They say it is difficult to find alternates for people with a sweet tooth. Yet nature has a lot to offer, even the alternates to sugar too. Scientifically, sugar is as harmful as much satisfaction it is to our taste buds. With increased awareness and people becoming conscious about the pack of diseases that comes with excess intake of sugar, people really are cutting down calories and even looking for alternatives. With science doing its good work in the food and health department, we can get new types of products which are actually healthy alternatives and yet provide similar taste and satisfaction.
Low-calorie sweeteners, especially when obtained from natural sources can fulfil the similar purpose of enjoying the sugary sweets and drinks. So, this indeed is a good news for the sweet tooth.
Natural Sweeteners To Replace Sugar
Ms. Soumita Biswas, Chief Nutritionist at Aster RV Hospital shares the best natural sweeteners for replacing white sugar.
All holidays feasts include sugar, where we make or buy desserts and other puddings. If you are looking for avoiding or curbing your sugar intake, other natural sweeteners are suggested below:
About 3000 years old, honey is truly considered liquid gold for playing an essential role in household for not just food preparations but also health benefits. Extracted from the flower nectar by honey bees, the nectar is converted to simple sugars in honeycombs. The liquid prepared has proven effective in healing and antibacterial properties. It is also a good source of calcium, iron, potassium and magnesium.
A regular part of diet and culinary heritage, also one of the cheapest source of natural sugars, use of jaggery dates long back. Majorly, the use is in Asia and Africa using unrefined sugar cane juice as the primary product that is, further boiled, churned, filtered and poured into molds for storage and selling. Along with the required sweetness, it is also helpful in improvement of digestion by activating the digestive enzymes and stimulating bowel movements. Jaggery is also an immunity builder and a liver detoxificant.
3. Maple Syrup
It is obtained from the maple tree’s xylem sap. This syrup is a supplier of manganese and zinc. The fluid is piped by drilling a hole in the tree, which is then siphoned in a container. The syrup is also a good antioxidant source and an energy booster.
4. Palm Jaggery
Many tea shops in South India make beverages out of this. Palm jaggery is sourced from palm sapling. With the help of scythe, oozing is enabled while earthen pot is placed under the sapling. The sap collected is then boiled, churned to a thick consistency, finally storing in moulds to obtain jaggery. The best benefit of this jaggery is the low glycaemic index value, and being a good source of energy and iron.
5. Date Sugar
With a great nutritional profile of the dates, the sugar obtained from dates is by dehydrating dates, which is further ground to make sugar. Along with high energy providing glucose, sucrose and fructose, this sugar is high in proteins, iron, copper, zinc, manganese.
Fresh stevia leaves are used in sweetening warm beverages like tea is common these days. After drying and grinding, the leaves can be stored for later uses. Associated with reduced calorie intake, blood sugar levels, stevia is useful for diabetics and weight watchers. The quantity for providing the required sweetness is also very less.
While resorting to these natural sweeteners, one can consider their other nutrient requirement too. Since many of the mentioned sweeteners have multiple effects, one can check for the specific nutrients and health benefits it provides. It is also important to get advice from the doctor for such alternatives being suitable for the given needs and health.
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