Is Date Sugar the Most Healthy Sweetener
The history of date sugar
Date sugar is a decidedly exotic food, at least by European standards. Yet it is also slowly spreading in this part of the world, driven by a growing interest in non-European culinary cultures, as well as by the awareness of nutritional values.
Before describing the organoleptic properties of this type of sugar, however, it is good to spend a few words on the history of this fruit.
A fruit that has somehow marked the history of man, or at least of those who live in areas in the Middle East and North Africa. The date, in fact, is one of the most "ancient" fruits in history. Or, better said, one of the most ancient domesticated plant species.
It has always been highly appreciated for its energy intake. Furthermore, for a long time, it was one of the very few sweeteners available (following a specific treatment). The fruits of this tradition are today the date syrup, which can be compared to a molasses, and the date sugar, which in terms of grain resembles "our" cane sugar.
What are the benefits of this type of sugar
Date sugar is one of the most powerful sweeteners around, in fact, it sweetens as and better than sugar. Above all, it does so by bringing some benefits to the body and very few side effects.
For example, it has a not very high glycemic index, therefore it reduces the sense of hunger which, due to the effect of the insulin cycle, follows the consumption of sugars and carbohydrates.
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Another very important feature concerns the calorie intake. Let's be clear, it's always sugar, so you can't expect a dietetic food.
However, it is much less calorie than white sugar, at least 30% less. Another peculiarity lies in the presence of fibres and minerals, which is truly abundant. Unlike syrup, date sugar is made not by boiling, but by dehydration and subsequent pulverization.
This allows the fruit to keep (almost) all its nutritional values intact. It is, therefore, strange to say, a sugar that is "healthy" after all.
The antioxidant power of date sugar
However, the real advantage of date sugar is its antioxidant capacity, which is higher than that of other sugars and is placed on the same level as some antioxidant fruits par excellence (e.g. tomato).
Various prejudices, some positive and some negative, have gravitated on the antioxidant power of this type of sugar until a particularly extensive study has come to put an end to the diatribe.
The study, published by the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, testified to the exceptional antioxidant capacity of this sugar.
One parameter was used to carry out this study: the FRAP, Ferric Reducing Ability of Plasma. It is good, it has emerged that date sugar boasts a very high FRAP, lower (among sweeteners) than molasses only, and far higher than agave syrup, considered by the scientific community to be an excellent antioxidant.
At the bottom of the ranking, needless to say, we find white sugar, which remains "unfortunately" the most consumed sweetener.
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