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Baking with Sugar Alternatives?

Natural Sugar Replacer, a smart way to stay fit

A sugar replacer is an alternative that duplicates the sweet effect of sugar in taste with less energy. While some of the sugar substitutes are naturally occurring, others are synthetic. The natural choices are preferred over the artificial ones as they are low calorie and safe for diabetics. On the other hand, there are many health risks associated with artificial sweeteners and even can lead to diseases like depression, cancer and specific types of dementia. For people willing to lose weight, one of the best ways would be switching to natural sweeteners While sugar increases the risk of diabetes and contributes to obesity, natural sugar replacements are not injurious to your health.

Natural sugar substitutes come with lots of benefits. Using them to sweeten your food means harmful chemicals are prevented from entering your system. The natural sugar alternatives are available in a range of options, they add very few calories to food and are safe for diabetics. Many of such natural sugar substitutes come with certain health benefits like helping in maintaining healthy blood-sugar levels and providing antioxidants.

The most widely used natural sugar replacers and their uses:

Honey: One of the best natural sugar alternatives is raw honey which has been in use for centuries as a healthy sugar substitute. Honey is a naturally occurring sweet liquid which comprises 18% water, 80% natural sugars, 2% minerals, vitamins, protein and pollen. Having a low glycemic index, it is just perfect for those willing to lose weight. Enriched with antioxidants, honey protects us from a number of illnesses. It has several other benefits like beautifying the skin, promoting digestion, helping wounds heal and treating insomnia. While 100g of caster sugar provides 100g of carbohydrates and 400kcals of energy, the same amount of pure honey provides 81g of carbohydrates and 330kcals of energy on average. Honey not only adds sweetness and flavour to foods and drinks, it has antibacterial properties as well. Honey is good for baking cakes.

Agave Nectar: Obtained from various species of the agave plant, Agave is a natural sugar replacementthat consists of mainly glucose and fructose. Agave has same consistency to honey and is approximately1.5 times sweeter than table sugar. Agave is a natural sugar substitute owing to its much lower glycemic index than sucrose. Agave is ideal option for those wanting to shed weight in a natural way. It has lots of other health benefits like enhancing the immune system, lowering the risk of cancer, improving absorption of certain nutrients, etc.

Maple Syrup: Other than using it for baking bread or pancakes, Maple syrup can also be used as a natural sugar replacementfor making various sweets including cookies and cakes and topping for ice-creams, pancakes and toasts. Maple syrup has lots of other health benefits like promoting heart health, lowering the risk of prostate cancer, boosting the immune system and others.

Date Sugar: This is an extract derived from dehydrated dates. One of the best natural sugar alternatives, date sugar is a healthier choice containing some essential minerals. It plays a vital role in enhancing immune system, maintaining healthy blood pressure, relieving asthma, sore muscles and migraine.

Some of the other most commonly used natural sweeteners to replace sugar include Stevia, Xylitol, Coconut Sugar, Fruit juice, Molasses, Brown rice syrup, Barley Malt syrup.

Apart from these a range of natural sweeteners are available in the market which are great to taste, contain no artificial ingredients, flavours or preservatives and made from a fantastic combination of ingredients taken from fruits and vegetables.