When it comes to sugar, the only good thing about it is that it tastes good. It contains no vitamins, minerals, protein or essential fats and it is known to interfere with hormones in our body responsible to regulate hunger and satiety. Furthermore, high sugar intake is linked to causing many serious diseases such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Simply said, sugar is an unhealthy food that should be avoided at all costs.
People tend to turn to artificial sweeteners to substitute traditional sugar but these are even more unhealthy. In fact, artificial sweeteners are one of the worst foods existent out there. So, what you can use to sweeten foods then, you may ask yourself? Natural sugar alternatives such as stevia, coconut sugar and maple syrup.
This sugar substitute is probably one of the most popular natural sweeteners available on the market. It contains no calories, hence don’t promote weight gain, and hasn’t been associated with any adverse health effect. In fact, some studies have linked stevia with some health benefits – it can help lower high blood pressure and lower blood sugar and insulin levels, which may help fight diabetes. All things considered, when it comes to sweetening something, stevia is probably the healthiest choice.
Stevia is often found in liquid and powder forms, but Stevia 1kg packages of the powder form are the most commonly available for purchase. When shopping for Stevia 1kg packages, make sure the product is organic and that the manufacturer is a reliable one.
Coconut sugar contains small amounts of calcium, zinc, iron, potassium, and antioxidants as well. It also contains a fiber called inulin which has been linked to slow glucose absorption. Although this sugar substitute tastes more like brown sugar than white sugar, it makes a great option for cooking because it doesn’t affect the consistency of the final product. However, some do not find it sweet enough for coffee or tea.
But not the kind of the bottle shape you find at the grocery store – that is not real maple syrup and to prove that just read the ingredient list. Real maple syrup contains only evaporated maple tree sap and is high in zinc and manganese, which are important for energy production, antioxidant defenses, and immune system function. Similar to coconut sugar, maple syrup is considered a slightly better option to regular sugar, but it should be consumed in moderation because its lower glycemic index can still raise sugar levels.