It’s estimated that a standard American consumes 17 teaspoons of sugar per day and 57 pounds of added sugar per year. In addition to drinking and eating excessive amounts of sugar and alcohol, synthetic sweeteners use is growing. There are sugar substitutes available that can aid in reducing sugar consumption in the long run, provided you pick the right one.
Artificial sweeteners such as aspartame sucralose, Ace-K, and saccharin have been debated for many years about their negative impacts. Although the sweeteners are “safe” and sugar-free, according to the Food and Drug Administration, they are being scrutinized more closely.
A few of the side effects that can be attributed to their consumption are thought to range from headaches and bad digestion to cravings and mood disorders. Sugars that are refined are also unhealthy. In the words of the Cleveland Clinic, “table sugar is inflammatory, high in calories and offers no nutritional benefit.”
The adverse effects of eating excessive amounts of sugar can result in tooth decay, diabetes, heart disease, obesity, certain kinds of cancer, and a decline in cognitive function. What is a great natural sweetener, and what is the best alternative to sugar? The good news is that many sugar substitutes are nutritious and delicious for refined sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and artificial sweeteners. Here you’re going to read the best sweetener for gut health and digestion.
What Are Natural Sweetnerers? Sugar Alternatives
Natural sweeteners are a source of nutrients that can improve the health of your body. For instance, a research study published by the American Dietetic Association found that substituting healthy sweeteners such as blackstrap molasses, Honey, and maple syrup can increase the number of antioxidants you consume and provide other advantages.
The Best Sweetener for Gut Health – Healthiest Sugar Substitutes
What is the most healthy substitute for sugar? Certain experts prefer fruit because no empty calories are present, and sugars naturally appear. But, it’s dependent on personal preference and your individual health needs.
Best Sweetener for Gut Health
Following is the list of best sweeteners for gut health.
- Raw Honey
- Sugar from coconut
- Maple syrup
- Molasses from blackstrap
- The balsamic glaze
- Banana puree
- Brown rice syrup
- Fruit jam that is real
- Monk fruit
Let’s explore all these best sweeteners for gut health in detail and see how to use these safest sweeteners.
#1. Raw Honey
The raw Honey we consume is a superfood among the top natural sweeteners. It contains antioxidants, enzymes, iron, zinc, calcium, potassium, vitamin B6, B6, Riboflavin, and Niacin.
Together, these vital nutrients can neutralize free radicals while promoting healthy bacteria growth within your digestive tract.
A tablespoon of raw Honey will have a more negligible effect on the glycemic load than one banana. Once pasteurized, Honey is no longer able to provide many of its benefits. Therefore, look for unpasteurized (ideally from a local source) Honey on farmers’ markets and directly from beekeepers in your area.
The darker the Honey, the better the flavor and the nutritional benefits.
How to use raw Honey?
Avoid cooking or baking using raw Honey. Sprinkle it on your breakfast cereals, toasts of sprouted grain, yogurt, and salad dressings.
Raw Honey is an excellent replacement for Molasses if you’re an avid fan or don’t have it in your pantry.
A lot of people consider adding Honey to their tea. However, Honey is one of the top natural sweeteners in coffee. A note to keep in mind is that if you like Honey in your coffee or tea, ensure that the beverage is warm enough to drink quickly, then add Honey to taste. You may also read about; Is Honey Good for Gut Health: Amazing Truth 2022
Stevia is a native of South America and has been, since the beginning of time to maintain good blood sugar levels as well as rapid weight loss.
Stevioside is the component found in leaves, which gives it over 200 times sweeter than sugar. It is available as packets, liquid drops with dissolvable tablets, and baking mixes.
It’s got zero calories as well as no carbohydrates. It also has no of the unpleasant adverse effects of artificial sweeteners.
Stevia is connected to the sunflower, and some have a metallic aftertaste. If that was your experience with Stevia, look for one that is richer in stevioside.
If you’re searching for natural sweeteners for diabetics, you can find them in the American Diabetes Association, which includes Stevia as one of the sugar substitutes it recommends. Stevia and erythritol are generally the top sugar substitutes for those adhering to ketogenic diets.
Check the label carefully to understand the ingredients you’re receiving since some Stevia products include Stevia and erythritol. This can trigger indigestion in some individuals.
How to use stevia?
Like pure Honey, Stevia is stable to heat which means you can use it in any way you’d like. Remember that it’s 200 times sweeter than sugar, so don’t apply this in the same proportion.
To compensate for the loss of bulk in using the sweetener Stevia in baked items, Use 1/3-1/2 cups or more of these bulking agents fresh fruit puree, yogurt, roasted winter squash, and two egg whites whipped or up to 2 tablespoons of coconut flour. You may also read about; Stevia and Gut Health: 5 Strange Facts How Stevia Affects Gut Health?
Dates contain iron, copper, potassium, manganese, magnesium, and vitamin B6. They are digested easily from the palm tree of the date and aid in the metabolization of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates.
The evidence suggests that dates can aid in reducing LDL cholesterol levels in the blood and reduce the chance of having a stroke.
How to use dates?
It is the first thing to do to create the paste. Date paste is a good choice in a one-to-one ratio in many recipes, in contrast to stevia, which can add bulk to baking.
Let the Medjool dates in warm water until soft. Then soak them in hot water when the water is at room temperature, but the dates aren’t as soft.
Keep the soaking liquid since it’s crucial to creating an excellent paste. Add the dates soaked in your food processor along with one tablespoon of liquid soaked.
Blend until the mixture is smooth. Add additional water as needed to form an extremely thick and rich paste.
You’re searching at the texture of the peanut butter. Use your favorite cake or cookie recipe to reduce refined sugar and increase nutrition.
You can also use dates to add sweetness to your favorite muffins or pie. Mix 1 1/2 cups of puree with 4 cups of fruit to make fruit pies and bake them as you would normally.
Depending on the amount of water the fruit has, you might require adding an ingredient that thickens the fruit, such as tapioca.
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#4. Coconut Sugar
Most people have heard of the advantages of coconut water and coconut milk. They also have coconut flour as well as fresh coconut. A growing number of people are turning to coconut sugar as their primary sweetener due to its lower Glycemic load and high mineral content.
The versatility of coconut sugar is widely available and loaded with polyphenols, iron, calcium, zinc antioxidants, phosphorous, and many other phytonutrients.
Coconut sugar is obtained from the blossoms of the coconut and later heated. After evaporation, we are left with coconut sugar.
Sugar made from dates (made by soaking dried dates) and coconut sugar is commonly used in recipes since they have similar tastes. Both sugar substitutes are excellent to bake with.
How to use coconut sugar?
Use coconut in your favorite recipes since it’s like sugar. It’s slightly coarser in comparison to refined sugar. But that’s okay.
Incorporate the sugar required in the recipe into your food processor and blend until you reach what you want in terms of texture.
It is possible to make a confectioner’s replacement using coconut sugar very quickly. Add one tablespoon of arrowroot powder to each tablespoon of coconut sugar. Then blend until smooth in a well-clean coffee grinder or a high-powered food processor. You may also read about; 60 Best Foods for Gut Health and Digestion: The Best Guide You Ever Need!
#5. Maple Syrup
Native in North America, maple syrup is available in grades A and B. While it can be time-consuming to process maple syrup, it involves only the following steps to complete: making a hole into the tree, putting up an ice bucket to collect the syrup, then boiling it to evaporate the water, and then removing any debris.
Maple syrup is among the top sugar substitutes made from natural sources since it’s a great source of manganese. It also has potassium, calcium, and zinc. High in antioxidants, this natural sweetener can neutralize free radicals and minimize the damage caused by oxidation.
Choose darker grade B maple syrups because they have more potent antioxidants than lighter syrups.
How to utilize maple syrup?
The syrup of maple is stable to heat which means you can use it in almost any way. It can be added to glazes, marinades, or sauces. You can also use it for baking.
Make use of this to add sweetness to homemade granola, morning tea, or coffee.
For a glaze to drizzle on cakes or cookies, prepare by heating until barely simmering before adding the coconut-powdered sugar mentioned above. Mix until smooth and cool to room temperature before pouring the.
#6. Blackstrap Molasses
Organic Blackstrap is highly nutritious and high in calcium, copper, iron, manganese, potassium, and vitamin B6. Sugarcane and beet molasses have been found to have the highest amount of phenolics and antioxidant activities compared to refined sugars like beet sugar corn syrup, rape honey, and dates.
There are a variety of molasses based on the level of processing it’s been through. Molasses can be made from raw sugar cane, which is then boiled until it’s a thick sweet syrup.
The molasses Blackstrap comes from the third boiling point, which concentrates its nutrients and provides a rich flavor.
How to utilize blackstrap molasses?
Molasses has a distinctly rich and smoky taste. It might not appeal to some to add to porridges, toast, or for other applications that require a lot of concentration. It’s nevertheless an excellent sweetener for marinades as well as in baking.
You could even create an alternative to brown sugar by adding two tablespoons of Molasses per 1/2 cup of coconut sugar that a recipe requires. Place the coconut sugar and the molasses into a food processor, and then pulse till the texture of brown sugar commercially available has been attained.
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#7. Balsamic Glaze
Balsamic vinegar is high in antioxidants that fight free radicals and the enzyme pepsin, which assists in promoting healthy digestion. It also is delicious.
What is balsamic and how to use it?
Balsamic glazes are sold in natural health food and specialty stores. However, you can make your glaze at your home. Just simmer 2 cups balsamic vinegar on low heat, stirring until it’s reduced to 1/2 cup.
The process could take between 15 and 30 minutes. It will get thicker when it cools.
Pour the glaze over the salmon you have caught wild, raw cheese, and fresh or frozen berries to give the natural sweetness and flavor. You may also read about; Is Ginger Tea Good for Gut Health? Best Science-Based Guide 2022.
#8. Banana Puree
Bananas are a great source of potassium and fiber. They are also an excellent source of Vitamins B6 and C. They’re also naturally sweet, have an ethereal flavor, and are a great natural sweetener.
How to use the banana puree?
The first is that overripe bananas are the most suitable for substituting refined sugars in recipes. They are sweeter, and they blend very well.
For each cup of sugar used in a recipe, you should use one cup of pureed banana.
For the purée, put the bananas into the food processor and one tablespoon of water and blend. If needed, add additional water until you have the texture of applesauce that’s thick.
Since bananas turn brown when exposed to the air, you should use the bananas as soon as you can in your recipes. If you are using the puree of the banana in raw dishes, make sure to add one teaspoon of lemon juice into the food processor to stop the process of oxidation. You may also read about; Are Bananas Good for Gut Health? An Ultimate Guide 2022.
#9. Brown Rice Syrup
Brown rice syrup is made from brown rice, fermented with enzymes that break down the starch. The syrup gets heated to the syrup consistency is reached.
The outcome? An amber-colored, thick sweet syrup is ideal for recipes that call for corn syrup and other unhealthful sweeteners.
The process of fermentation aids in breaking down sugars into easily digestible sugars. The fermentation process is essential for brown rice syrups. Some are fermented using barley enzymes, which means it is gluten-free.
Buy brown rice syrups identified as gluten-free.
How to utilize the brown rice syrup?
As we mentioned earlier, brown rice syrup can be the ideal alternative in recipes that call corn syrup. You can use a ratio of one to one.
To substitute for white sugar, substitute 1 cup of sugar for every cup required and reduce the amount of liquid in the recipe by 1/4 cup.
Use brown rice syrup to make nutritious Granola bars, granola nuts, sweetened fruit, and nut pies. You may also read about; What Nuts are Good for Gut Health? Delicious Nuts 2022
#10. Real Fruit Jam
The secret ingredient here is an authentic jam made of fruit. The berries, stone fruit apple, pears, and grapes are great alternatives to sugar in recipes.
It is possible to use commercially-available jams for fruit; however, ensure there’s no added sugar or pectin.
It’s best to make your sugar-free jam using fresh or frozen organic fruit. It’s simple and cost-effective.
How to use real jam made from fruit?
In recipes, you can substitute sugar at 1:1, reducing the amount of liquid used in the recipes by 1/4 cup. You can also add one spoonful of coconut flour to recipes without liquids to make the recipe thicker in the way you like.
For making your jam fresh, Combine 4 cups of your favorite fruit or berry and half a cup of water into a pot. Bring the mixture to a boil and stir frequently.
Cook until the fruit has broken down and begun to get thicker. Puree the fruit in a food processor and serve immediately.
To make a delicious Apple Pie, boil 1 cup of diced apple pieces that have been peeled along with one cup of fresh green grapes to soften them. Puree the apples in the food machine until the consistency is smooth.
Combine the apples with slices and a pinch of cinnamon. Bake according to instructions. Grapes add a subtle sweetness, and the natural pectin in apples helps thicken the pie. You may also read about; Best Fruit for Gut Health – Enjoy Fruits for Better Gut Health 2022.
#11. Monk Fruit
The most sought-after sugar substitutes that low-carb dieters can use are monk fruits. Monk fruit is a source of substances in the form of extracts that offer 400-300 times the sweetness of cane sugar. However, monk fruit sugar has no calories and does not affect blood sugar levels.
How to utilize monk fruit?
Monk fruit is used in many recipes, including cheesecakes and cookies to healthy mocktails and smoothies.
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FAQs about Best Sweetener for Gut Health
How Many Calories Best Sweetener for Gut Health Have?
Here’s the calories content for some well-known sweeteners that are natural:
- Raw Honey (1 tablespoon equals 64 calories)
- Stevia (0 calories)
- Dates (1 Medjool date = 66 calories)
- Sugar from coconut (1 tablespoon equals 45 calories)
- Maple syrup (1 tablespoon equals 52 calories)
- Molasses from blackstrap (1 teaspoon equals 47 calories)
- The balsamic glaze (1 tablespoon equals 20-40 calories, depending on the thickness)
- Banana puree (1 cup = 200 calories)
- Brown rice syrup (1 tablespoon equals 55 calories)
- Fruit jam that is real (varies according to the fruit)
- Monk fruit (0 calories)
Can sugar substitutes be harmful to you?
It all depends on the particular kind.
The advantages of sugar substitutes are different; however, they all share is They are all natural. Natural sweeteners (non-nutritive sweeteners) could include calories (depending on the type) and generally provide nutrients. For instance, maple syrup, Honey, and molasses contain beneficial ingredients like vitamins, enzymes, minerals, and carbohydrates, which our bodies can process.
Some natural sweeteners (like date puree and banana paste) offer health benefits, as per the United State Department of Agriculture, including improving blood pressure levels and reducing cholesterol levels, as well as heart disease risk thanks because of their high fiber levels.
Which is the Safest Artificial Sweetener?
It’s all about what you think is “artificial.”
Extracts of sweeteners like stevia and monk fruit can be a great alternative if you seek a calorie-free option.
Sugar alcohols might be a better option than other artificial sweeteners if you can tolerate these sweeteners well. Sugar alcohols can be sweeteners with around half the calories as regular sugar.
They can be found in small quantities in many fruits and vegetables. They are produced by starch and sugars, which are then transformed into extracts and granules.
Some examples of sugar alcohols are maltitol, xylitol, and sorbitol. They also include mannitol and many other sugar alcohols characterized by -itol. They aren’t necessarily absorbed well by the body and could cause digestive issues and adverse effects for some individuals, such as gas, bloating, and cramping. They can also cause diarrhea.
The laxative impact of xylitol is such that it is a part of the chemical formula of many over-the-counter laxatives. Although the sweeteners have been available on the market for a long time, pregnant or breastfeeding women must choose other sweeteners that are natural as their safety isn’t recognized in these instances.
How to Add the Best Sweetener for Gut Health in You Diet?
Incorporating more natural sweeteners into your diet can be done if you quit using refined table sugar and opts for healthy sugar substitutes instead. Also, you can look for sweet products made from ingredients like stevia rather than refined sugar.
You’ll likely need to try several to discover the best sugar alternatives. You may want one to drink with your morning cup of coffee, but you’ll need a different one to use in baking.
Even if you use natural sweeteners like pure honey, you must be aware of the sugar you consume.
How many natural sugars should you consume in a day?
According to the American Heart Association (AHA), it is recommended to restrict the added sugars you consume to less than 50% of your daily discretionary calories allowance.
For most American females, that amounts to not more than 100 calories a day and not greater than 150 calories for males (or approximately six teaspoons each day for women and nine teaspoons daily for males). The AHA defines “added sugars” as “any sugars or caloric sweeteners … added to foods or beverages during processing or preparation.”
So added sugars are refined sugar and natural sweeteners such as honey.
If you’re receiving treatment for any chronic health problem, including diabetes, consult your physician before introducing new sweeteners or sugar substitutes into your daily diet.
What are the most harmful sugar alternatives?
One of them is High fructose corn syrup, made mainly from Genetically engineered corn.
Fructose is an essential sugar quickly metabolized by the liver, which results in the body experiencing a “sugar high.” Researchers believe that this sugar’s rapid-acting causes an increase in weight storage by the liver, which results in non-alcoholic fatty liver diseases, digestive issues, and atherosclerosis.
Another well-known one is sucralose which is 600 times sweeter than sugar and could be a factor in the development of the addiction to sweet beverages and food. An article published by the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health discovered that cooking using sucralose, even at very high temperatures, may produce dangerous chloropropanols- one of the most toxic compounds.
Studies on rodents and humans have shown that sucralose can alter insulin, glucose, and the levels of glucagon-like peptides.
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