Sugar intake is a concern for most of us, particularly if you face health problems. As great as it tastes, refined sugar is, unfortunately, the root of many physical ailments, such as tooth decay, obesity and diabetes.
Since 1929, Vancouver's own Famous Foods has provided wholesome, organic, natural food options for our friends and neighbours. The healthy products we sell include multiple options for sugar replacement.
Let's check out these five healthier sugar alternatives you can add to your diet that are lower in calories, low in fructose and taste oh-so-sweet.
Stevia is extremely popular among people looking for healthier sugar alternatives. Why? We credit Stevia's fan following to its calorie-free sugar-like taste and the ease with which you can substitute this sweetener in your cooking. This sugar alternative comes from Stevia rebaudiana plant leaves, which contain stevioside and rebaudioside A. In South America, this plant has been used for its flavour and natural medicinal qualities for hundreds of years. Besides being much sweeter than sugar, Stevia also has some potential health benefits when used over the long term as a healthier sugar alternative. These benefits include helping to lower high blood pressure and maintain normal blood sugar levels.
Erythritol is much like fructose, in that it is a sugar alcohol found in some fruits. This amazing healthier sugar alternative tastes just like sugar but only has six percent of its calories! Scientists report that erythritol has 70% of sugar's sweetness. Erythritol is made when a specific yeast ferments glucose from wheat or corn starch. It is available in a crystal-like powder form easily added to your diet.
Monk fruit extract
Monk fruit extract comes from the monk fruit of Southeast Asia. Besides being sweet to the taste, calorie-free and carb-free, this wonder-fruit extract might provide blood sugar management benefits, according to recent research. Scientists also say the fruit contains antioxidants that may even help reduce inflammation. When buying monk fruit extract, it is important to ensure the product is not combined with sugar or other sweeteners. Monk fruit is actually 100 to 250 times sweeter than sugar, on its own. Still, it has zero calories.
Like erythritol, xylitol is a sugar alcohol. It has a very similar sweetness as sugar. However, instead of causing tooth decay, xylitol may reduce your risk for cavities. Some studies suggest that it helps improve bone density and may play a role in preventing osteoporosis, too. This sugar alcohol even helps support your gut health according to the latest research. On the down side, some people experience abdominal gas or diarrhea if they consume large amounts of the sweetener. It is also toxic to dogs, something pet owners should consider when storing xylitol.
If cutting calories and reducing your blood sugar are your goals, honey is not necessarily a wise sugar alternative. In fact, sugar has fewer calories than this common substitute. However, honey has more health benefits than sugar. Local or raw honey has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antifungal and antibacterial properties. It also contains many nutrients, including vitamins B, B6 and C, including riboflavin, folic acid, pantothenic acid and niacin. There are fractional amounts of iron, zinc, calcium, selenium, chromium, potassium, phosphorous, magnesium and manganese, too. Overall, if you do not suffer from diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure or other diet-related health problems, honey is a great tasting option to sugar.
Where to find healthier sugar alternatives
If you are looking for healthier sugar alternatives, you only need to go so far as Famous Foods. We also offer loyalty programs, curb-side pickup and deliveries. Call for more information at 604-872-3019 or shop at FamousFoods today.