Healthy Sugar Alternatives: Top 8 Products
Uncontrolled sugar intake increases the risk of heart disease, disrupts metabolism, and weakens the immune system. It also causes premature skin aging and acne. It is enough to give up a harmful habit for literally a week, and changes will already be noticeable. And since not everyone decides to give up sweets, let’s figure out how they can be replaced without harm to health. In other words, let’s see the most healthy sugar alternatives!
Best Healthy Sugar Alternatives
If you can’t imagine tea without sweets or sugar, then try dried fruits. Prunes, dates, figs, raisins, mangoes, and others are also ideal for making stewed fruit, muffins, homemade sweets, and cookies. At the same time, remember that dried fruits contain fructose. They are high in calories. But still better than sugar!
Maple syrup – The Most Popular Healthy Sugar Alternatives in Canada and the USA
Maple syrup is made from sugar maple sap. It is very popular in Canada and the USA, where it is used not only as a sweet addition to baked goods and tea but also as an ingredient in the preparation of meat and vegetable dishes. The problem is that you have to look for it in stores, not every one has it.
Honey is an ideal product for replacing sugar: absolutely natural, containing a lot of useful substances. Buckwheat, linden, flower, acacia perfectly replaces sugar, including in the preparation of baked goods and sweets. Some even manage to add it to coffee instead of sugar! Remember that some people have an allergic reaction to honey. It may not work for everyone.
Jerusalem artichoke syrup – Best Healthy Sugar Alternatives for Diabetics
Jerusalem artichoke, or earthen pear, can be added to baked goods, cereals, dairy products, sweetened with coffee or tea. Of all natural sweeteners, Jerusalem artichoke syrup has the lowest (with the exception of stevia herb) glycemic index, which means that diabetic patients can safely use it. Jerusalem artichoke syrup has a beautiful honey color and is cooked at low temperatures. Therefore it retains all the nutrients and vitamins.
Maltose syrup is a sugary starch product that is obtained from corn flour. It is widely used in the food industry in the manufacture of baby and dietetic food, in brewing, and winemaking. Also, maltose syrup can easily replace sugar when cooking jam and sweeten baked goods.
The stevia plant, whose homeland is Paraguay, has amazing properties. It looks like a rather ordinary, nondescript grass, the leaves of which have a sweet taste. More precisely, stevia is much sweeter than regular sugar, thanks to the unique glycoside stevioside. To date, stevioside is the sweetest known natural glycoside. Stevia comes in a wide variety of forms: dried leaves, tablets, powder, extracts, and tinctures.
Many people who keep a diet choose syrup of this exotic Mexican plant as a natural substitute for sugar (tequila is also made from agave). But everything is not so simple here. During the preparation of agave syrup, a large amount of fructose condenses, excessive consumption of which is extremely dangerous. On the one hand, it does not raise blood sugar levels, but at the same time, it can dramatically increase the body’s resistance to insulin.
The fructose content of agave syrup can sometimes go up to 97 percent, far more than any other sweetener. Therefore, it is very important to look at the composition label and choose the product with the least amount of substance.
Probably the Best Healthy Sugar Alternatives – Sweeteners
Sweeteners are frequent visitors to our website’s pages. The latest materials concerning this product are as follows:
It is not surprising that the topic is hot: they promise to cut the sugar in the diet to almost zero and carry almost no additional calories.
This breeds a large number of various compounds: erythritol, stevia, isomalt… and many concerns: people are afraid that sugar substitutes can harm, although this myth has not been confirmed.
We have already published several blog posts about sweeteners, but people still often ask what a sweetener should consist of.
In this chapter, we will tell you about the basic principles that guided the creation of the sweetener recipe based on three components.
Voluminous and Intense Sweeteners
Also, “voluminous” is often called “natural,” although this statement is controversial. This class includes those substances that also give the effect of sweetness, but at the same time are dietary fiber or give it more in relation to their calorie content.
Of the volumetric ones, we use two:
- Erythritol or “melon sugar” is 30% less sweet than sugar obtained from the enzymatic processing of glucose and has a caloric value of only 0.2 kcal / g and a zero glycemic index.
- Inulin is a natural prebiotic: dietary fiber, which is not absorbed by the human body but is food for the development of intestinal microflora. It contains no calories and, together with erythritol, is a “carrier” for an intense sweetener.
And as intense sucralose (one that gives a hundred times stronger sensation of sweetness and allows you to reduce the portion size by 5 times, and the calorie content to practically zero), sucralose, obtained from natural sugar (sucrose), but 600 times sweeter.
How to Choose Sweeteners?
So what are the qualities required for a sweetener? Among the main ones, three should be distinguished.
- Thermal stability – they do not emit any toxic components and do not degrade under the influence of high temperatures. The sweetener can be safely added to hot tea or used in cooking without fear for health and taste.
- Safety – all components are approved and safe for health according to research data and repeated regular independent checks around the world.
- Taste – the two sweeteners used are obtained directly from sucrose and glucose and have a taste profile as close to sugar as possible compared to all other types of sweeteners, and inulin also acts as a thickener, adding the element of “thickening” characteristic of sugar.
These combinations allow you to safely use a complex sweetener in baked goods, hot drinks, and almost everywhere sugar is used.
Thanks to its texture, similar to powdered sugar, it can also be used as a diet sprinkle.
All sweeteners in the complex do not have a glycemic index and do not cause a sharp rise in blood sugar levels.
But is everything really that good, and these products have no shortcomings? After all, at least, the very word “syrup” is alarming because it is customary to understand it as a highly concentrated sugar mixture.
It is important to know that the calorie content of sugar and natural sweeteners is almost the same. An exception is honey, the calorie content of which is several times higher than sugar. Therefore, excessive consumption of both sugar and natural sweeteners leads to a set of extra pounds.
Why, then, do nutritionists recommend healthy sugar alternatives?
The answer lies in their one more unique property: natural healthy sugar alternatives, due to their chemical composition, have a sweeter taste, which makes it possible almost to halve the dosage of the substance in use. So, if you usually put two tablespoons of sugar in your tea, one spoon of natural sweetener will be enough for you.
Does this mean that by replacing our usual sugar with such natural, eco-friendly, healthy sugar alternatives, you can not be afraid to add extra pounds?
Just replacing sugar with a natural sweetener will not solve the problem. It is necessary to follow a balanced diet and moderate consumption of natural sweeteners.
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