Are you thinking of eliminating processed white sugar from your diet? These refined sugar alternatives for a healthier life are great to have in your stockroom or kitchen.
It’s time for you to skip the refined sugar and start giving these refined sugar alternatives a chance for a healthier life and have a more effective weight loss journey.
Sugar Affects Your Health
The health benefits linked to reducing our sugar intake may be incalculable. We all know that high sugar intake has been linked to a wide range of health conditions, either directly through its effect on the body or indirectly due to complications from obesity. Complications include:
Tooth decay and cavities
Type 2 diabetes
Malnutrition or poor nutrition
High triglyceride levels
Low HDL (“good cholesterol”), which is a risk factor for heart disease
In addition, certain types of cancers may be linked to obesity and poor nutrition.
Many people who are starting their weight loss journey often encounter one big challenge when it comes to eating and being healthy. That challenge is cutting back sugar from our diet. Many are in a serious love affair with sugar. And just like any bad romance, the love affair with this sweet stuff has serious issues connected with it. It’s not secret sugar spikes up the blood glucose levels which contribute to insulin resistance leading to diabetes. Refined sugar can seriously damage your health. But despite all this, giving up sugar is probably the farthest thing on your mind.
Totally giving up the sweet stuff may not be an option for many but we’re glad to know that there are substitutes available now that will satisfy the sweet tooth but are healthier. Just keep in mind though that just because you used a white sugar substitute when making your favorite treats and sweets, it won’t necessarily turn that baked doughnut you prepared into a superfood. Eating in moderation is still one of the keys to weight loss. These substitutes offer a better alternative and some health benefits too.
Dates are the perfect substitute for sugar because they are naturally sweet. Another added benefit of dates is that they’re full of fiber. This fruit is super versatile because you can add them to your smoothies, make your own power bars and energy balls, toss them in salads and make salad dressing from it. Blend, puree, or turn them into a paste so you can use them for baking. The possibilities are endless if you just put your imagination to work. Plus, they’re great snacks on their own.
We love to eat Medjool dates. Thankfully, it’s now easier than ever to order and get them.
If you want to cut sugar in your recipes, turn to applesauce and use it as replacement to sugar plus you are making it healthier too. Applesauce works fantastic in cakes, muffins, cookies, and cupcakes. Using applesauce to sweeten your baked creations also helps moisten the baked goodies and applesauce can even be used as substitute for butter or oil.
We love applesauce so much that I often just give these little cups of goodness to my kids as snacks and they gulp it down.
Now, don’t be surprised. Sugar substitutes don’t necessarily have to be very sweet. When it comes to discarding that “white stuff” but still wanting to have flavor, sweetness, and a little bit of kick in your drinks or recipes a good trick to use is grab spices like cinnamon or a vanilla bean. (Please take note that we mean the real vanilla bean pod and utilizing those little specks and not use powder or liquid vanilla.)
Admittedly, this might take a little bit of getting used to but once you do this for a few short days you would be surprised to find how well your body has adapted to the change.
I love using Kirkland’s Saigon Cinnamon because it has the highest coumarin content at an affordable price. I love putting cinnamon in my chocolate drinks.
No sugar substitute list would be complete without honey. Unlike processed, white table sugar, this sugar substitute is all natural and is very flavorful. Manuka honey contains antimicrobial properties. They’ve been used since ancient times to not only flavor their favorite foods and desserts but as remedies for various ailments too. You can use honey for just about anything.
Use honey in your tea, coffee, smoothies, juices, toasts, food, dessert, beauty regimen and just about anything you can imagine needs that bit of sweetness.
5.) Coconut Sugar
Coconut sugar is a natural sweetener.
It is way healthier than refined white sugar because it’s unrefined thus, it retains all of its vitamins and minerals. It doesn’t lead to fluctuations in blood sugar but if you are diabetic, we advise that it’s still best that you consult a doctor before incorporating it into your diet. It has the same number of calories as sugar.
Coconut sugar can be used as a one-to-one replacement for white or brown sugar, so it is easy to use in the kitchen. However, it can be very coarse. The solve this texture problem, we recommend that you put the coconut sugar in your blender and then pulse it for a minute or two so it becomes more refined and easier to use in your recipes.
These are the best sugar substitutes we have personally used so far and they have worked great in helping us eliminate processed sugar in our diet. Here’s our tips for sugar reduction that you can implement on a daily basis.
1.) Use sugar-free preserves and jams to sweeten your favorite desserts.
2.) Choose natural, healthy, and fresh fruits instead of processed desserts.
3.) Put fruit in your cereals instead of adding sugar in the milk or eating sweetened cereal.
4.) Snack on dried fruit or even trail mix instead of candy or processed dessert snack packs. Be mindful of portion control.
5.) Opt for the unsweetened versions of applesauce, power bars, nut butters, jams, preserves, and spreads instead of the sweetened kind as they contain hidden quantities of sugar.
With a wider selection of sugar substitutes available today, you can slowly wean yourself from the sweet stuff so you can still enjoy your desserts and meals.
Just do your research and again, always be mindful of portion control so you can continue to enjoy your favorite sweet treats without the guilt. Which sugar substitutes do you use most often? What are your favorite tips for reducing sugar in your family’s diet?
Please leave your comments below so we can share your sweet finds and tips with others.