Say NO To Sugar! Try 5 Guilt-Free Alternatives

This festive season, don’t go overboard with your sugar intake.
Switch to healthier alternatives like dates and raw honey to keep your glucose levels in check.

Sugar is slow poison.

Regular consumption of sugar not only slows your metabolism, it also leads to a host of lifestyle disorders.

When sugar is absorbed into your bloodstream, your insulin levels spike.

Over a period of time, the accumulated sugar — glucose that is stored in your liver and muscles can lead to obesity, high blood pressure and cardiac disorders.

Extreme addiction to sugar can also cause mood swings and affect your appetite and overall health.

This festive season, if you want to protect your health, you must try to limit your sugar intake.

If you are addicted to sweets, you can replace sugar with these healthy alternatives.

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1. Dates

Dates are the dried fruits of the date palm tree. These sweet, chewy fruits are an excellent alternative to refined sugar and offer several health benefits.

In addition to providing sweetness, dates are a good source of nutrients, including fibre, potassium, magnesium, manganese, vitamin B6 and antioxidants like carotenoids and polyphenols.

You can use dates to make delicacies like date rolls (khajoor paak), khajoor halwa and dates and oats laddoo.

2. Stevia

Stevia is a popular sweetener that is extracted from the leaves of the stevia plant; it is considered to be three times sweeter than refined sugar.

It comes in powdered and liquid forms and can be used to sweeten drinks, cook and even bake.

Stevia is heat stable till 200 degree Celsius.

While it is considered generally safe, some studies suggest that it may alter your gut microbiome.

3. Monk sugar

Monk fruit, traditionally grown in southern China, is derived from the same food family as gourds like pumpkins and melons.

Monk sugar contains magnesium, potassium and antioxidants which can help reduce inflammation.

It is two times sweeter than sugar.

It can replace sugar when you make delicacies like dried fruit kalakand, nariyal badam barfi and kaju katli.

4. Raw honey

Raw honey is one of the oldest known natural sweeteners, sourced directly from the honeycomb.

Unlike regular honey, which is processed and comes with sweeteners, pure raw honey is nutritious and organic.

With its antioxidant and immune-boosting properties, raw honey is one of the best sweet liquids when consumed in its natural and original form.

You can use honey to make delicacies like cashewnut fudge and honey almond laddoos.

5. Coconut sugar

Coconut sugar is another healthy substitute to sugar.

This plant-based sweetener is derived from coconut palm. It has soluble fibre and is a good replacement for refined sugar.

You can use coconut sugar for making delicacies like coconut cham cham and coconut barfi.

Vedika Premani is a clinical dietician at the Sir HN Reliance Foundation Hospital, Mumbai.

  • Do you have health-related questions? Ask rediff’s Health Gurus HERE.

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