If we’re not careful about our eating habits, the food we choose on a daily basis can do us more harm instead of good. Added sugar is one of the things we should be consuming less and less each day. While it’s not easy, it’s perfectly doable. It’s possible to cut down on added sugar without sacrificing flavor. One of the most sensible ways to do so is to look for a good sugar substitute. Here are some of the best alternatives you can try out:
This popular option is extracted from the sap of the coconut palm. It’s a healthy alternative as it contains inulin which is attributed for its low glycemic index. Inulin is basically a type of fiber that is known to slow down the absorption of glucose. It still contains the same calories as sugar and is high in fructose which makes it a good, but not the most ideal solution for weight loss. However, when compared to sugar, coconut sugar is healthier as it contains added nutrients such as calcium, iron, potassium, and zinc.
You all know where honey comes from. It’s abundant in various parts of the world all thanks to hardworking bees. While it’s not the lowest calorie option, it’s one of the most nutritious. Unlike plain refined sugar, honey contains trace amounts of vitamins and minerals. A study also suggests that an increase in honey consumption can help improve the body’s natural defenses due to an increase in antioxidant activity in the blood. It is also shown to lower bad cholesterol and inflammation. However, diabetics still need to consume honey in moderation as it contains fructose.
Known scientifically as Stevia rebaudiana, this intensely sweet yet healthy sugar alternative contains little to no calories. It is extracted from a bushy shrub native to Brazil and Paraguay but is also grown in some areas in China and Japan. The use of Stevia has been deemed safe in the US. In fact, it’s among the most popular sweeteners used by people diagnosed with diabetes and those that follow a low-carb or sugar restrictive diet. It helps control blood sugar levels and prevents tooth decay.
Best of all, it is 200 to 300 times sweeter than regular sugar which means you only need to use a small amount each time. This also enables farmers to save on land area when it comes to production. If that isn’t efficient, I don’t know what is. If you haven’t tried Stevia yet, now’s the best time to do so as your health and fitness resolutions are still fresh! Try Purisure’s Stevia Powder today. It’s the best one in the market as it contains no additives and fillers. What you’ll get is pure, unadulterated Stevia Extract Powder.
Monk Fruit Extract
Monk Fruit extract can be 100 to 250 times sweeter than sugar. As with Stevia, you’ll only need a small amount to sweeten up anything. It is extracted from a small round fruit known as the Buddha fruit or luo han guo which is mainly grown in several parts of Southeast Asia. While its usage as a sweetener has been relatively new, Monk Fruit has been around for centuries. In fact it has several applications in traditional Chinese medicine.
Monk Fruit still contains fructose so diabetics should use it in moderation. However, it is highly effective as a sugar substitute for people who want to lose weight as it contains minimal calories. If you want to drop a few pounds for the upcoming year, try Purisure’s Monk Fruit Extract. It can be used to make drinks, smoothie bowls, and even in baking.
Sweeteners to Avoid
You need to be careful when substituting sugar. Not all sweeteners are good for your health, in fact some of them may cause even more harm. Below are a few sweeteners that you should steer away from.
High-Fructose Corn Syrup
It may sound all natural and healthy as it’s made from corn syrup. However, as its name implies it is indeed very high in fructose, the very thing that makes refined sugar bad. It’s not particularly lethal if you don’t have diabetes but it increases your risk for weight gain and obesity.
It is quite easy to market this sweetener as all natural because it is. It comes from the agave plant. However, it is not particularly healthy as it contains 85% fructose. This is more than the normal amount you’d get from a serving of plain white sugar.
The Bottom Line
Too much added sugar can cause a variety of health problems. It’s been linked to the development of several diseases such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and obesity. If you want to do your body a favor, it’s best to minimize sugar from your diet by going for healthier alternatives. There are a variety of healthy sweeteners to choose from. You don’t need to wait to be diagnosed with a certain disease to make the switch. This 2020, give yourself the gift of good health by making better choices for your body. It will thank you later.
Happy Holidays and best of luck for the New Year!