What are natural substitutes for sugar? – All questions answered

Natural substitutes for sugar: What are the healthier alternatives of sugar? 

We all engage in a very hectic and busy life that ultimately leads us to obesity, diabetes and many other daily life problems that are now a part of our common life. To stay fit, we can leave fast food and everything else but not sugar. Everyone likes their coffee sweet. Isn’t it the case with you? Have you ever tried a natural sweetener for coffee? Did you know there are healthy ways to sweeten your coffee? Did you know what are the best sugar substitute for Diabetics?

Do You Know?

Eating too much sugar causes a barrage of symptoms. These include weight gain, abdominal obesity, elevated blood sugar, high blood pressure and it also increases your uric acid levels. A high intake of sugar causes Type 2 diabetes. Natural sweeteners for diabetics are available in the market. Well, here we are with some natural substitutes for sugar and the best substitutes for sugar in coffee.

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According to a review of 30 studies in more than 242,000 children and adults conducted by Obesity Facts, the European Journal of Obesity, obesity, and sugar-sweetened beverages are co-related. Another study conducted by Nutrients, MDPI, in 6929 children demonstrates that children between the age of 6 and 10 years consumed for sugar and hence had more body fat. Weight gain and obesity are related to Type 2 diabetes. How about going for natural sweeteners for tea? A good idea indeed! What say?

Types of sugar substitutes-

· Natural sugar substitutes

· Artificial substitutes 

What are Natural substitutes for sugar?

The white sugar, we generally consume is made from sugarcane but it has its downsides too. It is high in calories and as discussed above can lead to many harmful problems like high blood sugar levels, weight gain, diabetes, and more. Natural substitutes for sugar are easily digestible and tend to metabolize and change while passing through the human body. So, what are the most preferred natural substitutes for sugar? 

Natural substitutes for sugar
Various healthy alternatives for sugar are readily available these days
Image Credits: MindBodyGreen

Here are some healthy alternatives for sugar-

Honey

  • There is a misconception that makes rounds amongst many people that honey is for tea and sugar is for coffee. Well, have you tried coffee with honey? If not, try it and decide for yourself. Honey is one of the best substitutes for sugar in coffee.
  • Even if you don’t want to incorporate honey in your coffee, you can always add it to your milk, oats, fruit salad, and custard. Honey is a great natural substitute for sugar as it has fewer calories and less fructose. Honey has many other health benefits as well. It boosts your stamina and is good for your skin. It is also good for your bone health. 
Natural substitutes for sugar
Healthy alternatives for sugar – Honey
Image Credits : Healthline

Coconut sugar

  • The first question which might come in your mind is how is it a healthy alternative for sugar? The short answer to your question is that coconut sugar is “unrefined” and hence it has the tendency to retain all the nutrients and vitamins.
  • You can immediately replace the sugar in your coffee or tea with coconut sugar and we assure that it is a healthier substitute for sugar. However, the calorie level and carbohydrate level in coconut sugar are just the same as in white sugar. People with diabetes should consult a doctor before including coconut sugar in their diet. 

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Natural substitutes for sugar
Healthy alternatives for sugar : Coconut Sugar
Image Credits: Medical News Today

Stevia

  • Stevia is derived from a plant called the Stevia rebaudina and hence is a non-caloric plant extract. Hence, it is one of the best sugar substitute for Diabetics . Stevia is a natural sweetener for coffee.
  • It is mostly available in powdered form in the market. Many people think that it is an artificial sweetener but the fact is it is not. Stevia is much sweeter than sugar and hence you must use it in less quantity. You may find an aftertaste after adding it to your coffee but that is only because of its non-chemical nature. 
Natural substitutes for sugar
Natural sweeteners for diabetics- Stevia
Image Credits: Medical News Today

Maple Syrup

  • Cook the sap of the maple trees and your maple syrup is ready. It is a thick liquid that includes minerals like calcium, potassium, zinc, iron, and manganese. It is also rich in antioxidants.
  • Maple syrup is a healthier alternative to sugar but because of its sweet taste, it must be consumed in moderation. Don’t just associate maple syrup with pancakes. You can use it in your tea or coffee too. Looking for healthy ways to sweeten your coffee? Here you go! It is also a natural substitute for sugar in coffee. 
Natural substitutes for sugar
Healthy alternatives for sugar : Maple Syrup
Image Credits: Healthline

Applesauce

  • Applesauce is a healthier alternative for sugar for all those who think of calorie intake while consuming anything sweet. If you want to add something to your diet which is rich in fiber and has fewer calories then applesauce can be a good choice for you.
  • It’s better to make your applesauce at your home. Why eat an apple pie full of calories when you can apply some applesauce to your bread and get a healthier as well as a better taste? Think about it! 
Natural substitutes for sugar
Healthy alternatives for sugar : Applesauce
Image Credits: Dr. Oz

Fruits

  • There’s nothing better than the idea to add fruits to your food. Date paste is a natural sweetener and you can make it at home. You just need to blend water, vanilla extract, and dates. You can use it in baked food, sauces, smoothies, and custard.
  • Monk fruit extracts can also be used as a natural substitute for sugar. It is much sweeter than sugar and hence must be used in moderation. Use monk fruit extracts while making cheesecakes and cookies.
  • Raisins are also natural sugar substitutes. Bananas are rich in potassium and fiber and are naturally sweet. They can also be used as natural sweeteners. 

Molasses

  • Blackstrap molasses have a unique flavor and are rich in copper, calcium, iron, vitamin B6, manganese, and selenium. There are various types of molasses and you can use each of them as a natural substitute for sugar.
  • It is a bit less sweet than sugar and has a distinct flavor. Molasses can enhance the flavors of the deserts. 
Natural substitutes for sugar
Healthy alternatives for sugar : Molasses
Image Credts: Sparetime Supply

Brown Rice syrup

  • Ferment brown rice with enzymes to break the starch down to make the brown rice syrup. Maintain the consistency by heating the liquid obtained.
  • It is a perfect alternative to sugar and is used in desserts. Some brown rice syrups available in the market are fermented using barley enzymes which add gluten to it. You should purchase the brown rice syrup which is gluten-free for better results. 

Unsweetened cocoa powder

  • Cocoa powder is rich in antioxidants and hence is good for health. If you are looking for something to replace sugar in your coffee then try adding a spoonful of unsweetened cocoa powder to your coffee.
  • You can also add cocoa powder to your smoothies and oats to make it healthy as well as tasty. It is one of the healthy ways to sweeten your coffee. 
Natural substitutes for sugar
Healthy alternatives for sugar : Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
Image Credits: Amazon.in

What are the best sweeteners for people with diabetes? 

There is no need to stay away from sweet food even if you are diabetic. You just need to replace sugar with natural sweeteners. Sugar substitutes or low-calorie sweeteners make people with diabetes enjoy sweetness yet stay healthy. 

Also Read: Struggling with Diabetes? Drug Found to Delay Type-1 Diabetes by 2 years | God of Small Thing

Here are the best sugar substitute for Diabetics:

best sugar substitute for Diabetics
best sugar substitute for Diabetics
  • Stevia-As discussed above, stevia is non-caloric and hence suitable for people with diabetes. This natural sweetener controls your calorie intake and doesn’t increase your blood sugar levels. 
  • Xylitol-It is a sugar alcohol that has a similar sweetness as sugar but it contains 40 percent fewer calories than sugar. Many fruits and vegetables contain xylitol. It is a natural sweetener for diabetics. 
  • Monk fruit extract-It contains zero calories but is much sweeter than sugar. According to the FDA, it is a natural substitute for sugar.
  • Erythritol– It is a sugar alcohol that has a sweet taste but no calories. It contains 70 percent of the sweetness of sugar but it is recommended to use it in moderation as if it is used in large quantities can cause indigestion problems. 
Image result for natural sweeteners for diabetics
Sweeteners for Diabetics should be chosen with complete knowledge of effects and side effects.
Image Credits: Medical News Today

Benefits of adding natural sweeteners to your diet

As discussed above, each natural sweetener has its benefit but one thing is common in all of them is that they all are natural. They can help you get some minerals and vitamins which you may sometimes miss in your balanced diet otherwise. Add honey or stevia to your coffee and we bet there is no better healthy way to make your coffee sweet. Natural sweeteners or sugar substitutes are healthy for your body as a whole body. 

Image result for artificial sweeteners
Artificial Sweeteners
Image Credits: Diet Doctor

What are artificial sweeteners?

Artificial substitutes are chemicals added to the food to make it sweet. These are a thousand times sweeter than sugar but tastes just like sugar. Hence, they are sometimes referred to as “intense sweeteners”. Since they have zero calories, artificial sweeteners become an obvious choice by many. Artificial sweeteners are filling in nature and hence people tend to consume food with artificial sweeteners more and hence lead them to gain weight. 

Considerations while choosing a low-calorie sweetener

  • Some sugar substitutes are costly while others are available in the market at the same price as sugar. 
  • Another factor to keep in mind is the availability of the sugar substitute. Well, you must find a store near you which has at least one of the above mentioned natural substitutes of sugar. It will benefit you in amazing ways. 
  • Natural doesn’t guarantee “healthy”. Do your research well and use the right quantity of the sweetener in your drink or food. 
  • Fruits are the best natural sweeteners and hence wherever you can you must use fruits as sweeteners. 

How sugar affects your health? 

High intake of sugar can lead to weight gain, abnormal obesity, high blood pressure, cavities in the tooth, and more. Let us discuss in detail how sugar can prove to be a menace for your physical health. 

harmful effects of sugar
Image Credits: Pintrest

Type 2 diabetes

Many studies have been conducted to establish a relationship between sugar consumption and Type 2 diabetes. The most recent studies suggest that consuming sugar is not directly related to causing Type 2 diabetes but it increases the risk of weight gain which is one of the factors which leads to Type 2 diabetes.

According to an article published in Global Public Health in 2012, high fructose corn syrup which is the most common type of sugar used in processed food increases the risk of diabetes. Sugar may not directly increase the risk of diabetes but if you are struggling to lose weight then it is recommended to rely less on sugar. You can rather use natural substitutes for sugar in your tea or coffee. 

Type 2 Diabetes and Sugar

Cavities

“Brush your teeth before you go to sleep,” my mother still says so! Or “Don’t eat too much sugar at night.” Well, mothers don’t need to read studies before advising the right things to us.

But, we understand you still need to hear it from the scientists before believing anything. Why not? Many studies published in PubMed Central suggest that a high intake of sugar leads to cavities in teeth. Candies, sugary beverages, added sugar in tea or coffee, leads to cavities. The process to remove cavities is painful and I say it with experience. It’s better to look for a healthy alternative for sugar to add to your food or beverage.

Weight gain and Abnormal Obesity

Didn’t your mother get you familiar with the phrase: Excess of everything is bad? Well, that’s it. Sugar is a type of carbohydrate and consuming too much sugar increases the blood sugar levels and leads to fat accumulation in your body. Studies suggest that food and beverages which contain sugar like bakery items, sodas, etc. are less filling for the tummy. Hence, you tend to consume such products more in quantity leading to an increase in your sugar levels.

Health effects of sugar - Obesity
Image Credits: Medical Xpress

According to a review of 30 studies in more than 242,000 children and adults conducted by Obesity Facts, the European Journal of Obesity, obesity, and sugar-sweetened beverages are co-related. Another study conducted by Nutrients, MDPI, in 6929 children demonstrates that children between the age of 6 and 10 years consumed for sugar and hence had more body fat. Weight gain and obesity are related to Type 2 diabetes. How about going for natural sweeteners for tea? A good idea indeed! What say?

Here you go! Replace your sugar with the natural sugar substitute and see benefits in only a few weeks. Follow Godofsmallthing for more health-related updates. 

Anjali Kochhar

Anjali has worked with The Economic Times and FICCI and is into content development for 3 years. She is experienced in various genres of writing including lifestyle, political, social, and entertainment.

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