Food with added sugar is one of the leading causes of obesity. It can cause inflammation, which then leads to other health issues. Many white sugar substitutes impact blood sugar levels negatively. Some zero-calorie sweeteners come with other risks. So how do you get that sweet taste without giving up sugar entirely? Here are some options, but they all come with their own set of problems or drawbacks.
One super sweet option that comes from a South American bush is Stevia. It’s 200-300 sweeter than sugar. It’s one of the few that don’t impact blood sugar levels. It comes in several forms from powder to liquid and can be used in beverages, baking, and cooking. One study done in 2017 found that Stevia may have some benefits. It may help prevent metabolic syndrome and could even help lower blood pressure. It has some drawbacks, like interaction with several medications and gastrointestinal side effects.
Stevia comes from a leaf, but monk fruit doesn’t. It’s a small gourd that is difficult to grow and even harder to get to market. It tastes slightly different from sugar and can leave an aftertaste, so companies have added other ingredients to make it more palatable. Monks used the dried fruits as medicine, hence the name, monk fruit. It’s 150-200 times sweeter than sugar and less than stevia. You have to get processed monk fruit since it spoils quickly. It’s the mogrosides in monk fruit that make it sweet. There are zero carbs, zero calories, it won’t affect blood sugar levels, and there are no side effects. It has some antioxidant benefits and may even help control blood sugar levels.
You can use fresh fruit as a sweetener. Replacing half the sugar in a recipe with half that amount of applesauce can cut sugar and make the recipe moister. Applesauce can also replace some of the oil. You can use ripe banana puree or other sweet fruit. Recipes will vary but some suggest that you replace a cup of sugar with a half cup of fruit puree while reducing the liquid by two tablespoons. You’ll get all the benefits the fruit offers and far less sugar.
For more information, contact us today at Prime Fitness Studio