Do you want to know the healthiest and most natural alternatives to white sugar because you want a healthier diet without added sugars and synthetic sweeteners? Honey, cane sugar, or panela are more natural and less refined substitutes than white sugar. Find out if these natural alternatives are just as healthy, Sugar! .
Although sucrose or white sugar is still the most typical in our homes, other types of sugars under more natural labels and marketing strategies are being imposed in our shopping cart and on the shelves of the pantries. Words like coconut sugar or panela sound more exotic and the corn syrup present in many processed foods is super cheap for the food industry. In the end, both brown or whole cane sugar, panela, maple syrups, agave or fructose, no matter how healthy alternatives they may seem, are sugars! All of them contain sucrose at 70 or 80% and many in proportions greater than 90%.
1. Maple syrup
It is the sap extracted from the maple or maple tree, and it is an excellent option to replace refined sugar.
Unlike the latter, maple syrup contains minerals and macro nutrients. As a curious fact, this honey has already been used to replace sugar, since in the middle of the 20th century, during the shortage of cane sugar that the war brought, it became the favorite sweetener of many.
2. Coconut sugar
The coconut is experiencing an impressive boom, you just have to review the entire portfolio of its derivatives. In addition to oil, butter, flakes or coconut milk, a derivative that is gaining popularity is sugar , which is obtained from the coconut palm (not to be confused with palm sugar) and, unlike sugar sugarcane , is more nutritious, has minerals and fiber, as well as a lower glycemic percentage.
3. Agave nectar
It is the extract of the juice or mead of the agave pineapple (different species can be used, although the most common is blue), which is concentrated to obtain a lighter syrup than other honeys, but sweeter than cane sugar .
It is advisable to use it in moderation and its use in the kitchen is quite common for the preparation of desserts or, well, to sweeten cereals and fruit.
One of the most famous and popular sweeteners in recent years is stevia . It is a sugar substitute that is extracted
from the leaves of the South American plant of the same name. Among its main advantages is its flavor and sweetness, which is more powerful than that of refined sugar ; it is calorie-free, does not harm teeth and can be consumed by people with diabetes.
5. Bee honey
The queen of all sweeteners and true “honey” is the bee . Unlike other sugar substitutes, honey contains not only minerals, but also vitamins, proteins, and antioxidants, among many other nutrients. In addition to its sweet power, honey has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, which is why it is also used to treat certain skin wounds.
6.Panela / Molasses
Panela comes from Asia and South America and is obtained from sugarcane juice concentrate. It is cooked at high temperatures to form a fairly dense molasses that is then left to dry in molds until it solidifies. It is said that it preserves most of the compounds present in sugarcane juice and that therefore its nutritional value is higher, although its sucrose concentration is enormous: 85% sugars . The rest of its composition is calcium, magnesium, phosphorus or iron in such a small proportion that it does not justify its consumption. In the end, it is sugar that provides the same grams of carbohydrates and sugars but is much more expensive and is not a local product at all.