Benefits of Using Sugar Substitutes
Sugar substitutes are food additives, which provide a sweet sugar-like taste to food and drinks. Sugar substitutes have a low-calorie count in comparison to sugar. For people looking to achieve their healthy living goals, using healthy sugar substitutes is one way to attain those goals. Sugar substitutes are produced in two ways artificially and naturally. The artificial sugar substitutes are known as artificial sweeteners. Sugar substitutes are popular due to their low-calorie properties. They offer the desired sweetness without calories, unlike regular sugar. Healthy sugar substitutes are a hundred times sweeter than ordinary sugar. Because of their sugary taste, they are used in small quantities.
Healthy sugar substitutes provide a solution that helps reduce the intake of calories in our diets without having to make us stop enjoying sweet drinks and food. There are ample varieties of items available in the market that use sugar substitutes. Some of these products include soft drinks, dairy products like creams, yogurts, chewing gums, salad dressings, and sauces among others. However, despite their similarity, each substitute comes with its unique taste and characteristics. Some of the most popular healthy sugar substitutes both natural and artificial include;
Honey contains 21 calories per tablespoon, unlike table sugar. Honey as a natural, healthy sugar substitute can be used in cereals, teas or baked products. Honey is beneficial to an individual’s health because it contains amounts of minerals and vitamins. Minerals and vitamins are nutrients essential for the body to perform various functions.
Apart from being a natural substitute for sugar, people can use honey as a cough suppressant for children. According to research, honey also helps reduce allergies when used consistently. Honey contains anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which assist in the reduction of allergies.
Coconut sugar is a common replacement for sugar in a majority of Asian recipes. Coconut sugar is a perfect replacement for white sugar if you desire to prepare a Thai dish. It is also an excellent sugar substitute if you are looking for a healthier option to include in your meals. Coconut sugar is made by cutting the flower on palm trees and then collecting the sap in containers. Afterward, the fluid collected is left under heat for the water to evaporate.
Once evaporation of water has taken place, coconut sugar is left. Coconut sugar contains nutrients like Iron, zinc, calcium among others that are beneficial to the body. It also contains a fiber known as inulin. Its inulin property slows down the rate of glucose absorption in the body.
Artificial sweeteners are in plenty, but only a few are popular. Below are some of the most popular human-made sweeteners in the market currently.
Stevia is a sugar substitute, which is extracted from the leaves of a South American shrub that is commonly referred to as Stevia rebaudiana in the scientific community. Stevia has zero calories making it among the best sugar substitute for people who want to shed off some weight. According to studies, the use of stevia as a table sugar replacement causes no harm to a person’s health. It is not only a safe sugar replacement but a beneficial one as well.
Some of the benefits of using stevia as a sugar substitute are; it helps lower blood pressure. It also assists in lowering the insulin and sugar levels for people who have diabetes. Read more about aspartame vs stevia.
Sucralose is also commonly referred to as Splenda. It contains zero calories for every serving you use. Because of its zero calorie property, sucralose is used worldwide in more than 5000 products. With the constant gaining of weight becoming a health hazard around the world, using stevia helps moderate the intake of refined table sugar. Sucralose is made by extracting the sucrose from the sugar and replacing the three hydrogen atoms with three chlorine atoms. The most important benefit of using sucralose as a sugar substitute is that you get to moderate your sugar intake and the number of calories you acquire.Read more about aspartame vs sucralose.
Aspartame is an artificial sugar substitute that is commonly used today. It is also referred to as Equal or Natura Sweet. Aspartame has a different make that is different from the other artificial sweeteners currently in the market. Aspartame is made by bringing together amino acids, phenylalanine, and aspartic acid. The amino acids used in making aspartame are protein building blocks, which can be found naturally in various types of foods.
Aspartame is different and much popular because it has a sugar-like taste. Unlike other sweeteners, aspartame does not leave a bitter like taste after use. In fact, it is 200 times sweeter than sugar and has no calories. Therefore, people and manufacturers use small amounts of aspartame since exceeding the recommended amount would make beverages and other products too sweet.
However, despite these healthy sugar substitutes being an excellent replacement for sugar over the years, a majority of people still shy away from using them. Some of the reasons for this behavior include; a common belief that sugar replacements are dangerous to the body, most people believe that they are expensive among other notions.
Here are some of the benefits you get from using natural or artificial sweeteners.
- 1. Weight control
Weight control is the most appealing aspect of using the natural or artificial sweeteners. These sweeteners are non-nutritive, meaning that they have fewer calories in comparison with sugar. However, the amount of calories differs with each sweetener. Some sweeteners have more calories than others do. For instance, sucralose has more calories than aspartame.
Therefore, if you want to lose weight or keep yourself from gaining weight then using sweeteners or products that use artificial sweeteners is an excellent option. Always ensure you check the calorie count of any sweetener you purchase since this information will help with weight control. Calculate your calorie intake in our calorie counter.
- 2. Reduction of allergy symptoms
Apart from being suitable replacements for sugar, some of the healthy sugar substitutes have allergy reduction properties. One such sweetener is honey. Honey contains antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. These properties help the body reduce allergy symptoms. Honey also raises the antioxidants in the blood, which leads to fewer diseases in the body.
- 3. No tooth decay
The greatest risk of constant consumption of sugar and sugary products is tooth decay. The remnants of the sugar products you eat pile up on the gums and teeth. Brushing your teeth properly does not prevent your teeth from decaying. The reason they rot is that the bacteria found in your mouth transform the remaining particles in your mouth after brushing into acid.
The acid slowly begins to eat into your nerves and tooth roots, and with time, tooth decay starts to happen. However, the use of artificial or natural sweeteners does not cause tooth decay. Aspartame is made from protein-based ingredients. Unlike other sweeteners, aspartame is friendly to your teeth. The bacteria present in the mouth cannot turn protein into carbohydrates.
- 4. Suitable for diabetic people
People who have diabetes often have strict instructions from their doctors not to use sugar in any of their meals. This can be quite disheartening for people who enjoy sweet things. Nevertheless, with the availability of sugar substitutes, diabetic people can begin to like sweet things again. Sugar replacements do not increase the blood sugar levels because they contain little or no carbohydrates. Aspartame contains no carbohydrates making it an excellent choice for diabetic people to use in their drinks or food.
- 5. They are safe
Despite these sweeteners being an excellent replacement for sugar, scientists from across the world had to determine their safety. Critics have over the years had various notions on the safety of sweeteners especially artificial sweeteners. Studies have been conducted to assess their safety, and the conclusion was the artificial sweeteners were safe for use.
In the USA, artificial sweetener has been cleared and are used in over 5000 products. The sugar replacements are safe for children, pregnant women and old people.
- 6. They can be incorporated into your diet
Apart from being used in the manufacture of products like soft drinks or candy, you can include sweeteners like aspartame in your diet. The amino acids present in aspartame are protein building blocks, which can be found in what we eat and drink. By using aspartame to reduce or replace the sugar in your diet, you can combat obesity and the diseases that arise from this condition.
- 7. Great taste
People like the sweetness since it increases the flavor of beverages and food. However, according to research, we all express a liking for sweet things before being born. After hours of our birth, we respond to our idea of sweetness by using a facial response. The response we give shows our attachment to sweet things. However, the constant use of sugar is harmful to our health, and the use of sugar substitutes helps ensure we improve our health. However, the greatest fear for a majority of people is that the sugar substitutes will not taste the same as sugar.
Natural or artificial sweeteners are in fact sweeter than sugar. For instance, aspartame is 200 times sweeter than sugar but still has the same taste like sugar. The flavor of sweeteners is better and healthier than that of sugar.
Uses of Sugar substitutes
For people trying to look for an alternative to sugar, natural and artificial sweeteners are an excellent replacement. Here are some of the uses of natural and artificial sweeteners.
It is common to find products with label tags that indicate, “Zero calories” or “sugar-free.” Because of the adverse health benefits of sugar substitutes, manufacturers have begun including them in products that require sugar. Some of the products that need these artificial sweeteners like aspartame include soft drinks, candy, pudding, dairy products, and jams and jellies among other items. The use of artificial sweeteners in such products makes it easy for people who have diabetes to enjoy such products without fear of a spike in their blood sugar levels.
It also makes it safe for everyone including children to consume these products without having to gain extra weight in the process.
Sugar substitutes are commonly used at home. People opt for natural or artificial sweeteners in their coffee or tea since it is a healthy option over table sugar. However, nowadays people also use natural or artificial sweeteners as a replacement for sugar while cooking or baking. For recipes that require the bulk or volume that sugar provides, you can choose to alter it to suit the use of the natural or artificial sweeteners. However, before using the sugar replacement ensure you check the sweeteners labels to determine the right sweetener to use at home.
A majority of sugar replacements can be used at home, but not all of them are useful when baking pastries or other dishes.
An alternative to table sugar
Like mentioned earlier, natural and artificial sweeteners are an excellent alternative to sugar. The main reason for this is that they add no calories upon consumption. They are also a healthy way of moderating a person’s sugar intake since you only require a small amount to achieve the desired sweetness. The use of small amounts of these sugar replacements ensures you obtain your healthy lifestyle objectives and enjoy your diet with the sweetness you prefer.
You can try a different combination of sweeteners and find out the right combination that works for you.
Consuming too much sugar causes various diseases like diabetes, cancer and heart disease among other. All these diseases are deadly. The sugar substitutes are excellent alternatives. Using them for your daily nutritional benefits will not only lead to a healthier you but a happy you as well.
Read the following articles on aspartame for more information: facts about aspartame.