6 NATURAL SWEETENERS AS ALTERNATIVES TO REFINED SUGAR
NATURAL SWEETENERS: BENEFITS AND PROPERTIES
If you are a lover of sugary things and sweets, you will be a big consumer of refined sugar. Refined sugar harms the body and acts like a drug on our body. There are, however, more natural alternatives that allow drinks and dishes to be sweetened and bring numerous benefits to the body. Among the natural sweeteners we have considered there are calorie-free sweeteners, for diabetics and ideal for diets.REFINED SUGAR IS BAD
First of all, we want to remind you that some types of refined sugar are harmful and harmful, especially if consumed regularly!
Sugar can interfere with the body's hormones that regulate hunger and satiety, leading to increased calorie intake and weight gain. Excessive sugar consumption can also damage your metabolism, which can lead to increased insulin, inflammation, and fat storage.
High sugar intake is associated with poor oral health and some of the deadliest diseases, including heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
In addition to causing health problems, sugar is addictive. It causes the release of dopamine in the brain's reward center, the same response caused by addictive drugs.
There are natural alternatives to sugar, capable of sweetening foods and drinks without being harmful to the body. Being natural sweeteners, they are rich in properties and bring numerous benefits to the body.
Here is a list of 6 refined sugar alternatives:
Stevia is a natural sweetener derived from the leaves of the stevia plant (Stevia Rebaudiana). Stevia has numerous benefits because it is 200 times sweeter than table sugar but is not caloric and does not cause glycemic spikes . Precisely for this reason it is often used in slimming diets .
This sweetener has also been associated with several health benefits, including lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels, making it suitable for those with diabetes or those who are overweight . Stevia is also used as a treatment for acne, wrinkles and skin blemishes, and in the treatment of hypertension.
2) DATE DOUGH
Date paste is a natural and sweet product obtained from the processing of fresh pitted dates. It is mainly used as a sweetener and has enormous nutritional properties being rich in fibre , vitamins and mineral salts. It brings numerous benefits to the body including: improves intestinal health by promoting digestion, has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties , lowers cholesterol , improves skin and bone health , protects vision and improves cardiovascular health. It is a healthy and energetic product to eat for breakfast to increase functionality during the day.
Date sugar is the natural sweetener we use for our Skinny Dipped Almonds , almonds covered in a thin layer of dark chocolate.
Honey is a sweet, viscous food substance produced by honey bees and some related insects. It contains mainly carbohydrates, and traces of nutrients including vitamins and minerals, proteins and amino acids. The benefits of honey are many, among which it has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, it is an anti-tumor , it relieves coughs and sore throats . Fights winter flu , helps prevent infections and strengthens the immune system . Furthermore, honey is a rich source of energy , especially for athletes, and counteracts aging thanks to the presence of antioxidants. It improves skin health, is very effective in cases of acne and pimples, and protects stomach and intestinal health.
Obviously, in order to enjoy all these advantages it is important to choose raw honey that has not undergone industrial processing. Furthermore, the recommended dose is 20 g per day (one teaspoon). Honey is only a valid substitute for sugar, with a greater sweetening power and, for the same weight, contains approximately 22% fewer calories.
4) MAPLE SYRUP
Maple syrup is a thick, sugary liquid that is obtained by cooking the sap of maple trees. It is often used as a natural sweetener for the preparation or topping of desserts and in drinks. It has lower calorie content than other sweeteners such as honey, and is often used by those suffering from diabetes or in slimming diets . It contains a fair amount of minerals, including calcium, potassium, iron, zinc and manganese, and over 24 different antioxidants. Maple syrup has energetic and purifying power , is used in detoxifying treatments, promotes intestinal health and helps in case of gastritis .
When buying maple syrup, make sure it is natural and does not contain preservatives or additives, otherwise you will not be able to benefit from all its properties.
Maple syrup is the natural sweetener we use in Chocolate Lover Granola , dark chocolate flavored granola with hazelnuts, coconut flakes and chia seeds, which contains only 7g of sugar.
5) MONK FRUIT
Monk fruit sweetener is extracted from monk fruit, a small round fruit grown in Southeast Asia. This natural alternative contains zero calories and is 100-250 times sweeter than refined sugar. Monk fruit contains natural sugars, but gets its sweetness from antioxidants called Mogrosides. Monk fruit extract is often mixed with other sweeteners, so be sure to read the label before consuming it. Monk fruit sweeteners come in several forms: liquid extract, powder, and granules.
Monk fruit brings numerous benefits including: it has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory power , fights infections and is a natural antihistamine , is an energy source and reduces fatigue, helps reduce the risk of obesity and diabetes , does not cause glycemic spikes.
Yacon is a tuber native to South America with a sweet flavor and crunchy texture. It contains sugars in the form of inulin and is considered an excellent natural sweetener. Yacon is a superfood due to its important properties:
- it is a low-calorie food (low in calories) with satiating power
- has a low glycemic index (also perfect for diabetics)
- has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory power , also bringing benefits to the immune system
- stabilizes cholesterol levels in the blood
Yacon can be found on the market in the form of powder or syrup. Our Protein Power spreads, peanut and cinnamon cream, and Femme Fatale contain yacon powder as a sweetener, which gives a sweet flavor but have only 4.4g and 3.4g of sugars respectively.
There are more and more natural alternatives to refined sugar and artificial sweeteners. For a good, healthy and natural diet, it is essential to choose natural sweeteners that do not undergo manufacturing processes so that you can benefit from all their properties. However, since they are sweeteners, it is important to remember that they should be consumed in moderation.