Is there such thing as healthy sugar?
So many people are becoming increasingly aware of the risks too much sugar can have on their health and therefore have started to look for healthier solutions to refined sugars.
It is important that when you are looking for healthier sugar alternatives you look for natural sweeteners that are minimally processed, and contain some nutrients and antioxidants.
Even though this are healthier options to sugar, it is important to use them in moderation.
Here are my top five natural sweeteners:
Raw honey is honey that has not been heated, pasteurized or processed in any way. Therefore, raw honey is an alkaline forming food that contains natural vitamins, enzymes, powerful antioxidants and other important nutrients.
You can use raw honey to sweeten anything from your morning oat and smoothies to baking recipes. The darker the honey, the stronger the flavor and the higher the nutrient and antioxidant value.
Coconut sugar is derived from the coconut palm tree and is more nutritious and lower on the glycemic index than sugar.
Coconut sugar can replace regular table sugar in a 1:1 ratio, which makes it easy to substitute in any recipe. It is very similar to brown sugar but they have a slightly different consistency, so make sure you give it a little extra time to combine with other ingredients when you cook or bake with it.
You can use it in your morning coffee, in your desserts or any other place.
Dates are naturally very sweet, which makes them ideal to sweeten desserts. Even though dates are high in fructose they are rich in a lot of nutrients and fiber which counteracts the fructose.
Next time you need to sweeten a recipe, make your own energy bars, or mask the green flavor in your smoothies, look no further than dates.
You have to keep an eye here since a lot of people confuse maple syrup with “pancake syrup” which is made from high fructose corn syrup, caramel coloring and has actually no maple on it.
Besides pancakes you can also use it in cold beverages such as iced coffee and smoothies, or to glaze vegetables and fruits before roasting or baking.
Stevia is a calorie-free sweetener that is about 100 times sweater than sugar.
Stevia is the only safe calorie-free sweetener currently available, given the health risks associated with artificial sweeteners. Stevia can be used in tea, coffee, smoothies and a variety of desserts.