I'm diabetic, but I'm also a cancer survivor so artificial sweeteners scare the daylights out of me. I do use agave and I've been fine with that. Also Sucanat and organic cane juice crystals. These are not as processed as refined white sugar and so they are more easily assimilated in the body. Maple syrup is grea too but it has to be real maple syrup, not maple flavored stuff.
At least that's what I've found. Everyone is different. My brother, who is also diabetic, can handle starches better than sugar but he hasn't tried these more natural forms.
I, on the other hand, can NOT eat most starches with the exception of grains. Potatoes spike my sugar like you wouldn't believe.
What's been great for me is eating many small meals throughout the day and cutting back on sweeteners of all kinds until I could enjoy my tea without anything in it. I do enjoy the clestial seasonings apple cinnamon tea. If it steeps a long while it's very sweet without adding anything.