26 Mar Sugar Alternatives That Are Just as Sweet
Put the spoonful of sugar down Mary Poppins. With a drastic rise in obesity, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol and blood pressure, as well as other sugar-related illnesses like alzheimer’s and fatty liver disease, we can no longer consume sugar at the rate we have been.
You only need to look at the Typical Nutritional Information (TNI) printed onto your favourite packet of crisps, trail mix of energy bar to be confronted with how much sugar is put in everything. Granted, a certain amount of sugar is not only good for you, but necessary to preserving your health. Fruits and vegetables cover that Recommended Daily Intake (RDI). What is slowly and silently poisoning all of us is refined sugar. Refined sugar is added to cheese, fruit juice, most condiments (salad dressing and other sauces), cereal and yoghurt- amongst other things.
If you find you’re somewhat of a slave to your sweet tooth, consider the 300 fewer calories you’ll consume when you limit your sugar intake. If that isn’t enough to have you reaching for the pot of raw honey instead of the pitcher of maple syrup at breakfast, it’s worth knowing that in recent years, scientists have linked a sugar-heavy diet to dementia and other brain disorders that cause memory loss.
Making the decision to curb your sugar intake is investing in your health and vitality. Switching from fizzy energy drinks to fresh-pressed juices is a great way to start. If you’re fairly sensible about your sugar intake as it is, your body will thank you for taking the next step. Here are five sugar alternatives you can cook and bake with (they’ll also taste just as sweet in your cup of tea or coffee):
One of the trendiest superfoods to come out of this century, coconut has given dairy- and gluten-intolerant consumers milk, cream and oil to enjoy. The delicious and naturally sweet substitute comes in a block, paste or granulated form for your convenience. Produced from coconut flowers, the sugar is rich in potassium and aids in bone strength
A sugar alcohol, Erythritol, contains 6% less calories than refined sugar. Before you freak out about the alcoholic component, the sweetener doesn’t affect your insulin, blood sugar, cholesterol or triglyceride levels. Also interesting to know is that Erythritol is naturally found in watermelon, pears and grapes – fruits that are great antioxidants.
Buttery with a distinct nutty flavour, this sugar alternative is the perfect substitute when baking (especially bread and granola bars). By saccharifying enzymes to break down the starches in the rice, all you’re left with is a thick, tasty syrup that’ll transform your confectionary endeavours.
Agave is a safe substitute for people with diabetes and an ethical alternative for vegans. Made from the Mexican Agave tequiliana (tequila) plant, the sweetener is about twice as sweet as refined sugar.
This versatile sweetener is a welcomed addition to any cooked dish or baked treat. Extremely thick and packed with iron, potassium and calcium, a spoonful of this will be all the medicine you need (not really, but it makes for an amazing energy boosting supplement).