Healthy Alternatives To Refined Sugar For Sweetening Food
IF you are looking for a New Years Resolution, one of the best ways to improve your health is to limit sugar intake. I guess of all the “New Years Resolutions” this is the best thing you can do for yourself. These healthy alternatives to refined sugar for sweetening food are a great choice to really change up your routine without adding refined sugars into the mix. Whether you are diabetic and need safer choices, or you are simply trying to cut sugar out of your diet, these are great choices.
I am beginning again to not only cut refined sugar but cut all sugar since I was diagnosed with breast cancer in May of 2017. Sugar feeds cancer. I had quit for a couple months but one bite and gradually it was back in my diet. I need to kick this sugar!! So I will be following this advice myself until I can cut even healthy sugar alternatives!! Let me know in the comments if there are other alternatives you like or do.
Note: Healthy alternatives to sugar doesn’t mean that it won’t have an effect on your blood sugar levels. Many products can still create blood sugar spikes. Be careful about using these in excess in your diet regardless of your desire to sweeten your food. My preferred alternatives are maple syrup and honey for baking.
Healthy Alternatives To Sugar
Agave Nectar: While you may know that agave is used to make tequila, it is also often cooked down to create a sweet syrup that can be used sparingly in recipes to sweeten anything from coffee to your morning smoothie. This is one product that is affordable since you need to use only a small amount for most purposes. Agave is 1.4x sweeter than sugar, so you can use less in all your baking, cooking and beverages. Agave is also low-glycemic.
Stevia: Another great sugar substitute extracted from a plant is Stevia. Highly concentrated, this is one of the most popular healthy alternatives to sugar for sweetening food. I prefer using Stevia drops.to sweeten drinks, smoothies and the like. I don’t bake with stevia.
Coconut Sugar: Coconut sugar is made from the reduced sap of cut flower buds of the coconut palm. It has become a popular option in many health food markets. While it is not as effective in cooking as other sugar substitutes may be, it does at least offer some nutritional value that you may not find in other options. Coconut sugar is one of the healthy alternatives to sugar that takes a lot of trial and error for cooking but can be a decent substitute in coffee, tea, or smoothies.
Honey: Honey has long been one of the favorite natural healthy alternatives to refined sugar. Naturally occurring and readily available at multiple price points, it is one, if not the most popular option to use instead of traditional refined sugar. However, it can create blood sugar spikes in those who are diabetic, so it should be used sparingly and with caution until you are certain how your body will react.
Other benefits of using honey instead of refined sugar include the fact that using local honey on a regular basis has been known to help reduce seasonal allergy symptoms. Raw honey is often used as a healthier option, and wildflower honey provides a unique flavor that many enjoy.
Maple Syrup: Using maple syrup as a healthy alternative to sugar is something I do often. Try this in very small increments and watch your reactions carefully if you are diabetic, to gauge if it is a suitable choice for your healthy habits. I love the flavor it lends to baked goods. To me it is milder and not as sweet as honey.
Fruit: One of the best natural options is simply to use fruit in place of sugars. Many people already use blended or mashed fruit in things like teas, baked goods, or smoothies. Applesauce is in fact, one of the most popular choices to use when baking. Alongside applesauce is pumpkin puree as a wonderful substitute that many use in recipes all the time.
Date Sugar: Date sugar is finely ground up dates. If you love dates then you know how wonderfully sweet and healthy they are. Date sugar is fine to substitute for white sugar and it is easy on the diabetics…because it requires much less insulin for the body to utilize. I often use just plain old Medjool dates in a blender ground up in place of sugar. I love the flavor of Medjool dates. It is better for baked good and not so good to dissolve in liquids like tea.
Molasses: Old fashioned Blackstrap Molasses is taken from the second pressing of the sugar cane, all of the white sugar has been removed leaving all the trace elements — especially all of those valuable minerals. This is a healthy and great substitute for refined sugar!
If you are like many and hoping to avoid refined sugars in your diet, this list of healthy alternatives to sugar is a great place to begin. Take time and start with each product sparingly to see how your system reacts before making it a part of your every day routine.