5 Natural And Healthy Substitutes To Replace Sugar: Substitute Sugar Naturally

Sugar refers to a class of carbohydrates that includes glucose, fructose, and sucrose. It is a sweet-tasting soluble compound that could be naturally found in various fruits and vegetables as well. However, nowadays artificial sweeteners dominate the world and their effect on our health is detrimental.

What Happens When You Eat Sugar? Side Effects Of Eating Sugar

Processed sugar substances are known to add a lot of woes to the pockets of its fans causing them pain and health ailments. However not eating sugar is never an option as it is one of the major tastes. In situations like these, you could opt for natural ones that don’t affect your health as much as artificial sugar does. You should take them also in minimal quantities to avoid certain drastic results.

Side Effects Of Eating Sugar

Implications of sugar on health could be negative which include-

  1. Weight Gain And Obesity– Excessive sugar intake is linked to weight gain and obesity. Sugary foods and beverages are often high in calories and can contribute to an imbalance between energy intake and expenditure.
  2. Type-2 Diabetes– A diet high in sugar can contribute to the development of insulin resistance, a key factor in the development of type-2 diabetes. High sugar intake can lead to elevated blood glucose levels and increased insulin production over time.
  3. Cardiovascular Health– High sugar consumption has been associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases. It may lead to elevated blood pressure, inflammation, and adverse changes in blood lipid levels.
  4. Dental Issues– Sugar is a significant contributor to tooth decay. Bacteria in the mouth feed on sugar, producing acids that erode tooth enamel and lead to cavities.
  5.  Addiction And Cravings-Sugar can have addictive properties, leading to cravings and overconsumption. The brain’s reward system responds to sugar intake by releasing dopamine, similar to the response seen with addictive substances.
  6. Inflammation– Excessive sugar intake may contribute to chronic inflammation in the body, which is associated with various health problems, including autoimmune diseases and certain cancers.
  7. Increased Risk Of Chronic Diseases– High sugar intake is associated with an increased risk of chronic diseases such as metabolic syndrome, which includes a cluster of conditions like abdominal obesity, high blood pressure, and high blood sugar.

5 Healthiest Natural Alternative To Sugar

Consuming natural and healthy substitutes for sugar can offer various advantages, promoting overall well-being and contributing to a healthier lifestyle. Natural sweeteners are often less processed and contain fewer additives compared to refined sugars. One could also curb the amount as only a few cubes could have the taste you desire. Additive sugars are made with chemicals and can cause harm to the environment. Natural sugars are often obtained from the sources of nature and their processing is sustainable in every way. Choosing them could be a healthy way to promote the environment as well. Some of these natural products include:

1. Stevia

It is derived from the leaves of the Stevia rebaudiana plant. Stevia is much sweeter than sugar, and only a small amount is needed to achieve the desired sweetness. When it comes to the calorie content, it is an excellent option since it has 0 calories and is ideal for those looking to curb their sugar servings without compromising their sweet tooth. Additionally, it doesn’t raise blood sugar levels which means diabetics can relish it happily. Studies have also been able to establish its potency when it comes to restricting oxidation and inflammation in various parts of the body.

2. Honey

It is a natural sweetener produced by bees from flower nectar. Not only is it sweet but has a distinct taste that varies based on the flowers from which the bees collect nectar. While honey is rich in antioxidants, enzymes, and minerals, it is calories so you might want to keep it in moderation. Honey has anti-microbial properties that can soothe sore throats, and may offer some allergy relief. Raw and unprocessed honey retains more of these beneficial compounds.

3. Maple Syrup

Maple syrup is a natural product derived from the sap of sugar maple trees. Apart from, having a unique taste and rich flavor, it is commonly used as a topping for pancakes and waffles. While it contains antioxidants and minerals like zinc and manganese, it is still concentrated when compared to stevia, and therefore moderation is now used. However, while choosing any you should go for one without additional sweeteners.

4. Coconut Sugar

It is derived from the sap of coconut palm trees. It has a flavor similar to brown sugar and a lower glycemic index compared to regular sugar. Not only does it contain a small amount of Iron, Zinc, Calcium, and Potassium. Moderation is also the idea here since it is not fully calorie-proof.

5. Dates Or Dates Paste

Dates come from the date palm tree and can be blended into a paste to be used in recipes. They are primarily found in Middle Eastern areas and could have sugar injected into them as they are imported. However, they are naturally sweet and offer a caramel-like flavor. They are abundant in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. While they are calorie-dense due to natural sugars, they offer additional nutritional benefits like digestive health, oxidative stress, and heart health. 

The best way to use this is to experiment with sweeteners to find the best taste for your preference. Moreover, these sweeteners have specific properties that may affect the texture of the recipes so you may want to use them cautiously. 

End Result

Sweeteners like these are known to be beneficial in many ways as listed above.  You can use them alternatively as a part of your diet which could be lesser in calories and if you are counting them, might help you keep your body fit. Diabetic patients often find it difficult to enjoy any sweetness their heart desires and this is why they should opt for the alternative. However, it is always sensible to consult your healthcare professional to make sure it doesn’t impact you adversely or you are not allergic to it. Reducing the frequency could also be ideal as the more you consume, the more it could cause harm.

Dr. Vanessa Rodriguez is a board-certified general practitioner with more than 15 years of patient care experience. She takes an integrative approach to patient care that considers the whole person – mind, body, and spirit – and is deeply committed to assisting her patients in achieving and sustaining optimal health. Dr. Vanessa is also a skilled writer and medical reviewer, specializing in preventive care and health promotion. Her articles are written in an approachable manner that is simple to comprehend and implement in one’s own life. Dr. Vanessa’s mission is to equip her patients and readers with the knowledge and resources necessary to live their greatest lives.

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