You might not know it, but almost everything you’re consuming contains a certain amount of sugar. It might not seem to be the case, but it’s true. From the “sugar-free” soft drinks to the sugar you add to your cup of coffee, it’s hidden everywhere. To ensure that you aren’t consuming excess sugar, listen to our experts. They recommend that you include healthier sugar alternatives in your daily diet.
Though sugar itself isn’t bad per se, consuming too much of it can have adverse health effects. So, as individuals concerned with their health, it is integral that you always check your sugar intake. This will allow you to ensure that you’re at the top of your game.
But we understand that people can’t control their sugar cravings. After all, a lot of people have sweet teeth. So, keeping a check on your sugar intake doesn’t mean that you stop consuming your favorite desserts. And you don’t have to switch your dietary habits either.
All you have to do is consume healthy sugar alternatives and you’re good to go.
Good Sugar and Bad Sugar
We’re not saying that you need to cut down on eating sugar altogether. Yet, you will have to think more about the kind of sugar you’re consuming. Not all sugar is bad for our bodies. In fact, some may even argue that our body needs sugar to run efficiently.
But these kinds of sugars are necessary. Anything beyond those is unnecessary. Think of it as good sugars and bad sugars. You don’t want to cut down on the good sugars and there’s no reason for you to do so. Good sugars are found in fruits, for example. You can totally continue eating them- just make sure that you don’t add anything else to the mix.
The wrong kind of sugar is the sugar that’s added to your, for example, caramel macchiato at Starbucks. You might want to cut down on that. Additionally, it’s also the sugar you consume when you eat cake or other kinds of pastries. We’re mostly talking about the very popular over-the-top, fondant-coated cakes.
But these are completely uncalled for. And while it’s okay to have these once in a while, you’re essentially ruining your health by having these regularly.
All you have to do is limit and pace yourself and you’ll do well.
Are Sugar Alternatives Really a Healthier Option?
The world’s getting addicted to sugar. Every sweetened drink we consume and every processed food we eat contains sugar. In fact, many people claim that sugar is actually quite addictive. It can be hard to stop having it.
But to say that we’re a lost cause isn’t true at all. In fact, healthier sugar alternatives have been designed with this addiction in mind. This way, you can consume these sugar alternatives without feeling guilty.
But how is that possible, you may ask.
Well, scientists have managed to recreate sugar artificially. In fact, most of the “bad” processed sugar is actually artificial. So, it’s really no surprise that we’re struggling with it.
Basically, most of today’s sugar goes through a lot of processing. It’s one of the reasons why it’s addictive. And it also affects our blood glucose levels and increases the total calorie intake.
What makes sugar alternatives so different?
What makes sugar alternatives so different is the fact that they aren’t processed so much. An excellent example of this is the sugar alternative, Stevia.
For those who don’t know, Stevia is made from a shrub native to Paraguay. There are different ways in which Stevia is manufactured. At first, there are the green leaves that are made into powder. These aren’t processed at all. And those who consume this form of Stevia say that it’s way, way sweeter than regular sugar.
It has incredible health benefits as well. It does not affect your blood glucose levels and is entirely calorie-free. This is one of the reasons why people hoping to combat obesity and diabetes use Stevia. There are forms of it as well. There’s a powder made from exacts, but it’s processed. So, it’s not as effective as the crushed leaves.
But this is a good example of how efficient sugar alternatives can be. Whether you use Stevia or any other option, you need to check if it’s not naturally occurring. If that is the case, it should be processed as little as possible.
So, yes. Sugar alternatives are healthier than sugar itself. All you have to do is keep an eye on the processing.
If you’re looking for sugar alternatives for better health, you’ll also enjoy reading some tips on improving your health. So, without further ado, let’s look at some sugar alternatives that you need to try.
Healthier Sugar Alternatives You Need to Try
By now, you’re well aware of the difference between the bad and good kinds of sugar. And you also know what to look for in the good kind of sugar alternatives. So, let’s take a look at some types of sugar substitutes that you absolutely need to try today.
There’s no better way to start this list without talking about honey. Honey is an excellent natural sweetener. It contains high nutrients such as minerals, antioxidants and vitamins. It’s also much easier for your body to break down than regular sugar and it’s even quite sweeter than sugar itself.
This means that where you’d have to add a few tablespoons of sugar, a few drops of honey would do the job. It also works great with baked goods and you can even add it to salads, sweet dishes and so much more.
The only downside to honey is that it’s quite high in calories. But given how you’ll definitely consume less of it compared to regular sugar; you can easily manage it. Unfortunately, many people mistake honey for being a “bad” sugar because it’s so sweet.
Don’t worry about it- it’s a naturally occurring sweetener used by humans for hundreds of years. So it’s truly the perfect alternative.
Like honey, dates get a bad rep for being a “bad sugar” because they’re sweet. But, did you know that they’re very rich in fiber, minerals such as calcium, iron and more? Dates are also low on the glycemic index, which means that they won’t spike your blood sugar levels as much as refined sugars do.
Dates are great for those with a sweet tooth. In fact, they’re called “nature’s candy”. You can even make a date paste at home by adding chopped-up dates into a blender with ¾ cup of water (for every 1 cup of dates). These are ideal for baking and use in cooking. Like honey, you’ll be using less of it since it’s sweeter than regular sugar.
Chicory is made from the root of a perennial plant and like dates, it has a very low glycemic index. It consists of fibers, vitamin B and minerals such as phosphorus, iron, magnesium and potassium.
Chicory can help relieve constipation and even help with the maintenance of healthy bacteria in the colon. The only downside to chicory is that it’s often combined with other artificial. So, you will need to be sure that you’re careful when buying it. Yet, 100% organic chicory is available for those who know what they’re looking for.
Did you know the agave syrup is made from the same plant tequila is made from? Yes, it’s crazy how nature works sometimes! But, unlike tequila, agave syrup has a pretty neutral taste. This makes it really useful for adding this to your tea or coffee.
Like most natural sweeteners, it has a low glycemic index but is much sweeter than regular sugar. As long as you can easily manage your agave intake, this is a great alternative.
The sap of the flower buds of coconut trees is used to produce coconut sugar. It’s quite readily available in the market if you’re looking for it and is a great alternative to brown sugar. Like all the sugar substitutes mentioned above, it has a low glycemic index and is relatively low in fructose too.
Coconut sugar tastes like regular sugar. So, you can use this as an alternative in baking if you’re particular about measurements. Also, this sugar is an excellent alternative to the sweeter taste of honey and the others mentioned on this list.
6. Monk Fruit
Monk fruits are another sugar alternative you need to keep an eye on if you’re looking for something restrictive in the calorie department. But we would caution you that it is at least 200 times sweeter than sugar (depending on how pure your extracts are).
We realize that it can be challenging to learn to use them. But if you can manage that, then a pinch of monk fruit is perfect for your cooking. Just make sure that you don’t make your food too sweet and you’re good to go.
Also, note that most companies have realized the profit this zero-calorie sugar alternative can bring them. So, be careful that you buy the organic ones without any added sweeteners.
7. Maple Syrup
Yes, we know what you’re thinking. Maple syrup? How is that healthy? Well, you’d be surprised to know that while maple syrup is high in calories, it’s actually a natural sweetener. This also makes maple syrup a healthy ingredient.
Seriously, it consists of calcium, iron, manganese, potassium and zinc. And you can use it with breakfast items, chicken, vegetables and so much more. It’s very versatile and includes almost no fructose, which is a bonus for sure.
Which Artificial Healthier Sugar Alternative Is the Healthiest?
So, as you can see, we provided you with an impressive list of sugar alternatives, all derived from nature. But this isn’t the best and only alternative you have available to you. So if, for some reason, you’re unable to get these, then don’t worry- we’ve got you covered!
There are many artificial sugar substitutes in the market with several health benefits. Here are three of them.
We’ve already talked about the greatness of Stevia in one of the sections above. So, we’d like to use this opportunity to reiterate its merits. First of all, Stevia is completely 100% zero-calorie. If you’re going for the powdered form, you’ll be happy to know that the processing is minimal. This makes it much sweeter and better than regular sugar.
You can use it in place of regular sugar without worrying about the ratios too. It’s widely available and used by a lot of people.
Xylitol is extracted from corn and birch wood and we can find it in various fruits and vegetables as well. It’s a sugar alcohol and you can use it in place of sugar since it lacks fructose. It won’t increase your blood sugar or insulin levels either.
Also, regular sugars may result in teeth and bone decay. But Xylitol has actually been found to improve those areas.
If you’re into baking, then you’re probably familiar with molasses. It’s a thick, brown and syrupy liquid made from boiling sugar cane or sugar beets. It consists of various vitamins, minerals and antioxidants as well.
If you’re an experienced baker, then you can easily substitute this for regular sugar.
As you can see, there are plenty of ways in which you can ensure that your sugar intake is not too high. The best way to do so is, of course, by using nature’s various supplies. So, we recommend that you look at the healthier sugar alternatives we’ve included in this blog.
There are many reasons to avoid sugar, the main one being that it’s bad for your health. Sugar alternatives, such as honey, molasses, and agave nectar, offer a healthier way to sweeten foods without all the negative health effects of sugar. They are lower on the glycemic index and also contain antioxidants and other nutrients that are beneficial for health.
We’ve got both natural and artificial sugars listed for you. Now you have a clear idea of what to expect from each of these. We hope you utilize this guide and consider using any of these substitutes in your daily life.
Remember- it’s super important to keep track of your sugar intake. It will do wonders for your health. If you’re interested in finding out more about sugar and how it affects your health, check out our guide about the kind of foods you must avoid to fight dementia? (Hint: it includes a lot of processed sugars)
Frequently Asked Questions
Are sugar alternatives healthy?
Sugar alternatives are comparatively healthier than normal sugar. However, overconsumption is not recommended as it can lead to health issues in the long run.
Is honey a healthier alternative to sugar?
Yes, honey is one of the best sugar alternatives with low glycemic index.
Is stevia a healthy alternative to sugar?
Stevia is a healthy sugar alternative with different health benefits. Such as lower blood sugar levels, reduced cavity risks, etc.
What is a healthy alternative to brown sugar?
Coconut sugar can be a better alternative to brown sugar as it has added minerals and vitamins. Apart from that, raw sugar, honey or agave nectar are good alternatives too.