That you better avoid sugar as much as possible, you know that hopefully, and that it is secretly used as an ingredient in an awful lot of products, is also something that is becoming more and more widely known. But even if you’re doing a really good job of avoiding refined sugars , you obviously still feel like something tasty!
Can you use synthetic foods in such a case to flavor your food? Or are there healthier alternatives? We list all the information about refined, synthetic and natural sugars, tell you how you can best deal with this and give you some suggestions for good sugar substitutes .
Let’s start with the ‘regular sugar’ that we all know: refined sugars. This is sugar that is stripped of all natural healthy substances. All fibers , vitamins and minerals are removed so that the sugar has a beautiful white color and has a longer shelf life. It is precisely the substances that are removed during the refining process that your body desperately needs to process the sugar properly.
For these refined sugars is that they cause huge peaks in your blood sugar, so that you can store fat faster and thus arrive. Refined sugars causes long-term conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. So let these sugars in the store lie to the left.
Then there is a group of sweeteners that are put together in an artificial, synthetic way. Examples include aspartame , sucralose and xylitol. The big disadvantage of these substances is that they are foreign – they do not occur in that composition in nature. As a result, they can have many unpleasant side effects or, in some extreme cases, even carcinogenic.
A second problem is that these kind of super sweet substances will only ensure that you get more appetite in the long term , making it more difficult to maintain your healthy diet . Synthetic substances therefore also fall off as sugar substitutes.
Natural sugar substitutes
Fortunately, there are also some natural sweet substances that can be used as sugar substitutes. You can better avoid some of them, such as agave syrup, which is often very processed, and very sweet, which for the most part consists of refined sucrose.
Better alternatives are coconut-flower sugar, which has hardly any effect on blood sugar levels and contains many minerals, and raw honey , which is also rich in all kinds of minerals. Green stevia also works, but watch out for the white version; that too has been considerably modified. Finally, fabrics such as cinnamon and vanilla can also make your food sweeter.
Fruit and dried fruits
Of course you can always eat fruit if you fancy a tasty sweet snack: thanks to the many fibers, it does not have a bad effect on your blood sugar level. But what many people forget is that fruit can also be used to fine tarts, cookies or smoothies .
Bananas and dates are often ideal for this purpose, but dried fruits such as apricots and raisins can also be delicious in some recipes. Look at the dried fruit as well on the list of ingredients: sometimes there is a lot of sugar added, and of course that is not the intention!
Always eat in moderation
Whether you pour refined white sugar or coconut sugar sugar into your cookies, sweet is never really healthy. By using natural sugar substitutes you only ensure that your food is a lot less unhealthy, but that does not mean that you should go to honey and dried apricots all day long.