Refined sugar is harmful. However, it is always a struggle to quit and avoid its consumption. If you find yourself in this situation, you may have to resort to natural sweeteners which have been found to be good for your health.
The calorie content of the sweeteners has been found to be low but they are sweet and their taste as good as that of refined sugar.
This best sweeteners review article looks at four natural products that are good for your health and which to resort to instead of using refined sugar that may harm your body.
For our health-conscious readers looking for the safest sweetener, any of the products listed below would make a perfect best sugar alternative.
Most people usually ask is Stevia an artificial sweetener? The correct answer is no! This is the most popular low-calorie sweetener that is easily found in a plant referred to as Stevia rebaudiana.
This plant has its origin in South America and has for many years been grown as a sweetener and used for medical purposes.
Stevia leaves have several sweet compounds that make the plant the best source of natural sweeteners. Stevia sweetener is one of the best healthy substitutes for sugar.
The compounds include Rebaudioside and Stevioside. These are two compounds that are the best-known sweeteners on earth. They are said to be sweeter than sugar.
Stevia is a natural sweetener that contains no calories. This is a unique feature not common in many other sweeteners.
Because of this reason, researchers have conducted numerous studies on it and have discovered that the benefits that accrue to an individual who uses Stevia are immense.
Stevia is known to lower blood pressure by 6- 14 %. This is when it is administered to a patient whose blood pressure is high.
However, research shows that Stevia has no effect to a person whose blood pressure has been mildly elevated or one who has a normal blood pressure.
When used by persons suffering from diabetes, Stevia has been found to lower the blood sugar level of the patient.
Further studies show that it has been used in rats to raise insulin sensitivity and reduce oxidized LDL cholesterol. It also reduces any plaque that may build in arteries.
This implies that the best way human beings can sweeten anything they want to consume is to use Stevia because it is considered healthier than any other thing.
In spite of this benefit, it is sad to say that there are plenty of people who hate the taste of Stevia.
Luckily, there are many brands of Stevia and thus, it is advisable to experiment them all so as to select one that is good for you.
Common Questions about Stevia Natural Sweeteners
Is Stevia sugar? Not really, but it’s just as sweet and healthier for you!
Is Stevia healthy? Based on the numerous studies and reviews from customers that use sweeteners made from the Stevia rebaudiana plant, the answer is a qualified yes.
Is Stevia good for you? This natural sweetener contains zero calories, and can help lower your blood pressure level by as much as 14%. Not only is it good for your arteries, but it also helps to reduce your cholesterol level.
Is Stevia natural? The main ingredient used in making some of your best-selling Stevia products comes from a natural plant.
Pay attention to the Stevia brands you buy as some manufacturers are known to add chemicals while making their products. If you want the best healthy version of Stevia, stick to the purely organic brands.
What are some stevia side effects? This popular sweetener can cause an allergic reaction in some users. Those with existing negative reaction to ragweed, marigolds, chrysanthemums or daisies are urged not to take this healthy sugar substitute product.
The main ingredient Stevioside has been known to cause nausea, upset stomach or bloating in some users. Since this natural sweetener has no calories, our bodies will react differently to that fact.
Be sure to maintain a healthy balanced diet while adding Stevia to your nutrition plans.
Just remember that Stevia is a low-calorie sweetener that occurs naturally and can lower your blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
This is another low-calorie sweetener that is naturally found in fruits. It is a sugar alcohol and comes in powder form made via the industrial process.
This healthiest sugar substitute contains 0.24 calories per gram. It is important to mention that unlike Stevia, Erythritol doesn’t spike blood sugar.
Neither does it spike insulin level nor effect biomarkers such as triglycerides and cholesterol. Erythritol is absorbed in the body from the intestine, but it is excreted via the kidneys.
According to studies, Erythritol is safe to human beings. Just like any other sugar alcohol, it may cause digestive problems if it is consumed in large quantities.
Its taste is similar to that of sugar but it has a slight and a milled aftertaste. The body tolerates it more than it does to other sweeteners because of its health benefits.
A point to note is that Erythritol is a sugar alcohol sweetener with low calories and safe for human consumption. Its consumption must be limited if you want to avoid digestive problems.
This is another sugar alcohol sweetener that is similar to sugar. It contains 2.3 calories per gram. In other words, it contains 2/3rd of the caloric value of sugar.
However, I need to mention that Xylitol has some benefits for persons having dental problems. It reduces dental decay and risks of cavities.
Regular consumption of Xylitol improves the bone density and to a larger extent prevents osteoporosis. Unfortunately, Xylitol neither raises the insulin nor lowers the blood sugar levels.
One of the major demerits of this sweetener is that it may cause digestive side effect just as other sugar alcohols. Thus, its consumption must also be restricted to avoid an overdose.
The other problem associated with it is that it is highly toxic to dogs and therefore, if you own dogs, keeping this sweetener out of your house will guarantee the safety of your pet.
Nevertheless, Xylitol remains one of the most popular sweeteners. It is a sugar alcohol with immeasurable dental benefits. It improves the bones density and lowers osteoporosis risks.
This is a unique sweetener that can be harvested from Yacon plant that grows in Andes in South America. Its popularity as a weight loss supplement continues to grow especially in overweight women.
It is rich in fructooligosaccharides that function as food for the intestinal bacteria. This sweetener helps against constipation because of its high amount of soluble fiber.
However, it is advisable that you limit the consumption of the syrup since it can cause digestive issues.
It is worth noting that Yacon syrup contains high levels of fructooligosaccharides that the good bacteria in the intestine feed on.
It helps against constipation and can make one lose the extra weight. Excessive consumption should be avoided.
Less Bad sugars
Other sweeteners such as honey, coconut sugar, maple syrup, molasses and many others are being consumed by people who are healthy conscious.
These sweeteners are not different from sugar save for the small amounts of fructose and nutrients they contain.
However, they are not as good as the natural sweeteners discussed above since the liver will not be able to tell how different they are from sugar.
Although sugar is not generally bad, it is dangerous for people who are insulin resistant and overweight.
To this people, large amounts of sugar may be toxic and should be avoided if you want to remain healthy and lead a good life.