Sugar is largely used to sweeten and satiate our cravings for desserts. Here we bring the five natural substitutes to sugar as a sweetener in day to day life.
A large percentage of the people in India are directly or indirectly eating refined sugar. Healthy lifestyle is need of the common man. The best way to stay healthy while enjoying the sweetness is by opting for natural substitutes. Some of the most commonly available alternatives of sugar are described below.
Dates (popularly known as Khajoor) are a rich source of minerals & vitamins. It is a good source of energy and fiber. It contains iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium, phosphorus and zinc. Dates help lower cholesterol and are rich in protein; it promotes digestion, improves skin and also strengthens the nervous system.
We can include it in porridge, cakes, breads and its syrup can be used over crepes .Recipes – Dried dates can be used in energizing shakes. Dates tamarind chutney makes a good side dish for fried snacks. We can use dates caramel as a base for chocolate truffles. Dates paste can be used in pudding, dates brownie sizzler.
Honey is one of the oldest sweeteners on Earth and is a thick sweet liquid made by honey bees. Honey has distinct characteristic which is unique to season, type of nectar and region where it belongs. It is high in plant compounds. Honey consists of disease fighting flavonoid. Honey has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties, it reduces cough & helps improve skin.
Honey is a very good salad dressing ingredient. It can be used in many drinks. Honey glazed carrots make a healthy snack, it can be used in dips, as topping on ice-creams & other desserts like Honey Chia Seed Pudding. It can be used in vanilla honey swiss rolls and cookies and shakes.
Stevia is a natural sweetener that has become very popular in recent times. Stevia is a green leafy plant native of South America. It has anti inflammatory and diuretic properties. It helps to fight diabetes and lower blood sugar levels.
We can add Stevia to smoothie, yogurt, tea & coffee. It can be used in baking as sugar substitute. One tea spoon of Stevia has power equivalent to 1 cup of sugar. It can be used in cakes & pan cakes. Lemonade, ice popsicles, cream dip, puddings, pie – all can be made with Stevia.
Sugarcane juice is one of the healthiest drinks. It helps prevent cancer, aids in digestion, prevents stomach infection & heart diseases; it has low glycemic index, hence it works well for diabetic patients. It helps clear skin blemishes. Frozen sugarcane juice with ginger and lemon juice becomes slush. Sugarcane juice can be added to smoothies and popsicles.
Jaggery also called as Gur is one of the oldest sweetener. It has many therapeutic & natural properties that help maintain skin glowing & healthy. It helps in maintaining correct functioning of digestive system. It is rich in iron and folate that helps in preventing anaemia. It helps in reducing water retention. Jaggery is used to make ladoos, halwa, modak, pudding, kheer and chikki, etc.
Regular usage of these natural sweeteners instead of sugar – can easily help in attaining good health without compromising one’s taste buds.
The information contained on this site is general in nature and for informational purposes. It is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by your own physician or other medical professional. Tips and recipes here are the experiences of the author. Everyone is unique and results vary from person to person. Caution must be taken while using honey and stevia.