In reality, there is no need to consume sugar as they are empty calories and they do not have any nutrition value as it lacks both macronutrients and micronutrients. It only provides energy, as it’s a simple carbohydrate that gets quickly absorbed in the body. Your body’s basic requirement of sugar can be easily fulfilled by consuming fruits, vegetables, and grains. The root cause of many heart-related diseases, obesity, and diabetics is your white processed sugar.
It causes dopamine to be released, which experts claim is the same response activated by addictive drugs. This leads to cravings and overeating.
White is not a natural color of sugar as it is because of bleching. The processed white sugar we are talking about is used to prepare sweets, beverages, cookies, bread and other junk foods.
We have become so much addicted to having sugary foods that we always try to find out alternatives of processed sugar as cutting down completely is not an easy task and cannot be done by most.
Here are some of the alternatives to sugar.
Natural raw Honey- Honey in its purest form is among the best form of sweetener that can be added to your drinks and as well as deserts. It has less fructose along with that it has many other health benefits and include anti-microbial, heart-healthy and anti-inflammatory effects and helps in helps by keeping weight in check. In Indian households it is been used for medicinal purpose as it helps in curing a cold and cough. It contains vitamins and trace amounts of minerals, iron, calcium, and copper, among others.
Stevia- Stevia is a herb which is found in South America. They are formed in liquid form and powder form. Stevia is been part of the native South American diet for ages. In India, it is gaining popularity as we are also looking for alternatives for processed sugar as stevia is natural and is low in calories.
The best thing about stevia is that you need not have to consume in large quantities as they are way sweeter than sugar. Several studies show that stevioside, which is one of the sweet compounds in stevia, can lower high blood pressure by 6–14%.
Jaggery- Jaggery or gur is made from unrefined sugar it is available at grocery stores in the form of blocks. It is loaded with antioxidants and several minerals including selenium and zinc. Jaggery might be high on nutrition but it is extremely high on calories. It also helps in curing cough and cold. It can be added to your desserts or you can consume it raw if you have developed a habit of eating desserts after meals.
Dates- Dates are regarded as a superfood not because it’s sweet but have many micronutrients such as calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, zinc and dietary fibers. It also high on iron as it is one of the best sources of iron in food if you suffer from iron deficiency. The glycemic index of date is high and is high in calories so you eat in moderation. It can be eaten raw or you can prepare date syrup which can be added to your desserts.
Coconut Sugar- It is the latest by-product of coconut. It is prepared by heat-treating the sap from the flower buds of the coconut palm tree until the liquid has evaporated. It contains a few nutrients, including iron, zinc, calcium, and potassium, as well as antioxidants.
It also has a lower glycemic index than sugar, which may be partly due to its inulin content. It is high on calories and contains same amount of calories which are found in processed sugar.
Molasses- Molasses is prepared by boiling sugar cane it is brown in color. It is high on antioxidants more than it is found in raw honey, along with that it has vitamins, minerals. Its high potassium and calcium content may benefit bone and heart health.