Sugar, in its refined form, makes your recipe sweet and tasty, but it is a rich source of calories, and it can even affect your health. Besides the fact that sugar consumption can make you gain weight, it is also responsible for the appearance of dental cavities.
According to JAMA Internal Medicine, sugar is also responsible for increasing the risk of heart conditions. The same study shows that most adults in the US eat much more refined sugar than necessary, and that the high number of heart conditions appeared during recent years can be linked to sugar consumption. If you cannot give up on sugar, here are some great substitutes that are not bad for your health.
Check the following list to see which substitutes may work for you:
Honey is a great substitute for refined sugar. It is rich in antioxidants as well as vitamins and minerals. Add a bit of honey on a slice of bread or to your cereal mix, for a tasty breakfast. Honey will feed your appetite for sweets in the morning. It comes in many flavors, so you may want to try a few, to see which ones you like most.
Artificial sweeteners are used in many products, such as drinks and snacks.
You can choose from a large variety of artificial sweeteners, such as Sweet One, Stevia, Sweet ‘N’ Low, NutraSweet, Splenda and Equal.
Applesauce is a great source of natural substitute for sugar, as it is healthy and it is not rich in calories. The good news is that baked goods will taste even greater.
Dates and figs are great for adding something sweet to your recipes, without adding sugar. You can make cakes, breads, and muffins, with dates and figs that will be tasty and much healthier for any meal of the day.
Lemon juice is not sweet as sugar, but it helps fighting sugar cravings. Just add lemon juice to water, and you will find your water much tastier. Adding lemon juice in oatmeal makes it easier to eat, even without the added sweet content.
Cinnamon is used for baked goods, and because of its special aroma, you will find no more need to add sugar to your recipes. The good news is that it is very low in calories.
Raisins are a perfect source of antioxidants and natural fiber. Because of their sweet taste, you can eat them as they are, just to satisfy your craving for sugar.
Blueberries make for a great substitute for refined sugar, if you add them to your cereal bowl.
Cranberries have a particular sweet and sour taste. There are many baked good recipes with cranberries you can enjoy, so you can avoid adding unnecessary sugar to your pancakes, or muffins. Because they are rich in antioxidants, cranberries are much recommended.
Maple syrup, in its pure form, is a great source of antioxidants. Just pour some on waffles and pancakes and you will not need extra sugar. Mixing cold fat free milk with maple syrup makes for a great combination to cool yourself down during hot afternoons.
Cocoa, in its powder form, has a particular delicious taste. It can be added to milk, for a tasty beverage. Use pure cocoa powder for baked goods instead of chocolate, to limit the consumption of refined sugar.
Bananas can be used as puree, when they are ripe. Combining them with milk shake, or adding them to baked goods, enhances your recipes, without the need to add extra sugar.
Apricots can also be turned into puree and eaten instead of sugary treats. They are a great source of vitamin C, as well as iron.
Orange juice is rich in vitamin C, and makes for a good start every morning. Even without adding sugar, it is a source of energy and it can help you go through the day without feeling famished or craving for sweet.
Sucanat is made of cane juice. It is rich in various nutrients, including vitamins and minerals. A bit of it makes drinks and baked goods sweeter without adding sugar.
Molasses is obtained from sugarcane, grapes and beetroot. Rich in vitamin C, calcium and iron, it helps you make delicious baked recipes. You can also add it to fruit salads.
Agave nectar is a great addition to cold and hot drinks, and it is also used when making pies. Be aware that it has a high content of fructose, so it should not be consumed in large quantities.