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Sugar is a commonly used sweetener. It adds more flavor to the drinks and beverages and acts as a good preservative during food production. But what are the disadvantages of overeating sugar? It is an important question to contemplate, for nutritionists and dietitians across the globe highly recommend resorting to other alternatives for sugar.
Disadvantages of sugar
Tooth decay and obesity are the two significant adverse side effects one may experience upon the continuous usage of sugar. Though no research studies have shown any direct link between sugar consumption and the onset of heart disease/diabetes, obesity is a significant risk factor for the disease as mentioned above conditions. Therefore, people are highly advised not to consume sugar in large quantities.
Why live an unhealthy life when plenty of alternatives are available in the market. Few such options are listed below:
Honey is a sweet, golden liquid produced by honey bees. Honey, being rich in vitamins, minerals, and other antioxidants, offers many health benefits. The antioxidant property of honey points to the presence of phenolic acids and flavonoids in honey. Consumption of honey facilitates the prevention of diseases like diabetes and cancer due to the abundance of antioxidants. It has also resulted in significant weight loss. Excessive consumption of honey is not recommended, though it is harmless and fits in as a good substitute for sugar.
2. Maple syrup
Maple syrup is a thick and sweet liquid made from the sap of maple trees. So, what makes it an excellent alternative for sugar. The mineral-rich consistency and antioxidant properties of maple syrup make it an ideal choice over sugar. Lower glycemic index levels in maple syrup make it a way better option. Unlike regular sugar, the richness of minerals and antioxidants helps to maintain sugar levels in the blood.
3. Coconut Sugar
Among all other alternatives, coconut sugar shares many similarities with regular sugar regarding the calories per serving and the amount of fructose. But to the contrary, coconut sugar is rich in nutrients like zinc, iron, calcium, potassium, and antioxidants. Moreover, coconut sugar has lower glycemic index levels than sugar due to the inulin content in it. This soluble fiber enhances fullness through the slow digestion of food. Despite the similarities, these characteristics make coconut sugar slightly more preferable to regular sugar.
4. Yacon syrup
Yacon syrup, scientifically known as Smallanthus sonchifolius, is a sweet, dark, thick liquid extracted from the Yacon plant. Fifty percent of the syrup contains sugar molecules named fructooligosaccharides. The human body does not easily digest these sugar molecules. Therefore, this syrup contains only one-third of the calories of sugar. Apart from that, it offers other health benefits too. Studies indicate that consumption of yacon syrup instead of regular sugar can reduce body weight and lower the potential risk of colon cancer. Looking at these benefits, one will realize how better and worth it is to resort to alternatives like yacon syrup.
Stevia is a natural plant-based sweetener extracted from the leaves of an American shrub named Stevia rebaudiana. The health benefits it offers are many, for these leaves contain many phytochemicals and nutrients. This syrup is prepared from the compounds stevioside and rebaudioside. It’s amusing that neither of these compounds includes calories, and they are much sweeter than sugar. To be precise, yacon syrup is nearly 350 times sweeter than sugar. Stevioside, the compound found in Stevia, plays a chief role in maintaining blood sugar, blood pressure, and insulin levels. Though the taste of Stevia differs slightly from regular sugar, it acts as one of the best alternatives.
Our body is a reflection of the food we eat. When it comes to the food we eat, one must take utmost care to live a long healthy, and disease-free life. Cutting down on sugar is a highly recommended practice to improve the quality of life. But this can be heart-breaking to all those who relish the joy of eating sweet food. One can enjoy the tinge of sweetness in the food they eat by resorting to various other alternatives. Henceforth enjoy your dishes, snacks, meals, drinks, and beverages without compromising your health and flavor.