6 Natural Sweeteners That Are Good for Your Health
6 Natural Sweeteners That Are Good for Your Health
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Quit using sugar all together can be tough.

But you have to take in account how harmful sugar can be, it’s definitely worth the effort.

6 Natural Sweeteners That Are Good for Your Health all are low in calories and fructose and taste very sweet.

Thankfully, there are actually quite a few sweeteners found in nature that are good for your health.

Artificial sugars are used in various applications ranging from industrial food processing

to daily dinner preparations. You can also find natural sweeteners that can be used to

effectively substitute the best artificial sweeteners in your recipes and provide results

just as great.  Ranging from raw honey to purees made from banana, natural sugar

substitutes provide a healthier alternative. Nonetheless, it is important to regulate your

sugar intake as even the healthy sweeteners can have side effects if taken without

moderation. Here is a brief look at some of the best natural sweeteners you can use as

natural sugar substitutes.

6 Natural Sweeteners That Are Good for Your Health
6 Natural Sweeteners That Are Good for Your Health

1. Stevia

What is Stevia?

This is one of the most popular healthy sugar alternatives in the market. Stevia is said

to be 200 times sweeter than sugar and comes in various forms including packets, liquid

drops, baking blends and dissolvable tablets. It is derived from the leaves of Stevia

rebaudiana, a warm climate plant native to South America. It was traditionally

used to promote weight loss and manage healthy blood sugar as it contains no

calories or carbohydrates.

Stevia is said to be 200 times sweeter than sugar.

2. Raw honey

This is perhaps one of the most recommended natural sugar substitutes you will come

across. Besides being a natural sweetener, raw honey is a superfood packed with iron,

calcium, potassium, enzymes, antioxidants and vitamin 86. It also contains niacin and

riboflavin. Raw honey is a truly healthy sweetener that promotes digestive health and

has low glycemic load impact with one tablespoon containing around 64 calories only.

Raw honey is a superfood packed with iron, calcium, potassium, enzymes, antioxidants and vitamin 86.

 

3. Maple syrup

Made from the sugary sap of maple trees, maple syrup is another recommendable

healthy sweetener you can use as substitute for artificial sugar. It comes in different

grades depending on the extraction process and color grade. Grade B, which is the darkest

color is considered the best and contains about 70% sucrose, manganese,calcium, vitamins

and antioxidants.

Maple syrup is also heat stable meaning it can be used in marinades, baked goods and sauces without any concerns.

 

4. Agave syrup

This is yet another syrup sweetener derived from natural plants. Agave syrup or nectar is

commercially available in various blends as it is derived from different species of the plant.

It is said to be roughly 1.6 times sweeter than sugar and tastes close to honey. It contains

vitamins, carbohydrates and various minerals including iron, potassium, calcium and

magnesium. Since it dissolves very quickly, agave nectar is best used in breakfast cereals

and cold beverages.

Vegans can also use agave syrup in place of honey.

 

5. Dates

Derived from the dates palm tree, both dates (the fruit) and its sugar are good sources of

iron, protein,potassium, calcium, dietary fiber, vitamins A, C and B vitamins. They also

contain traces of copper, manganese, magnesium, zinc and selenium. Dates have been

used to improve the process of metabolizing carbohydrates, fats and proteins. They also

have anti-inflammatory, anti-infective and anti-hemorrhage properties. This makes dates

one of the healthy sugar alternatives.

However, dates should be taken in moderation as they contain higher amount of sugar.

 

6. Coconut sugar

Coconut sugar has been recommended as a viable replacement for the best artificial

sweeteners. Like other coconut products (water, milk, oil…) coconut sugar has a low

glycemic content and is packed with various nutrients ranging from minerals like iron

calcium, phosphorus,zinc and potassium to polyphenols, antioxidants and various

phytonutrients. Although it is slightly coarse than sugar, it dissolves easily and

offers heat stability.

Coconut sugar is very versatile and can be used in many recipes to substitute refined sugar.

 

More natural sugar substitutes

Above we mentioned 6 natural sweeteners are arguably the best you can find in the

market. The full list of healthy sweeteners that can be used to replace artificial sugar is

probably inexhaustible. Other healthy sugar alternatives known to provide results just as

great include;

  • Jaggery
  • Balsamic glaze
  • Banana puree
  • Brown rice syrup
  • Blackstrap molasses
  • Real fruit jam

Finding natural sugar substitutes should not be a daunting task as there are several

brands in the market. Nonetheless, not all offers are safe and/or healthy and some may not

adequately substitute sugar in your recipes. It is advisable to shop from credible reputable

outlets known to provide the best healthy sugar alternatives. More importantly, read the

label and find out more information about the ingredients used. A good natural sugar

replacement should work just as effectively as the best artificial sugar albeit with fewer

or no side effect. Nonetheless, sugar intake should always be moderated if you want to

stay healthy and keep the risks of high blood sugar at bay.

Glycemic Index of 62 Common Foods

Published by The American Diabetes Association on the National Institutes of Health, (NCBI)

Glycemic Index of 62 Common Foods
Glycemic Index of 62 Common Foods