Consuming more than the recommended daily intake of white sugar has been linked to severe health issues such as reduced immunity, hampered cardiovascular systems, weight gain, diabetes and cancer.
The problem is that most people don’t know exactly how much sugar they should consume and end up eating more than they should. If you enjoy a sweet treat time and again but do not want to compromise with your health, here are natural substitutes for white sugar that you can try in your cooking and baking.
¾ cup of raw honey can provide sweetness equal to 1 cup cane sugar. It is a golden liquid of thick consistency manufactured by honey bees. Honey is great in comparison because while white sugar is devoid of any nutrition, honey is rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
It is also rich in flavonoids and phenolic acids and can prevent heart diseases, cancer, inflammation and diabetes. Since it adds moisture to the dish it is added to, it is recommended to decrease the quantity of other wet ingredients.
Stevia is a natural sugar replacement extracted from the leaves of the tree Stevia Rebaudiana. It contains zero calories and is 350 times sweeter than sugar. Since it is plant-based, stevia contains phytonutrients and nutrients. The sweet compound in stevia called stevioside lowers blood sugar, blood pressure and insulin levels.
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Maple syrup is a sweet, sugary liquid made by boiling down the sap of maple trees. It contains calcium, iron, zinc, manganese and potassium and is higher in anti-oxidant content than honey. The oligosaccharides present in maple syrup lowers the plasma glucose content in blood, thus being helpful for people with type 1 diabetes.
You can use the paste of dates to make snack bars, pancake syrups, snack bars, cookies, brownies etc. as ⅔ cup of date paste is equal to 1 cup of white sugar in sweetness. It is not only a natural and healthier alternative to sugar but also adds a chewy, richer taste to your recipes.
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Mashed bananas are a great natural replacement for white sugar and you can make it in recipes such as brownies, cookies, quick bread and muffins. It is rich in potassium and much healthier than white sugar. ½ cup mashed banana is equal to 1 cup white sugar in sweetness.
Coconut sugar, also known as palm sugar is extracted from the sap of the palm tree. This has a lower glycemic index than white sugar. Coconut sugar is rich in nutrients like calcium, iron, zinc, potassium and also has anti-oxidant properties. Although it has low insulin content, it is still almost equal to calorie content as white sugar. Thus, be mindful while adding it to your dishes.
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Molasses is a brown thick liquid of syrups consistency that comes from boiling and reducing sugar beet or sugarcane juice. It holds numerous minerals, vitamins and antioxidants. Many nutrients like calcium, potassium and iron make it beneficial for heart and bone health. Just like honey, using molasses requires decreasing the quantity of wet ingredients in a recipe for balance.
What Sugar Replacements You Should NOT Choose?
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Even though agave nectar comes from the agave plant and high-fructose corn syrup comes from corns, do NOT make the mistake of perceiving them as natural substitutes for white sugar as they are associated with many health problems including cardiovascular issues and obesity. These natural substitutes for white sugar must also be consumed in strict moderation
Source: Times of India
How do YOU use natural sugar alternatives? Please leave your comment below. Thanks!
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