Sugar is a very important part of life, as it makes coffee, cake, smoothies , and even pasta sauce a whole lot tastier. The problem is, refined sugar is terrible for your health, so it’s best avoided.
The good news is that there are sugar alternatives that fit even the strict vegan lifestyle. Regardless of your food preferences – whether omnivore, vegetarian, or vegan – there’s a sugar for you:
Stevia is made from stevia plants, and it is a natural sugar that is very low in calories. The powder made from Stevia leaves is believed to be up to 15 times sweeter than sugar, and the refined Stevia is up to 300 times sweeter. The downside to Stevia is that it can cause allergic reactions (I have Stevia allergies), which includes sneezing, a runny and itchy nose and even headaches.
The good news is that it won’t affect your blood sugar, so even diabetics can use it.
Real maple syrup is nothing like the stuff you can buy in stores. It has a much more natural flavor, and it’s a great sugar replacement. You can use maple sugar that’s a granulated form of the syrup, but there are few things tastier than the rich, liquid syrup.
Fructose is the sugar that is naturally found in all fruits, and it is often extracted and turned into a powdered sugar that can be purchased in bags. It’s about twice as sweet as refined sugar, and it will affect your blood sugar levels if you take too much.
Note: Powdered fructose isn’t the same as high fructose corn syrup – which is loaded with WAY TOO MUCH sugar. Powdered fructose can be safe – or so says Livestrong – as long as you don’t eat too much of it. Remember, it’s significantly sweeter than sugar.
My personal favorite on this list is maple syrup, but I have to say Agave Nectar is actually quite tasty in a cup of tea! Cutting refined sugar out of your diet is just the smart thing to do, but these sweet alternatives ensure your food, coffee, tea, and healthy desserts can still be enjoyable!