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Sugar can be found in various foods and drinks, from sweets to energizers. Though it’s delicious in small amounts, overconsuming sugar can put your health at risk for conditions like diabetes and heart disease. Sugar substitutes have become increasingly popular due to their perceived health benefits. Yet, it may be difficult for vegans to locate acceptable sugar replacements because some of these products may contain substances produced by animals. In this piece, we’ll discuss sugar’s function in the body and the different vegan-friendly alternatives to sugar. We’ll talk about how to utilize them in the kitchen and their other aspects.

 

Best Sugar Substitutes to Use

 

If you want to embark on a healthier lifestyle, reducing your refined sugar intake is a great way. Too much sugar in our bodies can cause various health problems; one common risk has higher blood pressure. Lowering your intake of sugar might be a difficult thing to do, but have no fear; there are a lot of natural sugar substitutes you can take – especially for those that have a sweet tooth. If you want to know the best sugar substitutes that are low in calories but taste very sweet, read on.

 

sugar substitute

 

Definition of Sugar

 

According to the Institute of Food Technologists, sugars are a type of carbohydrate, and as with other carbohydrates, they contain carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen molecules. Sugars are caloric, sweet-tasting compounds that occur widely in nature, including fruits, vegetables, honey, and human and dairy milk. Humans are born with the desire or preference for sweet taste. The presence of lactose (a type of naturally occurring sugar in milk) in breast milk helps ensure that this primary source of infant nutrition is palatable and acceptable. Chemically and concerning foods, sugars are monosaccharide or disaccharide carbohydrates, which impart a sweet taste. Most foods contain some of each.

 

 

Uses of Sugar

 

1. Sweeten Food

 

One of the most common uses of sugar is to sweeten our food. As a result of its versatility, sugar is a common ingredient in most kitchens.

 

2. Preserve Food

 

Did you know that sugar is also used to preserve food? If you did not know this, sugar is a great way to preserve our foods’ taste, texture, and color. A great example is in jams; sugars inhibit bacteria growth, making our jam last longer.

 

3. Stops Hiccups

 

Taking a spoonful of sugar helps an individual stop his hiccups. The science behind this, according to the Sugar Association, is that the graininess of the sugar slightly irritates the esophagus, causing it to reset and forget the hiccups altogether.

 

Side Effects of Too Much Sugar

 

Even though sugar has some benefits, especially the unrefined kind, eating a lot of this carbohydrate for a long time can cause some problems.

 

Some negative outcomes of excessive sugar intake include:

 

1. Increase the Risk of Heart Disease

 

Research shows that individuals with high-sugar diets are more prone to getting heart diseases. In a study conducted by the JAMA Internal Medicine cited by Harvard Health Publishing, during the 15-year study, More than twenty-five percent of a person’s caloric intake should not come from sugar, as doing so doubles the risk of cardiovascular death among participants than those who consumed less than ten percent. Regardless of age, sex, physical activity, or BMI, the amount of sugar in the diet increased the risk of heart disease death (a measure of weight).

 

2. Weight Gain

 

The epidemic of obesity is a considerable health problem throughout the world, but especially in the United States. According to the CDC, 2017, the obesity prevalence in the United States was 41.9 in 2017. A significant contributor to obesity on a global scale is sugar-sweetened beverages. Fruit juices, sodas, and energy drinks often have high fructose corn syrup, which is a sugar substitute that makes you gain weight. For example, a 12-ounce can of soda has a whopping 9.3 teaspoons of sugar!

 

3. Skin Aging

 

According to research, sugar can damage the skin through glycation. The study, “The role of glycation in the pathogenesis of aging and its prevention through herbal products and physical exercise,” determined glycation occurs when free reducing sugars react non-enzymatically with free amino groups in proteins, DNA, and lipids to produce Amadori products. Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) come from Amadori products undergoing irreversible dehydration and rearrangement. Simply put, glycation is the process where sugar attaches to proteins in your body, causing harmful new molecules.

 

4. Prone to Fatty Liver Diseases

 

Our body converts extra glucose into fat cells. When this happens, the liver, as one of the major repositories of fat cells, is the one hit by the damage. In an article published by British Liver Trust, Non-Alcohol-related Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) will likely overtake alcohol as the leading cause of liver disease in the upcoming years. Research suggests that for a person with a 2000 daily calorie diet, maximum daily sugar intake is six tablespoons, equivalent to 100 calories for women, and nine teaspoons, equal to 150 calories for men.

5. Prone to Getting Acne

 

Studies show that people with a higher sugar level in their diet are more prone to acne and suffer hormonal imbalances. Research shows that when a person consumes sugary foods, these can cause a spike in blood sugar and insulin levels that can cause a spike in blood sugar and insulin levels, which leads to the overproduction of oil, androgen secretion, and inflammation.

 

Now that we know some of the adverse effects of sugar in our system, cutting off sugar immediately is difficult.

 

Because of this reason, an alternative way to slowly reduce the intake of processed sugar is by replacing it with alternative sugar substitutes to use.

 

Natural Sugar Substitutes to Use – to Avoid Sugar Cravings

 

1. Honey

 

Honey is the most common natural sugar sweetener in the market. When purchasing honey, I can recommend buying the honey labeled as “Raw Honey.” Most honey sold today contains added sugar, making it sweeter quickly and cheaply. That is why reading the information label is important. A simple rule of thumb to remember is the fewer ingredients, the better.

 

There are many reasons why honey is one of the best sugar substitutes to use, and listed below is a comparison between Raw Honey vs. Regular Honey.

 

Raw Honey Regular Honey
More antioxidants and more nutritious May contain added sugar and preservatives
Contains Pollen

– Pollen has numerous benefits that include the ability to reduce inflammation, increase immunity, and the like.

Does not contain pollen
Unprocessed Processed

 

 

2. Monk Fruit

 

Native to Southern China, this small-round fruit is a no-calorie sweetener. People have found it useful in lowering sugar levels in the body. Mon monk fruits are sweeter by 150-200 times more than sugar. Monk Fruit has many benefits one of which is that it promotes weight loss. Because monk fruit has no calories, fat, or carbs, it is a great sugar substitute for those trying to lose weight but still craving something sweet.

 

3. Maple Syrup

 

Maple syrup is a sweetener produced from the sap of maple trees. The first ever recorded maple syrup made was by the Indigenous peoples of North America. Most maple syrups you see in the market are from the United States and Canada. When purchasing maple syrup, it is essential to know that the best maple syrup out there is pure. Most store-bought maple syrups contain added preservatives and sugar, and a great way to check if your maple syrup is pure is by checking the label. When you have pure maple syrup, the ingredient listed includes only pure maple sap. Purchasing pure maple syrup is essential to get the most nutritional benefits and to avoid unnecessary additives. Some of the benefits of maple syrup versus refined sugar is that

 

4. Date Syrup

 

Date syrup is a natural sweetener from boiling dates and squeezing the liquid to get a rich, thick paste. Because date syrup is just the fruit itself in liquefied form, date syrup contains all the health benefits that the fruit boasts. One of which is that date syrup contains plenty of antioxidants. Other benefits of date syrups include having a low glycemic index and being high in fiber.

 

If you’re still not sure and want to try making date syrup at home, here’s a simple recipe.

 

Date Syrup at Home

 

Ingredients:

 

  • Medjool Dates
  • Water

 

Instructions:

 

  1. Cut your dates into smaller pieces.
  2. Place your dates in a pan with water and let it simmer on medium to high heat for thirty to forty-five minutes.
  3. Afterward, let the mixture cool down for about two hours.
  4. Once sufficiently cool, place the mixture in a food processor or blender.
  5. After blending, strain the liquid using a muslin cloth to remove the pulp.
  6. Once you have the juice, you can boil it and bring it to a thicker consistency.
  7. Coconut Sugar

 

Coconut sugar comes from the sap of a coconut tree. Coconut sugar is a good substitute for regular white sugar because it can help raise blood glucose levels.

 

6. Frozen Fruits

 

A fantastic way to sweeten up your meals is by adding frozen fruits. I love to add some of my favorite berries to my breakfast oatmeal to sweeten them up. Frozen fruits are perfect as a dessert on their own or added to any meal of your liking. What’s good about using frozen fruits is that they contain no added preservatives.

 

One of my favorite easy breakfast recipes is some good old overnight oats.

 

Easy Overnight Oats Recipe

 

Ingredients:

 

  1. Rolled Oats
  2. Soy Milk or any milk of your preference
  3. Plain yogurt
  4. Frozen Fruits
  5. Honey or Maple Syrup

 

Instructions:

 

  • Once you have all the ingredients you want, the first and only step is mixing them all together. My ideal ratio is 1 cup rolled oats to 1 cup milk or yogurt.
  • Mix in your frozen fruits and add in honey or maple syrup to taste.
  • Leave inside your refrigerator overnight and, voila, a leisurely breakfast the following day.

 

Whenever I make overnight oats for myself, I always choose 1 cup of rolled oats and 1 cup of my favorite non-dairy milk. I then forego using yogurt and syrup and instead include more frozen fruits to make my overnight oats sweeter without using too many ingredients.

 

Discover Sugar Substitutes to Use

 

Several alternatives to sugar can be explored after reading about them. It’s crucial to pick a suitable option due to their differences in taste and functionality. Various sugar alternatives are available, from natural sweeteners like honey and maple syrup to artificial sweeteners. While these alternatives may have fewer calories per serving than sugar, they should still be used sparingly as part of a healthy diet. If you want to satisfy your sweet need without sacrificing flavor or health, try substituting some of these ingredients.

So, if you want to satisfy your sweet cravings without sacrificing flavor or health, head over to our blog and check out our list of other healthy food alternatives. Don’t miss out on the chance to make healthier choices today!


 

Sugar Substitutes to Use Related Articles

 


 

FAQs

 

What are some healthy things I can use in place of white sugar?

 
 
Honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar, and agave nectar are all healthy alternatives to sugar. Honey is a natural sweetener with a distinct floral taste that varies depending on the type of flowers the bees pollinated. Maple syrup has a rich, earthy flavor with hints of caramel and vanilla. Coconut sugar has a subtle caramel taste with a slight nuttiness, like brown sugar. Agave nectar has a mild, neutral flavor that’s sweeter than honey or maple syrup but lacks their complexity. Overall, each sweetener has its own unique taste profile, making them suitable for different recipes and personal preferences. Also, since they have more nutrients and a lower glycemic index than white sugar, these sweeteners are better for your health.
 
 

What is the best thing to use instead of sugar when baking?

Before choosing a sugar substitute for baking, it’s important to think about the recipe and the flavor you want.

When using one of them in baking, you should choose the right type of substitute and use the correct amount. You can use the same amount of Splenda or Stevia as you would sugar. Others, like erythritol or monk fruit sweetener, may require slightly more or less. It’s also important to consider how the substitute will affect the texture and moisture content of the baked goods. For example, if you’re making a chocolate cake, you might want to use brown sugar or coconut sugar to make the chocolate flavor stand out. In some cases, adding a small amount of real sugar or another binder may be necessary to achieve the desired results. Ultimately, experimenting with different substitutes and recipes is key to finding what works best for your taste preferences and dietary needs. Still, honey or maple syrup’s sweetness would go well with the fruit in a fruit tart. Try a few different options to find the best one for your recipe.

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