8 Natural Alternatives to Sugar
Some of the recent reports have shown that the Americans consume on average 35 kilos of sugar per year, per person. Our excessive consumption of sugar proves dangerous for our health: addiction, diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular diseases, cavities… Sugar, even if it provides energy, does not provide any essential nutrients to our body. Increasingly refined, it now contains only sucrose – empty calories – but is extremely addictive.
The World Health Organization recommends consuming less than 50 grams of sugar per day. From honey to stevia, today there are many natural alternatives to satisfy your penchant for sweets. Here is our selection of natural sugar alternatives currently available.
Honey is the best known natural alternative to sugar. It is full of vitamins, trace elements, and antibacterial, antiseptic and sanitizing properties. Less caloric than sugar, honey has a sweetening power superior to that of traditional sugar.
2. Agave syrup
Agave syrup has a low glycemic index due to its high fructose content and is therefore low in calories. It also has the advantage of having a strong sweetness and a neutral taste that can be used in many culinary preparations. It is also rich in manganese, zinc and vitamin B.
The leaves of stevia, a small Latin American plant, contain an extremely sweet product (300 times stronger than sucrose). Stevia can be bought in powder or liquid form and is sometimes mixed with other sweeteners or sugar. Its great asset lies in its glycemic index and the fact it contains zero calories! However, its licorice aftertaste will not please everyone.
4. Maple syrup
This product, reminiscent of Canada, has a low glycemic index and is full of antioxidants. It also provides many essential minerals such as iron, zinc or magnesium. Since its sugars are mainly composed of fructose, it is advisable to consume it in moderation.
5. Rice syrup
Obtained from the fermentation of brown rice, rice syrup is rich in vitamins and minerals. It also helps to avoid insulin spikes since it behaves like a slow sugar. It is therefore particularly suitable for people with diabetes.
6. Coconut sugar
In addition to a very low glycemic index, coconut sugar is also rich in trace elements. Its texture is reminiscent of brown sugar and its slightly caramelized flavor will appeal to gourmands.
Derived from birch sap, xylitol is a sweetener with an extremely low glycemic index and no calories. It can reduce the risk of cavities by destroying bacteria that attacks the tooth enamel.
8. The rapadura
Rapadura – or unrefined cane sugar – is a sugar that comes directly from the dried sugar cane juice. It still, therefore, retains the nutrients contained in the sap of origin. It is extremely rich in minerals and iron and has a caramelized taste with a hint of liquorice.