There is an abundance of white sugar in food. However, not only does white sugar not offer you any health benefits, but it can also lead to health problems in the long term.
Here are several natural and healthy sweeteners that are great alternatives to white sugar. What’s more, they will help sweeten your recipes and at the same time, provide countless health benefits. They are also the most recommended sweeteners for diabetics and overweight people. Do you know about molasses, stevia, syrup, or panela?
Brown Sugar or Cane Sugar
Brown sugar is one of the most well-known options and the easiest to find as it is sold in supermarkets. This is not refined sugar, in contrast to white sugar, which is why it contains vitamins (vitamin A, B1, B2, etc.) and natural minerals from sugar cane or sugar beet. It also depends on the process because some brands sell white sugar with a light brown color that is actually white sugar with a little bit of molasses extract added to it. We recommend brown sugar to use in recipes for desserts and sweets because it is economic and healthier. But you should preferably choose the following sweeteners to sweeten.
Panela is obtained by evaporating the juices from cane sugar. It is used a lot in Latin America. Just like honey, it has balsamic and expectorant effects, which is why it is an ideal medicinal remedy. Drink it with warm water and lemon if you have a cold, flu, throat pain, etc. It also contains 50 times more minerals than refined sugar, like calcium, potassium, magnesium, copper, iron, and phosphorus.
Honey, besides being able to sweeten 25 times more than sugar, has a delicious flavor and is a very nutritious food. It is known as a natural antibiotic. It has countless properties: it is antiseptic, strengthening, calming, laxative, diuretic, and antibacterial. They recommend consuming a teaspoon a day, alone or mixed with juice, yogurt, or in an infusion. It is important to consume raw, organic honey so that you truly get all of its properties. It is also interesting to know that if you have an injury or burn, you can apply a little bit of honey to help cure it.
Cane honey or molasses is obtained from cane sugar and is called “honey” because of its similarity to bee honey despite its tendency to have a darker color and a stronger flavor. In fact, the darker in color it is, the more properties it has.
It is rich in minerals and vitamins, which is why it is recommended for athletes, children, people with anemia, exhaustion, stress, etc.
Stevia is one of nature’s miracles. This plant with origins in Paraguay has the property of sweetening a lot more than sugar and providing many benefits for your health: it is slightly hypotensive, it improves your dental health and circulation, it’s digestive, etc.
Stevia doesn’t have any calories which is why it is ideal for people that follow weight loss diets.
It is also great for diabetic people not only because it doesn’t alter blood sugar levels but also because many cases have shown that it can help regulate these levels naturally by drinking three infusions with stevia a day.
To take advantage of its properties, drink it in powder form or pure extract, or by eating the plant leaves directly as well. If you want to use it to sweeten without the characteristic flavor of the plant, which is similar to licorice, you can get a purified extract (transparent in color). Although this won’t be as therapeutic, it will sweeten without extra calories and the harmful effects of sugar or artificial sweeteners like aspartame.
Agave nectar or syrup, which is an extract from a type of cactus, has a similar texture to honey and a sweet but mild taste. This sweetener is also ideal for diabetics, as long as it is consumed in moderation because it has a low glycemic index.
Like the aforementioned sweeteners, this one also has multiple beneficial properties. Just be sure that it has been processed raw and not at high temperatures.
It is ideal for sweetening infusions, juices, smoothies, etc. and can also substitute sugar in many recipes.
Remember that you should always consult a doctor if you are suffering from any illness before eating any food continuously.
Images courtesy of kulinarno, alsjhc, and sweetbeetandgreebean