Sugar is everywhere. The packaged food and drink you find at your neighborhood grocery store is more often than not loaded with added sugars to amplify the taste and leave you wanting more. Even the healthy options cannot seem to escape this fate, as there are plenty of heavily saturated yogurts and nutritional bars out there.
When everything around you is packed with that addictive sweetener, avoiding it seems nearly futile. If you can’t even enjoy a bowl of salad because your favorite dressing is jacked up with sugar, then what are you left to do? Perhaps you will have to accept the fact that sugar will forever be an abundant part of your diet.
But wait, that doesn’t have to be the case at all! There are plenty of ways you can reduce your sugar intake and still enjoy a tasty meal, so let’s explore some of the alternative options out there and get you on the track to living a healthier lifestyle.
You thought you were making healthy choices by having packaged oatmeal for breakfast and instant soup for lunch. After all, you’re actively staying away from baked goods, junk food, and sickly sweet sodas, so you must be making some progress, right?
As it turns out, sugar is often hiding right under our noses in the very food we believe to be healthy. Just because a product isn’t advertised as containing loads of sugar doesn’t mean it is free from the addictive chemical, which is why it is so important that you take the time to read the label and see what exactly is in your food.
Though you might associate sweets with being inherently unhealthy for you, there are a number of sweeteners that occur in nature and are far better for you than table sugar.
Stevia has gained a lot of popularity in recent years, and as a tasteful low calorie alternative to standard white sugar it is no surprise why.
Extracted from the leaves of the plant Stevia rebaudiana, stevia has been grown throughout regions of South America for many centuries due to its beloved sweetness and medicinal properties. Even a single gram of stevia is much sweeter than a gram of sugar on account of the array of sweet compounds present in stevia leaves.
Though stevia might not be widely regarded for its health benefits, that certainly does not diminish the positive effects that stevia can have on your well being. Some of the benefits of stevia include reducing blood pressure in individuals with hypertension and helping those with diabetes maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
Native to the misty mountain regions of China and Thailand, monk fruit has been cultivated for centuries due to its healing properties which have been used as a remedy for treating sore throats and coughs.
Monk fruit is a more recent contender amidst the natural sweetener market, and the fruit itself is not exactly pleasant to taste, but when dried it can be used to make extract, syrup, powdered sweetener, and granulated sweetener.
It is quite common to find monk fruit paired with other natural sweeteners to achieve a delightfully saccharine mixture. Among the popular pairings is a blend of monk fruit and stevia, which work extremely well together. Be sure to check out the label before you buy if you’re actively trying to avoid certain sweeteners!
This low calorie sweetener is a naturally occurring sugar alcohol found in certain fruits and has become quite popular as an additive to increase the sweetness of various food products. Though it occurs in nature, much of the powdered erythritol found lining the shelves of supermarkets is produced through industrial means.
Many people prefer erythritol over standard table sugar due to the lack of influence it has on blood sugar, blood fats, and insulin levels, meaning no unwanted spikes will occur.
Possible side effects of consuming erythritol include experiencing some digestive issues, such as irritation and diarrhea, but it is overall much easier to tolerate compared to other sugar alcohols. As long as you keep your erythritol doses to appropriate amounts, you should be able to avoid most digestive problems.
Xylitol is another sugar alcohol beloved for its sweetness, which is on par with regular sugar. Consuming xylitol can help raise the amount of several crucial compounds that work within your digestive tract, benefitting your gut health in the process.
Research indicates that xylitol is good for dental health and bone health, though more studies should be completed to get a full understanding of its health boosting properties.
Sugar alternatives are a great way to be healthy, so be smart and choose meals and snacks that won’t negatively impact your health. Simple Botanics Squares are a fantastic way to incorporate healthy ingredients in your life, so buy a box today and give them a try! You might just fall in love.