Alternatives to Sugar: The heavenly feeling and satisfaction that you get after having a delicious piece of chocolate pastry, a chocolate, a bowl of halwa or even sweet coffee is definitely like no other. Have you ever thought about the effects it has on our body? Let’s start counting them!
Side effects of Sugar
Sugar causes the insulin spike in our blood stream, thus inducing fat storage in the body. Sugar inhibits secretion of the hormone that sends our brain the signal to stop eating as the stomach is full. So you end up overeating because you don’t realize you are full although you are.
When you eat anything high on refined sugar the bloodstream, there is a sugar rush in your blood stream. That rush gives you immediate satisfaction but at the cost of a sugar crash that follows immediately. This sugar crash makes you feel tired and leaves you in a state, where you would crave for more sugar and the vicious cycle thus goes on.
Sugar also interrupts with the secretion of satiety hormone, thus you end up eating more than needed for satiety, as the signals to the brain get delayed. Another hormone that it impacts is the happiness hormone.
Alternatives to Sugar
The instant gratification that you get out of eating sweet dish is gradually leading to unhappiness and anxiety. But all these facts do not boil down to quit sugar completely! No lock comes without a key so there are numerous solutions for relishing sweet taste buds while keeping it healthy. Let’s explore a few:
To start with, completely quitting sugar isn’t a universal and absolute way to be healthier. Every food item has its own importance in our bodies. Certain organizations recommend 20 grams of sugar per day for women and 36 gram for men, to be in healthy limits. But this accounts for total sugar consumption. The mistake you commit is to overlook the sneaky sugar sources and leave them unaccounted! Some surprising examples are- Bread, milk, whole wheat bread, whole grain cereals, granola.
Alternatives to Sugar satisfaction
- Eat a lot of protein in breakfast: Protein takes the time to digest and keeps stomach full. Having a good and protein rich breakfast makes you eat significantly fewer calories in subsequent meals. The nutrition from protein and the total calorie consumption that it decreases makes it a great way to keep blood sugar under control and lose weight.
- Honey: The refined sugar that we eat is obtained from natural sources of sugar yet several industrial processes rip off the vitamins and minerals from natural sugar and leave behind the sugar that has zero nutritional value and 100 percent calories. While honey is a natural source of sugar that contains a number of nutrients and not empty calories, it makes a great alternative for sugar. Besides glucose, fructose and honey contain at least 60 substances beneficial for human bodies like Potassium, Magnesium, Sulfur, Copper, Sodium and Iron.
- Coconut Sugar: It is obtained from the sweet sap of coconut palm tree and is less processed as compared to refined sugar. Additionally, it contains Zinc, Potassium, Calcium and Iron. Inulin- an ingestible carbohydrate that nourishes the good bacteria in our body is one component of coconut sugar.
- Dates: Since time and again it has been regarded as a great source of iron. It sure comes packed with other nutrients like Vitamin B6, Manganese, Niacin, Copper.
- Maple Syrup: It is obtained from the sap of maple trees. It’s a vicious and sweet liquid high in antioxidants. It also contains minerals like Potassium, Zinc, Manganese, Iron. But it is quite high in sugar as compared to other alternatives, yet better than white sugar.
- Stevia: This is a shrub found in the United States and extract of it has been found to act as a natural sweetener. It has no calories and is not associated with any kind of weight gain. It is not of any significant nutritional value either because the leaves lose their nutritional value in the form that is available for use in the market.
Sugar is an inseparable element of our daily food. Neither is it possible nor advised to completely eliminate sugar from the diet. Careful tracking of the amount of the sugar in the food that we eat and choosing alternatives is a great way to keep away from harmful effects of sugar.