Too much sugar can be detrimental to your health, in more ways than one. These include weight gain, increased risk of Type 2 Diabetes, and lower energy levels. This is where natural sweeteners come in — derived from nature, they are not as processed and contain many beneficials vitamins, antioxidants and minerals. They may also be more beneficial is managing blood sugar levels.
Here are 5 natural sweeteners to try as an alternative to satisfy your sweet tooth:
One of the most commonly used sweeteners is stevia. Extracted from the stevia plant, stevia almost 300 times as sweet as sugar. It also does not have any adverse effects on blood sugar, and is a great alternative for those on a low carbohydrate diet. It is commonly used to sweeten drinks and is low in calories, so those looking to shed the pounds, this is your best bet!
Monkfruit, also know as luohan guo, is commonly used in Chinese drinks and desserts. It is available as a sweetener in powdered form, and is said to be 100–250 times as sweet as sugar. However, the source of its sweetness isn’t in fructose or glucose — it comes from unique antioxidants called mogrosides. Thus, it contains zero calories, making it great for use in your favourite desserts!
With an almost caramel-like sort of flavour to them, dates are great alternative to sugar. It is a source of fructose, which is a common sugar found in fruits, and is also fibre-rich and full of vitamins as well. Skip the sugar in your next smoothie — instead, try adding a date or two!
While honey may contain more calories, it doesn’t cause the same spikes in your blood sugar levels like white sugar does. Full of antioxidants and minerals, it also contains antibacterial properties, which are great for fighting off infections.
Agave is derived from the agave plant, and is a common sweetener among the vegan community. It has a consistency and flavour similar to honey. With a much milder effect on blood sugar levels as compared to white sugar, it is ideal for those on carbohydrate-restrictive diets.
Even though these may be healthier than white sugar, remember that too much of a good thing becomes bad!
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