Substitutes of Refined Sugar
By Nmami Agarwal
Sugar is an undeniable heavenly treat which you might love to add on in every of your sweet dish or for that matter in every cup of tea. While sipping a warm tea, every morning and evening and enjoying sweet dish after you dinner every night you might not wonder what sugar can do to your body when consumed in an appropriate portion on a daily basis.
Sugar is nothing more than empty calories, isn’t healthy either. Some adverse effects of consuming more sugar may lead to the possibility of tooth decay, diabetes, heart disease, obesity and even poor cognitive functioning. Rather, preferring some natural sugar substitutes is wiser than consuming sugar even at a minimal level. After all, sugar is just empty calories which only shoot up the blood sugar level. Here are a few sugar substitutes that you can stock up in your kitchen for the next time. Have a look:
- Jaggery: To surrender to your reluctant sweet-tooth, a healthier alternative is jaggery. It is derived from the sap of sugar cane with retained nutrients as it is made without any such of chemicals. Some nutrients of jaggery like healthful vitamins, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium. Moreover, jaggery has almost fifty times greater minerals than refined sugar and five times greater than brown sugar. In fact, jaggery’s importance goes beyond its role of healthy sugar substitute. It can cleanse your overall body from toxins, gives relief from constipation while improving digestion. Also, jaggery curbs acidity when compared to white sugar as it has fewer calorie count in one teaspoon (19.15 kcal.)
- Coconut Sugar: Most of you might have heard about the multiple benefits of coconut water, coconut oil, coconut flour, coconut milk, and of course fresh coconut itself. It’s been extracted from the blooms of coconut and then heated and evaporation to get coconut sugar out of it. Now, coconut sugar is also getting the same attention due to its fame as a natural sweetener, low glycemic score, and rich mineral content. Packed with antioxidants, polyphenols, iron, calcium, zinc, phosphorus, potassium, and other phytonutrients, coconut sugar is versatile and best ever natural sugar substitute to keep in your house. One teaspoon or say 5 grams of coconut sugar has 19 kcal.
- Honey: Honey is also among the natural sugar substitutes laden with natural harmless sweeteners. A power-house packed with vitamin B6, antioxidants, enzymes, iron, calcium, zinc, phosphorus, potassium, riboflavin, and niacin. These nutrients altogether, help in neutralizing free radicals while supporting the rapid growth of healthy bacteria in your gut, suppressing cough, promoting wound healing and antioxidants found in honey are linked to some beneficial effects on heart health. Single tablespoon which 5 grams of honey has 15.95 calories and less impact on the glycemic index (GI).
- Dates (khajur): Dates are another natural alternative to sugar, recommended widely due to its natural sugar content making it unique amongst healthy sugar substitute family. Dates are a rich source of various nutrients such as vitamins and minerals, fiber, calcium, iron, zinc, sodium, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium. They also contain vitamins like vitamin A, K, riboflavin, thiamin, niacin, and folate; treating intestinal disorders, constipation, anemia, heart problems, sexual dysfunctions, and diarrhea.
Over to you
By the end, a lesson to learn must be clear enough! Even a single spoon of sugar is just not healthy in any which way for your body. Eating sugar has been associated with several serious diseases that have already been discussed above. So, be careful and choose the healthiest sugar substitute as per your taste.
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