Tastes Great – But Are They Safe?
So you need a sugar free honey substitute to put mix with your lemons huh? Something to put on your cheerios that won’t kill you?
Well the following is the top 3 honey alternatives that are available today.
Keep in mind that I’m not so much reviewing these for taste as much as I am reviewing them for safety (and whether they can hurt you in any way).
#3: Honey Tree Sugar Free Imitation Honey
Like every product on this page, this brand tastes really good.
So what about safety?
Well there are two concerns here. The first is that this product is sweetened with Maltitol.
Maltitol is a natural sugar alcohol. And although that sounds good and fine, there are some problems with it.
It cannot be absorbed by your body.
So what does your body do with it? Well it simply runs through it. That being said, even the slightest over consumption of it will give you some bad bouts of bloating, cramps, and diarrhea.
I don’t know if you would call that “Safe”, but I generally try to avoid diarrhea, if I can.
The other problem with this product is Acesulfame K.
Acesulfame K is an artificial sweetener. Although it was approved for use by the FDA, there are still some major health concerns surrounding it.
Dr H.J. Roberts states:
Acesulfame K apparently produced lung tumors, breast tumors, rare types of tumors of other organs (such as the thymus gland), several forms of leukemia and chronic respiratory disease in several rodent studies, even when less than maximum doses were given.
So you can see how that might be a problem for you. I do not recommend you use this product as a honey substitute.
#2: Nature’s Hollow Sugar Free Honey
Nature’s hollow brand is a fairly decent sugar free honey substitute.
The only small problem with it, is that it is sweetened with Xylitol.
Now just like maltitol (Which I mentioned above), it can end up giving you diarrhea, cramps, and bloating if you eat too much of it.
The good thing is that the amount you can eat is much greater than other sugar alcohols (Such as sorbitol), and you can even train your body to accept more of it (If you start with small doses, and slowly increase the dosage).
So technically this product is safe for you, but I recommend you be very careful with it and monitor your intake of the stuff to avoid nasty side-effects.
I recommend the product, but only with careful attention.
#1: Agave Nectar
Last but not least, we have Torani’s brand.
Agave Nectar is technically not a honey, but is a syrup.
But you can use it just like honey.
Agave Nectar comes from the Agave Cactus plant, and is easily the safest sugar substitute I have ever found.
In fact, Agave Nectar is good for you (If you are using it over Sugar).
It ranks very low on the Glycemic index (27, while less than 55 is safe for diabetics), tastes incredible, and can be used to sweeten just about anything (Including your Sugar Free Dessert Recipes)
I personally use this product every single day, and I recommend that you do as well!
The Difference Between Honey And Raw Agave Nectar
For those of you who are trying to stay away from products associated with animals, Honey is obviously something you need to stay away from (The Bee’s…duuhhhh).
But Agave Nectar comes from the Agave plant, so it is not associated with animals in any way (Except for maybe humans, but I think I’m just missing the vegan point by saying that…)
So Vegan’s can have agave nectar, and cannot have honey.
The Taste Difference
Honey has a more distinct taste, and if you are using it in baking it could interfere with the taste you are going for.
Agave Nectar on the other hand, is a much more neutral sweetener and is much more ideal for baking.
The Glycemic Index
Honey’s Glycemic index falls in the range of 65-85 depending on the refinement process.
This is because of the complex type of fructose that makes agave sweet. This means good things for all you diabetics (Only a glycemic index of less than 55 is safe for Diabetics)
Got Kids? More Specifically, Infants?
Parents should never give a child under 1 year old, honey.
Have you ever heard of Botulism? Well the bacteria that contains it is often found in honey.
Yeah, honey is safe for most people. But for those growing infants, it’s not so good and can make them extremely sick.
Raw Agave Nectar of course, contains not a trace of the stuff!
I Love Hard Sweeteners…NOT!
Ever try to use some honey you have in the cupboard, only to find it’s solidified and difficult to use?
Agave Nectar always remains in liquid form, and is always easy to pour on any food or recipe.
If you specifically need a honey taste or texture, or maybe need for a sore throat (where honey has many healing properties), then you might choose honey. For other reasons though, Agave Nectar will often work just as well!