Healthy Sugar Alternatives for the Whole Family
Did you know that people who do not consume sugar are healthier and they rarely suffer from as much from food-related illnesses?
Sugar can bulk up most foods, increase your calorie intake, facilitate weight gain and even cause diseases. Although our bodies need certain sugar to survive, a lot of health problems can be associated with excessive consumption of processed sugars. Refined/ processed sugar is hard on the liver and pancreas and it feeds fungus, bacteria, parasites and viruses that stress your whole body.
The good news is, there are many alternatives to processed sugars which are highly beneficial to the body.
How Do You Reduce Sugar in Your Diet?
• Avoid drinks such as sodas and foods with high sugar levels. Drink more water and juices made wholly from fruits. Chocolate bars, flavored yogurt should be avoided. Some desserts also contain high sugar levels. To replace them, you can use naturally made desserts that have no white sugar.
• Take breakfast cereals with no or minimal added sugars. If you want a sweet flavor in your cereals, add some fresh juice.
• When buying packaged or processed foods, check the ingredients label for added sugars. Pay attention to HFCS, also referred to as brown sugar, fructose, sugar, syrup, molasses, dextrose, fruit juice concentrates, and glucose.
• As stated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, we should substitute food that contains added sugars with those that contain natural sugars such as fruits, milk products, and vegetables.
Don’t you love something sweet? Adding sugar sweetens things and makes them tastier. When used in baking, it does not discriminate. Whether old or young, a bright smile manifests on their faces as they enjoy anything deliciously baked.
According to ScienceDirect, every day added sugar contributes to 14.6% of calories found in most American adults. Yes, sugar entertains our taste buds but has no much of nutrition value, just small amount of energy. You, therefore, need to eliminate processed sugar in your diet and implement more organic sugars. The following tips will assist you.
It’s known to be a perfect sweetener and real super food. It contains such nutrients as zinc, calcium, enzymes, niacin, potassium, antioxidants, riboflavin, phosphorous, and vitamin B6. With these essential nutrients, healthy bacteria can grow and thrive in the digestive tract.
A tablespoon of honey will have less effect on the glycemic load and contains 64 calories. You should note that we are talking about raw honey as pasteurized honey loses so many health benefits. The darker the honey, the stronger the flavor, and the health benefits.
How to Implement Raw Honey
• Apply on your toast
• Drizzle some on your breakfast cereal
• Use as dressing on your salad
• Put in your yogurt, coffee or tea
To avoid destroying the nutrients, keep the honey in a cool place away from intense heat.
Dates are known to be rich in vitamin B6, potassium, magnesium, copper, manganese, and iron. Which are your favorite dates? Digestion of dates is no hustle, and they aid in metabolizing of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Facts have it that dates are responsible for reducing the chances of suffering from a stroke by decreasing the LDL cholesterol found in the blood.
How to Implement Dates
• Make a date paste
Date paste is used in many recipes and especially in baking. Soak in hot water then blend into a smooth paste.
• Use as an alternative to processed sugar in your cake or cookie recipe. Do you love muffins? Sweeten your favorite pies and cakes as you improve the nutrient content.
• Mix four cups full of fruits with one or one and a half cups of blended dates to bake a delicious fruit pie. If the fruits are very watery, add a thickener such as tapioca.
As a natural sweetener, coconut sugar gets preferred by many people due to its rich mineral content, and low glycemic load. Being readily available, it has an abundance of zinc, potassium, polyphenols, antioxidants, calcium, and iron. It is the heated sap from the coconut’s blooms. After evaporation, coconut sugar gets obtained.
How to Implement Coconut Sugar
• Just like you use and measure sugar, use it in your best choice recipes. Unlike the refined sugar, it appears coarser but no cause for alarm. To get your desired texture, just whirl.
• Dissolve in any recipe liquid except if to be creamed together like in cookies or cakes recipes.
• Make it into a substitute for a confectionery sugar. Use a reliable food processor to blend a tablespoon of powdered arrowroots with a cup full of coconut sugar until smooth. The solution may not appear as the commercial silky or white sugar, but the resulting product will offer a more healthful solution.
The organic blackstrap molasses is known for its abundance of nutrients such as potassium, vitamin B6, copper, iron, selenium, manganese, and calcium. Compared with dates, beet sugar, refined sugar, corn syrup, and rape honey, beet molasses and sugarcane contains the highest antioxidant activity and phenolic content.
Depending on the processing level, we get different types of molasses. All molasses gets obtained from boiling raw cane sugar into syrup. At the third level of boiling, black strap molasses gets obtained through concentrating nutrients and gaining a deep flavor. Molasses prevents the growth of cancerous cells in the body.
How to Implement Black-strap Molasses
• Due to its unique and rich flavor, using blackstrap molasses on rich applications, topping on toasts, or in porridge may not get appealing. However, it’s perfect when used in baking or as a sweetener for marinades.
• Make an alternative to brown sugar. Mix half a cup of coconut sugar with two tablespoons of black-strap molasses and blend until you reach the right consistency of brown sugar.
This is a natural sweetener which is mainly extracted from the South American shrub’s leaves. With low calories count, Stevia does not lead to weight gain. It is therefore considered as safe. Furthermore, it is associated with many health benefits. Stevia is widely used as a tea blend. Mostly found in semi-arid areas, Stevia is a better option to sugar. Stevia is associated with reducing the chances of getting diabetes and also lowers blood pressure. It is also essential for people suffering from candida growth.
How to Implement Stevia
For quality freshness, the leaves are dried and ground to form a green powder.
The thick, sugary liquid is extracted from the sap of a maple tree. The sap is cooked down to form the syrup. Maple syrup contains a large amount of minerals such as iron, potassium, zinc, calcium and manganese. In many recipes, it is used to replace a cup of white sugar regardless of your preference. However, maple syrup requires you to reduce the liquids by half. It is usually delicious in baked products such as cakes, muffins and pancakes which require a lot of sugar. Just like molasses and coconut sugar, the syrup is a better alternative to sugar.
How to Implement Maple Syrup
Maple sugar can be mixed in a tea, coffee or even oatmeal.
For more sweetness in plain yogurt, maple syrup can be added.
To top up the glaze in ham or turkey or smoothie, the syrup can be added.
Home made salad dressing
Salad dressings purchased from stores contain large amounts of sugar. Making your own salad dressing helps you in eliminating white sugar. Walnut oil or avocado oils are the best natural essentials for making the dressing at home. Other natural commodities to use are pepper, vinegar and a pinch of salt. To increase the sweetness, a spoon of honey can be added and your salad will be ready for use within a very short time.
Eliminating processed sugars does not mean that you entirely refrain from sweets. As explained above, you only need to implement more organic sugars and replace the unhealthy artificial sweeteners and refined sugars with natural sweeteners. Though you will require modifying some recipe while using these organic sugars, each of them comes with its best use. Explore to find out which organic sugars you prefer most and implement them to act as substitutes of processed sugars in your diet.