Learning to control sugar cravings is crucial for managing blood sugar levels. Many experts advise people to avoid eating any foods that contain sugar so that they can keep their blood glucose in check and their insulin levels stable.
But, cutting out sugar is absolutely unrealistic for most people. Luckily, there are plenty of natural substitutes for sugar that might be safe and can satisfy sugar cravings. Plus, consuming them can have plenty of health benefits.
Here are some of the best alternatives to try.
1. Maple Syrup
Maple syrup is made from the sap of maple trees. In order to create a thick sweet liquid, people boil the sap. Moreover, maple syrup contains plenty of potassium, calcium, manganese, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, folic acid, B vitamins, niacin, and biotin.
One tablespoon of syrup contains about 50 calories and 70% sugar. If we want to obtain all the benefits it can offer, we should purchase a darker-grade B maple syrup. The darker version contains far more nutrients and vitamins than the lighter one.
According to Healthline, maple syrup is one of the healthiest alternatives for people who want to avoid consuming sugar.
2. Raw Organic Honey
There are 300 different varieties of honey. All of these varieties have different and unique flavors based on the source of the nectar. Darker honey contains many antioxidants which might be useful for preventing cell damage by free radicals.
Furthermore, all honey varieties contain antibacterial properties. Therefore, consuming honey can boost the immune system, and overall health and help the body avoid bacteria among other things.
However, to obtain all the health benefits honey can offer, it is crucial to purchase raw organic, unprocessed honey. Also, one might be thinking that honey contains a lot of sugar since it is that sweet. But that is not true.
Honey contains only natural sugars that are useful for the body.
3. Date Sugar
Date sugar comes from dates. Manufacturers dry the fruit and then make it into powder. In fact, date sugar contains the same amount of fiber as the actual fruit. Furthermore, it is full of iron, magnesium, and vitamin B6.
However, since date sugar is powdered fruit, it can’t dissolve in liquids that well. Therefore, it is best to add it to meals or recipes that require brown sugar.
4. Coconut Sugar
Coconut sugar is made from the sap of the coconut palm. This type of sugar has become very popular in recent years thanks to all the research that showed it has a low glycemic index. In fact, the research shows that coconut sugar can help prevent blood sugar levels from increasing.
As a result, those with diabetes can use this type of sugar to control their cravings and properly manage their condition. Also, some believe that it can help with weight management. To make this sugar, manufacturers boil the sap.
Once the sap becomes a thick substance, manufacturers leave it to dry and grind it into powder. The taste is similar to caramel. Finally, coconut sugar keeps many of the health benefits the coconut fruit can offer.
Therefore, it is full of calcium, iron, zinc, and potassium.
Stevia is a sweetener that has been approved by the FDA as a useful alternative to sugar. It contains anti-diabetic and anti-oxidant properties. Furthermore, it can suppress plasma glucose levels and boost glucose tolerance.
Stevia is not technically an artificial sweetener because it is made from stevia plant leaves. This sweetener can increase insulin production, insulin an effect on the cell membranes, keep the blood sugar in check, and prevent complications from type 2 diabetes.
Even though stevia is natural, many brands manufacture highly processed stevia with various ingredients. So, the best way to know if the stevia we are consuming is safe is to grow our own plant at home.
If we have diabetes or are at risk of developing it, it is a good idea to choose a healthier alternative to sugar and other refined sugars. Therefore, we suggest choosing natural healthier sweeteners that will not affect blood sugar levels.
By incorporating them into our diet, we might be able to suppress the cravings and lead a healthier way of life.