Just thinking about living without sugar is disheartening and can even make us grumpy. It’s a delicious ingredient that our body needs. However, nutritionists strongly recommend opting for sugar alternatives to avoid including sugar in our diets.
However, avoiding sugar doesn’t mean renouncing sweets. There are recipes out there that allow us to enjoy delightful desserts and sweets without having to eat any sugar.
Sugar: why you should avoid it
Studies have shown that eating refined sugar leads to certain diseases. The most common are dental cavities, heart problems, a compromised immune system and obesity. Sugar also increases probabilities of having cancer or a dopamine addition.
Our body doesn’t need sugar; it needs glucose. There are other, healthier foods available as alternatives to sugar that can provide us with this nutrient.
The need that a person feels for sugar is more so a habit than an actual need for his or her body. So, you can start getting into the habit of using sugar alternatives in order to keep sugar out of your diet.
5 Natural Sugar alternatives
Stevia is quite a popular natural sweetener these days. The stevia plant has leaves that have a sweet flavor.
Currently, you can find powder stevia in the market, which actually has a similar appearance to sugar. It makes for a good alternative to avoid using sugar in teas and desserts.
Some of the benefits that it has to offer the body are the following:
- Stevia helps control diabetes because it regulates the blood’s glucose levels.
- Its diuretic effect helps eliminate toxins.
- Stevia is a vasodilator that helps control blood pressure.
- It’s calorie-free, meaning that it prevents obesity.
It’s the oldest natural sweetener around. Honey has always been present since the beginning of mankind.
Currently, it’s a treasured product. It’s become one of the best alternatives to substitute for sugar and people of all ages can eat it.
Honey is especially good for children and the elderly because in addition to sweetening foods, it contains nutritional medicinal properties.
Benefits that come with eating honey are the following:
- Honey provides fast energy.
- It has antibiotic properties and prevents infections. Hence, it helps with coughs and colds.
- Honey has healing effects.
- It’s an antioxidant.
- Honey boasts minerals, especially group B vitamins.
- It’s a great source of minerals such as sodium, magnesium and zinc.
3. Agave syrup
Agave is part of the aloe vera family. The syrup, a thick and sticky liquid, comes from its thick leaves. It’s become quite trendy and widely recommended.
Agave has a sweetening effect that makes it an ideal alternative to avoid sugar.
It has a high fructose content yet a low glucose content. Its fructose helps the blood’s insulin levels and, as a result, it’s especially helpful for diabetic patients.
Some of agave syrup’s properties are the following:
- It’s anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial.
- Agave syrup helps improve the immune system.
- It aids in weight loss.
- Agave lowers cholesterol.
- It has benefits for skin and postpones its aging process.
This sweetener originally hails from Japan. Amazake is made from rice in a fermentation process that’s common in Asian cooking. The process makes a heavy, sweet paste that can substitute refined sugar in all kinds of recipes.
Amazake boasts important nutrients and benefits for our body:
- It’s easy for the body to absorb and digest.
- Amazake has a good amount of fiber, which helps speed up digestion.
- It contains B group vitamins and basic enzymes for the body.
5. Panela as a sugar substitute
Panela comes from the evaporated juices of the sugar cane. There is no refined or chemical product used in making panela. Panela is becoming quite a popular alternative to avoid sugar.
Among its properties, panela boasts:
- Panela has powerful energizing effect.
- It has vitamins A, B, C, D and E.
- It’s the sweetener that contains the highest amount of minerals.
Reducing our sugar consumption takes time. Changing our dietary habits can start by choosing one of these sugar alternatives. Each person should consider his or her own personal health situation and possibilities.