We all know about how the consumption of sugar adversely affects our health. Not only does it lead to weight gain, but also contributes to hypertension, fatty liver, diabetes and a host of other diseases. As per WHO guidelines, adults and children must reduce their daily intake of sugar to less than 10 per cent of their total energy intake. In fact, a further 5 per cent reduction, which is approximately 25 grams (6 teaspoons) every day, can lead to additional health benefits.
While going off sugar might not be easy for everyone, there are a few alternatives that you can try instead of using sugar. Here are some natural sweeteners you can use in your daily diet.
The popularity of stevia is rapidly increasing around the world. Considered as a substitute for sugar, it not only helps in replacing unwanted sweetener calories, but also operates as a tool for cutting calories from your daily diet without causing any effect on the insulin or blood sugar levels. Extracted from Stevia rebaudiana, a plant species found in Brazil, it is a zero-calorie substitute.
Honey is filled with nutrients and is used as the main ingredient in several homemade remedies. Apart from adding that extra glow to your face, including it in your diet can also help in predigestion of starch. It also enables raising the level of antioxidants the body requires, which can help lower blood pressure, and risk of heart attacks.
Also known as coconut palm sugar, coconut sugar is a natural sugar made from sap, the sugary fluid of the coconut plant. It serves as a great source of minerals like iron, calcium, potassium and zinc, as well as antioxidants. Both coconut sugar and coconut nectar consists of a fibre known as insulin which help in slowing down glucose absorption, thus providing an alternative for those who are diabetic. It has a lower glycemic index than regular sugar.
– With inputs from nutritionist and fitness trainer Iram Zaidi.