Planning to ditch white sugar this year: try these natural sugar options instead!
Happy new year everyone!
I am sure most of us are busy during this time making new year resolutions. And like every year, “health” is a prime priority for most of us. We all want to include healthy lifestyle practices (healthy eating and regular exercise) as a part of our lifestyle.
Along with other important things, ditching the white sugar may be a priority in the year 2023 for many of us.
We all know that excessive sugar consumption is harmful to our health. Now, scientific studies have confirmed the same fact. As per recent research, increased sugar intake is not only a leading cause of obesity but also increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
Although eating a small amount of sugar is perfectly fine, however we should limit excessive sugar consumption to reduce the risk of gaining excessive weight and developing various lifestyle diseases like heart disease and diabetes.
Apart from limiting white and refined sugar intake, we can use and replace refined sugar with natural sugar sources. natural sources of sugar are way healthier than refined sugar in many aspects. Natural sugar sources are low in calories and high in nutrients.
In this post, I am sharing some amazing natural substitutes for white or refined sugar. Read the post to know more.
Planning to ditch white sugar this year : try any of these natural sugar option instead!
Dates are one of the excellent natural substitutes for white or refined sugar. Dates contain various essential nutrients and are a good source of fiber and antioxidants. Dates can be easily used in various baking recipes instead of white sugar. For using dates in baking recipes, soak the dates in warm water for 15-20 minutes and then grind them in a grinder by adding little water and making a smooth and rich paste. we can replace 1 cup of white sugar with 1 cup of date paste in our favorite cake and cookies recipes and can make our dessert recipes a lot healthier.
Raw and unfiltered honey is one of the best natural substitutes for refined sugar. Honey has an impressive nutritional profile and contains various essential nutrients, such as iron, zinc and potassium. Honey also has excellent antioxidant properties and reduces the damage caused by oxidizing agents and boosts your body’s natural defense.
As a bonus, honey contains pollen which can help a lot in reducing allergic symptoms in sensitive people. Make sure to buy raw, unfiltered, organic honey from a reputed brand to get the amazing benefits honey offers. we can use honey as a natural sweetener in many recipes like cereal, smoothies and tea.
Coconut sugar is made from the sap of the coconut pam tree. It has a lower glycemic index than refined sugar. It is also low in calories and high in nutrients. Coconut sugar also contains a soluble fiber named “Inulin” which may slow glucose absorption and prevent sugar spikes in diabetic patients. we can easily replace refined sugar with coconut sugar in many cooking and baking recipes.
Jaggery or jaggery powder is another popular natural sugar substitute in the Indian subcontinent and Africa. Jaggery is made from cane sugar or palm and is a much healthier option than refined or white sugar. It comes in light brown to dark brown color. The darker jaggery is high in nutrition than the light brown jaggery.
Jaggery is also a good source of iron, zinc, vitamin B 12 and other minerals like copper and phosphorus. It is believed that jaggery offers various health benefits like it supports healthy digestion, prevents anemia and improves immune function. Jaggery is versatile in nature and can be used easily in various sweet and sour dishes instead of white sugar.
Maple syrup is the next great natural substitute for white or refined sugar. Maple syrup is native to North America and made from the sap of the Maple tree. It is classified into two categories, Grade A and Grade B. Grade B is a darker variety and considered a better option than the light brown variety. Dark brown maple syrup is high in nutrition and can be used in various baking dishes instead of white or refined sugar. When buying a Mapel syrup, it is important to read the label carefully and buy real Mapel syrup. Some Mapel syrups are only maple-floured syrup, they can be loaded with high sugar content and may be as unhealthy as white or refined sugar.
Fruit puree (like apple sauce and banana puree)
Fruit is an excellent source of natural sugar. They are high in nutrition and offer many health benefits. Fruit puree like banana puree and apple sauce can be easily used in various baking recipes instead of white sugar. fruit purees like Banana puree taste great with oatmeal and also be used as a natural sweetener for yoghurt. However, it is important to use fruit purees after matching flavors in baking recipes. Otherwise, it will alter the taste and texture of original recipes.
Though all these natural substitutes for white sugar are healthier than refined or white sugar and may be a good way to cut back your white or refined sugar intake, it does not mean that we can use them excessively. Keep in mind that they are still high in calories and may increase the risk of gaining extra weight. To be on the safe side, we should use these natural sugar substitutes in moderation.
Read also: https://surbhiprapanna.com/2022/10/18/6-amazing-benefits-of-cycling-for-your-health/
I love to bake, so I am wondering if i can replace white sugar with coconut sugar. Hope it wont alter the taste..ur take?
You can. I make wheat flour carrot cake with jaggery.
I have given up white sugar long ago. My cake is with wheat flour and jaggery.I didn’t understand how one can use fruit puree as a substitute for sugar.
Awesome Surbhi I really want to leave sugar. Will try these substitutes to add in sweet dishes instead of regular sugar. Should we add more amount of jaggery than sugar to yield same amount of sweetness or not? do let me know.
I really loved the options you have shared. We usually use jaggery than sugar at home but these other options can also be tried.
Jaggery powder and palm sugar has been a part of our pantry for so long. Recently I started using stevia and date powder. But i have never tried coconut sugar. This month i will try this too
My mother in law wants to leave sugar ..i will share it with her she will be happy .