Got a Sweet Tooth? Substitute Processed Sugar With These Healthy Alternatives

It is no secret that a healthy diet can help to prevent or cure many diseases and chronic illnesses. A healthy diet will contain vital vitamins and minerals that are critical to preventing disease and maintaining health. The majority of diseases are a direct effect of some sort of vitamin or mineral deficiency. Many people choose to supplement the the vitamins their body so desperately needs in a one-a-day vitamin supplement. This allows them the opportunity to get those important vitamins but does not demand that they spend much of their time cooking and preparing foods that would give them those vitamins naturally. The truth is that foods, i.e. fast food, that are easily accessible and convenient are usually the food with low nutritional value. These foods also tend to be the cheapest. No wonder this country, and now even the world, struggles with conditions like obesity, diabetes, and the like. Eating healthy and maintaining a healthy diet is a daily challenge for some (including me), and everyday we are faced with dilemmas like “should I drink water or should I indulge myself with a soda?”, “I really want that milk chocolate bar instead of this orange”, or “I just don’t want this healthy dish that I prepared last night; I prefer a burger and fries”. Even when we know we should eat right, we eat wrong, even when we want to eat right.

When it comes to yeast infections, diet is definitely a factor that needs to be considered when looking for causes. A diet high in sugar, for one, is a calling card to candida albicans, the yeast infection-causing bacteria. You’d be surprised to know all of the products that you consume on a daily basis and their sugar substance. Next time you shop, make sure to take a look at the nutritional value label on the product. Avoid foods and drinks that have a high amount of sugar. Sugar is a very tough thing to let go. No one likes a tasteless meal, dessert or drink. If you have sweet-tooth, you might want to find more healthy alternatives and sweeteners that will give the same or a similar experience taste-wise as processed or granulated sugar. Below are some delicious and more natural alternatives that you can use to sweeten your desserts, drinks, and meals.

Honey

Have you ever tried honey in oatmeal? The right amount of honey in a hot bowl of oatmeal will expose you to an amazing taste experience you may not have known existed. Honey provides a very subtle, yet noticeable sweetening effect to whatever you add it to. Unlike processed sugar, which has a very “sharp” sweetness, honey eases you into it’s taste, and does not overshadow the food you are using it to sweeten. Now, of course, there is processed honey and there is less-processed, or “raw” honey. I’ve tried both. Truth be told, I prefer processed honey, but it is still a better choice than processed sugar. I do, however, recommend that you at least try raw honey, as it is the best choice out of all. Raw honey contains B vitamins, phosphorus, potassium, zinc and enzymes. Honey goes well with tea, oatmeal, coffee, and it can even be used in cooking and baking.

A diet high in sugar, for one, is a calling card to candida albicans, the yeast infection-causing bacteria

Molasses

Molasses is a byproduct of the sugar-cane refining process, and can also be used as a natural sugar substitute. It’s packed with nutrients that you obviously wouldn’t get in sugar, like iron, copper, magnesium, zinc, calcium, and potassium. Did you know that blackstrap molasses also has soothing effect and healing properties for heavy menstrual periods and painful cramps? Also, if you are suffering from a low blood count or anemia, it’s rich source in iron can help. Molasses is not the best tasting thing out there, but if used correctly it can be used to sweeten in baking and cooking. Ever had molasses cookies? Delicious! Be careful with the amount you use however, as it does have high fructose corn syrup levels.

Maple Syrup

As a kid I used to always prefer processed syrup to maple syrup. My tastes and preferences have changed a lot since I was a kid, and now I prefer the rich, yet subtle taste of maple syrup if ever I eat pancakes. What I didn’t know is that, similar to honey, it can also be used as a sweetener for coffee, tea, oatmeal, and etc. It contains antioxidants, which is key to fighting disease, and has a low fructose level. Seems like it might be the wonder sweetener! Maple syrup is not cheap, however, so use it sparingly.

Stevia

Lots of people love sweetening their coffee and tea with Stevia because it almost gives them that false security that they used processed sugar to sweeten it. Stevia comes from the leaves of a plant, the “stevia rebaudiana”. Although it can taste bitter by itself, it has a sweetening effect on whatever it’s added to. Because it’s natural, it doesn’t have any carbs or calories, and doesn’t raise blood sugar. Although it is oftentimes sold as a processed powder, it still is a much more healthy choice than processed sugar. So if you are someone that cannot do without that more “sharp” sweetened taste, Stevia just might be for you!

A healthy diet will contain vital vitamins and minerals that are critical to preventing disease and maintaining health

Coconut Palm Sugar

This is right up my alley, because I love all things coconuts: coconuts themselves in their raw form, coconut water, coconut milk, dried coconut chunks, and coconut palm sugar. Yum! It is low in fructose, and high in potassium and vitamin C. Vitamin C is essential to keeping your immune system strong and in working order. Coconut palm sugar can be used to sweeten anything, just as processed sugar is used. When shopping for this natural alternative, go to a health food store and find a coconut palm sugar that is not mixed with cane sugar. Read the labels carefully! You want the real, 100% coconut palm sugar, and nothing else. There is a downside, however. This sugar does contain carbs and calories, same as sugar.

What about you?

Have you already found a healthy substitute to processed sugar?

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