6 natural sugar substitutes for your daily diet

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Natural sugar substitutes for your daily diet, have you ever heard of them? If you do not want to or can not take refined sugar, you’ve probably been looking for an alternative solution or maybe more than one in order to sweeten your coffee, bake cakes and when you need something sugary. Refined sugar is considered one of the enemies of our health but it is possible to use natural substitutes that have fewer contraindications than the classic white sugar.

Refined sugar: what it is and how it’s made

The white sugar, also called sucrose (glucose + fructose), is extracted from sugar beet which is purified and bleached with sulfur dioxide before the actual refining which is completed with the decolourisation. During the processing, the sugar loses all the vitamins and minerals and that’s why, to be assimilated, our body has to use its own vitamins and minerals. This suggests why an excessive consumption of sugar in addition to causing problems to tissues and bones also causes problems in our nervous system by inhibiting the action of white blood cells.

Six natural substitutes for white sugar

Agave syrup

The agave is derived from the same plant of tequila, has a very high concentration of fructose but despite this it does not increase the blood sugar. The presence of fructose makes the agave one of the most caloric products and that’s why yoi always have to use the ratio 1:3 in substituting of the sugar with the agave.

Coconut sugar

It is extracted from the flowers of the coconut plant and has a taste similar to sugar cane. It’s a very dry sugar and tends to absorb all the liquid that will be used. So you need to use 1/3 of coconut sugar if compared to regular sugar and you’ll get a taste that is not sweet like the classic sugar.

Maple syrup

It is obtained by the evaporation of the sap of maple trees that produces a sweet syrup but not overly cloying. It contains a high percentage of manganese and zinc, making it an excellent antioxidant.

Honey

The sweetener for excellence to replace sugar, it has less calories and much more properties that allow the absorption and containment of blood glucose levels.

Stevia

Stevia is derived from the homonymous plant that mainly grows in Paraguay. It’s 3 times sweetest than the white sugar but with less than half the calories. It does not cause increases in blood sugar but exactly like the agave can be overly sweet.

Dates syrup

Date syrup is obtained by dates and for this reason it can also be made at home. Among the benefits of dates syrup we can just say the presence of potassium and a viscous consistency that makes it suitable for sweets also thanks to its caramelized flavor. It is also found in the form of sugar.

Natural sugars vs refined one

  • Although these substitutes can be considered better than the refined sugar, we are not talking of healthy products because they are sweet so they must be used sparingly;
  • The natural sugars act on each person in a different way so you need to experiment to find the one that suits your own body. As a basic rule, a sugar substitute should never cause blood sugar fluctuations or surges otherwise it means that it is not working properly;
  • Just because the human body is different from person to person, it could be necessary to introduce the natural sugars step by step to avoid stressing the body: you can start by making sweets with natural sugar substitutes and then use them also to sweeten drinks so that the body can get used to the change.

How to replace sugar with natural sweeteners

Download the following card on how to replace sugar with natural sweeteners and in case you need to convert in cups or ounces please use this calculator:

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Categories: Food Tips, Gluten Free
Article written by Veruska Anconitano aka La Cuochina Sopraffina

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