White sugar is among the most frequently used modern sweeteners. But being a refined product, it creates a host of adverse health effects like tooth decay, acne, energy loss, and serious diseases like diabetes, arthritis, obesity, and cancer. The good news is that you have other options that are much healthier. So, go the Ayurvedic way by switching from your artificial sweetener to one of these natural and healthier white sugar alternatives.
5 Natural and Healthier White Sugar Alternatives
First on our list is honey, quite common among sugar alternatives for tea. Honey is a valued Ayurvedic ingredient that has antioxidant, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and other medicinal properties. Moreover, it has a host of vitamins and minerals – making it a far better substitute. If you have a cough and cold or an irritated throat, honey is rather helpful. Buy raw, organic honey and make sure you take it easy since it has lots of calories as well as fructose.
2. Stevia Leaves
The stevia plant is native to Central and South America. Its leaves contain glycoside, which makes them taste sweet. The herb has been used for medicinal purposes for many years. Stevia leaves are among the best healthier white sugar alternatives since they have zero calories and carbs, they don’t cause tooth decay, and neither have they been found to increase blood sugar. So if you’re looking for natural sugar substitutes for diabetics, try stevia. The only downside is that is produces a bitter aftertaste. Watch out for mislabeling and only buy pure stevia.
3. Coconut Sugar
Coconut has been used in Ayurveda for thousands of years since it offers many health benefits. Its sugar comes from coconut palm flower buds. It has a lovely caramel-like flavour as well as colour. This alternative has very low fructose content, which is great. Moreover it has nutrients like potassium, zinc, magnesium, and iron. But note that coconut sugar has loads of calories just like regular sugar. So while it’s healthier, remember to not go overboard with its usage.
4. Pure Maple Syrup
Maple syrup is a childhood favourite. Pure maple syrup has a whole bunch of antioxidants that fight free radical damage and reduce inflammation in the body. It also contains minerals important like iron, zinc, magnesium, and potassium. Moreover, it has a lower glycemic index than white sugar. However, pure maple syrup’s antioxidant and mineral content aren’t as high as its sucrose content – which means that while it’s healthier than white sugar, it’s still wise to watch how much of it you include in your diet.
Last on our list of healthier white sugar alternatives is dates. Quite a popular Ayurvedic food, dates have a range of antioxidants and other nutrients like vitamin A, B-12 and K, phosphorous, magnesium, calcium, manganese, and copper. Dates are delightfully sweet and you can use them to flavour your food in the form of date sugar as well as syrup. Or your could simply crush and sprinkle them. They taste great in combination with other spices. In fact if you’ve got sugar cravings, one of the healthiest thing to reach for is a pack of dates. They’re also convenient to carry around.
Though these sweeteners are definitely less harmful than white sugar, most of them can still put you at risk of disease if you use them too much. So the lesser, the better. Also, make sure that you read the labels properly so that you end up with pure and organic sugar substitutes.