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How Using an Alternative to Regular Sugar Can Benefit Your Next Recipe

Kevin Devoto Oct 5, 2019
Sugar is a common ingredient in may recipes, from baked goods to sauces to toppings for fresh berries. Many people love the sweet taste. The problem is that traditional granulated sugar isn’t the healthiest ingredient. Fortunately, there are alternatives to traditional sugar that can add the necessary sweetness while also providing other benefits.

Cut Calories

One of the biggest issues that regular sugar has is that it adds no nutritional value to your foods. It only adds empty calories. If you’re trying to watch your weight, sugar can keep you from reaching your goals. Some sugar alternatives, such as stevia and monk fruit, have no calories in them.
They allow you to add sweetness to your recipes without adding unnecessary calories. Keep in mind that these sweeteners are also significantly sweeter than traditional sugar, so you need to use less in your recipe.

Reduce the Glycemic Index

Diabetics need to be careful of the sugar that they consume. Eating too much sugar can lead to high blood sugar levels, which can have a detrimental impact on the body, increasing the risk of heart disease, stroke, vision problems, and more. Having high blood sugar levels, known as hyperglycemia, can lead to ketoacidosis in type 1 diabetics if untreated.
Sweeteners like agave, coconut sugar, and chicory all sit lower on the glycemic index. This means that they may not have the same effect on your blood sugar levels as traditional sugar. Maintaining a low glycemic index can help you to manage your diabetes, improve your heart health, and help aid in a healthy pregnancy.

Add Vitamins or Antioxidants

Sugar has no nutritional value. It doesn’t add anything to your recipes other than flavor and calories. There are several other types of sweeteners, however, that can add sweetness as well as vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. One of the most well-known sweeteners touted for its health benefits is honey.
Honey contains antibacterial compounds that can help to boost your immune system by aiding your body in fighting infections. It also contains nutrients such as B vitamins and iron.
Honey isn’t the only sweetener that contains nutrients. Maple syrup manganese and zinc as well as several antioxidants. Chicory contains B vitamins, phosphorous, magnesium, iron, calcium. Molasses offers iron, calcium, and other vitamins.
Blackstrap molasses is higher in nutrients than regular molasses due to it being more concentrated. It is important to note that heating these sweeteners can reduce (or even destroy) the beneficial properties that they have. If you’re using them for their benefits, it’s best to consume them uncooked.

Boost Flavor

Some sweeteners are more than just sweet tasting. Some offer distinctive flavors that can add a delicious touch to your recipe. Maple syrup has a recognizable flavor that can boost the flavor of a barbeque sauce. Molasses has a bold and bitter flavor.

Reduce Sweetness

Not everyone is a fan of sweet foods. Simply reducing the amount of sugar put in a recipe can do more than lower the intensity of the sweetness. Doing so can also ruin the final product. Some alternatives aren’t quite as sweet as regular sugar. For instance, brown rice syrup has a less intense flavor.
There are many alternatives to traditional sugar that provide you with sweetness while also giving you some extra benefits as well. Keep in mind that just because they might have additional benefits, that doesn’t mean that you can use more of them. Sugars of all kinds should still be consumed in moderation.