Bes natural sweeteners that can replace sugar

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Not only empty calories, the adverse effects of sugar are way beyond it. A lot of health experts believe it to be the worst ingredient in your diet. But if you can’t survive without your dose of sweetness, we bring you some natural sweeteners  that are way better than your  white sugar.

Maple syrup

As compared to refined sugar that offers no nutrients at all, maple syrup contains important antioxidants and minerals like manganese and zinc. Though refined sugar and maple syrup have few things in common but there are definitely more favourable reasons to choose maple syrup between the two.

Although both are made up of two-third sucrose, maple syrup provides less sugar and more nutrients to your diet. One benefit of maple syrup is that it impacts your blood sugar level less than what refined sugar does.

Another factor that makes maple syrup better than refined sugar is how it is made. Maple syrup is derived from the sap of maple trees. Unlike refined sugar which undergoes a long, complex process in order to be condensed in crystalized sugar, maple syrup is much more natural.

Refined sugar contains minimal antioxidant activity, but maple syrup has a higher antioxidant capacity.
Some antioxidants found in maple syrup include benzoic acid, cinnamic acid, gallic acid and various flavanols like quercetin, epicatechin, rutin and catechin.

Honey

Honey is a sweet natural liquid produced by bees from the nectar of flowers. Each bee makes about half a tea spoon of honey in their lifetime. Honey bee collects the nectar from flowers, which then gets converted into honey due to enzymes in honey bee saliva. The flavour and texture of honey depend on the flowers honey bee chooses.

Honey is composed of water and sugar components: fructose and glucose. It also contains little amounts of amino acids, enzymes, vitamin B, vitamin C, minerals and antioxidants. Honey can help kill germs and promote healing of minor cuts and burns. Many of the antioxidants found in honey are classified as flavonoids. Flavonoids have anti-inflammatory properties, which may provide some health benefits.

Unlike honey, table sugar lacks minerals and vitamins they draw upon the body’s nutrients to be metabolised into the system. Honey has more calories than sugar, but it’s also sweeter. You may find you need less honey than sugar to get the desired sweetness.

Honey is carbohydrates, composed primarily of glucose and fructose. It is used as an ingredient in many prepackaged foods and recipes. It can result in weight gain if overused. No matter which type you prefer, any kind of honey can spike blood sugar levels.

Date sugar

One of the main reasons people avoid eating dates is the belief that they will raise their blood sugar levels, but a study shows that while dates contain high amounts of natural sugars, they are actually a low-glycemic index food and do not significantly raise blood sugar levels. If you are diabetic, speak to your doctor before adding dates to your diet so that you can monitor your blood sugar levels and determine how dates affect you personally.

Date sugar is packed with vitamins and minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, copper, zinc, selenium and manganese where as white sugar does not. Date sugar is packed with protein, fibre and carbs which make you feel full for much longer. And this can help curb hunger and prevent weight gain. Date sugar has more potassium per serving than a banana. Date sugar has fewer calories than white sugar. It is full of energy due to presence of glucose, fructose and sucrose. You can notice an increase in energy within an hour of eating dates. Date sugar also helps to increase good bacteria. Dates are known for preventing constipation.

Coconut sugar

The boiled and dehydrated sap of the coconut palm is called as coconut sugar. Coconut sugar offers some trace of nutrients and also has less impact on your blood sugar level.

Coconut sugar is not a nutritional superfood, but it offers more vitamins and minerals than refined sugar does. It contains nutrients like vitamin C, potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, calcium, iron, copper and zinc.

Coconut sugar has less fructose which is good because fructose is a type of sugar that your body converts into fat. Your liver can break down fructose, and one of the results of this breakdown is triglyceride, a form of fat which is definitely not good for our body.

Blackstrap molasses

Blackstrap molasses is a thick, dark syrup produced when the sugar cane plant is processed to make refined sugar.

This type of molasses contain all the vitamins and minerals which were absorbed by the plant from the soil, but which didn’t quite make it to the end product of nutritionally devoid white sugar.
Dark treacle contains Carbohydrates, Sugar, Protein, Iron, Manganese, Magnesium, Calcium, Potassium , Vitamin B6 and Copper. In addition, it’s free of fat and cholesterol and contains negligible amounts of sodium. Although blackstrap molasses contains a somewhat high level of sugar but its vitamin and mineral profile makes it a better option than processed sugar.
It prevents and cures iron-deficiency. The most common cause of anemia is iron deficiency and blackstrap molasses is a fantastic source of iron. Many doctors recommend a tablespoon a day stirred into hot water for those with anemia or related disorders.
It has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. In tests comparing the antioxidant content of several sweeteners including refined sugar, raw cane sugar, agave nectar, corn syrup, brown sugar, maple syrup, honey and molasses, it was found that dark and blackstrap molasses had the highest markers for antioxidant activity.
Courtesy: TOI

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