How many times have you wanted to make a stop at the bakery while returning from the gym? How many times have you seen someone devouring that delicious doughnut and imagined yourself in their place? Sugar cravings can be difficult to deal with, even cruel, at times. The feeling only gets worse when you have a sweet tooth and are also health-conscious. Balancing sugar intake while maintaining your fitness can be a herculean task.
You don’t have to feel dejected though because we’ve come up with a few alternatives for you. Yes, you read that right. There is a way to satisfy your sugar cravings, even when on a diet! Here is a list of healthier sugar alternatives:
Many of you must’ve seen this one coming. Honey is already a popular substitute for refined sugar. The benefits of honey aren’t secret to anyone. Not only is it excellent for your fitness, but for your skin too. It’s anti-inflammatory and carries several antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and helpful plant compounds. However, if you do decide to make a switch to honey from refined sugar, we suggest moderate consumption. While honey is certainly a healthy choice, it still carries heavy calories. If you have blood sugar issues, keep your consumption strictly moderate.
Dates are procured by drying the fruits of date palm trees. While dates carry a plethora of nutritious compounds, their usage is criminally underrated. Dates are rich in fiber, magnesium, vitamin B6, manganese, potassium, carotenoids, and polyphenol antioxidants. The benefits of dates don’t just stop there. Unlike honey, dates don’t carry the threat of increasing your blood sugar levels, despite being rich in calories and sweetness. A paste or powder made out of dates can be used as a refined sugar replacement 1:1. Moreover, you can add them to your smoothies and nut milk for flavor. Being a good source of protein, dates can even be used as a sweetener for homemade energy bars.
3. Fruit Purees
Fruit purees like applesauce and banana purees make excellent substitutes for refined sugar. Unlike refined sugar, the sweetness in fruits is healthy and doesn’t deteriorate your blood sugar levels. For starters, you can replace refined sugar with fruit purees in your baked goods like cookies, cakes, and bread before incorporating it into your smoothies or other sweet dishes. If you’re buying pre-packaged purees, make sure to check that they do not contain refined sugars in them.
Jaggery is another great alternative to refined sugar and also a great source of antioxidants. It used to be consumed post-meals because it was believed to act as a cleanser. It is said to detoxify the liver and rid the body of toxins. Jaggery is a rich source of selenium and zinc and a great immunity builder. Jaggery also acts as a great source of energy for the body for long durations of time.
Replacing sugar isn’t a daunting task. We are aware that there are a lot of other substitutes to sugar out there but we hope this list will help you get started. Some of these options may take a little getting used to but trust us, the health benefits far outweigh the momentary satisfaction of eating refined sugar.