, healthy diet.