By Kristen Mucci-Mosier
You might have noticed the new labels on Snapple iced tea bottles recently. Well, that's not all they've changed. I recently read in The New York Times that the popular iced tea drink has decided to drop high-fructose corn syrup from its ingredient list. With it, it's losing about 40 calories as well. Even though the corn syrup will be replaced with white sugar, which is highly processed and definitely not ideal, I think it's a step in the right direction. I take it as a sign that big companies are paying attention to the consumer demand for more natural and pure ingredients in their food and beverages. So, perhaps next year raw honey will replace the sugar? One can only hope. Till then, my choice is to make my own healthy iced tea by adding a natural sweetener to chilled black or green tea.
Attempting to avoid calories and sugar by opting for artificial sweeteners is not the way to go - you'll just end up feeling lousy from all the chemicals (did you know Splenda is a chlorinated artificial sweetener that's main ingredient was actually initially studied as an insecticide?). Don't forget that nature offers us many natural sweeteners. Why not try:
Agave Nectar (made from the juice of agave cactus): Sweeter than table sugar so less is needed, I love to add this to chilled black or green tea, oatmeal and other sweet treats
Stevia: Comes from a leaf in Paraguay and is much sweeter than sugar (comes in easy packets if you want to travel with it)
Raw Honey or Maple Syrup: These are the easiest ones to find and though they have a high sugar content (not optimal for diabetics), they are full of vitamins and minerals as well
Brown Rice Syrup: Made from brown rice, this one is more mild than the others and great for baking
Others to consider: barley malt syrup, molasses and date sugar
Read more about substituting unhealthy ingredients for baking light
Have you tried the new Snapple? Do you have any natural sweeteners that you like? Please share below.