Lifestyle

5 Substitutes For Sugar

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We sure do love our sugar, with the average American’s daily consumption totaling 19.5 teaspoons every day, or 66 pounds every year! As the consumption of sugar continues to rise, you may be wondering if there is a healthier way to satisfy your sweet tooth without dealing with the negative effects of regular sugar. 

Natural sweeteners are a great alternative to refined sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and other artificial sweeteners. Here are the best ones you can add to your diet so you can curb your sugar intake without sacrificing your sweet cravings. 

Raw Honey 

Raw honey is great because not only is it one of the best natural sweeteners, it’s also packed with beneficial enzymes, antioxidants, and vitamins. The blend of these healthy compounds makes it an excellent aid in neutralizing harmful free radicals and boosting your gut microbiome. The sweetness of raw honey is on par with regular sugar and can be added to anything for a nice kick of sweet flavor. Just be sure you stay away from pasteurized honey because it has been stripped of its many health benefits found in its raw variety.

Stevia 

Found in a native South American plant, stevia is an excellent all-natural alternative sweetener. Stevioside, the element found within the leaves that produces the sweet compound, is actually 200 times as sweet as sugar, so very little is needed when using it. Stevia has zero calories, zero carbs, and none of the negative side effects often found in artificial sweeteners. It can also be used as a natural sweetener for diabetics, with the American Diabetes Association including it on its list of recommended sugar substitutes. 

Coconut Sugar 

Is there anything the coconut can’t do? This versatile fruit can produce a natural form of sugar thanks to extracting sap from the palm. Coconut sugar contains important nutrients like iron, zinc, calcium, and potassium, as well as a handful of antioxidants. It also has a very low glycemic index, making it far healthier than regular refined sugar. 

Xylitol 

This sugar alcohol is extracted from corn or birch food and is found in many fruits and vegetables. With a sweetness similar to sugar, it has fewer than 40% of the calories and does not raise blood sugar or insulin levels. It also contains zero fructose, which exempts it from the many harmful effects that are often associated with sugar. Xylitol can also potentially help improve dental health by reducing your risk of cavities and tooth decay. 

Dates 

These small fruits are found on the date palm tree, and can be a great natural sweetener. Dates are easily digestible and can help metabolize proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. They can also help reduce LDL cholesterol and reduce the risk of stroke. Dates are best used as a paste when needed for sweetening things, and be easily made at home in a blender using ¾ water, ½ vanilla extract and one cup of warm pitted dates. 

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