One of the most harmful ingredients that you can add to your daily diet is refined sugar. Yes! We will tell you why! Refined sugar may lead to several health hazards such as obesity, diabetes, cancer and heart diseases. Though, sugar enhances the taste of your food, it is not necessary that you have to add the classic white sugar to your dishes. Although, sugar is natural as it comes from sugar cane but it does undergo many chemical process which makes it detremental to our health. Normal white sugar is high in calories which may lead to weight gain. They do not have any fiber or protein content that can satiate you. A complete no no for diabetic patients as it can spike up the blood sugar levels. For these reasons, you must look upto some common healthier alternatives of refined sugar. These substitutes will curb your sugar cravings and will do less harm to your overall health. Some natural sweeteners should be in your kitchen which will keep a check on your added sugar intake:
1. Honey: Time and again we all have heard the innumerable health benefits of honey. Sweet in taste and less in calories, fructose and glucose, honey can be easily replaced with refined sugar. Honey helps boost immunity and is great for your skin as well. However, people with high blood sugar should still eat honey in less quantities.
2. Coconut sugar: The coconut sugar is extracted from the plant fluid of the coconut palm. It is loaded with some healthy nutrients such as calcium, potassium, iron, zinc, as well as antioxidants. Due to its insulin content it has a low glycemic index than sugar. Though, healthier as compared to white sugar, if consumed in excess quantities can be harmful for your health.
3. Jaggery sugar: Another healthier alternative of refined sugar is jaggery sugar. This sugar activates the digestive enzymes in our body thereby helping in proper digestion of food. Jaggery is loaded with antioxidants and minerals like zinc and selenium, which help prevent free-radicals (responsible for early ageing). It acts as a detox, as it helps cleanse the liver by flushing out nasty toxins from the body. It also helps boost resistance against infections, hence building stronger immunity. Additionally, eating a piece of jaggery daily can help women combat PMS symptoms including mood swings, menstrual cramps and abdominal pain.
4. Maple syrup: Not only low amount of sugar, but maple syrup also has vital nutrients like antioxidants, calcium, iron, antioxidants and potassium. Maple syrup is beneficial for people with diabetes as it has a glycemic index of 54 which is comparatively much lower to table sugar’s 65. You can add maple syrup in your smoothies, desserts and pancakes.
5. Date paste: Another amazing alternative to refined sugar is date paste. Dates are a natural source of sugar and extremely nutritious, full of fibre, and contains disease fighting antioxidants. Therefore, do not shy away from adding date paste in your recipes.