Originally Posted by KathrynAragon
I vote for real, raw sugar -as well as stevia, and locally harvested honey. These are natural and won't hurt you if used in moderation, like anything should be.
I use locally grown honey in my smoothies and it's delicious.
Don't put synthetic foods into your system!
I basically use stevia in the teas that I like sweetened at home. Sugar or honey or agave for most "normal" applications: cooking, salad dressings.
I do use a couple of "artificial" sweetener packets a year (around 5 or so) if I get iced tea and the place doesn't have self-serve sugar syrup and the tea is over brewed or super tart. It takes around 1/4-1/2 of a packet for me to sweeten tea enough, and this adds up to 1-2 times a month max.
I find the artificial ones have too much after taste. I do chew sugar free gum. I do not eat sugar free foods or drink diet soda, I think they taste funny. I just have a real soda once in a while.
As for coffee? Depends on the source! I generally use no sugar in espresso drinks from non chains (since it isn't roasted overly dark). Otherwise real sugar. Stevia in coffee doesn't work for me. I keep trying it, and I am disappointed. I don't know why I keep trying! I find the better the the coffee....the less sugar I need.