It has always been found in our homes to sweeten foods and drinks during the day: we are talking about the common white sugar, the food that nutritionists have long recommended replacing both in diets and in ordinary food regimes.
We therefore want to explore the reasons that must convince us to use valid substitutes and understand, once and for all, which foods to use as an alternative to sugar to obtain the same sweetening effect but significantly improving the health of our body.
We will therefore provide you with 10 valid solutions to be included without fear in your daily diet.
Why replace sugar?
White sugar, also known as sucrose, has the reputation of being the sweetener par excellence but did you know that it's not exactly a panacea for your health?
And here it is therefore necessary to specify what it can cause in the human body:
- produces abdominal tension and intestinal gas
- alters the bacterial flora
- generates states of excitability
- produces blood sugar spikes
- acts on the nervous system
- impairs the functionality of the B vitamins
- makes you fat
- can be addictive
And if that's still not enough for you, to give up your daily dose of white sugar, we also add that it can worsen previous diseases, such as diabetes, and cause hormonal stress.
In short, abusing it is never the right choice. But the solution is not to eliminate it completely from our diet, but to use valid alternatives that obtain the same results from the point of view of taste, but without compromise.
Sugar substitutes manage to give us that sweetened taste we are looking for and are not harmful to health. But be careful: not all of them are indicated if, for example, you are following a very specific dietary path, so read each item carefully to understand if it is the right alternative to sugar for you or if you need to focus on something else.
What to use instead of sugar
Here's a handy list of natural sweeteners that can serve as a sugar alternative with no regrets.
There stevia is a plant from South America from which a sweetening powder is obtained thanks to the amount of sucrose found inside. It is one of the most popular solutions in dietary regimens, for example in the presence of forms of diabetes, but it has its dark sides. It doesn't cause damage to health but its taste isn't for everyone!
In fact, it has a licorice aftertaste that doesn't always go well with drinks and foods to be sweetened.
Great alternative to sugarallulose it recalls many characteristics, starting with its flavor and texture, which are very similar. But this rare sugar has qualities that white sugar doesn't have: it has very few calories, it doesn't produce gas or even bloating.
Basically, it's healthy and it's good too!
With incredible nutritional properties, honey is a sugar substitute widely used in homes since ancient times. It provides a high energy load and sweetens even more than white sugar, with a stronger flavor that not everyone likes, if in excessive quantities. But it's not good in some diets: for example, those who follow the vegan philosophy cannot use it and have to fall back on other choices.
4. Whole brown sugar
The first difference that catches the eye is in the colour. Brown sugar is brownish and more grainy than its white counterpart. Then, after tasting it, you immediately feel a different flavor, a little more bitter, but it is a detail that does not compromise the overall taste and for this reason it is one of the most appreciated choices especially by those who do not like bitter coffee and wants to give up the healthy sweetener.
5. Coconut sugar
And then there's also coconut sugar: similar in many respects to white sugar, it has the same calories and the same taste, but it's not refined. This means that it does not lead to alterations in glycemic values and has an excellent taste for those who love sugary flavors in their confectionary preparations. In fact, we immediately reassure you that it does not taste like coconut as its name might immediately suggest.
We find it naturally in fruit and vegetables: apples are rich in it. But replacing fructose with sugar can also have some contraindications if you follow a low-calorie diet. In fact, its sweetening power is 20% greater than white sugar and therefore it must be dosed well so as not to unbalance the sugar intake in foods and in the diet. And above all so as not to alter the flavors which could also be excessively cloying on the palate.
Malt is obtained from the germination of corn or barley. Its sweetening power is less than white sugar but when it is used in recipes it is always good to remember that 50% must be used more than the usual sugar. In any case, it is widely used as an alternative to sugar because it has no harmful effects on the body.
With a completely different consistency, molasses is liquid and much sweeter than white sugar. It is obtained by working white and cane sugar and is not as readily available as the other types of sweeteners described so far.
9. Maple syrup
If we think of maple syrup we don't imagine it as a sugar substitute, yet many use it just like that! So if you thought it was only great on pancakes, know that you can also use it in all foods and drinks where you usually put sugar. And you will also receive significant benefits from it: as a source of iron, vitamins and sucrose it is good for your health! Furthermore, it has a very delicate taste that does not bother in the various recipes.
10. Apple and grape syrup
Finally, another sugar substitute is another type of syrup, this time made with grapes or apples. It is obtained after a fermentation process which produces a real sweetening juice. This nectar can be used anywhere without getting any aftertaste and the ideal quantity to put in recipes is 80 grams compared to the usual 100 grams of white sugar.
And which one do you prefer?
In the vast panorama of natural sweeteners, there are various possibilities for replacing sugar, choosing according to one's food preferences or needs related to particular diets.
The important thing is to follow the instructions relating to the doses carefully to avoid sweetening too much (or too little) and compromising the success of a recipe or the taste of a drink.
Perhaps initially it will not be easy to get used to the difference with white sugar and eventually you can make this transition gradually. However, the advice is not to abuse either one or the other, and also evaluate well the addition of sugars in the foods we buy at the supermarket, to improve the state of health as a whole.