Sweeten Without Sugar
Sugar is bad for you. Eating and drinking sugary foods causes tooth decay, weakens your immune system, destabilises blood sugar levels and causes fungal infections like candida. If you want to put on weight, eat complex carbohydrates like brown rice, wholemeal pasta or potatoes. Sugar raises your blood sugar quickly, leading to the inevitable ‘sugar-high’ followed by a crash. So what are the alternatives?
- Stevia is a herb that is 300 times sweeter than sugar, with negligible calories. It’s also believed to reduce tooth decay and gum disease.
- Fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) granules are mildly sweet and low in calories. FOS stimulates bifido bacteria in the gut, which fights gastro-intestinal infections and food poisoning.
- Barley syrup is as sweet as sugar with the same amount of calories, but raises blood sugar more gently. It also contains b vitamins and minerals.
- Maple syrup is delicious and sweet, with just over half the calories of sugar. It contains small amounts of vitamins and minerals, and is made from the sap of maple trees over forty years old.
- Honey has less calories than sugar, but is almost as sweet. It is often antibiotic, especially manuka honey which is made with pollen from the tea tree.
- Blackstrap molasses is a by-product of sugar refining. It’s very high in iron and has less calories than sugar. However, it’s sweetness is due to the same molecules as sugar.
- Fruit concentrates are lower in calories than sugar and raise the blood sugar more gently. You can get fruit concentrates as liquids or spreads, often organically grown.
- Amazake is very low in calories and is made by fermenting rice, millet or quinoa. It’s a traditional food from Japan, and is high in B vitamins.
- Fructose is marketed as a natural alternative to sugar, but is actually manufactured from industrial glucose. It has the same amount of calories as sugar, but does raise blood sugar very slowly.
- Glucose has more calories than sugar and is the quickest way to raise your blood sugar level. It is for this reason that it is so unhealthy.