Whether it’s a warm cup of tea or a refreshing glass of lemonade— some things are simply incomplete without sugar! Even a glass of plain milk can turn delicious by adding sugar. Unfortunately, as much as we might crave and enjoy refined sugar, it’s not wise to always chase after your sweet tooth. Excess consumption of refined sugar can lead to a variety health risks. Weight gain, diabetes, risk of heart diseases, and acne breakouts are some potential negative effects of consuming too much sugar. Naturally, healthy sugar substitutes have become the need of the hour.
From natural sugar substitutes to artificial sweeteners, people are becoming increasingly comfortable with the idea of eliminating sugar from their diet. After all, health is wealth, right? The best sugar substitute is the one that lets you pamper your sweet tooth without putting your health at risk.
So, let’s look at the different types of sugar alternatives for diabetic and non-diabetic people.
Different Kinds Of Sugar Substitutes And Their Benefits
Going sugar-free is good for health and there’s no doubt about that, but how does one go about picking the healthiest and safest sugar substitute from all the options available? So, let’s start by understanding the different types of sugar replacements available and their benefits:
1. Benefits Of Jaggery
A desi solution to a universal problem— jaggery is a healthy sugar substitute derived from sugarcane. No chemicals are used in processing jaggery, which means that it’s able to retain most of its nutrients. Directly pop a piece of jaggery in your mouth as dessert or use it as a sugar alternative for tea or coffee in the morning— it’s a super versatile substitute. Jaggery is good for weight loss as well, as it keeps a check on your body’s water retention and improves metabolism. In addition to being a great sugar substitute for weight loss, jaggery can also improve digestion and prevent various respiratory diseases.
2. Benefits Of Honey
Produced by honeybees, this is one of the best sugar-free alternatives to sweeten your food. The fascinating thing about consuming honey is that it doesn’t force you to compromise on the taste. Honey is as sweet as sugar, sans the risk of rising blood sugar levels! Moreover, it’s packed with antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins. Prevention of diabetes, inflammation, heart diseases, and cancer are some other well-known honey benefits for health.
3. Benefits Of Maple Syrup
You must be used to generously topping your pancakes with maple syrup, but did you know that maple syrup can double up as a sugar alternative for coffee, tea, and a variety of other foods as well? This slimy, golden liquid, extracted from maple trees, has so much to offer. It’s loaded with antioxidants, it helps regulate blood sugar levels, it energizes, and it’s good for the overall health of your heart as well!
4. Benefits Of Stevia
Replacing refined sugar with a stevia sweetener has become quite the norm lately. Extracted from the leaves of a plant, stevia has been around for 1,500 years. Stevia is said to be 10 times sweeter than regular sugar. This zero-calorie alternative is the best sugar substitute for diabetics as well as for people who are trying to lose weight. Controlled blood sugar levels, blood pressure, and decrease in cholesterol are some claimed stevia benefits that make this natural sweetener such a modern-day essential.
5. Benefits Of Coconut Sugar
If you’re looking for a healthy sugar substitute for baking, coconut sugar might be it! Extracted from the sap of the coconut palm, coconut sugar offers several sugar-free benefits. For starters, it’s packed with minerals and antioxidants that contribute to your overall health. Another reason why health-conscious people are such big fans of this sugar substitute is because it’s unlike refined sugar, it does not contain any chemicals or artificial ingredients, and is also low on fructose. Making a switch from regular white sugar to coconut sugar won’t be much of an issue as the latter tastes pretty much the same, just with a hint of caramel! Isn’t that exciting?
FAQs On Sugar Substitutes
1. What is the difference between coconut sugar and regular sugar?
The difference between coconut sugar and refined sugar can be measured in terms of the glycemic index (GI). GI is used to measure the impact of different foods on your blood sugar levels. Diabetic people are often advised to consume stuff with lower GI. Coconut sugar has a lower GI as compared to refined sugar. Hence, coconut sugar is a better sugar-free substitute. Coconut sugar also has less sucrose and fructose content, than regular sugar, and can be broken down easily by the body.
2. Is stevia a healthy sweetener?
Replacing sugar with a stevia sweetener in your diet is a healthy way of eliminating calories and ensuring that your blood sugar levels are maintained. Diabetic people can benefit immensely from using stevia. Stevia is a plant-based natural sweetener that allows you to give up refined sugar without having to compromise on the taste of the food you are consuming.
3. Is honey safe for diabetics?
Honey is often recommended as a healthier substitute for sugar. While that is true, it might not be the best option for people who have diabetes. Compared to refined sugar, honey is more nutritive and sweeter, which means that you will automatically consume less honey. It is also less refined, so it’s definitely the healthier option of the two. However, honey still has as many carbs as white sugar. Hence, it’s recommended to check with your doctor if you can consume honey in moderation as a substitute for refined sugar.
4. What are the best stevia brands?
Here are some trusted stevia brands that you can consider trying: