Natural Healthy Sweetener Alternatives to replace Sugar
Whenever we add sugar, it’s the refined sugar, which is zero in it’s nutritional content. Every second person is aware that excess of sugar is bad for us. All the sugar free substitutes available in market are artificial sweeteners which do have their damaging side effects that cover headache, migraine, mood disorders, damage of liver and kidney functions. It’s just that because of the advertising hype, we find it really hard to know which sweeteners are a healthy option for us.
Almost all of us want to follow a healthy lifestyle for the wellness of our body. I do understand that the people with a sweet tooth can find it tough to quit refined sugar. Please give it a second thought, it’s certainly worth a try. We can’t control everything in our life but, we can definitely control what we put in our body. I have seen people choosing diet drinks as a healthy alternative but, they contain artificial sweeteners which are not much better. And many times, the taste of such drinks makes you to crave more. Thankfully there are natural sweeteners that are wonderful and ultimate healthy alternative to refined sugar and artificial sweeteners for us.
1. Raw Honey
This is nature’s best antibiotic and one of perfect healthy alternatives whenever you want to add a sweetener. Raw honey’s benefits are tremendous, as long as you are using in it’s raw and non-processed form. It is loaded with proteins, minerals, vitamins and wide range of antioxidants. Apart from a natural healthy sweetener, it is an essential part of Indian home remedies for colds, cough or flu since ages and boosts immune system. But, if you are insulin sensitive or have diabetes, you need to use it carefully.
Apart from a natural sweetener, whole dates are full of fibre, antioxidants, minerals like copper, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, vitamin B6 and vitamin K, making it a healthy alternative. They form an awesome sweet alternative for toddlers. However it tastes slightly more sweeter than refined sugar. One may use them after making their paste, which can be made after soaking the dates in water until soft and then grinding them. Date sugar is also available which is made from dry dates by grounding them into sugar like particles, however date’s nutrient content decreases when date sugar is used.
3. Coconut Sugar
Coconut sugar is also called coconut palm sugar as it is obtained from the sap of the coconut palm. It contains minerals like calcium, iron, potassium and zinc along with some antioxidants. It’s glycaemic index(GI – a measure of how quickly foods raise blood sugar levels) is lower than that of sugar and contains a fibre known as inulin which may help to slow glucose absorption thus offering a healthy alternative to those dealing with diabetes.
It is processed from the leaf of the stevia plant which is native to Central and South America and nowadays is growing in popularity across the world as a healthy natural sweetener. It is considered about 200 times sweeter than sugar but, doesn’t raise blood sugar levels like sugar. Even the fresh leaves of the plant can be used on their own. Studies have shown that pure stevia extract have no effect on blood glucose levels and may even improve the body’s ability to metabolise glucose.
5. Yacon Syrup
It is an another alternative to replace sugar which is made from the root of yacon plant that grows natively in South America. It contains a good amount of fructooligosaccharides, which feed the good bacteria in the intestine.
So go ahead and let’s include these natural sweeteners as an alternative to replace sugar in our daily diet and lead a healthy lifestyle.