According to the heart-healthy guidelines of the American Heart Association, people should not take more than 100 – 150 calories from the added sugars. The added sugars are the syrups and sugars added to foods in the preparation and processing. Every organ in the body can be affected by sugar. It may result in diabetes, obesity, and tooth decay, certain types of cancer, heart disease, and poor cognitive functioning. As you know, refined sugar is a popular form of added sugar which should be kept away from. Instead of this type of sugar, you should choose natural sweeteners to consume and satisfy your sweet hobby. Natural sweeteners are natural healthy sugar substitutes that are better options than processed sugar and artificial sugar. In fact, fruits are also a healthy option to satisfy the sweet hobby, but you can't include fruits in most beverages and recipes which call for sugar. Luckily, there are a lot of natural sweeteners – healthy sugar substitutes, which you can use in many ways. Today, in this article, VKool will introduce to you the top 10 natural healthy sugar substitutes. The list below is completely collected from reliable sources. Keep reading this writing to learn more information!
Top 10 Natural Healthy Sugar Substitutes That You Should Know
Too much sugar is not good for your health, stevia is a great sugar alternative. Check it out! One of the first natural healthy sugar substitutes is stevia that is produced from the leaf of the stevia rebaudiana tree. It is sweeter than sugar (about more than 200 times) and is available in many different forms, such as dissolvable tablets, packets, baking blends, and liquid drops.
This natural sugar alternative is loaded with antidiabetic and antioxidant properties. It may suppress the glucose levels in your plasma and significantly increase the tolerance of glucose. It contains no calories, has no carbohydrates or sugar and has a low glycemic index, which will make it great for people who want to lose weight or people who suffer from diabetes. According to WHO (the World Health Organization), 4 mg every kilogram of a body weight is the ideal daily intake of stevia.
The best way to take stevia is to grow it yourself and use its leaves to sweeten your foods. The extracts of stevia which are available on the market are not too healthy because the process of making stevia changes the properties of this herb. In addition, they have a tendency to increase the craving for sweet drinks and foods.
Besides, stevia may be heated and hence you can use it in cooking as a healthy sugar substitute.
2. Healthy Sugar Substitutes – Maple Syrup
Another of natural healthy sugar substitutes is maple syrup that is extracted from the sap, known as a sugary fluid, of the maple plant. The processing method of maple syrup is quite long & complicated. It involves creating a hole in this tree, hanging a bucket in order to take the sap, boiling it in order to evaporate the water and straining any sediment.
There are a few grades of maple syrup, which depends on its color. Grade B is considered the darkest and the strongest flavor.
This sugar substitute contains 70 percent sucrose and low in fructose. It is so healthy, including a great amount of calcium, potassium, zinc, and manganese. In addition, it is also a rich source of antioxidants, which aid in neutralizing free radicals and reducing oxidative damage, potentially reducing the risk of suffering from chronic diseases.
Maple syrup is stable in the heat; hence, you may use it to make marinades, baked goods, and sauces. It can be also used to sweeten tea, smoothies, coffee, and even a bowl of oatmeal for your breakfast.
See more: Natural Homemade Cough Syrup Recipe
Jaggery, also known as gur, is another of natural healthy sugar substitutes. It is a secondary product made in the processing of sugar cane and is commonly used as a traditional sweetener in India.
Jaggery is processed without any chemical; therefore, it retains a few essential minerals such as calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium.
It helps to keep the body warm & activates enzymes that are good for the digestion and keep constipation at bay. In addition, jaggery also aids in enhancing the immune function, treating symptoms of flu, promoting the detoxification of the liver, regulating high blood pressure, purifying the blood, reducing headaches, reducing menstrual pains, and relaxing muscles. Being rich in iron, jaggery is also useful in treating anemia caused due to the deficiency of iron.
Although jaggery gives people numerous health benefits, it is not considered as a safe substitute for diabetics. However, it is surely a healthier option than the regular intake of table sugar.
4. Healthy Sugar Substitutes – Coconut Sugar
Coconut sugar, or called coco sugar, coconut blossom sugar, or coconut palm sugar, is a kind of natural sugar made from the sap of flower buds of coconut trees. This natural sugar substitute has been used as a traditional sweetener in the South and Southeast Asian regions for thousands of years.
The sugar is made by making a cut on the flower of the coconut palm, taking the liquid sap and finally heating it to evaporate the water.
It has a sweet taste, nearly like brown sugar with a hint of caramel. The main ingredients of coconut sugar are sucrose, glucose, and fructose. A teaspoon of coconut sugar contains 16 calories. It is a great source of vitamin C and potassium. It is comprised of the relatively low content of several nutrients, such as zinc, iron, phosphorus, calcium, and other phytonutrients.
This sugar alternative is sold in the market in the form of crystals or granules, liquid or blocks. You can use it in the same quantity compared with refined table sugar in your recipes. In fact, this sugar substitute is also considered an added sugar, remember to use it sparingly.
5. Raw Honey
One of the best healthy sugar substitutes is raw honey that is very healthy for your body and mind. It is extracted from the nectar of beautiful flowers and collected by bees. It contains 80 percent natural sugars, about 18 percent water and only 2 percent minerals, pollen, protein, and vitamins. Glucose and fructose make up 70 percent natural sugar of honey.
Honey is loaded with antioxidants, enzymes, iron, potassium, calcium, zinc, phosphorous, vitamin B6, niacin, and riboflavin. It also contains powerful antiseptic, antimicrobial, healing, and antibacterial properties that help to treat some common health problems such as acne, a common cold, etc.
Simply add honey to your breakfast cereals, yogurt, and toast. You can also use it for your salad dressings. In addition, you may also add honey to tea, coffee, and lemon water. Because honey contains calories, you should use it in limited amounts.
- Always use organic and local honey to reap its full benefits.
- To maintain its nutrients as many as possible, don’t heat raw honey. Moreover, remember not to give raw honey to your children below 1-year-old.
6. Healthy Sugar Substitutes – Dates
Dates can be used as one of the natural healthy sugar substitutes. The sugar content of dates is approximately 80 percent, and its quality depends on the fructose, sucrose, and glucose content.
Apart from the dates, you may use the sugar produced from dried dates. It retains many nutritional benefits of dates and its flavor is very sweet, which is similar to brown sugar.
Not only the dates but also the sugar is very rich in iron. In addition, they are also great sources of protein, dietary fiber, potassium, calcium, vitamins A and C, and B vitamins. They also contain minerals including magnesium, manganese, copper, zinc, and selenium.
Thanks to their anti-inflammatory, anti-hemorrhagic, and anti-infective properties, this natural sugar substitutes is very good for your health. In fact, dates can be easily digested and aid in metabolizing proteins, carbohydrates, and fats.
Due to its sugar content, you should eat dates in moderation. Consume only a handful of dates daily to enjoy its health benefits.
If you want to know more natural healthy sugar substitutes, you should continue reading the next part of this article!
Another of natural healthy sugar substitutes is xylitol that is produced from plant fibers including those of birch, cornhusks, and berries. This sugar alternative is commonly used in candies, toothpaste, gums, and other items.
Because xylitol is certainly a five-carbon sugar, it may prevent the development of bacteria. According to the California Dental Association, xylitol helps to keep tooth decay at bay by reducing cavities and making tooth enamel stronger.
It is very good for your teeth, does not increase blood glucose levels, and has few calories. It is equal in volume and sweetness to sugar, and you can use its granular form in a similar way as sugar; for example, sweetening hot beverages and cereals and baking.
Learn more: 21-Day Sugar Detox Pdf Cookbook Review
8. Healthy Sugar Substitutes – Agave Nectar
Agave nectar, also called agave syrup, is one of other natural healthy sugar substitutes. This sweetener is produced from a few species of agave plants. Its taste is comparable, but not identical, to honey. This sweetener contains carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins such as calcium, potassium, magnesium, and iron.
It is better to use agave nectar in limited quantities as even though it is low in the glycemic index, it is high in fructose. Fructose doesn’t readily increase blood sugar levels, but an excess intake may affect the function of your liver and result in gaining weight.
Agave syrup is sweeter than sugar about 1.4 to 1.6 times. It is considered one of the best substitutes to honey for people who opt for excluding animal products from the diets. The syrup dissolves fast; hence, it may be used as a great sweetener for hot breakfast cereals and cold beverages.
9. Yacon Syrup
Yacon syrup, which is produced from the roots of the yacon tree, is another of natural healthy sugar substitutes.
The juices are taken from the roots, filtered, and then evaporated in a manufacturing process free from chemicals. The final product is thick, dark syrup which seems like molasses.
Being a prebiotic, yacon syrup helps to absorb calcium & other vitamins, and promotes a healthy gut flora. This will promote a good digestion.
With a high content of indigestible inulin (known as a prebiotic fiber) and a very low glycemic index score, yacon syrup is an excellent option for diabetics & people who want to lose weight.
Yacon syrup is used in baked goods, desserts, sauces, dressings, and smoothies. You can also have 4 or 5 teaspoons of this syrup per day.
10. Healthy Sugar Substitutes – Blackstrap Molasses
The last alternative in the list of top 10 natural healthy sugar substitutes that I want to show to you is blackstrap molasses that are a by-product of this production process of sugar. It comes from the 3rd boiling of fresh sugar cane, concentrating its essential nutrients and giving its deep and rich flavor.
It is a rich source of nutrients that are extracted from sugar in the refining process. It’s a great source of calcium and iron. In addition, it also contains copper, selenium, potassium, magnesium, and zinc. It has no fat and cholesterol and has minor amounts of sodium.
Because it contains a moderate glycemic, it is a great sugar alternative for diabetics & people who want to lose weight.
This sugar substitute has a unique and rich flavor and may be used to top porridges, toast, or other concentrated applications. It’s also an ideal sweetener for marinades as well as to use in baking.
To get more articles associated with health conditions, go to our main Heath page. After studying our writing of top 10 natural healthy sugar substitutes, hope that it can help you to know more healthy alternatives to sugar. If you know other natural healthy sugar substitutes, please share with us now.
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