It’s become fairly common knowledge that there are many health benefits to drinking coffee. Coffee contains antioxidants and has been shown to be effective in things like preventing weight gain and diabetes. However, these health benefits amount to nothing if you’re adding spoonfuls of sugar to every cup of joe. To keep the benefits of coffee while still being able to have it sweet enough for your taste, check out these 6 healthy ways to sweeten your coffee.
Agave nectar is a natural sweetener derived from cacti. For a while agave nectar was popular among health fanatics and then it fell into disfavor because it has high levels of fructose. But agave nectar also has a low glycemic index. In studies of patients with type 2 diabetes, researchers found that a high glycemic index contributed to the disease. There is still a lack of conclusive research on whether or not fructose poses any health risks. For now, it seems like agave deserves to have its place back in the limelight.
People usually think honey is for tea and sugar for coffee, but honey can taste just as sweet and delicious in coffee. The many health benefits of honey make it worth something to incorporate into your diet, even if you don’t use it in your coffee. Local honey helps prevent allergies, and it also acts as a natural source of energy and antioxidants.
Stevia is marketed as a sugar substitute, which leads many people to think it’s artificial, but it’s actually not. Although it does most often come in powdered form, Stevia is actually a plant derivative from the Stevia rebaudiana, a plant that is native to Brazil and Paraguay. Unlike most sugar substitutes, Stevia doesn’t leave behind a funky aftertaste. In fact, you might not even notice that it’s not sugar.
It seems like the wonders of coconut are limitless. People drink coconut juice for hydration, coconut oil as a superior oil substitute, coconut milk for those with lactose intolerance. Now, coconut sugar is gaining increasing popularity. Similar to agave, coconut sugar also has a low glycemic index. The fructose content is about the same as sugar. Like other coconut-derived products, coconut sugar does give off a slight taste of coconut, which is a selling point for some and a turn-off for others.
Turns out this delicious syrup isn’t just for your pancakes—you can add it to your coffee too! The maple flavor is a great addition, especially for the colder seasons. Just be sure to pick up some maple syrup that hasn’t been diluted with high fructose corn syrup or you’ll completely offset the health benefits.
If you love mochas, then there’s good news for your coffee—you can have your cocoa and drink it too, without sugar! Unsweetened cocoa powder won’t have the sweet taste of sweetened cocoa, but if you’re trying to cut sugar out of your diet or at least out of your coffee, then that’s the whole point. Adding a spoonful or two of unsweetened cocoa can make your coffee into a cup of chocolatey goodness.
Try out these various healthy ways to sweeten your coffee and get the sweet taste you crave without the negative health risks. If the coffee still doesn’t taste right, just remember, it might not be the lack of sugar—it could be that your office is missing out on the secret for making good coffee.