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For most of us trying to get in shape, cutting out sweets in our diets is one of the hardest things to do. For those with a sweet tooth, ridding yourself of your favorite chocolate snack and pastry can really discourage you from pursuing a healthier eating habit just to get back to sweets. It is helpful to know what the healthy substitutes for sugar and sweeteners are that you can use to satisfy your sweets cravings. Here is our quick introduction as well as guide on the best sugar substitutes that you can use suitable for a healthier diet.
Natural and Healthy Sugar Substitutes and Sweeteners
Too much sugar and sweets are often associated with various illnesses such as diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and even cancer. Considering this, cutting out sugar in one’s diet is one of the first things people do to have a relatively healthier diet. However, this is not the easiest thing to do. To give people some choice, here are some natural and healthy sugar alternatives that you can use:
When it comes to sugar alternatives, it is safe to say that honey is one of the first choices that come to mind. Honey is a type of natural sweetener that contains high levels of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Its taste is notably sweeter than table sugar, allowing you to use smaller portions when adding it to your drink, sauce, marinade, or even as a salad dressing.
Stevia is a type of novel sweetener that is extracted from the leaves of a South American shrub. While natural, Stevia products are considered one of the most refined sugar substitutes resulting in high concentration and intensity in sweetness. Regardless, Stevia is a healthy sugar alternative that is low in calories and is known to lower blood pressure, blood sugar, as well as insulin levels.
Sucralose is a type of artificial sweetener that is created to be zero-calorie, which makes it a healthy substitute for people looking to limit their calorie intake. Known to be 600 times sweeter than table sugar, sucralose would also require smaller portions when used. It has been developed into different product variants which is suitable for different applications such as cooking and baking.
Recognized as the first-ever artificial sweetener to be commercialized, saccharin is a zero-calorie artificial sweetener that can be 200 to 700 times sweeter than regular table sugar. Known for its stability, saccharin is ideal to be used for cooking and baking but features a notable metallic and bitter aftertaste if used in notably large quantities.
One of the latest trends when it comes to sugar substitutes is the monk fruit sweetener. It is a type of natural sweetener that is made from a fruit that is native in southern China. Monk fruit sweeteners are roughly 150 to 200 times sweeter than table sugar but have a relatively lower calorie content. It is also stable in high temperatures, which makes it ideal for baking and cooking. However, it is important to note that recipes made using monk fruit sweeteners tend to have a different taste, appearance, and texture than those made using regular sugar.
Sugar is associated with several life-threatening diseases. And while it is a significant step to cut out sugar in your diet, even the use of natural and healthier sugar substitutes still needs to be controlled in terms of which type, how much, and how often you use it. Keep in mind that anything excessive can still harm your health even if you use what is considered a healthier alternative.