People want to be healthy, and often cut out foods with added sugar, but instead choose those with honey or maple syrup, which is healthier, but still sugar. There are some alternative sugar alternatives that don’t have the same effect, but may have other complications, like explosive diarrhea and gas. Still, there are times when the desire for something sweet that isn’t fruit can become important and for those times, a healthy replacement for sugar may help.
Tagatose is a new sugar substitute that may actually help diabetics.
Tagatose or D-tagatose is made from lactose, milk sugar, but it normally doesn’t affect those who are lactose intolerant. A very small minority reported gassiness and bloating. It has some health benefits, too. It has a low glycemic index is very low in net carbohydrates. In fact, it has been shown to lower blood sugar levels in people, even if they have type 2 diabetes. One trial study showed after six months of low doses, it helped reduce insulin resistance. It’s also been shown to be a prebiotic and increase short-chain fatty acid production that reduces inflammation in the gut. It may increase uric acid or lower blood sugar too much if you’re on medication for diabetes, so if you have a history of gout, kidney stones or are taking medication, discuss it with your health care professional.
Use fruit to sweeten your food.
Instead of just eating fruit, you can use it in cooking to sweeten other dishes. Figs and date paste are often used as sweeteners. Ripe bananas can add sweetness especially when mixed with yogurt. You add no extra sweetener but get the sweet taste you’d have from added sugar. Applesauce has always been a substitute for sugar and fat, but you still have to use some sugar. It can replace half the sugar or fat in baked goods. If you want a sweet cold treat on a hot summer day, freeze fruit chunks then blend it for a sorbet without any added sugar.
Monk fruit came from Southeast Asia and has been used in Chinese medicine, but now is a sugar substitute.
Monk fruit, like many alternatives to sugar, is far sweeter. In fact, it’s between 100 and 250 times sweeter than sugar, which means a little goes a long way. It’s made from the flesh of the monk fruit and has both fructose and glucose, but that isn’t what makes it sweet. It’s the antioxidant mogrosides V that it contains. It has health benefits, like immune system, digestive tract and respiratory tract support. Manufacturers often combine it with other types of sugar, so beware when you buy it that it doesn’t contain other sugar, like corn syrup or sugar alcohol.
- Stevia, from the leaf of the Stevia rebaudiana plant, not only is an alternative sweetener that’s beneficial for diabetics, it may lower blood pressure, but only if it’s high. However, it can upset your digestive system.
- Chicory root can also be turned into a sugar substitute that also has vitamins and minerals. It isn’t no or low calorie. Just like monk fruit, you have to be careful, since it’s sometimes mixed with other sweeteners.
- Many companies use sugar alcohols as substitutes for sweeteners. Xylitol is one and it may actually help improve bone density and prevent cavities. One drawback are digestive issues and gassiness it causes.
- The diet potato or yacon plant tastes like a pear but got its nickname because it looks like a potato. It is a sugar substitute that may aid in weight loss and help prevent constipation. Tea made from the leaves have anti-diabetic properties.
For more information, contact us today at Team Worx Fitness