Natural and Healthy Ways to Sweeten Your Meals

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Diets, the perpetual demand for natural products, diabetes, and other health problems, are forcing many folks to limit their sugar intake. Nevertheless, they don’t have to relinquish in enjoying favorite food, sweets, and cookies if they know how to replace sugar with healthier alternatives.

The following article is an overview of the top fourteen most popular, healthy, and natural sweeteners that can entirely replace sugar. Let’s see!

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  1. Agave Syrup

The agave syrup is made from the sap of the blue agave plant or agave tequilana.

A teaspoon of agave syrup is sweeter than a teaspoon of sugar but does not cause high blood sugar while it does not stimulate insulin production. So people with diabetes can safely use it to sweeten the favorite meals.

Agave syrup is rich in vitamins B, C, D, E, and minerals such as calcium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, selenium, and chromium.

 

2. Honey

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Besides its sweetening power, honey has strong antioxidant and antiseptic properties and is rich in vitamins (especially the B complex) and minerals: calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc.

3. Sucanat

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Sucanat (which stands for Sugar Cane Natural) is made from dehydrated sugar cane juice. It is the purest form of sugar, without refining.

4. Stevia

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Stevia is a natural sweetener that can be used as powder, granules, and in liquid form, or even unprocessed (chopped leaves).

Stevia is sweeter than refined white sugar and does not affect blood sugar levels, thus being recommended for diabetes. Stevia reduces appetite and improves digestion.

5. Xylitol

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Image Credits: Kyle Lam.

Xylitol looks like sugar but does not cause spikes in blood sugar. It is a healthy and natural sweetener extracted from vegetables and fruits (strawberries, mushrooms, endive, etc.).

6. Black Molasses

BlackstrapmolassesmMolasses is a waste product resulted from the sugar refining process.

It is not dangerous and has little caloric value. Molasses is also very rich in minerals such as iron, potassium, and calcium.

 7. Maple Syrup

maple-709982_960_720Maple syrup is a flavored and tasty sweetener, containing compounds that have proved beneficial in fighting cancer, inflammation, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.

It also acts as a booster for the immune system.

8. Persimmon Syrup

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Image Credits: Janet Hudson

Persimmon syrup is another natural and tasty sweetener that can completely replace sugar in any situation, including baking cookies. It contains calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and copper.

9. Brown Rice Syrup 

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Brown rice syrup is an excellent substitute for sugar when cooking.

10. Corn Syrup

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Corn syrup is very rich in fructose and is less sweet than sugar. It raises the insulin levels so diabetes patients should avoid it.

 

11. Palm Sugar 

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Image Credits: Michael Hermann

Palm sugar has a low glycemic index, is as sweet as sugar, but it very expensive. It is particularly used in the Thai cuisine.

 

12. Sorghum 

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Sorghum syrup’s taste is very similar to molasses’. It is rich in vitamins (the B complex) and minerals and features strong antioxidant effects.

13. Barley Malt Syrup 

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Image Credits: grongar

Barley malt syrup is a healthy and natural sweetener, containing proteins and other nutrients. It is especially recommended for people who suffer from digestive difficulties, including abdominal pain.

 

14. Coconut

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Image Credits: Hafiz Issadeen.

Coconut flavor can “fool” the taste buds, leaving a sweet taste in the mouth. The virgin coconut oil is recommended, being a very healthy choice for sugar replacement.