How many pounds of sugar do you think the average American consumes in a year? The answer is an astonishing, unbelievable 152 pounds of sugar.
“The American Heart Association (AHA) has recommended that Americans drastically cut back on added sugar, to help slow the obesity and heart disease epidemics. The AHA’s suggested added sugar threshold is no more than 100 calories per day (about 6 teaspoons or 24 grams of sugar) for most women and no more than 150 calories per day (about 9 teaspoons or 36 grams of sugar) for most men.”
That sounds like an easy number to stick to. However, what most people aren’t aware of is added sugars – sugar that has been added to almost everything you eat during the course of the day. These are “empty calories” — calories unaccompanied by fiber, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. Though sugar is technically a ‘natural’ substance, it contains:
no healthy fats
Additionally, sugar is highly addictive – some experts have likened it to cocaine. With so many negative consequences, the addictive property of sugar is the major cause of obesity in our society. Sugar:
causes you to age more quickly
easily leads to weight gain and obesity
is linked to depressive mental states
suppresses the immune system
Therefore, it is important to find some natural substitutes for sugar that don’t have the same negative consequences. Here are the top 5 products you can use instead of sugar, which give you the taste but not the drawbacks:
Molasses is a great sugar substitute that comes with its own benefits: antioxidants in the molasses protect against degenerative diseases and other disorders. It is also a great source of iron, especially for women who are at risk for iron deficiency.
Stevia is the sweetener of choice for people who are trying to cut down on their sugar intake. It is a calorie-free sweetener that’s about 100 times sweeter than sugar. Fortunately, it is also natural and comes from a South American shrub.
Coconut sugar is not as sweet as regular sugar and has a distinctive taste, but it is full of nutrients and does not damage your body. Also, coconut sugar has a minimal effect on blood sugar levels, making it another ideal option for diabetics.
For decades, dates have been used as a substitute for sugar in deserts and other places where sugar can’t grow. They are naturally very sweet, and also contain a good amount of vitamin B6, vitamin A, potassium and calcium.
Many cultures all over the world expound on the benefits and positive effects of honey. Honey has antibacterial properties and is full of antioxidants that make it anti-inflammatory. Honey is great for your body, and much more delicious than regular sugar. It is also much sweeter than sugar. You can even add it to your coffee or tea in the morning as a way to cut down daily sugar consumption.
Sugar is linked to unhealthy levels of blood fats, which worsen cholesterol. A sugar-laden diet may raise your risk of dying of heart disease even if you aren’t overweight. At the very least, it is linked to weight gain, cavities and acne. By substituting it with these other 5 natural products, you can live a much healthier lifestyle without compromising on taste.