If you are one who just has to have a little sweetness to your drinks and in your foods, but don’t want to deal with the damaging effects of cane sugar on the body, you may need to try a sugar substitute instead.
A lot of natural foods (like fruits) have their own natural sugars, so you don’t need to add much to them, but what about coffee, tea, or oatmeal, for example? Here are a few suggestions for common foods and beverages.
Why Not Cane Sugar?
White sugar is nothing more than empty calories with the nutrients stripped from its original brown state. Brown sugar preserves some of the nutrients, but is only slightly better than white sugar. Sugar goes straight to the blood stream, spikes blood sugar levels, and gives a short-lived energy boost and a hard crash thereafter. Cane sugar is the primary culprit in developing sugar diabetes and obesity. Sugar is addictive, damaging to cells and organs, depletes your energy and weakens immune function.
Instead of cane sugar, you can use a little honey, stevia, unsweetened applesauce, cinnamon, agave nectar or plain old fruit in your cooking or in beverages for more natural flavor without the side effects of artificial sweeteners that many wrongly believe are safe.
Artificial sweeteners like aspartame and saccharin are chemically produced sugar substitutes with harmful side effects that are gradually being discovered even though they are largely used and accepted around the world. Some studies have found that side effects as a result of eating these artificial sweeteners include migraine headaches, dizziness, cramping, diarrhea, and muscle aches to name a few. Try these natural sweeteners instead:
Honey – Honey has lots of nutritional value (as a source for many essential vitamins and nutrients) and lots of health benefits. It is a disease and germ fighter, boosts energy and metabolism, clears up the skin, and reduces swelling and inflammation.
Stevia – Stevia is 300 times sweeter than cane sugar, which means it takes only a little to go a long way. It also releases more slowly into the bloodstream than regular cane sugar. Like cane sugar, it has plant roots, but stevia is not stripped of its nutrients. Stevia is a safe alternative for diabetics, since blood sugar is barely affected.
Unsweetened Applesauce – Apples are naturally sweet but low even in natural sugars, so making homemade applesauce yourself and adding it to your desserts in place of sugar will save you a lot of calories and side effects. For example, try making a cake and when the recipe calls for sugar, use applesauce instead. The taste is still just as good.
Cinnamon – Cinnamon is a spice often used in baking. It’s not really sweet, but it can pull the natural sugars and flavor out of a food. This spice is very good for you, too, and can help quite a bit with blood sugar levels in diabetics to keep them under control. This spice also has powerful antiviral and anticarcinogenic qualities that keep back disease. Top a bowl of oatmeal, a sweet potato, or rice with cinnamon for a pleasant flavor.
Agave Nectar – This natural sweetener comes from the agave plant, contains less fructose than cane sugar, and still tastes great. Because of its balance of fructose and glucose, blood sugar is not spiked when using it.
Fruit – We know that fruits are usually naturally sweet. You can slice them and sprinkle them over your cold cereal, oatmeal, salad, dessert, yogurt, etc. for a sweet delight and no hassle.