Natural Alternatives to Sugar
Natural substitutes for refined sugar
Table sugar, scientifically known as sucrose, is one of the most ubiquitous ingredients found in kitchens worldwide. This is utilized as an ingredient for all kinds of food, ranging from meals to desserts. But there are some negative things associated with the consumption of too much sugar. Not only does it cause a general increase in weight (especially for those who have a sedentary lifestyle), but it also leaves a person prone to different health disorders ranging from diabetes to heart problems. But curtailing sugar consumption doesn’t necessarily mean ditching sweet stuff altogether. There are all kinds of natural alternatives to sugar that are safe for daily consumption.
When talking about sugar alternatives, the first thing that comes to mind is artificial sweeteners such as aspartame. But the truth is, there are so many side effects associated with the consumption of these sweeteners that a lot of doctors actually recommend the consumption of sugar (with limitations, of course) over using these. By going for natural alternatives to sugar, you can have your non-sugar sweet fix without worrying about the negative side effects associated with artificial sweeteners.
There are other benefits associated with going for natural alternatives to sugar. By going for these alternatives, you can dramatically reduce your consumption of sugar. According to statistics, people are consuming about 1.25 pounds (around half a kilogram) of table sugar a day, which when calculated is way beyond the daily consumption required for human beings. By going for sugar alternatives, this consumption can be dramatically reduced, which can bring immense health improvements for people from all walks of life.
What’s more, by going for these alternatives, you are doing your part in saving the environment. Growing sugar requires vast amounts of land that can be used for other purposes. Worse, some of the lands used for growing sugar involves taking over ecologically important areas, resulting into biodiversity issues. By going for these natural alternatives to sugar, the world can reduce its need for sugar. This can prove as the lifeline needed by these compromised ecosystems.
You must be wondering about the alternatives you have with regard to sugar consumption. The truth is, nature has provided us with all kinds of sweet stuff that doesn’t really give detrimental effects to our health. In fact, some of these sources are known to give very tangible health benefits outside of regulating blood sugar consumption. The following are some of the best natural alternatives to sugar.
7 Natural Sweeteners
1. Honey - This substance produced by bees is one of the favorite sweet ingredients the world over. This product is more than capable of giving people the sweet fix they need to get thru the day. This also comes packed with vitamins and is also well-known for its antimicrobial properties. For best results, get honey that is organically produced.
2. Maple syrup - This syrup derived from the maple tree is also a common fixture in most households. But just like honey, this syrup also goes beyond just sweetening. It has a distinct taste that any people would definitely love, and brings about a distinct richness to any food it is mixed with.
3. Date sugar - One of the emerging natural alternatives to sugar, this product is made from dehydrated date fruits. After dehydration, the fruits are then ground to produce the sugar. This product is known for many reasons. Not only does it carry a strong and distinct sweetness, but it also carries a lot of the health benefits associated with dates.
4. Coconut sugar - This product is created from the sap of the coconut tree. The sap is boiled to reduce water content and to reduce it to a sugar-like substance. This stands out among natural alternatives to sugar for its remarkably low glycemic index. What’s more, it tastes very good and carries a lot of nutritional benefits as well.
5. Stevia - This is an herb that is native to South American soil. Used as a sweetener by South Americans for centuries, it is reputed to be up to 300 times sweeter than sugarcane. Being used as a dietary supplement and even utilized by huge companies such as Coca Cola, its zero-calorie, zero-glycemic index ratings made it a big hit among consumers.
6. Xylitol - This is probably best-known for its use in candies and chewing gums. Because of its unique structure, it prevents the growth of bacteria. Considered as one of the best natural alternatives to sugar, this is mainly derived from fibrous fruits and trees.
7. Molasses - This is best-known as a byproduct from the sugar-refining process. However, this byproduct comes packed with all kinds of nutritional benefits. Among the nutrients that can be had from molasses are iron and calcium.
Those are just some of the best natural alternatives to sugar. Actually, there are more equally interesting and exciting natural alternatives out there, but those listed here are among the absolute best. Integrate these natural products to your diet and you can dramatically decrease your dependence on table sugar. And with some of its extra benefits, you’ll find these products pretty much indispensible. It must be noted that some of these alternatives are best used for particular foods and food preparation techniques.
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