Most sweet things you consume, such as chocolates and commercial salad dressings, contain refined sugar. Everyone knows that “traditional” sugars make you put on unwanted pounds and cause other severe health issues. Irrespective of whether you are trying to satisfy the itch of a sweet tooth after every meal with a piece of chocolate or the touch of sweetness someone likes to add to the salad dressing, “sweet” is undoubtedly an essential taste your palate loves.
To cut down sugar consumption, most of the health-conscious people are shifting towards the consumption of low-calorie sweeteners. Fortunately, a few natural sweeteners are healthy. These sweeteners are low in calories, have lower fructose content, and taste sweeter.
Let us delve deep into each of the five different vegan-friendly sweeteners and see how these help in maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle.
Stevia and Stevia Products
Stevia is produced from the leaves of the plant Stevia rebaudiana. These plants grown for their medicinal purposes and sweetness have been native to South America for several centuries. Stevia leaves are rich in several sweet compounds. Stevioside and rebaudinoside-A are the primary sweet compounds found in the leaves. Both the compounds are hundreds of times sweeter than sugar and do not add any calorific value when added to any food. Furthermore, several studies on humans state that stevia offers several health benefits, including the following health issues.
Blood Pressure: Consumption of stevia and stevia products helps lower high blood pressure in patients suffering from hypertension. However, stevia does not affect normal or slightly elevated blood pressure.
Stevia is a healthy and vegan-friendly sugar alternative for people who have diabetes.
You often overlook this healthy item present on your table. While you crave something sweet, fresh fruits are the most delicious and healthiest options. Grapes, apples, mangoes, dates, strawberries, papayas, melons, and pears are healthy and vegan sweeteners. Moreover, fresh fruits have more vitamins than a scoop of sugar. A bowl of freshly cut fruits is rich in vitamin A, C, E, K, and B vitamins. You can enjoy fresh fruits alone or use them in baking. You can also add chopped fresh fruits to your oatmeal bowl.
Manufacturers make real or pure maple syrup by tapping the sweet sap of the maple tree. Then the manufacturers heat the collected sap to evaporate the water, which leaves behind a smooth and thick brown syrup. Real maple syrup has a lower glycemic index and is rich in calcium, magnesium, zinc, potassium, copper, and magnesium than sugars. You can add it to oatmeal, pancakes, and waffles.
Blackstrap molasses is a byproduct derived from the refined process of cane syrup. Boiling sugarcane for the second time produces cane syrup. When boiled for the third time, a dark viscous liquid emerges, popularly called blackstrap molasses by the Americans. The black sticky syrup is rich in calcium, iron, and magnesium, promoting healthy bones, better heart functioning, improving sleep, and lowering anxiety.
Derived from Californian dates, date syrup has a lower glycemic index and is one of the most preferred vegan sweeteners. The syrup contains only one ingredient, Medipol dates, which are naturally sweet and eaten dried. The syrup is extremely sweet and hence, required in small amounts in your food and beverages as the manufacturers derive the syrup from the whole fruits, all the nutrients present in the dates. The syrup contains vitamins and minerals, such as iron, magnesium, potassium, and vitamin D, in significant amounts.