There is widespread evidence that most adults and even children are consuming more sugar than is recommended. Excess sugar can be harmful to your body. Numerous studies have linked sugar consumption not just to obesity, but also to chronic diseases like cancer and type 2 diabetes.

Instead of using sugar, there are other natural feel-good healthy sugar alternatives that are good for your health. Let’s take a look…

Also check out this sugar addiction detox diet

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Here are 7 feel -good healthy sugar alternatives

1)Stevia

Stevia is one of the natural healthy sugar alternatives. It is extracted from the plant called Stevia Rebaudiana. It is very sweet and contains no calories. Stevia has a lot of health benefits. A study carried out in humans found that stevia can lower blood pressure by 6-14% in patients with high blood pressure. Stevia has also been found to reduce blood glucose levels in patients with type 2 diabetes.

2) Xylitol

Xylitol is a sugar alcohol and is one of the natural healthy sugar alternatives. It is as sweet as sugar and is extracted from any woody fibrous plant .

Xylitol contains about two thirds (2/3rds) of the caloric value of sugar and it has some health benefits. Studies have found that the bacteria in saliva does not grow, feed or ferment on xylitol thus reducing the risk of cavities and preventing dental decay. Xylitol has also been shown not to raise blood sugar or insulin levels so is safe for diabetics.

On the other hand, using xylitol at high doses can have a laxative effect so do not consume too much at a time.

3) Yacon syrup

Yacon syrup is one the natural healthy sugar alternatives. It is extracted from the roots of the Yacon plant and has a very sweet taste.

It is rich in fructooligosaccharides (FOS) which cannot be digested by humans. Fructooligosaccharides (FOS) goes all the way to the large intestine where it feeds the beneficial bacteria in your digestive system which are vital for the health of your body.

There is also evidence that fructooligosaccharides (FOS) can help to regulate your appetite by lowering ghrelin the hunger hormone.

4) Erythritol

Erythritol is a sugar alcohol and is one of the natural healthy sugar alternatives. It is very low in calories and has a very sweet taste.

Erythritol has some health benefits. Evidence shows that it doesn’t raise blood sugar or insulin levels. It is very safe to eat but can have a laxative effect if you consume too much at a time.

7 feel good healthy sugar2

5) Raw unprocessed honey

Raw unprocessed honey is one of the natural healthy sugar alternatives. It is healthier than refined sugar.

It is rich in enzymes, natural antioxidants, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals. Although raw unprocessed honey contains the beneficial nutrients listed above, it still contains a large amount of fructose which has been linked to obesity and other chronic diseases, so you need to use it carefully.

Note that any kind of honey is not fine to use. Most of the honey eaten today is heavily processed which has destroyed most of the important vitamins, minerals and natural enzymes so if you want to use honey choose raw unprocessed honey.

6) Organic maple syrup

Organic maple syrup is one of the natural healthy sugar alternatives. It is considered the only large-scale forest sweetener in the world. Though it contains a little amount of fructose and some small amount of nutrients but it should still be used cautiously.

7) Lo han kuo

Lo Han Kuo is one of the natural healthy sugar alternatives and is similar to stevia. It has been found to be about 200 times sweeter than sugar. It is made from the wild cucumber plant.

It is also a low glycemic sweetener so it will not raise your blood sugar and insulin levels. Evidence shows it to be effective in treating cough and laryngitis. The only downside is that it is expensive and harder to find.

Make sure you avoid using ALL artificial sweeteners, they are not one of the healthy sugar alternatives.

References

1) Chan P, Tomlinson B, Chen Y-J, Liu J-C, Hseih M-H, Cheng J-T (2000) A double-blind placebo-controlled study of the effectiveness and tolerability of oral stevioside in human hypertension. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, 50:215-220. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2125.2000.0260.
2) Gregersen S, Jeppesen P B,Hoist J J (2003) Antihyperglycemic effects of stevioside in type 2 diabetic subjects. Metabolism – Clinical and Experimental, 53:73-76
3) Maguire A, Rugg-Gunn A J (2003) Xylitol and Caries prevention – is it a magic bullet? British Dental Journal, 194: 429-436
4) Salminen E, Salminen S, Marks V (1982) The effects of xylitol on the secretion of insulin and gastric inhibitory polypeptide in man and rats. Diabetologia 22: 480-482
5) Delzenne N M, Cani P D, Daubioul C, Neyrinck A M (2005) Impact of inulin and oligofructose on gastrointestinal peptides. The British Journal of Nutrition, 1: 157- 161.
6) Noda K, Nakayama K, Oku T (1994) Serum glucose and insulin levels and erythritol balance after oral administration of erythritol in healthy subjects. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 48: 286-292

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