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Let's Talk About SUGAR and Alternatives

Let’s talk about SUGAR.

Sugar has gotten a bad rap over the past few years with low sugar this, and artificial sugar that. But did you know sugar is just about everywhere, in almost every food type, whether you think it is or not?

Sugar comes in a multitude of forms: plant, artificial, naturally occurring, milk based, grain based, you name it. Most likely there is some form of sugar compound in your every meal.

sugar alternative natierra

 

Where can you find sugar

Let’s start with where sugar is found, even naturally occurring:

  • Fructose: found in fruits and honey.
  • Galactose: found in milk and dairy products.
  • Glucose: found in honey, fruits, and vegetables.
  • Lactose: found in milk, made from glucose and galactose.
  • Maltose: found in barley.
  • Sucrose: made up of glucose and fructose and found in plants.
  • Xylose: found in wood or straw.

 

Not all sugars are the same

Did that make you say, “Whoa, who knew?” This can be very challenging if you are following a specific diet. However, it is important to know that not all sugars are processed the same way in your body and that there are plenty of alternatives to common, everyday sugar to keep your sweet tooth satisfied.

 

Sugar alternatives list

We’ve listed a few of our favorites below. It is important to note, that if you are on a low sugar diet for health or personal reasons, even sugar alternatives should be consumed in moderation or at the advisement of your doctor.

Stevia:

Extracted from plant leaves. This is a blood sugar friendly alternative that is less likely to spike blood sugar levels. It can often have a funky taste due to two different compounds extracted from the leaves. This would be a personal choice as the taste is subtly different depending on which compound. Rarely does a brand recognize which compound is being used, so it would take trial and error to find the right brand for your needs.

Monk Fruit:

This is another favorite plant-based sugar alternative that is 100-250x sweeter than sugar but also has antioxidant properties. It’s a sugar superfood of sorts, made from cane sugar alcohol. This option resembles sugar in taste and function the most, and is known for its Keto friendly adaption to traditional recipes that call for sugar. This one also won’t cause blood sugar spikes.

Honey:

This is plant nectar gathered by honey bees. Raw, local honey is great for boosting allergy immune response due to being sourced from local plants that cause these allergies.

Agave:

Liquid plant sweetener from the cactus plant. Mild tasting, but higher in fructose than regular cane sugar. Use sparingly as an alternative, but it does make a tasty margarita!

There are many, many more sugar alternatives not listed here, feel free to read up and try out others that may suit your life or recipe needs. These are just a few of the more common, and Natierra’s favorites.

 

Don’t hesitate to send us your feedback on instagram @natierrasuperfoods

Jennifer

 

Sources:

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/natural-sugar-substitutes#section6

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/monk-fruit-sweetener

https://science.howstuffworks.com/innovation/edible-innovations/sugar1.htm

 

Image: Mae Mu@picoftasty