Healthy Sugar Alternatives
The average American consumes 43lbs of sugar a year.
Like most unhealthy products on the market, sugar seems to be in EVERYTHING. I know a lot of propaganda and advertising says “everything is good in moderation”…sure. It’s kind of hard to moderate your sugar intake when it’s in everything. I want to hopefully open your eyes to the dangers of consuming so much sugar and offer some healthy alternatives.
There’s good sugar and bad sugar. Sugars are a form of carbohydrates found in a variety of foods. There are many foods that naturally contain sugar like fruits and vegetables; however, the fructose sugar found in fresh produce is actually GOOD for you. Your body thrives on these natural sugars. It’s natural fuel! Yes, I just said that. The simple sugars found in fruit actually REPLENISH your cells. When you begin to increase your intake of natural sugar from fruit you will notice your cravings for processed sugars will decrease and eventually subside.
The worst refined sugar out there is High Fructose Corn Syrup. You can find this ingredient in just about everything. This is the most common sweetener in processed junk food. HFCU lacks beneficial vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, protein, and fibers. You can consume this sugar but you will miss out on all the potential health benefits to stay healthy and to heal your body if you would’ve just chosen fruit or a healthy sugar alternative.
The consumption of excess sugars can lead to type 2 diabetes, obesity, cancer, and many other illnesses. The consumption of processed & refined sugar has increased rapidly in the last few years, leading to an epidemic of obesity, high cholesterol, and other illnesses. Most of these unhealthy sugars are found in processed food, dairy products, soda, concentrated fruit juices, candy, desserts, canned fruit, condiments, and so much more.
The best option for your sweet tooth and sugar consumption will always be fruit. The fiber in fruit will help slow the rate your body absorbs sugar. A diet that consists of mostly fruit and vegetables contributes to health and lowers your risk for diseases. Fruit is rich in minerals, vitamins and other compounds that contribute to healing and optimal health.
If you don’t already, you should be reading the ingredients in everything before you consume it. Eliminating these refined sugars will be very beneficial to your health. Moving forward, make sure you’re able to identify the different names for sugar.
Names for Sugar on Food Labels:
Cane Juice Crystals
Dehydrated Cane Juice
Fruit Juice Concentrate
“We spend our life worried about death, murder, homicide, you name it.”
EVERYTHING IN THE RED IS RELATED TO A DIET RELATED DISEASE.
If you have kids or drink milk this is a MUST WATCH!
I included this video I watched years ago that really hit the home about sugar.
“Your child will live a life 10 years younger than you because the landscape of food we have built around them. 2/3 of people in America are obese.”
Once you begin minimizing or even removing these sneaky sugars from your diet, you can incorporate one of the healthiest alternatives.
Skip to (12:24 to get to demonstration of sugar in milk)
Most natural sweeteners are low in calories and taste very sweet!
A few other benefits of using healthier sugar alternatives can result in lowered blood pressure, it can improve bone density and help to prevent tooth decay.
Healthy Sugar Alternatives
Date sugar- Date sugar is just dried dates that have been ground up (yes, you can even make it at home). Dates sugar keeps all of its nutrients instead of water, and aids in controlling the digestion of the sugar.
Raw Agave- Raw agave syrup would come next because it’s A LOT healthier than the sugars listed above. Very similar to honey, but its vegan-friendly, and versatile for cooking, desserts and even sweeteners for teas, milk, etc.
Coconut Sugar- Coconut sugar is made from the sap of the coconut plant. It’s very similar to table sugar and resembles brown sugar. This sugar contains iron, zinc, calcium, and potassium.
Stevia- Stevia is a sweet herb from the leaf of a Stevia Plant. It’s extremely sweet, so you want to use smaller amounts. Its available in powder, tablet form, and liquid. This sweetener also contains zero calories. It does provide iron, zinc, calcium, and vitamins A, C, and B.
Lo Han Guo- Lo Han Guo is a fruit. This sweetener is similar to Stevia. Another super sweet alternative, so take it easy.
Xylitol- Xylitol is a sugar alcohol typically derived from birch trees. It’s usually added to natural products like toothpaste and gum. This can cause abdominal gas and diarrhea if used in excess amounts.
Erythritol– Erythritol is another sugar alcohol but contains basically no calories, low laxative effect and it’s very sweet.
Yacon Syrup- Yacon Syrup comes from the yacon tuber that’s commonly used as potatoes. It’s a very sweet syrup that tastes similar to molasses. Yacon is very rich in inulin that acts as a prebiotic fiber, making it helpful for digestion. It has a slight laxative effect that reduces constipation.
Palmyra Jaggery- Palmyra is made from the sap from Palmyra trees. It’s thought to be one of the most nutritious sweeteners with a caramel flavor. Palmyra contains numerous vitamins and minerals including iron, B6, calcium, potassium, and B12.
Maple Syrup- Maple syrup is healthier but less recommended due to the fact some manufacturers of maple syrup often use formaldehyde to keep the hole open in the maple tree (helps extract the sap) Formaldehyde is extremely toxic and can contaminate the syrup. Maple syrup has very little research to show its significance for human health. It does contain some manganese, iron, and calcium but in terms of nutrition, it’s not much different from table white sugar.
Did you find this helpful? What are some of your favorite sugar alternatives?
peace & light,