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4 Natural Sweeteners to Use Instead of Sugar

4 Natural Sweeteners to Use Instead of Sugar

With increasing research supporting the negative impact of sugar on the body, its role in reducing overall health and decreasing success in weight loss goals, getting rid of sugar is a regular part of healthy living checklists. 

When that happens though, it can be hard to know what to use as a healthy sugar alternative. 

Start with this list in helping you get rid of sugar and having healthy substitutes to use.

Dates

You can focus on making your snacks, baked goods and breakfast healthier by using dates. Lending a natural caramel flavor to food, dates are like nature’s candy, wonderfully sweet, while simultaneously acting as a complex carbohydrate. As a complex carbohydrate, they offer a slow release of energy and prevent a sugar spike and crash. Enjoy them in things such as energy balls or granola bars, use them in your baking, or put a couple of Medjool dates in the freezer: when you bring them out and eat them, it is like digging your teeth into thick, sticky caramel!

Banana

If you haven’t already, it’s definitely time to add banana to your regular ingredient list for baking. Part of the reason banana bread is so delectable and addictive, is because it is deliciously sweet from all of the overripe bananas.  High in potassium and a complex carbohydrate, like dates, bananas are a healthy snack to eat when you are craving something sweet, but are also great to use for a sweetener in your baking for things such as muffins, cookies and cakes.  You can even put them in your morning oatmeal, where they help it become thick and delicious! Better yet, make a healthy dessert by freezing your ripe bananas and then whizzing them up in the blender with some vanilla essence for an all-natural soft serve ice cream.

Stevia

You may have read ingredient labels that included stevia. Another type of natural sweetener, Stevia is a sugar alternative that comes from a plant, where the plant’s sweet nectar is extracted from the leaves and then left as a liquid or turned into crystals.  The sweetness that it offers is very concentrated, meaning you need a minute amount in comparison to the amount of refined sugar you would usually use.  Stevia is a great option to use as your sugar replacement for favorite beverages, like coffee and tea or in baked goods.

Monk Fruit Sweetener

    A relatively new player on the market, monk fruit sweetener is extracted from monk fruits and is a great alternative for your baking, in your morning oats or for your hot beverage.  It is low in calories, and very concentrated in sweetness. Producers turn it into a powder or liquid, similar to you would find stevia, but it lends a slightly different flavor than traditional sweeteners so use in moderation, until you get used to it and the degree of sweetness it produces.

    Just because you are giving up sugar doesn’t mean everything has to taste unappealing.  Learn about sugar alternatives and how to use them and your health will be better for it, while your food will still taste delicious!

    By: Laura Peill, RHN, BScH –  Viand Nutrition

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