Ten healthy and natural sugar substitutes
Whether you’re attempting to give up on sugar to shed some extra pounds, or to control your blood glucose levels, you may want to reach out to artificial sweeteners to tackle your craving for something sugary. Ditch those chemical and artificial sweeteners and turn to these healthier ‘sweet’ alternatives to sugar.
Honey is one of the most popular natural sweeteners. It is versatile and sweeter than sugar. Also, it doesn’t have as many calories as normal sugar, which makes it a good choice for diabetic patients and those attempting to lose weight.
Maple syrup can be easily used as an alternative to sugar, and works perfectly as a natural sweetening agent in cake. Dehydrated maple syrup, which is also known as maple sugar, can also be used, and it has a distinct moreish taste.
Molasses are obtained as the end product of the sugar production process. Blackstrap molasses is thoughtto be a good choice, since it is rich in iron and calcium. It also has a thick texture which makes it suitable for baking, and is sweeter than sugar.
Fruit juice is one of the best natural sweeteners- it is packed with natural sugars. It is perfect for adding to cakes and cookies. It is best to use freshly extracted fruit juice that doesn’t have any added sugar.
Stevia is an herb that has a natural sweet taste. While it is not available as a sweetener, it is marketed as a dietary supplement. It has been found that the use of this herb can reduce hypertension, dental problems, acne and digestive problems.
Agave extract is basically the extracts of the agave plant, which is converted into a syrup. It has a taste similar to honey, and has a low glycemic index. Agave extract is one of the best sweetening agents for those on a weight loss diet, and is thought to boost the immune system as well.
Date sugar, as the name suggests, is extracted from dehydrated dates. It does contain many benefits of dates themselves, and has a rich, sweet taste. However, this one is difficult to dissolve, which doesn’t make it an ideal choice for drinks and baking recipes.
Coconut sugar is obtained after the sap from coconut palm is heated and reduced down to usable granules. This sugar is nutrient rich and has a low glycemic index. It is thought to have a taste similar to that of brown sugar.
Brown Rice Syrup
This syrup is made from boiling brown rice, and is suitable for cooking purposes, especially in muffins or as a salad dressing. This syrup does have some benefits associated with its use, and has a slight butterscotch flavour to it.
Xylitol is a sweetening agent commonly used in chewing gums, and is thought to help prevent the growth of bacteria. It is usually found in fibrous fruits and vegetables like corn, and costs a little higher than sugar.