There is a question I get asked often –
“I am trying to give up or cut back on sugar. What can I use instead? What sugar substitutes or artificial sweeteners are the best for me?”
And the answer is often the same –
There are no artificial sweeteners (including dear old splenda) that are ok for you. They might be made from sugar or engineered to taste like sugar, but deep down, they are still full of chemicals and toxic substances that tax your liver.
And the regular white sugar stuff not only taxes your liver as well, but it also leads to blood sugar spikes, crashes, and weight gain.
So, you ask, what’s a girl (or guy!) to do?
Well there is good news – you don’t have to give up on the sweet life forever. In fact, you can find sweetness in quite a few healthy sources.
1) Fruits and sweet vegetables:
When you are cravings a little sweetness in a snack or a side dish, try a healthy fruit or vegetable to satisfy your need. Apples satisfy a sweet and crunchy need. Sweet potatoes satisfy a creamy sweet need during dinner. And dates satisfy a chewy, gooey dessert need.
2) Natural Liquid Sweeteners:
When used in moderation, these sweeteners offer more than just a sugar rush.
– Agave Nectar:
A low glycemic sweetener from the agave plant (same one tequila comes from). It does contain fructose, so you’ll want to use this plant-based sweetener sparingly
– Maple Syrup:
It is sweet and sugary, but it is also high in polyphenols – which act like antioxidants, and also contains manganese – an important part of energy production, zinc and even contains calcium and potassium.
– Local Honey:
This sweet liquid can aide in helping prevent seasonal allergies when you consume locally produced honey.
3) Sugar in the Raw:
This is still regular old sugar, BUT it is in it’s raw state, unprocessed and unbleached.
Stevia leaf, drops, liquids, or pure stevia powder are all 0 calories sweeteners. They are pure and not artificially created. They are also super strong and can be slightly bitter, so you don’t need much.
5) Coconut Sugar:
This on is by far my favorite. It is slightly sweet and also low glycemic, meaning it doesn’t cause you to have a blood sugar spike. It still has calories, but it is not going to make you have a crash. I love to use this in my coffee, tea, and baking.
And it even works on an old breakfast treat:
Cinnamon toast was (is) always one of my favorite breakfast treats. But when you throw a bit of sugar on it, it quickly becomes a less healthy breakfast. In today’s recipe, you’ll learn a few tricks to make it even better for you.
Cinnamon Sugar Toast:
1 piece toast (healthy, sprouted grain bread or gluten free if you need it)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp coconut sugar
vegan or organic butter
Toast, butter, and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.
Eat. Smile. Indulge. Repeat.
What is your favorite healthier sugar to use? What sugar struggles do you have? Leave a comment below!
Peace and Love,