Numerous studies on sugar and its effects on health have led to the search for new ways to sweeten our diet without resorting to white sugar. Here we are talking about 6 natural sweeteners that limit the consumption of sugar.
To reduce the consumption of sugar it may be a good idea to resort to some of the sweet alternatives that we find in the market. From honey to stevia, the offer of Sugar substitutes that claim to be healthy are usually quite broad.
Why do we like the sweet taste so much?
According to the WHO, the consumption of sugar should not exceed 10% of the total caloric intake due to its harmful effects derived from an abusive consumption. In addition, it gives us empty calories that promotes weight gain and body fat, and increases the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
We like the sweet taste of sugar because it gives us a sense of pleasure. Its consumption stimulates the production of dopamine, which makes us feel pleasure and it is this pleasure that makes us increasingly need to eat more, since our brain becomes less sensitive to this hormone.
Sugar has a direct effect on the reward system of the organism, providing pleasure and favoring its abusive consumption.
Also, sugar activates the brain's reward center, making it very addictive. Taking into account all of the above, The first thing to do is reeducate the palate to the sweet flavors present in nature.
The ideal is to reduce the amount of sugar that a person needs to sweeten the tea, the yogurt or the desserts, because the appetite is being educated. While we achieve this goal, we can opt for more natural solutions that we describe below.
You can read: How and why reduce the consumption of soft drinks
Natural sweeteners to limit sugar consumption
This sweet plant native to South America and very famous in Japan, is one of the most powerful natural sweeteners. Unlike white sugar, stevia contains no calories and is suitable for diabetics, since it does not produce such high peaks of blood glucose.
When choosing stevia, We recommend that you choose stevia pure and non-sweetening based on stevia, Well, some of those found in supermarkets are a mixture of artificial sweeteners with purified extract of stevia.
2. Limit the consumption of sugar with honey
In addition to sweetener, honey has royal jelly, which has positive effects on the immune system in the prevention of infectious diseases.
If what worries you about sugar is not that it fattens you but it does not give you anything more than empty calories, in that case honey is the best natural sweetener for you. Honey, besides sweetening, is considered a functional food because It provides us with vitamins, minerals and amino acids, as well as antibiotic and bactericidal properties.
So if you dare to take honey, you will add essential nutrients to your diet with a few fewer calories. Of course, to make sure that it contains its properties intact Choose organic honeys that are not refined.
3. Birch molasses (Xylitol)
Its peculiarity is that it does not produce insulin spikes, so it will keep sugar levels stable. This makes it in the ideal sugar for diabetics and to control weight, It will prevent the feeling of hunger that occurs when insulin is altered.
Further, If you usually suffer from cavities, it is very advisable that you opt for this type of sugar, since it helps to keep the bacteria at bay avoiding that they sting our teeth.
4. The agape syrup
This natural sweetener has a consistency and taste similar to honey.
It is produced from the juice of a plant in Mexico. This sweetener tastes like honey but has a lighter consistency. Unlike normal sugar, Agave syrup contains essential nutrients such as vitamins and minerals. This sugar substitute is more liquid than honey, so it dissolves better in food and beverages.
Read also: Sweeteners how do they affect weight loss?
5. Panela to limit the consumption of sugar
This product It is prepared from the syrup of sugar cane. It is soaked, boiled and molded and dried, before purifying it to turn it into brown sugar. In addition, it does not undergo any chemical refining process.
Unlike sugar (consisting mainly of sucrose) It has glucose, fructose, proteins, minerals (calcium, iron and phosphorus) and vitamins (A, C, D, E, group B). Therefore, it is considered a better option than sugar, because it provides fewer calories than refined sugar.
Among its benefits, Strengthens the immune system and the bone system, helps to regulate the heart rate and and the transmission of the nervous and muscular impulse.
6. Coconut sugar
Despite its name, this sugar it is not extracted from the fruit, but from the sap of its flower which is heated until all the water evaporates. By means of this elaboration process it is possible to preserve some of its properties.
So, coconut sugar It provides us with minerals such as iron, potassium and zinc, polyphenols, antioxidants and amino acids In small quantities. In addition, because it has a relatively low glycemic index to be a sweetener, it does not produce sudden increases in blood sugar.
These sweeteners They can be healthier and more natural than sugar. However, we recommend that you use these substitutes in moderation.