Ahh the classic sweet tooth. The thing that derails many ambitious dieters.
I am going to break down what are the best sugar substitutes in my opinion.
But I want to clear up one thing first.
Refined Sugar Is Not Necessarily Bad For You***
I have to choose my wording carefully because I don’t want you to just go off and start on a sugar binge.
But I want to talk about refined sugar for a bit first.
Like I say, refined sugar is not necessarily bad for you. And I emphasise that it is not NECESSARILY bad for you because that is not the same as saying that it is not bad for you at all.
TOO MUCH refined sugar can cause damage to your health, from throwing your blood sugar levels out of whack to tooth decay and a few others which I don’t need to go into.
But a little bit now and then probably won’t do you any harm. The devil is in the dosage.
Looking at it from a nutritional and body transformation point of view:
- Refined sugar is roughly 4 calories per 1g
- It can make food taste good
- This can make it easy to over eat these foods
- As well as that it can cause spikes and dips in your blood sugar level which can affect your energy levels and make you hungry again more quickly
- It doesn’t have any other nutritional benefits
So with no real nutritional benefits, but the ability to make foods easy to over eat (meaning you are eating more calories than you are burning), and making you hungrier (again making it easy to eat more calories) it isn’t really a food that is good for you.
But in small amounts now and then, for most of you, it won’t actually do you any major harm.
If you do decide to cut out or reduce refined sugar however, but don’t want to abstain from sweets completely, you will want to know what to replace it with.
So What Are The Best Sugar Substitutes?
Stevia – by which I mean completely pure stevia extract that isn’t cut with erythritol or other sugar alcohols – is my go-to sweetener of choice.
It has zero calories, is derived from plants, does not impact on your blood sugar levels and is something like 300 times sweeter than sugar so you only need to use a tiny amount.
2 . Pure Raw Honey
Pure raw unprocessed honey is of course sugar still, but it also contains amino acids, antioxidants and micronutrients that can really help your overall health.
It does still have calories, but it has a huge number of health benefits and is easy to find so also makes a great substitute for refined sugar.
Dates are great because they are high in fibre, potassium, minerals, and vitamins. The fibre in dates actually slows down sugar absorption in your body.
If you have a look around the internet, you will find some delicious recipes for salted caramel made entirely from medjool dates.
4. Pure Organic Maple Syrup
As well as tasting great drizzled over plenty of things, maple syrup is (if it’s pure) completely natural and contains a good amount of zinc and magnesium which both help boost the immune system, and improve heart function.