While you love enjoying your morning tea at home, your bowl of cereal or a snack bar from the vending machine, empty calories from your regular sugar starts adding up faster. Chances are you are aware that consumption of your sugar in large quantities during pregnancy increases the risk of gaining too much weight or expecting tooth decay. However, you can always replace your regular sugar with healthy and low calories sugar substitutes.
The Health Costs of Sugar
Sugar sweetens, preserves, and enhances the flavor of food, which makes it difficult for us to resist consumption. Suppose you are following a diet containing high sugar. In that case, you are likely to suffer from several health conditions, which either directly affect your body or indirectly arise from the complications of obesity. Excessive sugar consumption causes obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart diseases.
In pregnant women, consumption of high sugar diet results in increased gestational weight gain and the development of complications during the pregnancy, such as gestational diabetes, preterm birth, and preeclampsia. Furthermore, medical experts connect excessive sugar consumption to poor cognitive function, affecting memory and increasing the risk of developing dementia.
Healthy and Natural Sugar Substitutes for Pregnant Women
Enlisted, we curated a lowdown from zero-calorie to low-calorie sugar substitutes ideal for pregnancy consumption.
Zindagi Stevia Products
Zindagi stevia products are natural, as they comprise stevia extracts that have no calories. Manufacturers derive stevia extracts from the leaves of a plant, Stevia rebaudiana sp., native to South America. Stevia sweeteners are 150 to 300 times sweeter than your regular sugar, and therefore, you require adding it in minimal quantities. It is a healthy natural sugar alternative for those suffering from chronic diseases like diabetes and obesity. Furthermore, it is also safe for consumption during pregnancy.
You can use stevia products in numerous forms, including stevia powder, liquid drops, and tablets. You can use it for sweetening your morning coffee, tea, beverages, and your favorite bowl of cereal. As stevia products are heat stable and have no calorific value, you can use them in cooking and baking foods.
Honey, another natural sweetener, has more nutrients compared to table sugar. It is rich in antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins, making it a good substitute during pregnancy. Moreover, honey is easier to digest and promotes gut health. You can add honey in smoothies, baked goods, marinades, salad dressings, and sauces.
Maple syrup is a low-calorie natural sugar substitute. It is rich in antioxidants and minerals, including calcium, manganese, potassium, zinc, and iron. You can use maple syrup beyond pancakes and waffles. To add a sweet flavor, you can use it in your favorite dishes, such as your bowl or morning cereals.
Dates are rich in fiber, minerals, and vitamins. Therefore, using date paste as a sweetener in your recipes adds more nutritional value to your diet than your table sugar. You can add dates paste in your smoothies, baked goods, marinades, and sauces. Date paste tastes sweeter than sugar, and therefore you need to adjust the amount accordingly.
Agave is a natural low-calorie sweetener that has more nutrients than your regular sugar. When added to your food, it enhances its taste, and therefore, you need to add them in minimal quantities.