Five natural substitutes for sugar to satisfy sweet cravings without the side effects

Five natural sugar substitutes which will satisfy sweet cravings without all the side-effects, they are, coconut sugar, date sugar, honey, maple syrup, monk fruit

Myupchar November 06, 2019 16:40:18 IST
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Five natural substitutes for sugar to satisfy sweet cravings without the side effects
  • Doctors recommend that our daily sugar intake should not exceed 38 grams

  • Even though it is hard to remove sugar from our diet completely, there are healthier alternatives to make everything just a little bit sweeter

  • Five natural sugar substitutes which will satisfy sweet cravings without all the side-effects, they are, coconut sugar, date sugar, honey, maple syrup, monk fruit

It may please your taste buds, satiate your cravings and give you a quick energy rush, but when it comes to health, sugar cannot offer you many benefits. In fact, consuming too much sugar can put you at risk of obesity. Of course, obesity can lead to other health complications such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, tooth decay and some cancers.

Doctors recommend that our daily sugar intake should not exceed 38 grams (about seven teaspoons, which includes the sugar we get from breads, milk, and other foods). On average, though, most of us consume 94 grams of sugar per day.

While it is hard to remove sugar from our diet completely, there are healthier alternatives to make everything just a little bit sweeter. Let’s have a look at five natural sugar substitutes which will satisfy your sweet cravings without all the side-effects of sugar:

Five natural substitutes for sugar to satisfy sweet cravings without the side effects

Representational image. Getty Images

1. Coconut sugar

Most of us know of and use coconut oil, coconut water and coconut milk. Now, coconut sugar has caught the attention of many health-conscious people, and for all the right reasons.

Coconut sugar is rich in minerals and has a very low glycaemic index (estimated rise in blood glucose level after eating a particular food item). Inulin, a fibre present in coconut sugar, helps stabilise the blood sugar.

However, as with most things, experts advise moderation here, too, coconut sugar contains 70 to 80 percent sucrose.

2. Date sugar

Made from dates, it is rich in fibre, potassium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, proteins and vitamin B. Date sugar is easy to digest, and also helps metabolise proteins, fats, and carbohydrates.

Studies have shown that dates can also help in reducing LDL (bad) cholesterol in the blood and can efficiently lower the risk of stroke.

But date sugar is expensive and has its own limitations. It does not melt or dissolve properly and cannot be used in, and with, everything.

3. Honey

Honey, a superfood, has so many health and beauty benefits. It is a natural sweetener packed with many minerals and nutrients like phosphorus, calcium, enzymes, zinc, iron, antioxidants, riboflavin, niacin and vitamin B6.

Because of the antioxidants and crucial nutrients, honey helps fight free radical cell damage and improves digestion by promoting the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut.

However, the nutritional value of honey depends on the type of flowers from which the bees collected the nectar to make honey.

Also, children under one year of age should not be given honey as it can cause botulism (a rare form of poisoning).

4. Maple syrup

Best known as a pancake topper, maple syrup contains more than 20 nutrients such as zinc, calcium, potassium and manganese.

Several studies have shown that maple syrup can help you fight breast and colon cancer and it has a very low GI (glycaemic index).

However, maple syrup is about 66 percent sucrose and should also be consumed in moderation.

5. Monk fruit

Monk fruit is a fruit-derived natural sweetener. Almost 200 times sweeter than white sugar, monk fruit is available in liquid, powder and granular forms.

Apart from having anti-inflammatory properties, monk fruit is a good antioxidant and is considered safe for everyone.

However, as monk fruit is not grown everywhere, it turns out to be an expensive sugar substitute.

Health articles in Firstpost are written by myUpchar.com, India’s first and biggest resource for verified medical information. At myUpchar, researchers and journalists work with doctors to bring you information on all things health. For more information, please read our article on Diabetes: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, Myths.

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