What’s the saying? You’re as sweet as sugar? But is sugar acting sweet to our bodies?
Currently, the average American’s diet consists of nearly 22 tsp. of added sugar per day, roughly 355 calories. The American Heart Association guidelines suggest that women should not consume more than 6 tsp. of added sugar per day, while men should not consume more than 9 tsp.
When we think of sugar, the first thing that comes to mind is white table sugar. But, as we’re sure you know, sugar comes in various forms like corn syrup, dextrose, corn sweetener, maltose, malt syrup, glucose, molasses, sucrose, syrup, and (our least favorite) high fructose corn syrup. These sugars are found in many of our guilty pleasure snack foods! Other sugars, like fructose and lactose, are naturally occurring and can be found in fruit and dairy products.
You probably also know that sugar consumption has been linked to numerous serious health conditions, from kidney damage, to asthma and a number of different cancers as well.
We’ll be the first to admit our morning tea ritual would be a little less sweet if we cut it out all sweeteners, but we’re unwilling to put our health at risk for this additive.
So what’s a Naturalista to do? Try one of these sugar alternatives!
Naturally made by bees from plant nectar, honey satisfies the desire for sweetness.
- Agave Nectar
Contains fewer calories and is actually sweeter than sugar, which means you can use less. One third cup of agave nectar is the equivalent of one cup of sugar.
- Rice Syrup
Made from cooked and fermented rice, this is also a liquid alternative to sugar. Using brown rice creates a nutty sweetener with a mild, creamy flavor.
- Date Sugar
A sugar made from grinding dates that can be used exactly like ordinary sugar.
This sweetener is an extract of a plant leaf that is extremely sweet and comes in both liquid and dry form. One teaspoon of this calorie free alternative is the equivalent of one cup of sugar!