*This is a collaborative post.
It may sound a bit daunting thinking about replacing sugar with sugar substitutes. Can you imagine a world without the sweet goodness of sugar? How would you make exciting desserts such as yummy mint chip fondant thin blondies? However, despite the goodness of sugar, too much of it can be detrimental to your health and cause diseases like diabetes and other heart diseases and lifestyle problems like obesity. Therefore, it is advisable to add natural sugar substitutes to keep you healthy. Here are a few you should consider trying out today.
1. Pure maple syrup
Maple syrup is an excellent sugar substitute. Not only does it make your pancakes and waffles taste better, but it also provides your body with antioxidants and nutrients such as potassium and iron. It also aids in digestion, reduces inflammation in the stomach, and manages your blood sugar levels. Due to its low glycemic index score, pure maple syrup is safe for your liver. Pure maple syrup is also an excellent alternative for sugar in your recipes as it does not break down and therefore does not lose its nutritional value when added.
Extracted from the South American shrubs scientifically known as “Stevia rebaudiana,” stevia is a plant-based sweetener that can be a little sweeter than sugar but contains zero calories! That sounds like a win-win. The stevioside found in the plant is responsible for regulating blood pressure and reducing blood sugar and insulin levels. Stevia is a great sugar substitute for people with diabetes or trying to control their weight. Since it is sweeter than sugar, you will only need to consume tiny amounts.
3. Yacon syrup
Another plant-based sugar alternative to consider is yacon syrup. Extracted from the yacon plant (scientifically known as “smallanthus sonchifolius”) in South America, the yacon syrup has many advantages to your health. The syrup contains a high amount of fructooligosaccharides – a particular type of sugar molecule humans cannot digest. Due to this, yacon syrup contains one-third of the calories contained in regular table sugar. These sugar molecules also help reduce the glycemic index in your body, reduce your body weight, and reduce your risk of colon cancer.
Molasses are a dark, thick liquid by-product from boiling sugar beet juice or cane sugar. This sugar alternative is usually used to soften cookies and is a great and healthy addition to making marinades and sauces. Molasses are known to be high in calcium, which is essential for bone health. It also maintains bone health by supplying the body with nutrients such as iron, copper, and selenium.
Xylitol is a sugar alcohol found in fruits and vegetables such as strawberries and mushrooms. Even though it has a similar taste to sugar, it is regarded as natural healthy sugar-substitute diabetics can use. This is because it lacks fructose, which is the leading cause of sugar’s harmful effects. Xylitol does not promote tooth decay and does not increase blood sugar or insulin levels. It also contains fewer calories than sugar.