Sugar Blues: Suggest Natural Sweeteners Instead

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Sweeteners like agave nectar have a lower GI (glucose index) than processed sugar.

Work with your chef to incorporate natural sweeteners into F&B menus.

Natural sweeteners are a simple replacement for refined white sugar that can be used in recipes and sweets, if you work with the chef ahead of time to do so. In her book Feel Good, Look Good for Life, Angela Gaffney, who just spoke at Prevue’s Meet Well Summit, outlines the 5 most common ones:

Agave Nectar

This is a natural liquid sweetener made from the juice of the agave cactus. It is 1.4 times sweeter than refined sugar but has been found to have a lower GI (glucose index), which means less disruption to the body’s blood sugar levels.


Raw honey has small amounts of enzymes, minerals and vitamins  and has anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.

Maple syrup

Be sure you are getting 100 percent maple syrup and not a maple-flavored corn syrup.


South Americans have used this leafy herb for centuries. It is 100 to 300 times sweeter than refined sugar and a favorite in baking.

Coconut Palm Sugar

This type of sugar is lower on the glycemic index and higher in nutrients than table sugar, tastes great and is popular for baking.


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Barbara Scofidio is Editor of Prevue and heads up the Visionary Summits, our exclusive conference series targeting senior-level meeting and incentive planners. In her 30 years in the industry, she has become known for her passion around greening meetings, growing awareness of human trafficking and promoting CSR activities as part of business events. She is currently a member of SITE's Women IN Leadership committee and the media liaison for FICP's Education Committee. She was the first member of the media ever to be invited to sit on a committee by GBTA, where she spent three years on the Groups and Meetings Committee. She has also been an active member of SITE for 30 years, chairing its Crystal Awards committee and acting as a judge. Before joining Prevue in 2014, she served as Editor of Corporate Meetings & Incentives (MeetingsNet) for more than 20 years. She has a BA in Literature/Rhetoric from Binghamton University. Barbara is based outside Boston, in Groton, Mass.