As you’re on the way to a healthier you, you can’t ignore sugar. It’s everywhere in our American diet. It’s in frozen meals, in pasta sauce, breads, and most certainly in desserts. It becomes a dangerous addiction that is hard to kick. Cutting sugar out of your diet doesn’t mean you can never enjoy sweets again. There are plenty of alternatives to sugar.
- Agave: Agave is a natural nectar made from the cactus plant. Mexico natives have been using agave for generations. They unlocked the secret of its sweetness, and they found a way to convert it into tequila. You can buy agave in stores to drizzle over oatmeal and fruits to an added sweetness. Look for unprocessed agave nectar for the best results. The less manufacturers had to do with it, the better. You should still keep your use of agave to a limited amount.
- Stevia: Stevia has taken the spotlight for the past few years as a healthy alternative to traditional sugars. Coke has even made a product with it called Coca-Cola Life. It’s a sugar that is derived from a leaf of the Stevia rebaudiana, which is part of the ragweed family. It’s technically a non nutrient additive, which means that there are essentially zero calories with this sweetener. It’s excellent for those who are watching their weight, while satisfying a craving.
- Honey: A common sugar alternative that people have been using since ancient times. Bees create this delicious treat, and we are able to harvest it and use it for many different purposes. You want to find a local, raw honey. Honey will not only be a sweet substitute, but it will also give your immune system a helpful boost to prevent allergies and prevent the growth of bacteria.
- Coconut Sugar: One of the most versatile plants is the coconut. You can drink its milk, eat its flesh, and turn the tree’s sap into sugar. Because of its natural state, you will find a high amount of nutrients in it. There’s zinc, iron, potassium, and more. It can even slow glucose absorption, making it great for those who are diabetic.
- Dark Chocolate: Even though it may have just a little sugar in it, dark chocolate is a better sweet alternative rather than processed sugar. You want to find something with a high amount of cacao of about 65% or more to make it a true dark chocolate. At first it may taste bitter, but after your taste buds acclimate, it’ll taste sweeter and sweeter.
- Fruit: Fruit is nature’s candy. All fruit is packed with sugars that can help get you over the sweet tooth cravings. Dice several up for a flavorful fruit bowl, or have a delicious honeycrisp apple. It’s also packed with vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, and fibers that are great for your body.
If you are planning on doing a complete processed sugar cleanse, then congratulations! You’ll see so many positive health benefits from it. During that first week to two weeks, you’ll have strong sugar cravings as your body is going through withdrawls. You can use these alternatives sparingly to help you be successful in kicking sugar to the curb!