Refined sugars add unnecessary calories to the body that are converted to fat reserves stored around the body as flab. They may also contribute to cavities in teeth that could keep you awake in pain.
Sugar has also recently been linked to heart disease. A study published on JAMA Internal Medicine found that the majority of adults in the United States eat more sugar than is recommended. A significant relationship between sugar consumption and increased risk for heart disease mortality exists. Therefore, it is necessary to find healthy sugar substitutes to use while preparing your meals.
Some of the most recommended sugar substitutes include:
- Honey – It is full of antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins. It can be spread on whole-grain bread or added to oatmeal to satisfy the craving for sweets first thing in the morning. Honey comes in different flavors depending on the type of flowers in that locality.
- Artificial Sweeteners – Artificial Sweeteners can be used in baking, for sweetening drinks, and in any recipe to replace processed sugar.
- Applesauce – It is said that an apple a day can keep the doctor away; therefore, substituting no sugar added apple sauce with sugar in your baked goods will ensure you enjoy your treat without consuming extra calories.
- Dates and Figs – Both add flavor, dimension, and tons of nutrition as a sugar substitute to many recipes. Baked goods such as cakes, muffins, even hearty bread will soon become a staple in your breakfast, lunch, or dinner regimen using figs and dates as a substitute for sugar.
- Lemon – Squeezing half a lemon in a pitcher of water will enable someone to drink the recommended amount of water. Besides, the tangy taste of lemon in oatmeal will allow one to enjoy it without the need for unhealthy sugars.
- Cinnamon – This is a must-have sweet spice in your home as it can be added into your tea or baked goods. It has a delicious aroma that will increase your appetite without adding extra calories to your meals.
- Raisins – These can be eaten on their own as a treat for your sweet tooth; they are full of fiber and antioxidants. They can be blended or just added into your batter when baking for a delicious treat. Add them to your cereal and skip the sugar for a good start in the morning.
- Cranberries: If you love cranberries, this is the sugar alternative for you. They’re tart and sweet at the same time. Enjoy delicious multigrain pancakes, scones, or muffins loaded with cranberries instead of sugar. Cranberries, too, are loaded with antioxidants, so give your taste buds a treat and remember cranberries aren’t just for the holidays.
- 100% Pure Maple Syrup – Full of antioxidants; it can be drizzled on your waffles or pancakes to satisfy that sweet craving when it occurs. It can be added to a glass of cold non-fat milk to quench thirst on a hot afternoon.
- Unsweetened Cocoa Powder – Cocoa is full of antioxidants and has a delicious flavor when added to a glass of milk. It can be combined with vanilla for an enjoyable treat that does not require refined sugar and used in baking recipes instead of processed chocolate.
- Pureed banana – Very ripe bananas are sweet and can be pureed to be added to milkshakes or in baked goods. A bowl of oatmeal with added ripe bananas is full of fiber beneficial for digestive health.
- Apricot Puree – Apricots contain vitamin C and iron; they are sweet to the palate, making them ideal for a delicious spread on your baked items.
- Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice – This is full of vitamin c that boosts your immune system. You can have it first thing in the morning to improve your mood and give you a shot of quick energy to face your busy day and use it in recipes to substitute white sugar.
- Sucanat – This is obtained from natural cane juice that has vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients; it can be added into your beverages and baked items to cater to a sweet tooth.
- Molasses – Molasses is the dark, sweet, viscous byproduct made during the extraction of sugars from sugarcane and sugar beets. It has a delicious aroma full of vitamin c, iron, and calcium for healthy baked items. Try drizzling it on your fruit salad to tantalize your palate.
- Agave Nectar – High in fructose; therefore must be used in moderation. It can be added to cold or hot beverages and to pie recipes to substitute white sugar.