Health advocates have been beating the drum for some time now that regular sugar consumption is one of the worst things you can do for health. Although this has been proven to be true, not everyone wants to go through life never having another sweet food or beverage again.
The good news is, there are healthier sweeteners that can satisfy a bit of a sweet tooth without the damage of devilish sweeteners like white sugar, aspartame, and high fructose corn syrup. These are 5 of the healthier sweeteners to consider to replace the nasty stuff.
All-natural stevia is a zero calorie plant based sweetener with no known side effects. Consumed for over 200 years in South America, the stevia leaves are naturally sweet and up to 40 times more sweet than table sugar, without the negative side effects.
The pure extract of stevia leaves contains steviol glycosides that give it its sweetness, and at least one study has determined that it can help block inflammation, tumours, and harmful pathogens.
Avoid chemically modified versions like Truvia and PureVia, and look for liquids instead of white powders.
Coconut sugar, also called coconut sap sugar, is a sugar derived from the sap of coconut tree flowers. Coconut sugar is mostly comprised of sucrose, which gives it a sweet, caramel-like flavor. Unlike refined white sugar, coconut sugar is minimally processed, and few if any chemicals are added to it, so most of its minerals are still intact.
Coconut sugar is low on the glycemic index, rich in amino acids, a good source of trace minerals, and includes 12 of the essential B-vitamins.
Manuka honey is the premium form of honey, and is an excellent sweetener with the added bonus of being a powerful antibiotic. One has to be careful with indiscriminately choosing honey, as most versions are pasteurized and/or mixed with high fructose corn syrup, which effectively eliminates those brands as being a healthy sugar alternative.
The lucuma (Pouteria lucuma) is a subtropical fruit native to Peru, Chile and Ecuador. Lucuma is not well known outside South America but is gaining popularity with its low glycemic index and its mildly sweet taste, often compared to caramel or butterscotch.
Lucuma is rich in 14 trace minerals, high in fibre, and has been used for centuries as an anti-inflammatory by the natives of Peru.
To get a more in depth look at all the different sweeteners and how they rate on the glycemic index (a key factor you want to consider), read Guide to Sugar and Sweeteners.
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About the author:
Derek Henry took a deadly health challenge that conventional medicine couldn’t solve and self-directed a one-in-a-million health journey that found him happier and healthier than he had been in his entire life. As a result of this rewarding journey, he created Healing the Body and became a well revered holistic health coach who now spends his time writing, coaching, and educating thousands of people each month who want to enjoy similar results.