11 Sugar Alternatives

Let’s face it. Sugar tastes good. That is why the sales-driven food industry puts so much of it in so many products. They know that, nutritional content aside, you crave food that has a satisfying taste.

Of course, it is no secret that sugar, especially in the amounts people typically consume, is a cause of a wide range of health problems. This forces you to face quite a dilemma. Are you just doomed to have to make an exclusive choice to either enjoy eating while harming yourself or nourish your body well while hating every minute of the experience?

There is no way around the reality that the pursuit of health requires you to put appropriate limits on your sugar intake. However, exploring the world of alternatives can provide options for how you can enjoy eating without damaging your health. Many sugar alternatives actually provide a lot of positive health benefits.

Sugar alternatives can be other substances that you can use as added ingredients to sweeten your food. They can also be whole foods that have a sweet taste. Examples of both are provided in the following summaries. These summaries give an overview of some trending choices and their uses and benefits.

1. Agave Nectar

NutriNeat notes that agave nectar comes from the agave plant found in Mexico. While there are different species of agave, the nectar normally comes from the blue agave. The sweet taste of the nectar makes it a popular sugar alternative.

Although agave nectar is not without its skeptics, it does have a range of possible health benefits. Having a glycemic index a third of that of honey, it is a safer choice for diabetics. It is also an option for those who are allergic to honey.

Other people who may prefer agave nectar over honey are those who do not like the flavor of honey and vegans who do not want to consume a food produced by animals. Further beneficial nutrients include fructan, which helps lower bad cholesterol, and saponins, which have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effects. Because agave nectar reduces appetite, it may help with weight control.

The use of agave nectar to treat skin, wounds and intestinal infections goes back to the Aztecs. However, since more research is needed to confirm its benefits, it should not be consumed in excessive amounts. One rule of thumb is to use a third of a cup for every full cup of sugar that would normally be used.