Besides stevia, organic cane sugar, and raw, organic honey that Dr. Mercola mentions, other safe sweeteners include agave nectar and xylitol.
New research shows that there are big differences in how the sugars fructose and glucose are metabolized by your body. Overweight study participants showed more evidence of insulin resistance and other risk factors for heart disease and diabetes when 25 percent of their calories came from fructose-sweetened beverages instead of glucose-sweetened beverages.
A study looked at 32 overweight or obese men and women. Over a 10-week period, they drank either glucose or fructose sweetened beverages totaling 25 percent of their daily calorie intake.
Both the groups gained weight during the trial, but imaging studies revealed that the fructose-consuming group gained more of the dangerous belly fat that has been linked to a higher risk for heart attack and stroke. The fructose group also had higher total cholesterol and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, and greater insulin resistance.