ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

8 Natural Sugar & Sweeteners for Your Healthy Body.

Updated on June 26, 2011

Natural is a better choice.

From the last time, I have written about the danger of sugar and how to moderate your sugar daily intake for your health. Too much sugar is never good to anyone, but if you have to use sugar, a natural, unrefined sugar would be a healthier choice.
There are many kinds of sugar that you can use as an alternative to refined white sugar. These are natural sweeteners and some of them has slow absorption rate, which is good for your blood-sugar levels.

1. Natural Sugar cane or raw sugar

This term refers to unrefined sugars.The nutrients, flavor and color have not been removed since they undergo minimal processing during production. Raw sugars can range from yellow to brown in color. A variety of raw sugars are made by crystallizing evaporated cane juice, which is boiled down to a crystalline solid, then purifying the product slightly with minimal chemical processing. It has more complex flavors and better nutrition.

Unrefined raw cane sugar.  http://www.flickr.com/photos/hartini/2966750531/
Unrefined raw cane sugar. http://www.flickr.com/photos/hartini/2966750531/

2. Agave Nectar

Agave syrup (or nectar) is produced from an agave plant. Its fleshy leaves cover the pineapple-shaped heart of the plant, which contains a sweet sticky juice. Agave syrup(or nectar) is about 90% fructose. Only recently has it come in use as a sweetener. It has a low glycemic level and can be a safe alternative to table sugar. Although it has a low glycemic value (because the glycemic are measured by the level of glucose, which is low in this syrup), according to some experts, if fructose is consumed after eating a large meal that overly raises the blood sugar, its property can turn out to affect the raising of blood sugar, too. So it is a good thing to keep in mind to eat high-fructose dessert on an empty stomach. The light syrup has a more neutral flavor. 3/4 cup of gave nectar should equal 1 cup of table sugar.

Agave Fields.   http://www.flickr.com/photos/memoflores/143543250/
Agave Fields. http://www.flickr.com/photos/memoflores/143543250/
Agave nectar.    http://www.flickr.com/photos/arimoore/100955971/
Agave nectar. http://www.flickr.com/photos/arimoore/100955971/

3. Rice Syrup

Made from soaked and sprouted rice (sometimes a combination of rice and barley), which is dried and cooked down to a thick syrup using enzymes to break down carbohydrates into sugar. Rice syrup contains a high level of maltose, which gives it a low glycemic index. It has a deep, earthy,malty flavor and less sweet than refined white sugar. Rice syrup is including barley malt syrup and brown rice syrup. The product is 50 % complex carbohydrates, 45% maltose and 3 % glucose, which takes time for the body to absorb into the blood stream. Rice syrup is healthy because it is made from whole food and doesn't require many processing.

Rice syrup has a light texture and flavor.   http://www.flickr.com/photos/knitsteel/3089564653/
Rice syrup has a light texture and flavor. http://www.flickr.com/photos/knitsteel/3089564653/
Brown rice syrup.   http://www.flickr.com/photos/dapperbandit/2797111314/
Brown rice syrup. http://www.flickr.com/photos/dapperbandit/2797111314/

4. Raw Organic Honey.

Commercial honey can be high in refined sugar and corn syrup because the manufacturer needs to control the cost of the product. Raw, Organic Honey is a much better choice if you can find one. People have been eating honey for thousands of years, and raw honey is believed to have a number of health benefits. Raw honey is one and a half times sweeter than sugar so you can use less than normal sugar. Natural honey contains vitamins or minerals, but however, it can raise your blood sugar level as much as white sugar. 1/2 cup of honey is equal to 1 cup of white sugar.

Raw honey.  http://www.flickr.com/photos/xojy/3669637578/
Raw honey. http://www.flickr.com/photos/xojy/3669637578/

5. Maple Syrup

Maple syrup is a natural sweetener that is produced from the sap of the maple tree which has significantly high sugar content. It can be used in cooking, making candies and just about everything. Maple syrup is a very good source of manganese and zinc. Manganese has strong antioxidant properties and is also a natural energy booster. Zinc is also a potent antioxidant and even helps protect our hearts from damage. Furthermore, manganese and zinc help strengthens the body’s immune system. Maple Syrup 1/3 cup is equal to 1 cup white sugar.

Maple syrup.        http://www.flickr.com/photos/brettlider/65360840/
Maple syrup. http://www.flickr.com/photos/brettlider/65360840/
Maple tree leaves.      http://www.flickr.com/photos/virtually_supine/2996286796/
Maple tree leaves. http://www.flickr.com/photos/virtually_supine/2996286796/

6. Blackstrap Molasses

Simply explained, Molasses is made from sugar canes that have gone through the process of extracting and making sugar. The by-product or 'waste' from processing sugar cane or beet is molasses. There are three grades of molasses : sulphured, unsulphured, and blackstrap. Sulphured molasses comes from unripened green sugar cane. Because it is not ripened, sulphur has to be used in order to produce sugar. Sulphure is not good for consumption. Unsulphured molasses is obviously a better choice. Blackstrap molasses comes from the third boiling of sugar syrup. The thick dark liquid contains the most nutrients of all.


Blackstrap molasses is rich in iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium and manganese. Blackstrap molasses has a low glycemic index which means that the body can absorb it slowly. It is not only good for sweetener but It has also been used in many remedies for holistic healing purpose. 1/2 Cup of blackstrap molasses equal 1 cup of sugar.

Blackstrap molasses in a bottle.   http://www.flickr.com/photos/traceychrisandbea/3345042259/
Blackstrap molasses in a bottle. http://www.flickr.com/photos/traceychrisandbea/3345042259/
Blackstrap molasses is thick and has dark color.   http://www.flickr.com/photos/spyderella/2425954/
Blackstrap molasses is thick and has dark color. http://www.flickr.com/photos/spyderella/2425954/

7. Stevia

Stevia is the world’s only all natural sweetener with zero calories, zero carbohydrates and a zero glycemic index. Stevia has been used by Native people in Paraguay and other parts of South America for centuries. This wonder plant is many times sweeter than sugar and can be used in cooking, baking and just about anything you like. The therapeutic properties of stevia include adding into medicinal teas for treating heartburn and other ailments. Medical research has shown that stevia has a negligible effect on blood glucose and even enhancing glucose tolerance. Stevia can be used in treating obesity and hypertension. This may sound too good to be true but the safety of stevia is well documented in over 200 published scientific studies. The reference link is down here. 2 Tablespoon of stevia equals 1 cup of white sugar.

8. Xylitol

Xylitol is a substance like sugar alcohol that is used as a sugar substitute. Xylitol is synthesized from the fibers of many fruits and vegetables, including various berries, corn husks, oats, and mushrooms. It can be extracted from corn fiber, birch, raspberries, and plums. It has a low glycemic index value and low in calories. Xylitol is claimed to be safe and can be used for dental care because its property .(Non-fermentable, Xylitol is alkaline-enhancing vs. sugar's acid-forming so bacteria cannot use it for energy) Furthermore, Studies has shown that xylitol can be used as a treatment for osteoporosis, respiratory infections and candida yeast. Xylitol is meant to be eaten by small dose. Over consumption of xylitol may result in diarrhea, bloating and flatulence. The sweetness is just like sugar.

Xylitol comes in powder form, and it is usually added to low-carolies or sugar free mint, gum and many products. http://www.flickr.com/photos/21183164@N07/2266041740/
Xylitol comes in powder form, and it is usually added to low-carolies or sugar free mint, gum and many products. http://www.flickr.com/photos/21183164@N07/2266041740/

You always have a choice.

Now you know that you can always add some sweetness to your life by chosing what is best for your health. Remember one golden rule : Everything has its own balance. When chosing sweeteners, a natural and healthy one is always better. However, always remember that nothing is never meant to be good if it is too much or too less. Play by quality, not quantity. Use these sweeteners considerably and always keep in mind that everything that is too much will be poisonous to your body.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • 11Lucima profile image

      11Lucima 

      8 years ago

      Hi,

      This is a great article and what I was looking for. Im writing an article about sugar in our drinks and the rise in diseases in society due to unhealthy lifestyles. I would like to put a link to your hub in my article if that is okay with you. Thanks again for the knowledge.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)