Sugar intake is one of the most controversial nutrition topics of the modern day. Excess Sugar intake has been associated with several diseases, including Obesity, Type II Diabetes, Heart Disease, and even Cancer. Sugar can also interfere with the Hormones in your Body that regulate hunger and fullness, which may lead, inevitably, to weight gain. The biggest problem in America is that most of us consume way too much Sugar on a daily basis, without even being aware of it. And, that's quite easy to do because Sugar is in just about everything! That's why it is so important to monitor the amount of Sugar you consume each day, by checking your food labels more avidly, and being more aware of what you're putting in your Mouth. When you try it, you'll be shocked by how much Sugar you've actually been consuming. Luckily for you, there are several ways to work around Sugar in your cooking and baking. You can still enjoy foods and sweeten them naturally, without any Sugar. This article details the top 6 natural ways to start cutting Sugar out of your diet.
QUICK TIP: The American Heart Association (AHA) suggests an added-Sugar limit of no more than 24 Grams a day for women, and 36 Grams a day for men.
Erythritol is a Sugar Alcohol, but contains hardly any Calories. Erythritol contains 6% of the Calories of regular Sugar, and tastes just like Sugar. Erythritol also does not raise Blood Sugar, Insulin, Cholesterol, or Triglycercide levels.
BAKING SUBSTITUTION CONVERSION: Use Erythritol as a 1:1 replacement for Sugar. So for every 1 Cup of Sugar, replace with 1 Cup of Erythritol.
Xylitol is a Sugar Alcohol that is extracted from Corn or Birch Wood, and is naturally found in many Fruits and Veggies. Xyilitol contains 40% fewer Calories than Sugar. Xylitol contains no Fructose, which is the main ingredient in Sugar that tends to cause trouble. Xylitol will also not raise your Blood Sugar or Insulin levels, and is associated with many benefits, including improved Dental and Bone health. Xylitol, however, is poisonous to pets, so please keep it away from your furry friends.
BAKING SUBSTITUTION CONVERSION: Use Xylitol as a 1:1 replacement for Sugar. So for every 1 Cup of Sugar, replace with 1 Cup of Xyilitol.
Stevia is a natural sweetener that is extracted from Stevioside and Rebaudioside. Stevia contains zero Calories and is up to 350 times sweeter than actual Sugar. It also delivers a slightly different taste than Sugar. Stevia is packed with Nutrients and Phytochemicals that pack several health benefits. Stevia is used to lower Blood Pressure, Blood Sugar, and Insulin levels.
BAKING SUBSTITUTION CONVERSION: For Stevia Packets and Powder, the Sugar to Stevia ratio is 8 to 1. So, 1 Teaspoon of Sugar equals ⅛ Teaspoon of Stevia powder. If you're substituting Sugar for Liquid Stevia Sweet Drops, a recipe using 1 Tablespoon of Sugar would use 15 Drops of Liquid Stevia.
4. Manuka Honey
Manuka Honey is a thick and golden liquid made by Honey Bees. Manuka Honey contains trace amounts of Vitamins and Minerals, and a generous dose of Antioxidants. Manuka Honey can help to prevent Inflammation, Type II Diabetes, Heart Disease, and even Cancer. Several studies have linked Manuka Honey to weight loss, decreased Glucose levels and reduced Hyperglycemia as well.
BAKING SUBSTITUTION CONVERSION: Use a ¾ Cup of Manuka Honey to replace 1 Cup of Sugar.
5. Maple Syrup
Maple Syrup is made by cooking down Sap from Maple Trees. Maple Syrup actually contains a decent amount of Vitamins and Minerals, including Calcium, Zinc, Potassium, and Iron. It even contains more Antioxidants than Manuka Honey. Maple Syrup helps to lower Plasma Glucose levels over time, and contains plenty of Oligosaccharides, which help with weight loss and treat high Cholesterol levels.
BAKING SUBSTITUTION CONVERSION: Use ¾ Cup of Maple Syrup for every 1 Cup of Sugar.
6. Yacon Syrup
Yacon Syrup is made from the Yacón plant, native to South America. Yacon Syrup is sweet and dark in color. It has a pretty thick consistency, reminiscent of Molasses. Yacon Syrup contains one-third of the Calories of Sugar, or about 1.3 Calories per Gram. Yacon Syrup contains many health benefits, and has proven to help provide good Bacteria to your Gut, reduce Glycemic Index, Body weight, and risk of Colon Cancer. It's Fructooligosaccharides will also help you to feel fuller faster. However, consuming in excess may lead to excessive Gas and Digestive discomfort.
BAKING SUBSTITUTION CONVERSION: Use ⅔ Cup of Yacon Syrup for every 1 Cup of Sugar.