Cutting out sugar is important if you want to be your healthiest. Occasionally, you may want a sweet treat beyond fresh fruit, which is the best way to get sugar. Which ones should you choose? Are some sugars worse than others? Sugar is in everything we eat today. In fact, it’s estimated that people consume 152 pounds of sugar each year. We eat one and a half times more sugar in a week than Americans at in a year 200 years ago, when two pounds was the typical consumption per year.
Natural substitutes for sugar provide extra energy just like sugar does.
Extra energy means it contains more calories. In most cases, while they may be healthier, natural alternatives also has the extra calories, so if you’re trying to lose weight, they won’t be as beneficial for that. There is an exception and it’s called Stevia. Stevia comes from the leaves of a South American bush called Stevia rebaudiana. It’s super sweet. 200 times sweeter than regular sugar, but it has no calories. It also provides additional health benefits, such as lowering blood pressure and reducing the risk of metabolic syndrome.
Date paste is one alternative to sugar, but other fruit can also be used.
When you want a sweet treat, it’s pretty difficult if you’ve given up white sugar, but there’s a way to make them that cuts it out or reduces your sugar intake. Date paste is a natural sweetener that is made with dates and water. It provides all the health benefits of dates, such as nutrients, fiber, and antioxidants. It’s also anti-inflammatory providing protection to the brain and a good option for diabetics since it has a low GI. One cup of date paste can replace a cup of sugar. Applesauce is another way to use fruit. You can use it to replace half the oil or half the sugar in almost all recipes.
A little known fruit is becoming more popular as a sugar replacement.
Luo Han Guo, also known as Buddha fruit or Monk fruit is between 150 and 300 times sweeter than sugar, but it doesn’t have an effect on blood sugar levels. It contains many nutrients, including vitamin C and was used by Buddhist monks for upper respiratory problems. It also in anti-inflammatory and is also beneficial for heart health. There is one drawback, people often complain of an aftertaste, which leads some manufacturers to add other ingredients that aren’t as healthy.
- If you take blood pressure medication or already have low blood pressure, talk with your health care professional first before using stevia.
- People who are allergic to pumpkin or have a problem with their pancreas shouldn’t use Buddha fruit to sweeten their food.
- Another less well-known natural sweetener comes from the yacon plant. The flower looks like a daisy, while the root looks like a sweet potato. When the root is eaten raw, it has a taste like celery, apple and watermelon mixed. The root is boiled for the sugar, which also lowers blood pressure.
- Honey, coconut sugar and maple syrup and healthier options. All three contain more nutrients, may require less since they’re sweeter and has slightly fewer calories. Honey is antimicrobial and may help with allergies.
For more information, contact us today at LIV Fitness