17 Jun Natural Sweeteners vs Refined Sugars
Looking at the natural sweetener alternatives over the refined sugars that we see on the shelves of so many shopping malls. There are a number of fairly new natural sweeteners on the block that are dubbed calorie-free and carbohydrate-free. These plant derivatives and sugar alcohols taste as good as sugar, but due to the way they have been absorbed, they result in a much slower and smaller rise in blood sugar and insulin.
Do be careful though when choosing foods containing these substitutes – the actual sweeteners may be better for you, but they are often added to food high in saturated fats, which defeats the benefits of using these sweeteners.
Below we give you the low-down of three calorie-friendly natural alternatives. (By comparison, sugar has 4 calories per gram.)
Calorie count: It has almost no calories – often labeled as having 0.2 calories per gram.
Taste: 70% as sweet as sugar.
Other benefits: Erythritol doesn’t spike blood sugar or insulin levels and has no effect on biomarkers like cholesterol or triglycerides. Unlike Xylitol, the laxative effects are not reported to be as common. That’s because 90% of Erythritol is absorbed before it enters the large intestine.
Calorie count: Absolutely none!
Taste: It is 250 to 300 times sweeter than sugar – satisfying even the sweetest tooth.
Other benefits: The steviol glycosides are the sweetest portion of the plant, and these cannot be absorbed in the human body, so they’re completely excreted in the urine with no accumulation.
Calorie count: Contains between 1.9 and 2.4 calories per gram – which is 40% less than sugar.
Taste: 1:1 with sugar.
Other benefits: Xylitol appears to have some benefits for dental health, reducing the risk of cavities and dental decay. It may also improve bone density, helping to prevent osteoporosis. It doesn’t raise blood sugar or insulin levels.
Please Note: Xylitol is highly toxic to dogs. Don’t let your furry friends get hold of your sugar-free treats!
There are a couple of other natural sweeteners available, which may not boast a lower calorie count, but are still so much better for you than ordinary refined sugar, see what you can find here.