Don’t we all like sweet things? Unfortunately, most popular sweeteners are dangerous to our health. But there are exceptions. See this video by Dr. Michael Greger.
Date sugar and Blackstrap molasses work fairly well for most cookies or cakes, just making them a bit darker color, but blackstrap molasses does add its own strong flavor. Be sure to watch the video to see which expensive “natural sweeteners” are no better than common white sugar. No sense throwing out money on those.
These natural dark sugars don’t work well for sweetening liquids, such as herb teas. Fortunately there are a couple of refined sweeteners that do not appear to be harmful,, but may even be healthful. See this video by Dr. Michael Greger.
Note that erythritol occurs naturally in small quantities in melons and peaches. Using it in large quantities may not be the best idea, but moderate use does not appear to be harmful and may even be a little good for you.
Xylitol is usually refined from corn fiber, and that’s a concern because most commercial corn is genetically engineered. But it’s hard to know whether that affects a refined extracted chemical like Xylitol. You can look for non-GMO xylitol or xylitol refined from birchwood which was not GMO, last I knew. Xylitol increased calcium digestion in the digestive tract, and it guards against formation of plaque when chewed in chewing gum. The negative effect mentioned by Dr Greger is hardly that serious: It makes for more most stools. As a matter of fact, whole-wheat bread causes diarrhea in those used to a white-bread diet. The problem resolves itself when the body adjusts to a whole-grain diet. (You can find a pretty decent article on Xylitols at AuthorityNutrition.com.)