We’re used to having refined cane sugar in our homes, but did you know that this type of sugar may pose a threat to our health? Worry not. Fortunately, there are a few natural sweeteners out there, which you can confidently use in your kitchen without that guilt feeling. We’ve listed 5 of them below.
1. Maple Syrup
Extracted from the xylem of maple trees, maple syrup has a positive effect on our insulin and blood sugar levels. However, like other sweeteners, it has to be used in moderation. In addition, even though it is normally served in small quantities, maple syrup has enough antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that are required for our body’s daily nutritional needs.
When choosing a maple syrup, take a close look at its color. While newly made maple syrups are darker in color, others that have been on the shelves for weeks tend to be lighter. Between the two, it is best to choose the darker ones. Not only do they have the strongest maple taste. They also make great substitutes for cane sugar.
2. Date Sugar
If you have already seen and eaten a date, then you know it is a bit sticky yet sweet. No wonder why it’s usually used in various energy bars. Although whole dates contain key nutrients like iron, calcium, copper, manganese, potassium, and antioxidants, date sugar only has a bit of the mentioned nutrients.
Date sugar, made from dried dates, can be used to replace white sugar, but only in a few amounts. It also tastes great when combined with cloves, ginger, nutmeg, cardamom, and cinnamon. Then again, when using this, take note that it does not dissolve properly. Therefore, if you are planning to make coffee, it’s not your best choice.
3. Coconut Sugar
Even if it is not as helpful in weight loss like coconut oil, coconut sugar still shares the same amount of benefits, making it an excellent choice over other ordinary sweeteners. It has 1 amino acids and contains four different types of B vitamins. It is also a great source of zinc, magnesium, potassium, and iron.
Using coconut sugar is pretty easy. Just like ordinary sugar, dissolve it in hot liquids or add it to your favorite recipes.
4. Organic Raw Honey
Pure and raw honey has several amounts of phosphorus, potassium, vitamin B6, antioxidants, and niacin, which help in neutralizing the effects of free radicals in the body. Just a tablespoon of it already has the same glycemic index as with banana. However, you should take note that these are the only benefits of pure and raw honey. Once the honey is processed, it loses its nutritional perks.
To take advantage of its benefits, do not cook it or with it. Simply drizzle it over toast, pancakes, or salads. If you wish to add it to your daily cup of coffee or tea, do not add it directly to boiling water. It is important to find the right raw honey and get the great health benefits from it. Read the great article here to find the answer.
5. Blackstrap Molasses
A byproduct of processing cane sugar, blackstrap molasses is the liquid residue after the cane sugar has been crystallized. While it is not that popular among households, this sweetener retains several nutrients present in sugar cane, such as vitamin B6, magnesium, potassium, and manganese.
Among the popular health benefits of blackstrap molasses are reduced the risk of heart problems and cancer, anemia prevention, weight loss, and slowing down the aging process.
Though these sugars are all natural and may not have undergone processes, it is worth noting that they are still counted as added sugars. That means you must not over consume them and use them in moderation.