Cutting Out Sugar? Try These Healthier Sweeteners!
By Stepy Kamei
It's no secret that sugar's not exactly good for your health. Studies have shown that consuming too much sugar can cause issues such as inflammation, headaches, unhealthy fluctuations in blood sugar levels, and an increase in developing diseases such as obesity and heart disease later in life. Still, it can be hard to resist using sugar to add a touch of sweetness to your favorite desserts, drinks, and other recipes. A little bit of sugar is all right in moderation, but it really will benefit your overall health if you avoid consuming it in large quantities. If you're finding it difficult to stay away from the sweet stuff, you can always try a healthier alternative. Read on to learn more about some healthy alternatives to keep your diet on track -- without sacrificing taste!
One of the easiest substitutions to make in lieu of sugar is honey. Unlike processed and refined white sugar, honey is completely natural, which already makes it a healthier choice. Honey can be used in such a wide variety of recipes, whether it's to sweeten tea, drizzled over pancakes, or baked into banana bread. As an added bonus, honey won't spike your blood sugar levels an unhealthy amount. Consider using honey as a quick substitute the next time you're tempted to use sugar.
If you need the grainy consistency that sugar provides for your baking, try out coconut sugar instead. This variety of sweetener has fewer calories, and even contains potassium, which is good for maintaining muscle strength. Coconut sugar is an especially good alternative for people who have diabetes or may be pre-diabetic, since it has a lower glycemic index.
Many recipes call for corn syrup, which can be detrimental to your health. Fortunately, nutritionists are recommending a much better alternative -- tapioca syrup. It's got a similar amount of sweetness, and the viscosity is comparable to that of corn syrup, but it's got a lower calorie count. Give it a try!
The next time you're craving a sweet dessert at the end of the evening, consider reaching for fruit instead of something like cookies. Fruits tend to be naturally sweet, and often contain loads of vitamins and minerals which are great for your overall health. Try preparing a cup of yogurt with some fresh berries and bananas mixed in for a delectable yet healthy snack.
To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Sacramento, Calif.