4 Sweet Sugar Alternatives
Not long ago, most health issues were blamed on fat. Overweight? Heart attack waiting to happen? Health pros advised cutting back on the bacon. But more recently, researchers have discovered that sugar may just be the more dangerous culprit behind obesity and cardiovascular disease.
And it's not just white sugar that's the problem. Any form of sweetener has the potential to cause diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, nutritional deficiency, hypoglycemia, digestive problems, immune dysfunction, candida and cancer. Corn syrup, fructose, glucose, fruit juice, golden syrup, malt syrup, maltodextrin, barley malt and ethyl maltol are just a few names for some of the sugars that you can find in our food.
Now don't think that adding artificial sweeteners to your coffee will solve the problem, either. These chemicals can have the same negative effects as real sugar, and can cause even scarier issues. The main artificial sweetener, aspartame, is a neurological irritant, can affect mood and energy and has been shown to increase risks of certain kinds of cancer. Sorbitol, another artificial sweetener, has been known to aggravate digestive issues and potentially cause nervous system and blood vessel damage.
Most people use these alternatives as a way to lose weight by reducing calorie intake. The reality is that by consuming these products you are introducing foreign, disease-causing chemicals into your body. On top of the negative health effects, recent studies have shown that they will not help in weight loss as they increase hunger and sugar cravings.
Thankfully there are a number of alternatives that are natural, unrefined and have potential health benefits:
Agave contains anti-inflammatory and immune system-boosting properties, including antimicrobial ability. Additionally, it contains inulin, a type of finer that can be effective in weight loss because of its limited impact on blood sugar and appetite. Inulin is also associated with lowering cholesterol, reducing the risk of certain cancers, and increasing the absorption of nutrients.
Maple syrup is filled with antioxidants and anti-inflammatories that may help prevent diabetes, cancer, osteoporosis, and Alzheimer’s. It also helps to settle digestion issues that you would usually experience from refined and processed sweeteners. Finally, it contains nutrients like manganese, zinc, iron, calcium and potassium helps repair muscle and cell damage and supports reproductive health.
Stevia is a natural sweetener derived from the sweet leaf plant. Three hundred times sweeter than sugar, a little goes a long way. It contains no carbohydrates and zero calories and has been shown to lower blood pressure, blood sugar levels and has antibacterial properties. This amazing alternative continues to be studies but it appears that stevia may also have the ability to help our bodies form calcium.
Coconut sugar’s most notable features are the minerals Iron, Zinc, Calcium and Potassium. With a relatively low glycemic index, coconut sugar could prevent the blood sugar crashes that make you hungry and then cause you to gain weight.