Comparing the 6 Top Alternatives


Sugar is addictive,(1) results in weight problems,(2) and is even suspected of accelerating the danger of most cancers.(3) Not nice information – particularly if you happen to suppose that about 80% of packaged meals include added sugar.

The World Health Organization (WHO)…

…recommends consuming not more than 50 g of sugar per day (12 teaspoons). Human beings eat rather more than this on daily basis. 

To wean your self off sugar, it may be useful to go for sugar alternate options, along with reducing down in your consumption. Alternatives starting from xylitol to stevia can be found in outlets and marketed as healthy – however are they? We’ve in contrast 6 alternate options to sugar under.

1. Birch sugar

Xylitol is a sugar alcohol (E 967) which is used as a sugar substitute and is healthier generally known as birch sugar. Xylitol is a pure constituent of some greens and fruits (e.g. cauliflower, berries and plums). Birch sugar may be produced industrially by hydrolyzing xylan (a hemicellulose) into xylose, which is then additional processed to acquire xylitol. However, since this course of could be very costly, birch sugar is most frequently produced from corn cobs as of late.

A spoon full of birch sugar

  • Pros: Birch sugar has about 40% fewer energy than refined sugar and doesn’t trigger your blood sugar degree to rise as excessive after eating. Plus, birch sugar doesn’t trigger cavities. The good factor is, this sugar substitute has the identical sweetness as common sugar.
  • Cons: Xylitol will not be calorie-free and gives about 240 energy per 100 g. Eating massive portions of it (20-30 g) can result in flatulence or extreme diarrhea. As there may be nonetheless not a lot analysis on xylitol, the health-promoting features of it must be handled with warning.

Did ?

Birch sugar is harmful for canine! The sugar substitute could cause extreme liver injury in animals. Therefore, if you’re a canine proprietor, watch out when utilizing this sweetener in your cooking.

2. Honey

Honey is a pure product, incorporates plenty of worthwhile vitamins, and is taken into account one among the the oldest sweeteners in the world. It is produced by bees accumulating flower nectar, breaking it down into easy sugars after which storing it in honeycombs.

A bowl full of honey

  • Pros: Honey has lengthy been used as a therapeutic agent in pure medication. It has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antiseptic properties. Paired with ginger, honey can be utilized to struggle colds.
  • Cons: What it is best to know: 100 g of blossom honey incorporates about 310 energy. That is sort of as a lot as 100 g of white sugar. Therefore, honey isn’t going to save lots of you a lot energy. Due to the water content material of honey, 100 g of honey will not be as candy as 100 g of sugar. In truth, honey is about 80% as candy as sugar. It has an identical influence on blood sugar ranges as sugar (sucrose). For diabetics or these attempting to handle blood sugar ranges, there isn’t a benefit to substituting honey for sugar.


Children below the age of 1 mustn’t eat honey. The pure sweetener might include a bacterium that may develop in the youngster’s immature digestive system and even trigger toddler botulism. The sweetener additionally will increase your danger of cavities (like sugar, too).

3. Stevia

Steviol glycoside is a sugar substitute that’s extracted from the South American plant species stevia rebaundiana. It has been an accredited food additive in the EU since 2011. Before that the sugar substitute was generally known as a shower additive.

Steviablätter und eine Schüssel Stevia

  • Pros: Stevia has no energy and doesn’t injury the enamel. It additionally has no impact in your blood sugar degree, so stevia may also be utilized by diabetics.
  • Cons: The stevia added to meals is a chemical extract (E 960) and thus doesn’t include any important vitamins. Stevia could also be a lot sweeter than sugar, but it surely has a bitter aftertaste.

Interesting truth:

Stevia is 300 to 4 hundred instances sweeter than white sugar.

4. Agave nectar

Agave nectar, also called agave syrup, is produced from the juice of the agave plant present in Mexico. This sweetener tastes like honey however has a thinner consistency.

Agave syrup is dripping from a spoon

  • Pros: In distinction to abnormal sugar, agave nectar incorporates metabolites, nutritional vitamins and minerals. The sugar substitute is runnier than honey and thus extra soluble in meals and drinks. Plus, it’s appropriate for vegans.
  • Cons: Agave nectar has about the identical variety of energy as honey and is thus not a lot decrease in energy than sugar. Due to its excessive fructose content material, the sweetener has a decrease glycemic index, however an excessive amount of fructose consumption over an extended time frame may be unhealthy in your health: it might elevate your blood fats degree, result in a fatty liver, contribute to insulin resistance, whereas additionally elevating the danger of metabolic syndrome and sort 2 diabetes.

Did ?

The glycemic index signifies the impact of a carbohydrate-containing food in your blood sugar ranges. Pure glucose is used as a reference level and has a worth of 100.

5. Coconut sugar

This sugar substitute is comprised of the nectar of the flower buds of the coconut palm. It tastes lots like caramel.

A big spoon full of coconut sugar

  • Pros: Coconut sugar is claimed to include many nutritional vitamins and minerals, together with magnesium, iron and zinc. The sweetness of coconut sugar is akin to abnormal granulated sugar.
  • Cons: Coconut sugar has a decrease glycemic index than sugar (35), however this is because of its excessive fructose content material like agave nectar. Despite having a decrease glycemic index, it’s a pretty pure type of sugar. So, people with kind 2 diabetes ought to use it sparingly. Plus, this sugar substitute prices about 20 euros per kilo, which isn’t precisely low cost. But this isn’t stunning when you think about that it’s extracted by hand. Thus, this sugar substitute needs to be categorized as a luxurious good.


Extracted from the sugar maple tree, maple syrup (also called “liquid gold”) is scrumptious on pancakes and likewise a superb various to sugar in tea.

maple syrup

  • Pros: Maple syrup is a pure product: not like abnormal sugar, it incorporates greater than 50 beneficial compounds together with antioxidants and a molecule with anti-inflammatory properties. The darker the syrup, the increased the focus of those compounds. Plus, 100 g of maple syrup has 90 mg of calcium, 185 mg of potassium, 25 mg of magnesium, and 2 mg of iron. However, the query stays how a lot of those advantages are literally derived when the syrup is consumed in the advisable (small) quantities.
  • Cons: The sweetness of maple syrup (100 g has 260 cal) is 60 to 70% decrease than refined sugar. So you want extra maple syrup to realize the sweetness of sugar. Pay attention to the purity and the elements if you purchase it. Maple syrup (not a protected identify in Europe) typically incorporates sugar water – not advisable for a sugar-free weight loss program. The elements of syrups, comparable to maple syrup, typically include numerous proportions of glucose and fructose relying on the producer. That’s why diabetics should be cautious about utilizing this syrup – as it might trigger the identical response as plain white sugar, relying on the quantity and the high quality.

Fact about the liquid gold:

You want about 40 liters of maple sap to supply one liter of maple syrup!

6 Sugar alternate options >> So, which sugar substitute is the finest?

Review the professionals and cons to kind your personal opinion:

  • Birch sugar doesn’t trigger your blood sugar to rise a lot, but it surely does have 240 cal per 100 g.
  • Honey has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. However, it’s loaded with energy: it has 310 energy per 100 g.
  • Stevia has no energy, however the sweetener is added to food as a chemical extract (E 960).
  • Agave nectar incorporates plenty of nutritional vitamins and minerals. If you eat an excessive amount of of it for an extended interval, although, it might elevate your blood fats degree.
  • Coconut sugar incorporates magnesium, iron, and zinc – on the different hand, it’s excessive in fructose. It can also be relatively costly and regarded a luxurious good.
  • Maple syrup is a pure various and incorporates many antioxidants and anti inflammatory properties. But it’s 60 to 70% much less candy than sugar, which suggests you want extra sugar to realize the identical sweetness.

In abstract, many sugar alternate options are sometimes touted as more healthy than they really are. Indeed, lots of them are excessive in fructose or are chemical extracts. This is why we suggest utilizing sugar substitutes sparingly (identical to refined sugar). Or attempt to slowly in the reduction of on it – ask your self, “Do I really need to sweeten my tea?”



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