Complete elimination of sugar from the diet is the best way to fight sugar addiction, but this goal is not so easy to achieve. Therefore, the best way to live a life without sugar is to gradually reduce the intake. The best and most efficient way is to find an alternative to ordinary sugar. One of the healthy sugar alternatives is Stevia that is extremely low in calories.
Stevia – the best choice
One of the healthiest alternatives to sugar is stevia, which appeared just recently in some markets. Full name Stevia Rebaudiana Bertoni, this plant originally comes from Paraguay and Brazil, and for centuries has been known as a natural remedy among the Indians. It is believed that it is a natural cure for diabetes, high blood pressure and wound healing. Stevia contains glycosides that stimulate the pancreas to optimal, balanced production and secretion of the insulin, lower total cholesterol, and slow down or prevent the growth of bacteria, viruses and fungi.
Stevia is also popular because of the extremely sweet taste, which is up to 400 times more intense than sucrose (sugar), where there is negligible energy value. This intense sweetness is provided by the sweetest and most commonly used rebaudioside A. Because of the extremely intense sweet flavor, various additives are added to stevia extract and you need to be cautious while reading the declaration because some manufacturers add maltodextrin, which contains calories and also affects the blood glucose level. It is important to choose a reliable manufacturer with years of experience and satisfied customers.
Coconut palm sugar – a good choice
Coconut palm sugar will enrich your every meal, coffee or dessert. It can be added to flakes or porridges. It comes from fruit juice of coconut flower. It is made in a natural 2-step process: A cut is made on the coconut palm flower and the liquid is collected into containers. The sap is placed under heat until most of the liquid has evaporated. The final product after the granulation process is coconut palm sugar with a light brown color. The biggest advantage of this sugar is its low glycolic index since it contains insulin which is known for low GI. It is between 35 and 54. For comparison the glycolic index of honey is 70, refined white sugar has a GI 65 -100. This sugar is traditionally used for cooking in Indonesia, especially on the island of Java. Because of its unique taste, but also because of lower glycolic index, it is an excellent alternative to sugar obtained from sugar cane and sugar beet.
Why brown sugar is not a good alternative to white sugar?
Sucrose is obtained by extraction from sugar beet and sugar cane. While refined or white sugar undergoes full processing, brown sugar doesn’t go through the whole process of refining, so various plant pigments, some minerals and other plant remains are usually left behind. When we talk about healthier brown sugar, we usually think of the refined sugar. But at the market plain granulated sugar is commonly being sold as a brown sugar, with added molasses for color. Such colored sugars do not offer any significant health benefits comparing to white sugar. Real unrefined brown sugar also doesn’t offer major health improvement. Unrefined brown sugar with sucrose contains small amounts of vitamins and minerals, but they are not significant.