We all have had a sweet tooth from time to time, admit it. I mean, who doesn’t love ice cream, cake and donuts, right? I know I do. There is a downside to having those cravings though. The saying that “too much of a good thing can be bad for you,” is actually correct.
Sugar comes from the sugarcane plant, which actually looks closer to bamboo than an actual plant. The juices extracted from the cane is filtered and heated to evaporate any liquid, until it thickens and hardens into sugar crystals. The color of the sugar at this point is brown. There are other steps in the process that can be utilized to turn the sugar white, or powdered. The point is that sugar itself is a natural product that is safe to eat. Consuming too much of it though, can have a serious side effect on our health.
Studies conducted shows that it can lead to many lifestyle diseases such as obesity, heart disease and type 2 diabetes. It has even been linked to cancer and acne. With the public becoming more aware of their health and diet needs, many people have turned to sugar alternatives. This is a good thing because it enlightens to us the fact that there are other options out here to get our fix of sweet.
Here are 3 Alternatives to Sugar
This is a very popular sugar substitute that has gathered a lot of attention. This alternative also comes from a plant. The stevia plant is mainly grown in parts of South America, and is used for its sweetness and medical properties. The sugars found in the plant are much sweeter that natural cane sugar when comparing gram for gram. What makes it a great contender for the real deal is the amount of calories stevia has. It has significantly less calories, which means that you can get your sugar rush without worrying about those ponds. There has been some controversy about overuse of this sweetener as some research has shown that it may have a negative effect on gut microbes.
2. Coconut sugar
This is another great alternative to regular cane sugar. It comes from various types of palm trees, which includes coconuts of course. Instead of using the fruit, like you may think, coconut sugar actually comes from the sap of the tree. The sap from the trees are collected and processed much the same as regular sugar. The end result is a product that looks very much like brown sugar and is just as sweet, but healthier. Coconut sugar has a low glycemic index, which means it wouldn’t cause your blood sugar to rise. This makes it a really good substitute. I have personally used it and can say that it does work well.
Unlike the other substitutes mentioned thus far, honey is not processed and does not come from plants. Well, mostly. Bees make honey, but they use the pollen collected form flowers to do so. I won’t go over the exact method of how bees make honey, (you might not like it). One thing to note is that it is by far the best alternative to sugar out there. It can also be the most expensive, depending on what type of honey you decide to purchase. The benefits of natural honey is numerous. What’s more, honey has an extremely long shelf life. Jars of honey where found when archeologist unearthed Egyptian tombs. When examined, it was found that the honey was still edible. This is a big in my book.
Of course there are many other natural and artificial alternatives out there that you can look into using. Just be mindful that there can also be some negatives associated.