Added sugar in our foods causes maximum problems in our body. Studies have shown that obesity, cancer, diabetes, and heart diseases are among the various issues that result from regular sugar. There have been several controversies on the use of refined sugars. The major problem is many people have added sugar without checking the amount. This article brings you the best alternatives for refined sugars. You will also notice by the end that there are many health benefits of limited sugar intake.
One of the best natural sugar substitutes is Stevia, taken from the shrub of South America. Stevioside and Rebaudioside are used to extract this natural zero-calorie sweetener. The taste of Stevia is different from refined sugars and is three hundred times sweeter than sugar. You should also consume this plant-based sweetener because it has many phytochemicals and nutrients. Other health benefits are balanced insulin levels, lower blood sugar levels, and blood pressure. However, it is not yet sure that Stevia is 100 percent safe and has more health benefits. You can have it in place of high fructose corn syrup.
You can extract coconut sugar from coconut palm sap. It contains many antioxidants and nutrients like zinc, iron, potassium, and calcium. The glycemic index of this artificial sweetener is less than refined sugars. It is suitable for digestion in your body. Coconut sugar is found high in calories and high in fructose. Regular sugar also contains fructose in high amounts. So, you should consume coconut sugar in limited amounts.
It is a golden and thick liquid made by honey bees. You will find several minerals and vitamins with many antioxidants in honey. The flavonoids and phenolic acids in honey make antioxidant activity easy in the human body. It helps prevent inflammation, cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. Studies have shown various links between weight loss and honey, reduced hyperglycemia, and decreased glucose levels. There are many health benefits of honey, but it contains fructose, responsible for some health issues, making honey not entirely harmless. You should consume it in limited quantities.
This sugar alcohol has a sweetness that is close to regular sugar. It is extracted from birch wood or corn and is in many vegetables and fruits. These artificial sweeteners have 2.4 calories in 1 gram. It is nearly 40% less than refined sugars. Xylitol will not raise your insulin or blood sugar levels because it does not contain fructose. There are many hairs benefits of xylitol, and it is good for bone health and improves your dental health. Studies have shown that human beings can easily tolerate xylitol, but dogs find it highly toxic. If you have dogs in your house, be sure to keep it away from their reach if you consume it. You can eat xylitol in moderate quantities.
These are sugar alcohols like xylitol, but the calories in erythritol are fewer than other natural sweeteners. You will have only 0.24 calories in one gram of erythritol. The calories present in regular sugar are much higher in comparison to this substance. The taste is also like sugar, which makes it easy for people to consume it. Our body lacks the enzymes required to digest erythritol. So, most of it passes out of the human body through urine. The harmful effects of added sugars can be avoided by eating these natural sweeteners. Your blood sugar, cholesterol, insulin, or triglyceride levels would not increase.
There are fewer calories in erythritol, but studies have shown that it increases weight and fat mass. Erythritol also plays a crucial role in our metabolism because it is created from glucose in the body. There needs to be some more research conducted on how erythritol consumption affects our body composition. The scientists are not sure if it leads to weight gain. If you take erythritol instead of refined sugars, it is a good supplement, but the production process is expensive and takes a lot of time.
Monk fruit sweetener
This natural sweetener is grown in Southeast Asia and is extracted from Monk fruit. The sweetener can limit your sugar intake because it has zero calories. You should know that it is 102 to 50 times sweeter than refined sugars. Natural sugars like glucose and fructose are present in Monk fruit. But the sweetness in these artificial sweeteners comes from mogrosides. The mogrosides, when separated from fresh juice, eliminate glucose and fructose from Monk fruit sweetener.
You will find anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants in Monk fruit juice. Studies have shown that Monk fruit is useful to inhibit cancer. The blood glucose levels and daily calorie intake in your body are hardly affected by Monk fruit sweeteners. One should read the monk fruit extract label before buying it because it is mixed with other artificial sweeteners.
Extracted from the plant of Yacon, Yacon syrup is native to South America. The scientific name of these artificial sweeteners is Smallanthus sonchifolius. It is dark and has a thick consistency. Yacon syrup is similar in taste and sweetness to molasses. The fructooligosaccharides present in Yacon syrup are 40 to 50%. These are special kinds of sugar molecules that cannot be digested in the human body. Yacon syrup has nearly one-third of the calories of refined sugar.
There are several benefits of Yacon syrup, including reducing body weight risk of colon cancer and glycemic index. Your body will be satisfied and will feel less hungry if you consume Yacon syrup because of the presence of fructooligosaccharides. Diabetes will also decrease because of healthy immunity and brain functioning. However, it would not be best to consume large quantities of Yacon syrup because it is not yet considered safe. Health issues like diarrhea, excessive gas, and digestive discomfort can result from excessive Yacon syrup consumption.
It is a thick sugary liquid made from the sap of Maple trees by cooking them down. It contains potassium, calcium, zinc, iron, and a certain amount of minerals like manganese. The antioxidants in maple syrup are more than honey. Maple syrup lowers the plasma glucose concentrations in a study on rodents. Studies have shown that maple syrup has anti-cancer properties, but this research needs more confirmation.
The glycemic index of maple syrup is slightly lower than regular sugar, showing that blood sugar levels do not increase quickly. However, they will still rise because the sugar in maple syrup is very high despite the antioxidants and nutrients. Maple syrup like honey and coconut sugar is a better option than refined sugars, but you should consume it in a limited amount. You can use it for maple syrup for salad dressing.
Molasses is a sweet brown liquid with a syrup-like thick consistency. Sugar beet juice and sugar cane are boiled to make molasses. It is one of the best sugar substitutes. There are many antioxidants with minerals and vitamins in these artificial sweeteners. You will also get calcium, potassium, and iron from these plant-based sources that are good for your heart and bone health. You can have molasses in place of other added sugars. However, the consumption should not be in large amounts because it is not regular sugar but a form of the same sugar.
This article brought you the best natural sugar substitutes that can add sweetness to your meal even if you do not add regular sugar. However, it would help if you had them in a small amount and avoided baked foods with refined sugars. Some artificial sweeteners may even be high in calories.