What Should I Sweeten With Instead of Sugar?


A balance of tastes (spicy, salty, sour, bitter and sweet) is important for your health, it makes you feel satisfied during and after eating. In other words balancing the tastes can prevent cravings!

The sweet tasting foods provide soothing, strengthening and nourishing actions for the muscle, nerves and brains. Examples of these foods are sweet vegetables like carrots or onions and whole food sweeteners. “Empty sweets” like refined sugar, processed cookies & cakes, artificial sweeteners have no nutritional value and should be avoided as they upset the natural balance of the body and deplete the body’s minerals.

To get your sweet taste, chose from this list of all-natural, whole food options found in nature or minimally processed. They all have nutritional value and when combined with healthy fats and proteins, can keep your body and blood sugar balanced.

  • Fruitsdates

Use: Fruits (bananas, berries, apples….) can be added to oatmeal or a shake for a delicious breakfast and of course can be eaten as a snack (combined with a handful of nuts for the protein and healthy fats.

  •  (Fresh) dates

Benefits: They are rich in fiber and potassium and provide vitamin D, manganese and magnesium. Make sure to buy natural dates without any added sugar (most dates in supermarkets have added sugar). Use: when baking a cake, making a cereal bar or a shake.

  • Honey

Benefits: Honey is a source of vitamin B and C and has anti-allergy and antimicrobial properties. While it does have slightly more calories than sugar, its strong flavor means a little goes a long way. Make sure to buy pure honey (check the ingredients) as most honey you can buy in the supermarket has added sugar. I recommend raw honey. Use: You can replace sugar with honey in most recipes. Use half the quantity of sugar.

  • Maple syrup

Benefits: It is a good source of antioxidants and minerals, maple syrup comes from the sap of trees and is lightly processed. Chose organic for the most minerals. Use: Great (lower-calorie) sweetener for baking and to sweeten pancakes .

  • Liquid stevia (not processed)

Benefits: Stevia Rebaudiana is a plant in the stevia group of plants that grows wild in Paraguay and Brazil. The glucosides in the leaves are the extremely sweet part of the plant. It is super sweet, has no calories and it will not affect your blood sugar level

Use: The extract (liquid Stevia) can be up to 300 times sweeter than sugar. Chose the dark version as it has the most benefits. Liquid stevia can last months, since sweetening a drink, sauce, or salad dressing only requires a few drops each.

Agave nectar (it comes from the same plant as tequila) is often mentioned as good alternative too—but because it’s made up of almost all fructose, abstaining from agave may be a good idea as consuming large doses of fructose may have negative effects on your health.

 

honeyTakeaway: Your body needs the sweet taste to function and to be balanced but make sure to use “full sweets” – listed above – that have nutritional value and avoid “empty sweet” – refined sugars, glucose, fructose, dextrose, aspartame …..- that are not nourishing and could make you sick.

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