Health & Nutrition
Most people love sugar and have sweet tooth. But eating extra sugar can make you gain weight and hosts several medical conditions like Diabetes, Heart Disease, Obesity, and fatty liver disease. While it’s perfectly healthy to consume foods that contain a minimum amount of added sugar on occasion, keeping your total sugar intake to a minimum may help reduce the risk of these conditions and also might improve your health in other ways. In wish to cut this refined sugar and HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) from your daily intake, there are many alternatives that you might choose from. These are called Sweeteners. Sweeteners are an alternative to sugars; they might carry fewer to no calories in comparison to Refined sugar and HFCS.
Here are some alternatives to refined sugar.
Is a plant-based natural sweetener that’s derived from the leaves of the South American shrub, scientifically known as Stevia rebaudiana. This plant-based sweetener gets its sweetness from one of two compounds called glycosides extracted from leaves — stevioside and rebaudioside A. These sweet compounds contain zero calories and are up to 350- 450 times sweeter than sugar, and may taste slightly different than refined sugar. Research on animals and humans indicated that replacing regular sugar with stevia may reduce blood sugar levels and prevent weight gain.
2. Monk Fruit Sweetener
Monk fruit sweeteners are produced by removing the skin and seeds of the fruit, crushing the fruit, and then filtering and extracting from dried fruit. This extract is 150-250 times sweeter than table sugar, has zero calories and carbs, and does not hike blood glucose levels. Most non-nutritive sweeteners can cause side effects like gas, bloating, or allergic reactions, whereas monk fruit sweetener does not pose threat like these. It’s been recognized as GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) by FDA (Food and Drug Administration), for pregnant women and children too. Even so, because monk fruit is relatively new to the mass market, there are no minor scientific studies present on the effects of its long-term use.
3. Sugar Alcohols
Also known as Polyols, it is a type of carbohydrate found in fruits and vegetables. The majority of sugar alcohols preferred in the market are xylitol, erythritol, and maltitol. The bacteria in the mouth don’t ferment sugar alcohols as they do with refined sugar, which minimizes the damage caused to your teeth. Also, they hold fewer calories concerning refined sugar and don’t significantly affect blood sugar levels, making them a smart alternative for diabetic people. Erythritol and xylitol contain 0.2 and 2.4 calories per gram, whereas table sugar contains 4 calories per gram.
Although they are considered generally safe, some may cause health issues if taken in greater doses. As sorbitol triggers laxative effects at doses of 20-50 grams and erythritol may upset the stomach at 1000mg per kg of body weight. Xylitol is highly toxic for dogs, so keep it strictly away or avoid it completely for those who live with the dog.
Also known as D-allulose, is a monosaccharide sugar generally found in certain fruits. It has 70% of sweetness in comparison to refined sugar and closely mimics its taste of it as well.
Is very low in calories and provides 0.2 calories per gram. All these points make it quite an acceptable and ideal choice in replacement of table sugar. But may lead to certain conditions like bloating, abdominal pain, and diarrhea in excessive doses. So, a person should stick to a minimum dose of 0.4g of per Kg of body weight and a maximum dose of 0.9g of per Kg of body weight.
5. Yacon Syrup
It is extracted from the yacon plant scientifically known as Smallanthus sonchifolius, which is native to South America. It is sweet, its appearance is of dark color, and its thick consistency makes it somewhat comparable to molasses. Is rich in fructooligosaccharides, which is a type of sugar molecule that our body is unable to digest. Because these sugar molecules are undigested, yacon syrup provides one-third of the calories of regular sugar or about 1.3 calories per gram. Fructooligosaccharides present in yacon syrup might offer health benefits as these compounds act as prebiotics, which helps feed the friendly bacteria present in your gut.
It is a thick, golden liquid produced by honeybees. It contains trace amounts of minerals and vitamins and an abundance of plant compounds that provide antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. honey polyphenols may help modulate inflammation in your body and has a slightly lower glycaemic index (GI) than table sugar. These qualities might make it a healthier alternative than refined sugar.