Sugar in various forms that is the main culprit for the onset of diabetes, obesity and many other cardiovascular diseases. Not to mention caries and sugar addiction to which both children and adults are exposed. You have probably read many times about whether and how much sugar is bad for our health. This substance has no vitamins or minerals, just an intoxicating taste of sweet that stirs our receptors in the brain creating a false sense of satiety. In short, it’s about empty calories. We certainly distinguish bad sugars from those we need in order to have enough energy to endure a busy day or training. Bad sugars are bad because our body does not recognize them as energy and stores them in fat around the waist. You may be fortunate that your metabolism runs faster and uses more energy, but the fact remains that the body has more room to store all that energy than to consume it from its sugars. This is just one bad characteristic of sugar from which many others, again, are not at all favorable to our body.
Sugar is made up of glucose and fructose. Glucose is needed to help our cells develop while fructose is stored in the liver and taken as needed. This principle applies to the average amounts of healthy sugars that are ingested, and any increased intake we take from sweets and juices encourages the liver to turn excess sugar into fat.
Why choose natural substitutes for sugar?
Although there is no study to prove that consuming artificial sugars is appropriate for our body, there is still controversy over how healthy it is to use something that has been obtained artificially. Artificial sweeteners are synthetic substitutes for sugar and have no calorific value.
Because they don’t even have the full taste, they mix with each other, which is why they should not be used in large quantities. The most famous artificial sweeteners are saccharin and aspartame. Sugar creates a food addiction by releasing a large amount of dopamine in the brain. If you do not want to give up sweet completely and something has to be found in cakes, then these 8 variants of natural sugar substitutes will be good for you.
This South American plant is the best natural sweetener and has been grown for over 1500 years. Stevia is said to regulate blood sugar, does not raise glucose levels and is suitable for diabetics. What is important to know is that stevia is much sweeter than regular sugar, which is why small amounts last longer. It is also claimed to be an excellent dietary supplement for those who suffer from candida or simply take care of their body.
Honey is a great substitute for sugar because it has the much-needed glucose in a completely natural form that benefits the human body. It contains slightly less vitamins but is rich in antioxidants. Certainly, honey should be taken in reasonable measures because, despite its nutritional properties, it is still a type of sugar.
3. Agave nectar
Agave syrup or nectar is made in Mexico and is obtained from the blue agave plant. Agave nectar is slightly sweeter than regular sugar and has 60 calories per tablespoon. It can be used as a pancake and fruit salad dressing. The Aztecs used agave syrup mixed with salt as a balm for wounds and skin infections, which is still widely used in Central America today as a traditional folk remedy.
4. Maple syrup
This syrup is also a natural sweetener derived from a resin of special types of maple wood. There are 52 calories per tablespoon, and unlike pancakes, real maple syrup contains more manganese, riboflavin (vitamin B2), zinc, magnesium, calcium and potassium. In addition to giving an exceptional aroma to meals, maple syrup also has multiple nutritional properties. It is a great addition to energy bread or morning oatmeal recipes.
5. Coconut sugar
Coconut sugar or palm sugar is a relatively unknown product in the area, and is derived from coconut resin. It contains zinc and calcium as well as antioxidants which makes it a great substitute for sugar. It has a low glycemic index, lower than sugar. What is important is that coconut sugar most closely resembles plain sugar, and again is healthier. However, like agave syrup, coconut sugar is high in calories and fructose, so it should not be used in large quantities.
Molasses is a thick dark syrup that is obtained by cooking sugar cane. It contains vitamins and minerals, and a teaspoon of molasses provides ten percent of the daily recommended amount of copper, iron, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Molasses is still very close to sugar so it should not be used daily in the diet.
7. Birch sugar (xylitol)
This type of sugar alcohol resembles sugar, and is extracted from corn or birch. It has 40 percent less calories than white sugar. It is ideal for those who struggle with candida, and it reduces the incidence of caries in children. Xylitol is obtained similarly to maple syrup – by slicing the bark. It is important to know that xylitol can act laxative and it takes time for the body to adjust to its presence.
It is another type of sugar alcohol that has even fewer calories. Erythritol does not raise blood sugar levels, as does insulin, cholesterol and triglycerides. It is considered safe to consume for diabetics and is well tolerated. This sugar is recommended for those on a special diet, such as the LCHF diet, which involves less carbohydrate intake and more fat.
How to choose sugar replacement?
Whether you want to bring in healthier sugars or regulate your weight, choose your replacement according to your goal. Keep an eye on the side effects of each sugar substitute and how much you can actually use. Most sugar substitutes are completely natural, but their caloric value is quite similar to white sugar.
Take care of your health, which you can if you minimize or completely reduce the use of white sugar as well as refined ones that come from shopping sweets.