The word is out! Sugar – especially in excessive amounts – is harmful to our bodies. And we’ve learned that artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame and sucralose, have their downsides, too. Is there a way to avoid these products and still satisfy my sweet tooth or to complete a recipe that calls for sugar?

Yes, there is, and here are three products from Homestead Market for you to consider adding to your food pantry:

Xylitol: Pure xylitol is a white, crystalline natural substance that looks and tastes like sugar. Studies show it helps reduce tooth decay and prevent dental caries. It is a safe and natural sugar alcohol, made from hardwood or corn. It contains 40% fewer calories than sugar and is safe for diabetics under the advice of a physician or healthcare provider.

Use xylitol crystals almost anywhere you would use sugar: by the spoonful with coffee, tea and cereal, as well as in baking. In addition to the crystal form, you will find xylitol in our gums, mints, candies, toothpastes, and mouth wash.

Please Note: Xylitol is not safe for dogs to ingest. It can also cause a laxative effect on humans with excessive use, so you may want to start with smaller amounts and work up from there.

Erythritol: A white crystalline powder, erythritol has a clean sweet taste similar to sucrose (table sugar). It is approximately 70% as sweet as sugar and flows easily. Natural and GMO-free Erythritol sweetener has zero calories, does not promote tooth decay, and is safe for diabetics with the advice of a physician or healthcare provider.

This product is made in France from GMO-free corn. It is not likely to cause a laxative effect with excessive consumption.

Erythritol-Stevia: Erythritol and stevia are both natural, GMO-free, healthy sweeteners. Our Smart Sweet Sweet-E combines erythritol and a high purity extract of the Stevia plant, offering the same sweetness as sugar with no calories, aftertaste, additives, or masking agents. Just an all-natural great taste!

Smart-E is excellent in all food products where both bulking and sweetness are required to develop great-tasting, sugar-free foods. Bake with it; make pudding or ice cream; and add it to your coffee, tea, or lemonade!

Use Smart-E anywhere you would use sugar, in the same measurements. Because Smart-E has no carbohydrates, glycemic index, or calories, it is perfect for maintaining a healthy, sugar-free diet for weight control and low-carb diets.

For tips on using these sugar-free sweeteners, along with delicious recipes that include them, take a look at our Trim Healthy Mama eating Plan and Cookbook.