Are you someone who loves to snack on desserts, and you can’t suffice with a single piece of gulab jamun? If you, too, feel that you cannot resist having your favorite chocolate cake until you finish it off, then this is the right destination that guides you and shows you how to savor your favorite desserts in good quantities without any guilt and keep your insulin level in balance.
This article will guide you through some absolutely safe and health-friendly sugar substitutes, which will eliminate your guilt about snacking on desserts and keep you fit and healthy simultaneously.
So here are the top 11 alternatives to sugar:
This is a natural sweetener that’s derived from the sunflower family and is made from the leaves of flowers like asters and chrysanthemums. It is grown in South and North American countries like Brazil and Paraguay, also in Japan and China. It is an FDA-recognized sugar substitute that is absolutely safe and diabetic-friendly if used correctly. It has zero-calorific values; hence it promotes weight loss and regulates blood pressure too.
2. Raw Honey
A natural sweetener since ancient times, known for its versatility, texture, and certainly the taste. It is produced with the grace of honeybees that slurp on the nectar of the flowers, and every single bee produces about half a teaspoon of honey in its lifetime. Just imagine how many of them would make a single jar of honey. It is enriched with great antioxidants and anti-bacterial properties with loads of nutritional content such as iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, etc. As it has a high level of fructose, it should be used in moderation.
Dehydrated and dried-out dates are considered to be low glycemic than refined sugars. The amount of nutrition it contains is immeasurable. It is packed with essential vitamins and minerals, a great source of fiber that passes good bacteria into the gut and improves digestion, reduces inflammation, improves brain functioning, regulates blood sugar, and contains carotenoids and flavonoids that promote heart health.
4. Coconut Sugar
Derived from the coconut palm tree, also known as coconut palm sugar, this is another sugar alternative you can try out. It has low glycemic value than refined sugars. It is totally plant-based and a bit processed, too but is packed with good nutritional content such as zinc, iron, calcium, and potassium. It contains a fiber called inulin that helps to control sugar spikes and lower blood pressure. Less use of coconut sugar is enough as it is high in fructose levels. Also, it might not be very diabetic-friendly. Hence, it should be used with great caution.
5. Monk Fruit Sweetener
Luo Han Guo, aka monk fruit, is another sweet substitute that can be included in your diet. It is obtained from the siraitia grosvenorii plant, mostly found in China. It got its FDA approval in 2010 and is declared safe and healthy to use. It has a powerful antioxidant, namely, mongrosides, that produces sweet flavors. It has zero calories, is best for diabetic patients, contains anti-inflammatory properties in abundance, and is best for weight watchers!
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Jaggery is considered to be the superfood in Asian and African countries, especially India, where it is popularly known as gur. The juices of palm trees and sugarcanes are reaped, boiled, and later solidified into golden-brown and grainy textured jaggery. It has multiple health benefits – it aids digestion, purifies the blood and detoxifies the liver, provides a great source of energy, is a natural iron supplement, and is filled with ample amounts of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. The level of calories is higher in jaggery; hence it should be consumed wisely.
7. Maple Syrup
The perfect syrup for your pancakes and waffles, which is not just less sugary but also healthier on the side. It is extracted from the sap of maple trees and cooked into a thick, smooth syrup, and preserved in jars. They are less glycemic than refined sugar and are absolutely safe to use.
Figs, popularly known as anjeer in India, have been a symbol of fertility since ancient times due to their high iron content, which improves overall reproductive health in females as well as males. Figs come from the mulberry family, which has a soft, chewy texture on the outside and is crunchier on the inside. It comes with a plethora of health benefits, such as improving bone density, relieving constipation, aiding digestion, and is a great source of vitamins A and L. Though it is a seasonal fruit, it can be enjoyed as a dry fruit in all seasons. It acts as the perfect substitute for sugar, so one can enjoy it in the forms of laddus, halwa, and kheer.
9. Yacon Syrup
Next on the list is yacon syrup, which is extracted from the tuberous roots of the yacon plant, found in the regions of the Andes mountains of South America. It has a very low glycemic value which makes it perfectly safe for diabetic patients as it keeps the insulin level in balance and reduces the blood sugar levels. It contains a sugar molecule called fructooligosaccharides that passes good gut enzymes and improves digestive health.
Molasses is the most popular natural sweetener used widely in the USA. It is reaped from sugarcanes and sugar beets that are highly produced in the Caribbean and Southern USA. It is brown and dark in color and is mostly used in bakery food items such as cakes and pastries. It has great iron content, selenium, and copper, provides healthy bones, and the best part is that it is safe and diabetic-friendly.
This is simply a puree of apples with a natural sweetness. It has fewer calories as compared to sugar. Applesauce contains dietary fiber that helps to keep you full for longer. One thing to keep in mind is it’s a wet ingredient; hence it is more apt for baking.
Sugar cravings are normal in us humans and for those who are top-notch sugar tooths. But as cherishing and soothing the flavors of your desserts are, they can be extremely harmful to your entire system as it creates havoc in your gut and insulin levels, causing inflammation, weight gain, etc.
The conclusion we wish to draw from this article is that using natural sweeteners can be a healthier option you can adopt into your lives but remember that even healthy food can be harmful if consumed in excess. Therefore, it should be consumed wisely.
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