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5 Healthy Alternatives to Table Sugar

5 Healthy Alternatives to Table Sugar
By Barbara Ross

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tp 201905 NUTRITION 05If there鈥檚 one thing that we are all guilty of when it comes to food habits, it鈥檚 sugar consumption. Pretty much everyone in this world has their own dietary weaknesses, and more often it has to do with added sugar.

 

Now we all very well know that sugar can be bad for your body. But not many of us take it seriously. And to make matters worse, sugar is present in almost all food that we consume on a daily basis, which makes it all the more difficult to avoid.

 

However, it is high time you put your foot down. If you have a sweet tooth, then you absolutely must try and control your sugar intake, especially if you are an older adult. Sugar has been found to increase the risk of Diabetes Type 2 and insulin resistance. Among older adults, it can also cause mild cognitive impairment. And let鈥檚 not forget tooth related issues.


Other diseases that sugar can cause include obesity, cancer and heart diseases.

 

Suffice it to say that sugar is one of the worst ingredients in the modern-day diet.

 

But thankfully, the modern diet also prescribes some practical ways to avoid sugar. And that is by using other sweeteners. There are a number of healthy alternatives that you can use in your food instead of regular table sugar.

 

Let鈥檚 explore 5 of the best alternatives.

tp 201905 NUTRITION 03Stevia

Stevia is a high intensity natural sweetener that is extracted from the leaves of a South America shrub. One of its main benefits is that it contains zero calories. For the same reason it does not cause weight gain. Several studies have further proved that Stevia also does not cause any adverse health effects. It is also known to lower the blood pressure and insulin levels. It is available in liquid, as well as powder form.

tp 201905 NUTRITION 01Honey

Honey is yet another natural sweetener that comes with a load of other benefits apart from being a healthy sugar alternative. It has anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties, which is why it forms an ingredient of skin care products, as well. It is also good for heart health. It can be used in almost any food item, including drinks, baked goods and even salads. However, it does contain fructose, which is one of the most harmful ingredients of sugar.

tp 201905 NUTRITION 04Xylitol

Xylitol is basically a sugar alcohol that can be used as a sweetener. It is extracted from corn or birch wood and is also found in a number of fruits and vegetables. It contains up to 40% less calories than sugar, which makes it a healthier alternative. It also does not increase blood sugar or insulin levels like sugar. A lot of the harmful effects of sugar are associated with its high fructose content. Xylitol, on the other hand, does not contain fructose and hence comes with many health benefits. It comes in a granulated form, which makes it easy to be used, as well.

tp 201905 NUTRITION 06Erythritol

Erythritol is another form of sugar alcohol, but it contains fewer calories than Xylitol. It only contains 6% of the calories of regular sugar, but it tastes almost just like sugar. This makes it easier to be used in place of sugar. Since the human body does not break down erythritol, most of it gets absorbed directly into the blood stream. Hence, it does not cause any side effects either. It also does not raise blood sugar, insulin or cholesterol levels.

tp 201905 NUTRITION 07Acesulfame Potassium (E950)

Acesulfame Potassium, which is also known as E950 in some parts of Europe, is an artificial high intensity sweetener that is almost 200 times sweeter than regular sugar. It has absolutely no calories and it does not cause tooth decay. Also called Ace-K, it can also be used in baking and cooking, since it is heat-stable. Even though it is sweeter than regular sugar, it does not provide the same volume. Hence, it should be sparingly used when cooking.

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