White sugar is nutrient-less and packed with calories, it does not benefit your body in any way. In fact, it has been associated with a wide range of metabolic disorders. Once you become aware of the negative health effects of sugar, you can’t simply enjoy your favorite desserts like you used to. So does that mean you have to give up on your favorite snacks just because they contain sugar? No, you don’t. You simply have to switch to healthier alternatives.
There are many healthier alternatives to sugar that will ensure your sweets and desserts are as delicious as you’d want them to be. And you don’t have to raise an eyebrow each time you even think of satisfying your sweet tooth with these healthy choices.
Use Coconut Sugar Instead Of White Sugar
If you want to cut down the consumption of white sugar, you can use coconut sugar, which is a much healthier alternative any given day. You can include it in a wide range of recipes just like white sugar. When you use this natural sugar, you can be sure you are not depriving yourself of any of those delicious homemade cakes, cookies, pies, and crumbles. You can relax and enjoy your occasional treat without any of the guilt.
How Coconut Sugar Is Different From White Sugar
White sugar is highly processed due to which it loses its nutrients, but on the other hand, coconut sugar is minimally processed due to which it retains its minerals like iron, zinc, calcium, and potassium. It also has a low glycemic index, which is a measure of how quickly a certain food raises your blood sugar levels, unlike refined sugar. So, it does not cause a spike in your blood sugar levels every time you consume it.
It is crucial to keep your blood sugar levels stable because when the sugar in your blood suddenly increases, it cannot be used by your body immediately for energy. Instead, it gets stored in your liver and muscles for future use, eventually as fat. Making it very difficult for you to drop those unwanted pounds. Plus, too much sugar in your blood causes your hormones to go out of whack, leading to many kinds of diseases and disorders.1
Exercise Caution When Consuming Coconut Sugar
Just because coconut sugar has a low glycemic index and is rich in nutrients, it does not mean you can binge on treats made with it whenever you want. You have to keep in mind that it is sugar after all due to which you have to consume it in moderation. If you consume too much of it, you may end up suffering from health issues similar to those caused by white sugar, such as:
- Weight gain
- High cholesterol
- Heart disease
- Nutrient deficiencies
- Dental caries
- High blood pressure
- Insulin resistance
- Fatty liver disease
- Liver failure
- Pancreatic cancer
- Cognitive decline
You Can Use These Other Natural Sugar Alternatives Too
When it comes to natural sugar alternatives, your choices are not limited to coconut sugar. There are many other healthy natural sweeteners and sugar alternatives you can choose from, such as:
- Raw honey: It is a natural sweetener packed with antioxidants, enzymes, iron, zinc, calcium, potassium, vitamin B6, phosphorus, riboflavin, and niacin. It has a low glycemic index too. You can use it to flavor your herbal teas or you can drizzle it over your pancakes.
- Dates: They are loaded with copper, iron, potassium, magnesium, and vitamin B6. Consuming it may also help lower your blood cholesterol levels. You can make it into a paste and use it for baking.
- Stevia: It is a natural sweetener that is 200 times sweeter than sugar but has none of the calories. You can use it to sweeten your foods when you are on your weight loss journey. You can use it in any way you desire just like you use sugar. But remember that it does not add bulk to baked goods like sugar does.
- Maple Syrup: Maple syrup is a great source of antioxidants, calcium, potassium, manganese, and zinc. You can use it for baking or add it to marinades, glazes, and sauces.
- Banana Puree: Banana puree is rich in potassium and vitamins B6 and C. To make it, you just need to blend some overripe bananas and some water in a food processor. You can use it to replace refined sugar in recipes or you can use it as a puree.
- Brown Rice Syrup: It is a thick amber-colored, sweet syrup made by fermenting black rice and heating the liquid obtained. It is easily digestible and gluten-free. It is a good replacement in recipes that call for white sugar.
|↑1||Brand-Miller, Janette C., Susanna HA Holt, Dorota B. Pawlak, and Joanna McMillan. “Glycemic index and obesity.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 76, no. 1. 2002.|
|↑2||How does sugar in our diet affect our health? National Health Service.|
|↑3||Choi, Hyon K., and Gary Curhan. “Soft drinks, fructose consumption, and the risk of gout in men: prospective cohort study.” Bmj 336, no. 7639. 2008.|