Natural sweeteners are not only less harmful than refined sugar, but also have health benefits. Here are 6 alternatives to sugar
Fortunately, you can add sweetness to your foods with healthy alternatives to sugar. Natural sweeteners are not only less harmful than refined sugar, but also have health benefits.
Why is eating too much sugar bad for you?
Most people aren’t aware of how much sugar is in their foods, and may unwittingly be increasing their risk of:
- Weight gain
- Heart disease
- Type II diabetes
- Fatty liver
- Risk of depression
- Cellular aging and inflammation
- Dental problems
6 best alternatives to sugar
Not only does it contain 2.4 calories per gram, which is 40% less than those in sugar, but it also does not contain fructose, which is primarily responsible for the negative effects of sugar. In contrast to sugar, xylitol doesn't increase your glucose or insulin levels. It may even have some health benefits such as improved bone and dental health.
Stevia is a plant-based sweetener that is extracted from the leaves of a South American bush that is scientifically known as Stevia rebaudiana.
This sugar substitute can be separated from either stevioside and rebaudioside A, each of which contains zero calories and may be sweeter than sugar.
Leaves of Stevia rebaudiana are loaded with nutrients, so stevia is associated with lower blood pressure, and lower blood sugar levels.
3. Monk fruit sweetener
Extracted from monk fruit, this natural sweetener contains zero calories and is significantly sweeter than sugar.
Although it contains fructose and glucose, it also contains mogroside, which is what provides its sweetness. During processing, mogroside is isolated from the squeezed juice, eliminating fructose and glucose from the sweetener. Mogroside is an antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties that may help protect against certain diseases.
4. Coconut sugar
Coconut sugar is removed from the sap of coconut palm and contains minerals including iron, zinc, calcium and potassium.
Honey produced by honeybees is rich in nutrients and minerals that have several health benefits.
However, although honey has many health benefits, it still contains fructose and should therefore be consumed in moderation.
6. Maple syrup
Maple syrup is made from the sap of maple trees and contains both antioxidants and minerals such as calcium, potassium, zinc, iron, and manganese.
Like honey, maple syrup may have some health benefits but is still fairly high in sugar. So while it is a better option than refined sugar, it’s best to avoid consuming it in excess.