Natural Substitutes for Sugar
Founder of Teatis Tea
Is sugar a dietary necessity or weakness?
Many people crave it and also it is not possible to avoid sugar altogether as all your food items contain sugar in one form or other – from soda to other drinks to all your processed foods.
However, if you have a sweet tooth, there are sugar substitutes that can help to lower table sugar in your diet. Lowering table sugar in your diet is important in older adults and diabetics, as excessive added sugar may lead to obesity, diabetes type 2, and heart disease.
Of course, the sugar alternatives have their pros and cons. The Pros and Cons of some common Sugar Alternatives are as follows,
Stevia comes from the leaves of the Stevia rebaudiana bush, native to South America. Containing no calories, it is 200-350 times sweeter than sugar.
Pros: It is 100 percent natural and has disease preventing capability.
Cons: Stevia can lower blood sugar too much. It may interact with other medicines and cause cancers and genetic mutations.
To be precise, pure stevia is categorized as a dietary supplement not approved by FDA, on the other hand, the highly purified extract of stevia called rebaudioside A (also known reb A or Rebiana) is granted GRAS (generally recognized as safe) status.
They are reduced-calorie sweeteners. They do not contain alcohol, despite their name. Two of these are erythritol and xylitol.
Pros: It contains no calories and does not seem to cause problems like regular, table sugar, and it is also found to be an antioxidant.
Cons: It is sometimes combined with artificial sugars, as it is not as sweet as sugar. So consuming them may sometime cause acid reflux and promote dehydration and loss of electrolytes.
Monk Fruit Extract:
Pros: It has no calories and does not affect your blood sugar. It is 150-200 times sweeter than sugar, so you can use less to gain the same sweet taste.
Cons: It is hardly available as only some companies sell and costly it because of its difficulty in growing. Some people may experience an unpleasant taste.
Pros: Date sugar is made from dried dates and contains more fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It also has a low glycemic index and can be used in baked goods.
Cons: Date Sugar has carbohydrates and calories, and it will raise your blood sugar, also it does not mix well in drinks.
Pros: Honey does not spike your blood sugar instantly as it is digested very slowly. It is sweeter than sugar and does not contain artificial preservatives and additives.
Cons: It will raise your blood sugar and has more carbs and calories than sugar per teaspoon.
*Make sure to check with your doctor before changing eating habits, or trying new supplements.