Confession #12: I do have a sweet tooth… But don’t we all?
Health conscious or not, sweet tooth or not, one staple food that you need to staunchly avoid is Sugar. Refined sugar is believed to be as addictive as drug (and hence so many dessert options) but is the most potential enemy to your health. Although there are innumerable artificial Substitutes for Sugar, most of them end up adding even more calories to your daily diet.
Why do we need to get rid of the tempting crystals?
Here is a tiny list of health problems an extra 10 gm of daily intake of sugar or fructose can cause to you
- Heart Disease
- Cavities and Tooth decay
- Poor Vision
- Impaired Brain Function
- Fatigue and Lethargy
- Type 2 Diabetes and
- Blood Pressure
Medical studies reveal that more than 25 grams (6 tsps for women) and 35 grams (9 tsps for men) of sugar content on an average can cause long term health detriments. So, instead of going bland and tasteless let’s try some Healthy and Natural Substitutes for Sugar.
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13 Healthy & Natural Substitutes for Sugar
Honey is the best and most effective sugar substitute. The raw unprocessed form is the ideal way to consume honey. It includes 80% of natural sweetness. It has innumerable health benefits as it aids in weight loss, is a great source for anti-oxidants and has higher nutrient value.
2) Maple Syrup
Actual maple syrup, unlike pancake syrups, is produced from the sap of maple trees which is boiled and reduced into a sweetish concentration. Maple syrups can be used in ice creams and desserts and has significant amount of Riboflavin, Calcium and Zinc.
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Stevia leaf is sweeter than cane sugar crystals yet is the only zero calorie sugar substitute. It is obtained from a South American shrub. It can be used in tea, coffee as well as in desserts.
Although it cannot be called as an exact sugar substitute, dried grapes still adds a lot of sweetness to baked desserts. Blend a cup of dried grapes in food processor instead of adding sugar. Raisins are full of antioxidants and fibres.
Any berry, especially cranberries, adds delicious flavours and right amount of tangy sweetness to desserts, muffins and other baked products. Cranberries are full of antioxidants and are better, although not perfect, Substitute for Sugars.
Dates are very sweet and extremely flavourful. It is rich in Vitamins A and B6, potassium and calcium. Dates go perfectly well with puddings, cakes, ice-creams and yogurts.
Molasses is the most nutrient rich sweetener that is packed with calcium, potassium, vitamin B6, iron and Magnesium. What’s left over after processing sugarcane into white sugar is known as Molasses.
8) Coconut Palm Sugar
Coconut palm sugar is delicious, blends amazingly with desserts and has a glycaemic index rating of 35. It is produced from the sap of coconut palm’s flower buds. They are higher in minerals and have a significant amount of zinc, iron, potassium, vitamin B and amino acids.
9) Agave Nectar
Agave Syrup is an age old alternative to sugar which is extracted from various species of Mexican Agave plants. It has much lower glycaemic index than sucrose yet is 1.5 sweeter than table sugar.
Pureed banana can also be a great alternative to sugar. It not only adds flavour to your meal but also is a healthier option to other substitutes as it is full of potassium and other health beneficial nutrients.
Apricots are rich in Vitamin C, fibre and iron. Both the frozen fruit as well as the fresh ones are incredible source for natural flavour and sweetness. Apricot puree can be added in desserts, baking products, jams and jellies or even used as a spread for toasted breads.
Cinnamon have slightly sweetish flavour. The spice is very good for your immune system and adds a subtle sweetness to your beverages and bakes. And it is absolutely calorie free.
13) Brown Rice Syrup
Brown rice is one of the surprising Substitutes for Sugar. Cooked brown rice is exposed to various enzymes to break down into sugar. Fructose is absolutely nil in brown rice.
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Apart from the aforementioned efficient sweeteners, lemons, applesauce, grapes, milk, frozen concentrated fruit juice, balsamic glaze and rum can also be used as Substitutes for Sugar for desserts, tea and coffee.
Do share the post with your loved ones and give them a better living choice. Also post a comment of your favourite natural sweetener.