Sugar: the unequivocal arch enemy of weight loss!
And yet it is found in all those ‘bad’ foods that we love but shouldn’t: cakes, ice cream, biscuits, candy and soft drinks. The consumption of sugar in these forms has long been universally acknowledged as harmful to health and weight loss.
However, the old method of using equally-processed and even more harmful sugar substitutes like saccharine, aspartame and sucralose to give us that sweet taste we crave without the calories, has even more detrimental health effects.
Not only are they not the answer, they have been linked to everything from heart and neuropathic diseases to cancer, processed sugar substitutes (read: diet sodas and those little pink and blue packets) are not a good avenue for weight loss.
Instead, it is important to use natural, organic and unprocessed substitutes for sugar which include fewer calories and don’t go through a refining and bleaching process that kills any nutrients they might have had.
Here are some sugar substitutes for healthy weight loss that you can start using today!
This natural herb is a great way to sweeten everything from beverages to baked goods with only small additions. Over 300 times sweeter than sugar, processed versions of stevia do exist, so it’s important to pay attention to labels and find the most natural versions out there. Your best bet for finding stevia extract without processing is to use the actual dried leaf itself or else organically extracted stevia in liquid form.
Coconut Palm Sugar
In the modern battle against weight, coconuts have been elevated to the rank of general. Not only do coconut oil, coconut milk and coconut water offer you enhanced nutritional options, coconut palm sugar is another great sugar substitute for weight loss. Featuring a much lower GI rating than conventional sugar, coconut palm sugar is akin to brown sugar in terms of its sweetness, taste and colour.
A popular additive in gums, candies and children’s vitamins, xylitol is a form of sugar alcohol produced by fruit and vegetables. Xylitol offers half the calories of processed white sugar and actually features an anti-bacterial element believed to help fight middle ear infections.
Another sugar alcohol, erythritol contains zero calories and is about 50% sweeter than processed sugar. This is a great substitution in beverages. However, chemically-speaking erythritol has a cooling effect when mixed with other foods which makes it less ideal for baking without major compensation in terms of oven temperature.
This has become exceedingly popular lately as a substitute for sugar in cool beverages and even some baked goods. Agave is notable for its more ‘natural’ flavour which does not detract from the other ingredients in a recipe.
Agave actually has more calories than processed sugar. However, it is about twice as sweet and contains critical prebiotics, a type of dietary fibre that really helps your intestines. A little agave goes a long way plus it delivers some nutritional benefit, which table sugar doesn’t.
Chicory root is a natural dietary fibre that grows underground. Chicory has the same sweetness level of conventional sugar, but includes nutritional benefits such as liver and digestive support along with antioxidants. Chicory root does not impact your blood sugar levels in the same way as sugar either, making this an excellent choice for diabetics.
As is the way with the majority of diet considerations – you don’t need to eat less you just need to eat better!
When trying to lose weight and promote a healthy lifestyle, counting calories alone is just not going to work. The more we learn about nutrition for weight loss and research the results of processed foods including sugar, the more we need to look out for viable substitutions for our health that also lead to real life weight loss results.
Eliminating sweets entirely just doesn’t work. As humans it is embedded in our DNA to seek out sweets. In fact, this is a cornerstone of Love Your Weight Loss.
You cannot deny yourself these things!
However, finding alternatives that meet your needs as well as progress your journey are powerful weight loss motivators that I know will help you get from where you are to where you want to be.
Creator of Love Your Weight Loss – Connect with Expert Sally Symonds