Archive for August, 2010

  • A Healthful Alternative Sweetener For Your Tea

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    A lot of people these days are watching their waistlines. Adding a teaspoon or so of sugar or honey can add 15 to 25 calories to your tea.

    Of course there are many low- or no-calorie alternatives to sugar and honey, but they come with risks or side effects. Over the years, a long list of dangerous side effects have been linked to the use of artificial sweeteners. Even the natural sweeteners made from sugar alcohol have their own drawbacks that range from leaving an aftertaste to headaches and diarrhea.

    Recently I came upon an all-natural sweetener made from a Chinese fruit called Lo Han Kuo (Lo Han). Once the extract is powdered it becomes 10 times sweeter than sugar and has a mild, fruity flavor. The best part is that this sweetener is heat stable so it won’t break down in hot beverages like tea. Lo Han has been used for hundreds of years as a staple in Chinese healing. It’s a powerful antioxidant and packed with amino acids and vitamins. The Chinese have used it to boost immunity; moisten the lungs and skin; purify the blood; and treat coughs, sore throats, nasal congestion, gastric upsets, diarrhea, stress, and constipation. For the diabetic, this sweetener has a low Glycemic Index that does not cause extreme fluctuations in blood sugar. And there’s good news for anyone struggling to lose weight. Lo Han is low in calories having only about 2 calories in a 2 gram serving. Studies show that using this sweetener also tends to reduce cravings for sweets or foods in general and does not stimulate fat storage.

    If you’re looking for an all-natural sweetener that has no known side effects and is good for you, give Lo Han a try.