Refined sugar is linked to a bunch of health issues such as tooth decay, diabetes, weight gain, and even migraine. For many people, it is easy to exceed the recommended daily dose of sugar because it is present in basically most of the food products in the market today.
Studies show that people are more likely able to function better and have more stable energy if they give up the white sweet stuff.
In addition, those who are struggling with obesity will be able to shed off excess pounds just by eliminating sugary items on their diet like soda, sweets, and condiments such as barbecue sauce and ketchup.
If you are thinking about ditching the refined sugar but are worried that you’ll be stuck with boring bland meals, read on.
Here are some of the best and most effective alternatives to refined sugar to help you avoid unnecessary weight gain, onset of diabetes, and fatigue caused by blood sugar dips.
This is currently one of the latest health fads and is a great way to add sweetness to your food. This is an agave derived sweetener and can be used in coffee, tea, and other beverages.
However, this is not a wise sugar substitute for those who have blood sugar issues as it contains a high amount of fructose.
The many benefits and delicious taste of honey is known to many. Honey is considered to be one of the best foods derived from nature. It can taste lemony, floral, or slightly bitter depending on where it came from.
A favorite add-on to tea, honey can be used in plenty of ways in the kitchen. It can thicken stews, add sweetness to marinades, flavor cakes, and can be drizzled on toast and pancakes if you want an alternative to sugary toppings.
If you’d like help in cutting back on refined sugar on your coffee, a dash or two of cinnamon is what you need.
The enticing aroma of this spice as well as its innately sweet flavor profile can help you enjoy your morning or afternoon cup of coffee with a zing but not that much calories.
Cinnamon can also be added to your savory dishes to bring out the natural sweetness of some of the ingredients. You can also add a bit to your hot cocoa for an interesting spicy flavor.
Lemon or any citrus fruit are known to be sour and tangy but when added to food, they can bring out their natural flavor. Instead of using sugar for barbecue sauce, you can cut back and add an extra squeeze of lemon instead.
When having tea, ditch your regular sugar and use freshly squeezed lemon juice for added flavor.
Want to add something to your plain greek yogurt? Choose raisins. A tablespoon of raisins is a good yogurt topping and can also be used to sweeten tea. A few pieces of raisins is also a good way to cut your sweet cravings.
Raisins can be added to champagne for some flavor and can even be added to cookie and pancake batter.
Sweet with a bit of bitterness, molasses are also derived from sugarcane. Unlike refined sugar though, molasses still retain most of its nutritional value and has more flavor dimension than sugar.
You can add molasses to cookie batter, hot chocolate, tea, and porridge. It is often used to give gingersnaps a unique flavor.
If you are a health buff, most likely you are a fan of banana. Craving for ice cream? Process a frozen banana in a blender. Want a popsicle? Dip a frozen banana in melted dark chocolate.
Want a creamier oatmeal, add a few tablespoons of mashed banana. Not only naturally sweet, bananas are filling and are rich in potassium.
If you are on a low sugar diet and would want something to make your sweet tooth happy, try to snack on a small jar of applesauce. Eaten plain or with a dash of cinnamon, this snack is healthy, light, and guilt free.
Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries can be used to sweeten yogurt, shakes, and oatmeal without the harmful effects of refined sugar and with all the antioxidant benefits of these wonder fruits.
All the above sugar substitutes are great but contain calories. If you want to sweeten your food with no calories added, artificial sweeteners are your best bet.
These are more often than not sweeter than table sugar so you need only a small amount. Aspartame, Xylitol, and Sucralose are examples.
This fragrant spice is often added in ice creams, shakes, and coffee because it amplifies sweetness and gives off a decadent aroma.
If you wish to make a yummy bowl of oatmeal, you can combine an artificial sweetener such as Stevia and a few drops of high quality vanilla extract or even real vanilla pods.