Easter candy is coming into stores and many families might be feeling a familiar craving for something sweet. But as spring comes around, many parents are worried about not only their children’s sugar intake but their own. It brings up one question that many people struggling to control blood sugar and weight ask themselves.
How do I enjoy sweet treats without eating all that sugar?
If you love desserts, then there are some ways to replace sugar in your diet that will help you not only control unhealthy blood sugar spikes, but also help you to lessen the calories you consume when you’re having a special treat.
Widely regarded as one of the best options for replacing granulated sugar, stevia sweeteners are all-natural products made from the stevia plant. This plant has natural sweetness in its leaves that comes without sugar, and is sold in most stores in a variety of forms. Stevia can be found as a liquid sweetener or a powdered sweetener and can be used in baking as well.
Stevia has no calories, which makes it a good candidate for those looking to manage weight gain. It also helps to lower blood sugar and insulin levels, which is a positive for diabetics looking to manage their symptoms.
Many people swear by stevia, but others feel it has an unpleasant aftertaste, which might make it difficult to adjust to.
Despite the hard to pronounce name, erythritol is another all-natural sweetener which can replace granulated sugar. Erythritol is made from naturally occurring fermented sugar in fruits and vegetables. It can be extracted from produce and turned into a sweet, sugar-free option for sweet treats.
Since it is made from fermented sugars, erythritol isn’t absorbed by the body’s digestive system, it instead passes through. This contributes to erythritol’s incredibly low calorie count and is also why this sweetener doesn’t cause spikes in blood sugar, which is good for those who are managing diabetes or for parents who are trying to avoid sugar rushes in their children.
Erythritol doesn’t have an after taste and is sold in granulated, powdered, and brown-sugar varieties in stores, which makes it perfect for baking. The only side effect is slight gassiness or indigestion when it is consumed in extremely high amounts.
While most syrups aren’t considered very healthy alternatives to sugar, the syrup extracted from the yacon plant is uniquely healthy. This plant is indigenous to South America, and its syrup is a thick, dark consistency similar to molasses.
Unlike molasses, though, yacon syrup cannot be cooked or baked, as the high heat will break it down too much. When it is stirred into coffee, oatmeal, or salad dressings, though, it acts as an effective sweetened that has 1/3 the calories of sugar but is also linked to an increase in probiotics in the digestive system.
When it comes to replacing sugar in your diet, finding the right balance isn’t always easy. For some people, the texture or taste of sugar replacements might make your homemade desserts feel different, but in these cases, it might be easier to try mixing cane sugar with natural replacements instead of giving up. Using stevia with a little bit of white sugar as well can be a great way to prepare your favorite Easter cookies and pies while still letting your family adjust to the new flavor that stevia provides. This will still let you cut back on sugar while enjoying your best baked goods.
This spring, New Braunfels ER hopes that everyone in our community stays in good health and gets to enjoy some delicious treats. We encourage families to try out different sugar replacements and work together to find their tastiest, healthiest options.
Nutex Health, Inc supports you and your family’s health. You can depend on New Braunfels Emergency Room or any one of our concierge-level, freestanding emergency facilities to deliver the emergency care you deserve, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.