Natural sweeteners and their benefits
Are you an irremediable sweet tooth but worry about the amount of sugar you ingest? Or perhaps you are not quite convinced about using artificial sweeteners? In this post, we will share some substitutes to regular sugar, natural sweeteners that you can use to prepare your sweet cravings.
In recent years, multiple conversations have been held about natural sweeteners as “healthier” options instead of sugar. But natural sweeteners are also processed in the body as glucose and fructose, so their excessive consumption can lead to digestive problems, cavities, weight gain, and high levels of glucose and triglycerides. The key is moderation and portions; the “Yin and Yang”, the balance between “the Fit and the Fat”.
This is our Top 5 of the natural sweeteners that you can replace cane sugar with, in desserts or drinks:
One of the oldest known sweeteners. It has been used for its nutritious and healing properties since prehistoric times —even the Koran refers to it as a sacred ingredient, such as its producers: The bees.
Honey has antibacterial and antioxidant properties, making it excellent for relieving some diseases’ symptoms such as a sore throat or cough.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Some studies report that honey, when submitted to high temperatures, increases hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF), which is an aldehyde and a furan, a result of the decomposition of sugars which has been considered a carcinogen. This means that honey should be used raw, and avoided when baking your desserts.
Obtained from the blue agave or maguey through a process that concentrates the water contained in the plant by thermal concentration and the filtration of the mead or the juices from the stem. The result is a gold concentrate with high levels of fructose.
It is usually a great option as a sweetener since it maintains the sugar levels in the blood and helps regulate intestinal flora.
This is a perennial plant from the forests of southwestern Paraguay. In recent years it has become popular, not only as an excellent sweetener —since it is up to 300 times sweeter than common sugar thanks to its steviol glycosides content — but also for its natural benefits:
- Improves insulin sensitivity.
- Lowers blood glucose levels.
- It is an antioxidant and protects the kidneys.
IMPORTANT NOTE: 100% natural stevia comes as a green powder that results from the plant being crushed. You can find it in different supermarkets!
This product is obtained from the nectar of coconut flowers. It is an excellent sweetener for people with diabetes, as it does not raise sugar levels in the blood.
It has many advantages: it is rich in minerals such as calcium, potassium, magnesium, zinc, iron, as well as vitamins. It is an antioxidant and has an energy value of only 4 calories per gram.
One of the most used and popular sweeteners in recent years. The monk fruit, also called “the Buddha fruit” has its origin in Thailand and China, and is closely related to zucchini and squash. The fruit’s meat is used to extract this sweetener thanks to antioxidants called mogrosides.
It is one of the favorite options for nutritionists and people with restricted diets, as it does not contain calories and is sweeter than sugar. Lowers blood glucose levels, and increases insulin secretion. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that inhibit the growth of bacteria.
It is important to understand that one specific sweetener is not better than the rest. They all have different properties which need to be analyzed and consulted with a specialist. They are your trusted source to know which one is the best according to your needs before making any changes to your diet.
So… May you have a sweet day!