The question on a lot of peoples minds these days is: ‘How can I cut down my sugar intake?’
The truth is, it’s almost impossible to eliminate sugar completely and even if you can cut sugar out, you are likely to find it very difficult eating on-the-go or at a restaurant. The good news is, there are quite a few natural sugar alternatives with some great health benefits if consumed moderately.
Traditionally used as a classic pancake drizzle, maple syrup is a great source of manganese that boosts the production of energy and antioxidant defences. It also contains riboflavin and zinc, which are useful nutrients, and in addition to polyphenols and antioxidants can help control inflammation. A teaspoon of pure maple syrup has 17 cals and 5 gms of sugar. It can also serve as a substitute for other liquid sweeteners.
Honey is a very traditional and classic way to sweeten just about anything without the added fructose. To ensure your honey is not blended with table sugar or corn syrup, buy locally sourced honey from known beekeepers or find an organic option sourced from beehives in areas far from the reach of pesticides and pollutants. A teaspoon of honey has 21 cals and 6 gms of sugar.
Truvia Nectar is for a lower-cal option to honey. It is a blend of honey and stevia leaf extract that’s said to be twice as sweet as honey and sugar so you only need to use half as much to get the same level of sweetness. A teaspoon of Truvia Nectar has 20 cals and 4 gms of sugar. Half a teaspoon of Truvía Nectar will normally be the equivalent of one teaspoon of sugar, honey or agave.
A byproduct of refining sugar cane into table sugar, a tablespoon of this thick molasses contains around 15% of your daily iron requirement. This is delightful news for vegans, who often lack adequate amounts of iron, in addition to vitamin B6, magnesium and calcium.
A teaspoon of Blackstrap Molasses contains 20 cals and 5 gms of sugar. Since it features higher on the bitterness scale and lower on the sweetness scale as compared to sugar, it’s not caught on as the perfect replacement for sugar. But, it is still a suitable sweetener for many!