Are you really choosing the best?
Last week we have had a look at some of the natural sweeteners and their benefits. However, there is plenty of them, so in this post, there will be few more to read about. Let’s have a look at the good and bad about them!
Agave nectar, a sweetener found in various health foods, marked as a natural and diabetic-friendly sweetener that doesn’t raise blood sugar levels. The agave plant is native to South America. It has been used in Mexico for hundreds, perhaps thousands of years. Traditionally used in medicine. The sugars in agave are also fermented to make tequila.
Agave syrup, that’s how you can find it on the shelves in the shop. Its sap is high in sugar, but it does contain healthy fibres which are beneficial for metabolism and insulin. However when process into syrup, the heating breaks down and destroys all of the health-promoting properties of agave syrup.
When you are using agave syrup, keep in mind, that it is very high in fructose, higher than plain sugar. A better way to go is for example Xylitol.
Xylitol is the best sugar-free natural sweetener. It does look and taste like sugar, but it has fewer calories and doesn’t raise blood sugar levels. Xylitol is found in many fruits and vegetables and is therefore considered as natural.
Since Xylitol is a refined sweetener it doesn’t have any vitamins or minerals. However, it is a way better choice, than plain sugar or agave nectar as already mentioned. For people with diabetes, obesity or other metabolic problem it can be a great alternative to plain sugar.
It can be brought in most of the bigger supermarkets or online and the price is really friendly as well!
Date syrup is actually one of the best oldest sweeteners which we use. It is mentioned in the Bible and ancient writings from Mesopotamia showing it as the primary sweetener that time. Date syrup contains vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and amino acids. It is unique to the other sweeteners as dates do have very little or no water in them. After the process, you are left with nectar which contains all the goodness of dates.
Date syrup is very high in fibres which can improve your digestive health and blood sugar control. It is full of antioxidants which can reduce the risk of several diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer’s disease or eye-related disorders. Certain studies have shown that it may improve brain function. Dates have also been studied for their potential to promote easier labour for pregnant women. Especially if eaten in the last few weeks of pregnancy.
Overall, dates are a natural source of fructose and make a great healthy substitute for plain sugar. You can easily make a date paste at home and swap it for sugar. Just remember, that it is still high in calories.
But because of its many benefits, that’s exactly what we use in our baking!