As we have mentioned in previous articles in this blog, (One smoothie contains all the sugar your children should eat in a day!; Excessive consumption of sugary drinks may increase risk of osteoporosis; 10 sugar caches) we can find large amounts of sugar in products we consume on a daily basis without knowing what we are actually putting into our bodies, or at least in what quantities, and how this can affect our health.
For these reasons, today we bring you a series of substitutes for traditional refined sugar, starting with the best known and ending with the great unknowns.
- The best-known substitute for sugar is honey, which is easy to understand thanks to its taste and the large amount of vitamins and minerals it contains, the only drawback compared to traditional sugar is its high calorie content.
- Molasses is another of the most popular sugar substitute sweeteners. What makes it so popular is the large amount of B vitamins, as well as being more nutritious, digestible and milder than other sweeteners. It also contains a large amount of minerals, especially iron, magnesium and calcium, making it a great rival to sugar.
- The third most popular sugar substitute is agave syrup, which is very similar to honey, but is the best option for those who do not consume anything derived from an animal, as it is a vegetable juice, and does not increase blood glucose as much as traditional sugar.
- On the other hand, it is becoming increasingly common to find products with stevia in our supermarkets, but what is stevia? lately it is the sweetener in fashion, because although it is 300 times sweeter than sugar, it does not increase blood glucose levels, as it is not a sugar, and also has no calories, two things that make it quite popular, and in turn a sweetener substitute very much to be taken into account.
- Another nutrient-rich alternative is coconut sugar, as the World Bank's food and agriculture commission has stated that this type of sweetener is currently the most sustainable, as it comes from a tree and is considered ecologically beneficial. The main advantage of this type of sugar over traditional sugar, despite having the same amount of calories, is that traditional white sugar is empty calories without any nutrients, and it does not increase blood glucose as much as traditional sugar or other sweeteners such as honey.
Although these substitutes provide us with more benefits than the use of traditional sugar, we must bear in mind that they can also cause tooth decay if we do not maintain good oral health, so despite substituting sugar in our diet, we must not stop brushing our teeth and visiting our dentist to check our smile.