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Juggling with the thought of eating your piece of cake or not. Information about white sugar have put all health conscious people in grey zone of using or not using it because its taste and utility in daily life cannot be underestimated even after knowing its hazardous effects for our body. Be it our daily coffee or desserts or simply tea time savouries and cakes, sugar finds a role in loads of recipes. But we all know white refined sugar has many negative attached to its use as well. From increased risk of cancer to developing diabetes, cholesterol issues and bone weakening white sugar is a sweet white enemy hidden in this much used and delighted eatery product.
While the above paragraph might have stressed you out the following note will relax you when you come to know of healthy and off course sweet alternatives to white refined sugar. White sugar as we all know is extracted from sugar cane or sugar beet but goes through a complex multiple step refining process depleting it of all little or very little good or nutrient value what it has. So here we make an attempt to find out nature based, organic or chemical free alternatives which would motivate us to bake our cakes and eat them too without the guilt of harming our health.
One cup of unsweetened apple sauce provides 102 calories instead of 774 which you get from same one cup of sugar. Apart from cutting on calories use of apple sauce adds fibre along with some essential vitamins and minerals to your cakes and cookies baked with this all natural substitute of white sugar. But apple sauce might not be a feasible option for some beverages like tea and coffee. Thus other alternatives like below can be weighed too.
Maple syrup can add fewer calories but more benefits, in terms of its nutrient values to your sweet recipes. When equal amounts are compared maple syrup is three times sweeter than refined white sugar. This sweet liquid has anti-oxidant and immunity boosting properties along with being rich in a variety of minerals and vitamins. This substitute because of its low glycemic index is good for consumption by diabetics as well.
Stevia is extracted from leaves of plant Stevia rebaundiana. It is a natural sweetener which is almost 40 times sweeter than white sugar, has no calories because it does not have sucrose plus consumption of recipes prepared with this sweetener suppress craving for sweet. This plant based product has absolutely no side effects and does not stick to teeth either. With zero Glycemic index stevia can also be used by diabetics.
Raisins and dates
Raisins and dates have a natural sweet flavour which is not same as that of white sugar but a good and sweet change it is. These fruits are also packed with fibre and anti-oxidants thus their consumption can benefit health in more than one sweet way. Though raisins and dates cannot be used in beverages it can substitute sugar in cookies and puddings for an exciting kick of flavour.
Thank bees and use honey liberally for your sweet preparations. This natural sweetening agent is packed with loads of fibre and anti-oxidant properties thus benefiting health sweetly. Honey can replace white sugar in baked items as well as in beverages and almost all other cold and hot preparations. With wide varieties and wide scope of adulteration, stick to selecting organic honey from good manufacturers to avoid getting stuck with sub-standard products.
Coconut sugar also known as coconut palm sugar has gained popularity as a healthy (low glycemic index) and nutrient rich alternative to white sugar recently. This is a natural product and thus organic and free from added chemicals or preservatives. Being a non-refined or unbleached product it retains most of the nutrients otherwise found in coconut palm. These include polyphenols, anti-oxidants, fatty acids, zinc, calcium, potassium and loads of fibre. This alternative is kept low on the list of substitutes because though it benefits us with its nutrient content but still has fructose thus controlled consumption is suggested.
We all know ill effects of refined sugar and with above discussion you now have clear insight into the fact that avoiding white sugar will not completely deprive you of sweetness. Your desserts can still be sweet and nourishing at the same time.
For more information about nutritional alternatives to white sugar, click here.
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