Sugar, we all know, is a silent killer. There is hardly any health benefit that sugar offers to us, apart from giving a whole lot of energy.
Yet, sugar is such an integral part of our daily intake that it is almost impossible to overlook it either. We have made it a rule to add sugar in whatever food we consume.
So, the only way forward is to find alternatives to sugar that cause our health little harm in terms of diabetes, obesity and other severe ailments.
But hunting for alternatives to sugar is not an easy task either. Several sugar substitutes are actually synthetics and not better than the thing we are looking to avoid. And some of the substitutes are even linked to cancer.
Reducing the intake of sugar also leaves a positive impact on the environment, as growing the water-intensive sugarcane from which sugar is obtained causes a big loss to the biodiversity than any other crop.
In this article, we've discussed about some of the natural substitutes for sugar that are not harmful as the synthetics:
A great substitute for sugar. Pick raw honey over processed ones to make full use of the original nutrition. They are also antibacterial. The greater sweet flavour of honey makes you use less of it, which means it harms you less despite having more calories than sugar.
2. Fruit Juice:
This is a common substitute for sugar. But, it is very important to drink juice which doesn't have added sugar and is original in form.
Although sugar is made from the same sugarcane, which also leaves the molasses as a byproduct, we tend to ignore the more nutritional molasses and go for the less-healthy sugar crystals. Molasses is not only sweeter than sugar but it is also a good source of iron and calcium, making it a perfect substitute for sugar.
4. Coconut Sugar:
Coconut sugar is gaining popularity because it has low glycaemic index. It can be easily used as a substitute for ordinary sugar. It is made after the sap from the coconut palm is heated to evaporate the water content and turn it into usable granules.
Found in chewing gum, xylitol is a five-carbon sugar, which means it prevents the growth of bacteria. It is produced by our body, besides being found in fibrous fruits and vegetables, corn cobs, etc.
6. Date Sugar:
This is produced from dried dates by dehydrating them. The nutritional benefits of dates and the sweet flavour makes the date sugar an ideal alternative to brown sugar. Date sugars are unsuitable to be used in drinks and baked items though.
7. Brown-rice Syrup:
Made from boiling brown rice, this gluten syrup has many of the benefits of the healthy brown rice and can be used as a substitute for sugar in pancakes and salads.
Three hundred times more sweet than sugar, stevia is a herb found in South America; and is used as a dietary supplement to sugar. It has no calories and neither does it leave any glycaemic impact, which makes it suitable for diabetic patients and those who are trying to keep their weight under check.