If you are one of those with a sweet tooth, it can be very hard to stay away from harmful sugary treats – especially when you think that there’s no equally delicious alternative to them. Here are four natural alternatives to refined sugar.
1. Use Maple syrup as a Natural Sugar Alternative
This syrup is still produced in the same way as it is done for decades- by boiling the juice of the maple tree. Although it contains vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, their amount is not very big – for example, one tablespoon contains only 1% of the daily requirement for calcium, potassium, and iron. Maple syrup is also rich in magnesium – a mineral that helps in collagen production and improves the health of skin and bones.
2. Eat Honey as a Natural Sugar Alternative
Honey, so-called “nectar of the gods” is used for centuries to treat wounds and infections. This natural sweetener contains small amounts of antioxidants and it has antibacterial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory compounds.
One of the many studies related to honey shows that athletes who ate honey instead of other sources of carbohydrates had stable levels of insulin in the blood for a longer period. If you are used to put sugar, for example, in tea, and want to replace it with honey, keep in mind that one teaspoon of honey sweetened as much as a big spoon of sugar.
3. Use Coconut Sugar
This type of sugar is made from the juice, extracted from the buds of coconut trees. It contains a small amount of nutrients such as thiamin, iron, copper, zinc, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium and it also contains antioxidants. This sweetener contains inulin, a natural carbohydrate which is not digested and it serves as a probiotic, i.e. food useful for intestinal bacteria.
4. Consume Sugar From the Dates
As it is known, the dates are incredibly sweet and sticky, which is why they are often used as the main ingredient in energy bars. The dates are a good source of potassium, manganese, magnesium, copper, calcium, iron, vitamin B, vitamin C and antioxidants, and a tiny spoon of sugar from dates (produced by their drying and grinding) contains 15 calories and 3 grams of sugar. The sugar which is produced form the dates does not dissolve so good like the sugar we are using, so it is not the best choice for placing it in coffee and smoothies.