All-Natural Sugar Substitutes
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All-Natural Sugar Substitutes

Posted on Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013 at 4:14 pm
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SugarSugar is found in a majority of processed foods on the market today. While the sweet stuff tastes great and gives us a boost of energy, it’s not the best thing for our waistlines or our health. It poses an even greater risk for an increasing number of diabetic Americans. Zero-calorie alternatives like aspartame or sucralose are available, but some research has shown they could be hazardous to your health.

Luckily, if you’re looking to avoid pure sugar, there are several natural alternatives you can turn to. Some are even low in calories, making them a great choice for anyone who is diet-conscious.

Stevia

Stevia has recently grown in popularity, but it’s been popular in other countries for years. Commercially, stevia is packaged as Truvia or PureVia. Stevia is up to 300 times sweeter than table sugar, so a little goes a long way. Plus, it contains zero-calories and has a negligible glycemic index, which makes it a popular choice for diabetics. Stevia is great in coffee or tea and can be used to sweeten your favorite fruits!

Raw Honey

Unprocessed honey in its raw form is loaded with antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, amino acids, phytonutrients, and carbohydrates. While honey has slightly more calories than table sugar, you generally need less of it. Be sure to buy raw unprocessed varieties. Processed honey is stripped of the additional nutrients that make honey good for you and is pretty much the same as eating table sugar.

Agave Nectar

Made from the same plant as tequila, agave nectar is a great natural alternative to sugar. This sweet nectar has slightly more calories than table sugar, but it’s sweeter, so you won’t need as much. It also contains a prebiotic, which helps nourish intestinal bacteria for better stomach health. It dissolves easily in beverages both hot and cold, so enjoy it in everything from coffee, to iced tea, to your favorite cocktails!

Black Strap Molasses

Black strap molasses is the concentrated byproduct of sugar cane processing. In traditional sugar processing, the juice from the sugar cane is extracted and boiled three times. While traditional table sugar comes from the first boiling, black strap molasses comes from the third. It contains nutrients such as iron, calcium, copper, magnesium, manganese, and potassium. It’s great when used in place of refined brown sugar in baked goods or baked beans.

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Good Tip: Saving money is important – especially if you have a lot of expenses like bills to pay, loans to pay off, and all the other things that drain your bank account. Figuring out a way to save money can feel tedious to some, and like a punishment to others. U.S. News suggests that you try one of these money saving challenges. The “No Eating Out for a Month” Challenge This one is self-explanatory. The goal is to avoid eating out for an entire month. This might be super easy for people who enjoy making meals at home. People who really enjoy dining out, or ordering food to be sent to their home, may struggle with this one. It’s worth a try because spending money on take-out is more expensive than buying groceries. The Pantry Challenge This one is a variation of the “No Eating Out for a Month” challenge. The goal is to use up all of your groceries before you buy more. It forces you to try and remember why you bought a food or beverage that you don’t know what to do with, and gives you the opportunity to find a way to use it. The one exemption to this challenge is the foods that have expired. Don’t eat them! Throw them in the trash. The “No Spend” Challenge Make a goal to avoid spending money during an entire weekend. The only exemption in this challenge is that you are allowed to pay bills. This challenge is interesting because it requires creativity. You must be creative and find workarounds for problems that you would typically solve by spending money. You may have a different outlook on spending after finishing this challenge.