We often consume too much sugar for our own good. I admit, even I am guilty of that sin from time to time. Good thing is once in a while wont kill ya, make you fat, and you don’t have to go on a religious fast for this small tasty sin.
I love naturally sweetened foods but sometimes you just need a little extra humph for your homemade concoctions WITHOUT the extra sugar calories. If you’re reading this blog then you’re probably one that’s also watching your weight.
There are sweeteners out there with virtually zero-calories intended to replace sugar and its needless calories and can taste just as good.
Sugar substitutes are forms of food additives that provide a sweet taste like that of sugar while containing significantly less food energy. Some sugar substitutes are naturally produced while others are produced synthetically. You can also find more information about sugar from my previous blog. >> CLICK HERE
Here’s the top 3 healthiest zero calorie sugar substitutes.
Derived from the plant Stevia rebaudiana. Stevia is very sweet and has virtually no calories. It is quite popular and mostly used for medicinal purposes in South America.
It is linked to lower both blood pressure and blood sugar levels making it the healthiest choice for sweeteners.
Stevia is about 200 times sweeter than sugar. When it comes to stevia, you only need a tiny bit at a timeto sweeten your morning tea or next batch of healthy baked goods.
If you’re a label reader (and I hope you are!), you may noticed erythritol becoming more and more popular on ingredient list. Especially in sports and energy drinks and some popular snacks.
Erythritol is naturally found in some fruits. However, if you buy a powdered one, chances are it was made through industrial process.
The reason why it doesn’t provide calories or sugar to its consumer is because its non systemic meaning it doesn’t get metabolized.
It contains 0.24 calories per gram, or about 6% of the calories as sugar, with 70% of the sweetness. It can also cause digestive problems at high doses. Try to stick with NON-GMO Erythritol to avoid digestive issues.
Truvia is an estimated 200 times sweeter than sugar. Derived from the stevia plant Truvia is a hybrid sweetener between Erythritol and the stevia plan.
Truvia is also a zero-calorie food, unlike sugar, which has about 4 calories per gram. Truvia an attractive alternative to sugar for people who have diabetes and typically avoid excess sugar.
Be careful while using this one, too much can cause an upset stomach. Moderation is the key for enjoying Truvia safely.
For more information on natural sweeteners here: CLICK HERE
You may want to ask- What about Honey?
For those health conscious, instead of using sugar, it is not uncommon to use coconut sugar, molasses, honey and maple syrup as sweeteners. I recently wrote an ARTICLE on great sugar substitutes that aren’t much different from sugar.
Yes, they may contain slightly smaller amounts of fructose and some tiny amount of nutrients--- your liver really won’t be able to tell the difference.
But hold your horses with this one!
They still have a high amount of sugar content in them.
Let’s take honey for example, 1 tbs of honey has 17.5 grams of carbohydrates and 1 tbs of regular processed sugar has 12 grams of carbohydrates.
Although honey is unprocessed and a healthier option it still posses more calorie content than the process sugar.
The goal here is to watch our sugar intake so that we don’t store it as fat or spike our insulin levels too high.
Those who are overweight and insulin resistant large amounts of sugar are straight toxic.
There are a few people who might want to avoid sugar-based sweeteners completely. This includes food addicts, anorexics and people who are on a very low-carb diet.
All in all, the context of healthy, real food based diet, small amounts of these natural sugars won’t because you harmful to you. I wrote a previous blog oh the dangers of too much sugar here: CLICK HERE
The best piece of advice I can offer you is to learn to reduce your need for sweets. I like having my clients have their favorite treats once a week guilt free J
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