The moment you decide to give up sugar, you’re bound to run into the problem of choosing the alternative sugar products to suit you the most. Modern market of natural sweeteners surrounds you with various names of sugar alternatives, both for diabetics and for people, who just one to change something in their life.
This abundance really makes making the right choice more difficult. We found some of the natural sugar substitutes that you may add to your morning coffee or even bake with.
The syrup, made from the agave juice is one of the most popular sugar substitutes. It has a pleasant mild flavor, slightly reminiscent of something between molasses and honey.
Sweetness of this sugar substitute it due to the presence of glucose, fructose and inulin. The syrup is advised to people on weight loss programs, citing the low glycemic index of this natural sweetener. Another distinct advantage of the syrup lies in the fact that this alternative product is almost twice as sweet as sugar, which allows using it very sparingly.
Agave syrup or nectar used as a natural sweetener for making desserts and cakes is as ideal as sugar is. You may freely include it in any baking or even applesauce recipe as an alternative to sugar without changing the end result. Yet, of course, you won’t make sugar flowers for cakes from it, but you may always buy these online. It is also advised to use for baking fruits with low sugar contents or sweet vegetables, such as carrots, sweet potatoes or eggplant, so it helps to reveal the natural sweetness of these products.
You may use this sugar alternative syrup no more than a couple times a week. People with the diseases of liver and gall bladder are not recommended using this substitute.
Brown Rice Syrup
Another substitute for sugar is the brown rice syrup, which is a mixture of maltotriose, maltose and glucose, derived from recycled and filtered brown rice. It tastes a bit like caramel, but is two times less sweet than sugar, which should also be considered. You may use this natural plant sugar alternative it for making desserts, including cookies, as well as with cereals, granola, and fruit salads. It may form a solid crisp, when heated.
You should bear in mind that this product has one major drawback. It is not recommended for use to people following a diet or weight loss plan. The reason for such contraindication is the high glycemic index of this natural sweetener, which, as we all known, lead to low results in slimming progress and some diseases.
It is made from the nectar of coconut blossoms and is supplied to the market in the form of a syrup or powdery crystals. Such sugar substitute is 100% organic, rich in zinc, magnesium and iron due to lack of destructive processing.
Not only does coconut sugar gradually increase the blood sugar level without triggering any harmful processes, it also promotes the production of the hormone glucagon in the body, which helps burn fat and improve the cardiovascular system function.
However, saying that this substitute is an ideal alternative for those, who are trying to lose weight, would be wrong. It is certainly healthier than classic sugar, but still requires careful consumption. You should also keep in mind the fact that coconut sugar is several times less sweet than traditional sweeteners.
Jerusalem artichoke (or Sunchoke) syrup
This syrup is made from Jerusalem artichoke tubers, it has a mild sweet taste, somewhat reminiscent of a young honey. Jerusalem artichoke syrup endures thermal processing.
Therefore, this sugar substitute may be safely used for the preparation of hot meals, which, compared to its closest flavor fellow – honey, is a great advantage. Other advantages of this alternative product include the low glycemic index.
This liquid natural sweetener should be consumed in limited quantities, just like other concentrated sweeteners. However, in moderate but regular use, the syrup stabilizes blood sugar levels, and leads to a decrease in the body’s need for insulin, making this sugar substitute an important alternative product in the diabetic menu.
Stevia extract is considered to be the most neutral sweetener with a grassy, but a little specific taste. Stevia is a natural sugar alternative that does not affect blood sugar, has virtually zero calories and has no contraindications for use.
It may be used for baking and creating desserts, as well as for adding to your coffee and tea. Even Coca-Cola Company used stevia in several products, like diet or zero coke, and in 2014 created a drink with fewer calories by mixing sugar with stevia.
Most often, you will find stevia in powder or tablet form, the sweetness of which, incidentally, would be higher than of sugar with a ratio of 20:1, respectively. This sugar substitute may be used for desserts in form of the extract or syrup, so it will be much more convenient.
Raw honey is another natural sugar substitute. It is extremely useful because it is rich in many vitamins and antioxidants, as you have certainly read or heard before.
However, honey is only useful in its raw, unprocessed form. It’s good for adding to salads, mixing, for example, with lemon juice, or in cereals and various smoothies.
The only thing that you definitely should not do with this sweetener is to heat it. Honey is definitely not a suitable sugar alternative for baking or any heat treatment. When heated above 60°C, carcinogens are formed in it, and all its usefulness evaporates immediately.
Last, but not least sugar substitute to mention is the maple syrup, made from maple sap, and its main “sweet” component is sucrose. It is characterized by a soft, slightly woody taste with caramel notes and a lovely golden color.
The chemical composition of maple syrup includes various antioxidants, vitamins, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, iron, and zinc. You may also like this alternative sugar for its ability of strengthening the immune system and helping fight inflammation in the body.
Even though maple syrup is definitely not a new natural sweetener on the market, it is one of the best alternatives to jams and sugar. It may be used as a separate sauce for pancakes, porridge, and fruit salads. You may also use this sugar substitute for baking, but you should keep in mind that the result may differ from the one you get, when using conventional granulated sugar due to the maple syrup consistency.