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Natural alternatives to refined sugar

 

White sugar ( and brown sugar !), So commonly consumed, is not a food . It is a synthetic product made artificially and that does not provide our body with any nutrients, only empty calories . Besides being highly addictive, its consumption produces negative effects, since it requires vitamin B2 and calcium from our body for its assimilation.

Consequently, if we choose to follow a healthy diet, we must replace white sugar with other types of natural sweeteners.

Natural alternatives to refined sugar

Honey

Honey is a well-known natural sweetener . Rich in essential nutrients and minerals , it is an excellent substitute for sugar, but it also has therapeutic properties, as it strengthens our immune system and is an excellent antiviral .

Stevia

Stevia is a plant native to Paraguay and characterized by its sweetening and therapeutic properties. Among its active principles, we can highlight its contribution of vitamins A and C and some minerals such as iron, phosphorus, calcium, potassium and zinc.

Its main characteristic is that, despite its ability to sweeten, it does not provide any calories . Among its many benefits, its diuretic and digestive action and ability to reduce anxiety and control fatigue stand out .

It can be consumed by directly infusing the leaves of the plant that gives it its name, although the most practical thing is to use it in its different commercialized formats (powder or liquid). Stevia is perfect for those daily habits that require a dose of sweet, such as drinking coffee or tea, since it does not provide calories, although it can be used for cooking, baking or any common use of sugar.

Agave syrup

Agave syrup is the juice that is extracted from the leaves of the agave plant. Its appearance is similar, in color and density, to honey.

Agave syrup is mainly composed of fructose and glucose, making it a powerful sweetener. However, unlike stevia, which does not add calories, it turns out to be more caloric than sugar itself. However, it differs from this in its natural origin and that, in addition, the syrup has a low glycemic index, so it avoids a drastic increase in blood glucose levels, so characteristic of common sugar.

Agave syrup is an excellent enhancer of aromas and flavors, making it a great ally in our kitchen. When it is baked, it produces a light fat layer on top of what is cooked, so it is advisable to previously dilute it with the liquids of our recipe (milk, oil and butter). It requires a low temperature baking, since it is quite sticky. For the rest, agave syrup is an excellent sweetener for whatever use we want to give it.

​pan

Panela is the highest expression of whole cane sugar . Its consumption provides us with all the essential nutrients of sugar cane, in its purest version, without refining processes.

Among its many benefits are being a natural energy source; the contribution of vitamins of groups A, B, C, D and E; minerals such as phosphorus, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and copper ; and small amounts of protein. It is, fundamentally, a source of carbohydrates such as sucrose, glucose and fructose.

The panela is sold in a kind of hard block. To use it, a small amount is grated on the drink or food that you are going to sweeten. We can also find it already ground and use as if it were common sugar. Panela is very useful for sweetening infusions, dairy products, smoothies, juices or soft drinks.

Coconut sugar

Coconut sugar is obtained from the nectar extracted from the flowers of the coconut palm tree. This vegetable sap is cooked in such a way that the water evaporates and a dark brown substance is obtained that crystallizes.

Coconut sugar differs from white sugar in its low glycemic index . Additionally, coconut sugar is a source of potassium, magnesium, zinc, and iron; and vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6 and C . Also, one of its main benefits is that it contains most of the essential acids, glutamine being the one found in its greatest quantity. Thanks to it, our body maintains the acid-alkaline balance, which prevents the impulse to ingest sweet.

Coconut sugar has an exceptional flavor, which goes perfectly with any dessert, smoothie, dairy or infusion.

In short, nutrition experts recommend replacing white sugar with other more natural and nutritious alternatives, such as the ones we have just seen. Although it is true that white sugar is present in practically all the foods we consume already processed, a healthy diet will be one in which we manage to eliminate it almost completely from our diet. Its null nutritional contribution and its harmful effects are a good argument to say goodbye to it forever.

 

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Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of ​​Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.

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