Healthy Sugar Substitutes – Is that Possible?
When you munch on your cookies or bite into your cake, you often feel guilty about eating sugary food, you regret consuming a lot of empty calories with no essential nutrients. But what if I told you that there are healthy substitutes to white sugar? When you are counting your calories, limiting the carbohydrate intake in your food, or dealing with diabetes, try some of these healthy options of sugar.
Healthy Alternatives to White Sugar
Sugar alternatives are made from a herb called Stevia. The leaves of Stevia plant are sweet. Extracts of Stevia is about 300 times sweeter than sugar but have zero calories, they don’t feed candida, and have zero glycemic index (which means they don’t cause spikes in blood sugar).
Where do you get Stevia?
You can grow Stevia plant at home, cut and dry the leaves. You can boil the leaves in water and make liquid Stevia or grind the dried leaves to get powdered Stevia. Stevia has bitter, licorice-like aftertaste, and so you have to careful about the amount of Stevia you add to your food. About 1 or 2 drops of liquid Stevia may be enough to sweeten your cup of coffee or tea.
1 scoop of powdered Stevia (1/32 of teaspoon) equals 2 Tablespoons of sugar.
If you are buying readymade liquid or powdered Stevia from your grocery store, then look for instructions on the packet or bottle for the amount to be added as it varies with each brand.
Flavored Stevia is also available, and comes in different flavors such as vanilla, chocolate, grape, cinnamon, and so on.
If you get pure Maple syrup you can use it as a substitute for sugar. Maple syrup is made from the sap of maple trees, and though it has about 70 percent sucrose, it has low fructose level and contains antioxidants.
Pure Raw Honey
Raw honey obtained from beehives is rich in nutrients. This form of honey is unheated, unpasteurized, unprocessed so as to ensure all the natural vitamins and living enzymes and other nutritional elements are preserved. The best option is to source raw, organic honey from your local market or bee farm.
Adding Sweet Fruits during Baking
When you are baking or making desserts, you can add sweet fruits such as apples, bananas, dates, pineapples, to cut down on the amount of added sugar.
Coconut Palm Sugar
Coconut palm sugar is nutritious and has a low score on the glycemic index. It is made from the extracted sap of coconut palm. It is low in fructose content, high in potassium and vitamin C. It tastes similar to brown sugar but is slightly richer.
Date sugar is made from dehydrated dried dates which are ground to produce the sugar. It retains many of the nutritional benefits of dates, and also has the rich sweet flavor, but it doesn’t dissolve or melt properly. So it is difficult to add to drinks or use it for baking.
As people are becoming conscious of the ill effects of white refined sugar, they are turning to the natural sugar substitutes discussed above. People who are fighting obesity, or have diabetes can try some of the above sugar alternatives or use their combinations.
You may also like this……Properties of sugars