5 Alternatives to Sugar
Cutting down on sugar can help reduce empty calories in your diet. Eating foods that are lower in sugar can help avoid blood sugar crashes, those bouts of sudden low energy that happen when your your blood sugar spikes and then drops. People with certain medical conditions such as hypoglycemia and diabetes need to follow their doctor’s dietary guidelines.
Using sugar substitutes helps satisfy a sweet tooth when you want to cut back on sugar. Common alternatives to sugar include Splenda, Sweet N’ Low and stevia — a natural, plant-based sweetener. The best choices depend on how you’re using it and come down to personal taste. All of these sweeteners come in handy packets so you can carry them with you.
Splenda, a trademarked sugar substitute, has become a popular alternative to table sugar because it has a similar texture and flavor to table sugar and it bakes fairly well. It’s also known generically as sucralose or chlorinated sugar. It has two calories per teaspoon. It flavors as well as sugar but doesn’t perform the same as sugar for browning and texture in baked goods. Some people notice a metallic flavor.
Like Splenda, Sweet N’ Low has many fans and is available from major stores. Restaurants and coffee shops often have it on hand for customers who don’t use sugar. It’s an artificial sweetener made from saccharin. It has a lingering, distinct metallic flavor
For those who prefer a natural product, stevia offers strong sugar substitute that’s plant-derived. Some commenters argue that it should be considered an artificial sweetener because of the product goes through an intensive refining process. Nonetheless, it has no calories, offering sweetness without chemicals or guilt. It comes in many brands and it can be worth trying more than one. To some people, Stevia has a slight aftertaste similar to mild licorice.
Another natural option is to use fruit for sweetening. If you have a medical condition, check with you doctor because different types vary in their impact on blood sugar. Pineapple and mango are much higher in sugar than berries. Using whole fruit instead of juice has a slower impact on blood sugar because the fiber slows down the effect of the fructose. Add berries, peaches or frozen bananas to smoothies and make shakes with sugar-free ice cream or sorbets. Fruit blended to a pulp works well to sweeten baked goods.