I'm a big believer in cooking and baking from scratch at home. I'm also a big believer in allowing yourself something sweet every now and again, especially if you have been eating well and training hard.
We all know we should steer clear from refined sugar for the best possible body composition but what do we substitute sugar for in recipes, especially when baking?
There are a few alternatives out there but are they really healthy?
I'm not a scientist so I don't know the exact molecular breakdown of these products but below might give you an idea of what to use.
STEVIA is often touted as a safe and healthy sugar substitute that can sweeten up foods without the negative health effects linked to refined sugar. It's also associated with several impressive health benefits, such as reduced calorie intake, blood sugar levels, and risk of cavities.
COCONUT SUGAR is also called coconut palm sugar. It's a natural sugar made from coconut palm sap, which is the sugary circulating fluid of the coconut plant. Coconut sugar contains healthy fats that are known to help prevent high cholesterol and heart disease. Inulin is a type of dietary fiber found in it that helps keep your gut healthy, prevent colon cancer, and balance your blood sugar.
MOLASSES contains several important nutrients and antioxidants, making it a better option than refined sugar. However, it's still very high in sugar, which can be harmful when consumed in excess. At the end of the day, molasses is just a slightly “less bad” form of sugar.
AGAVE NECTAR (also known as agave nectar) is a naturally occurring sweetener similar in consistency to honey, although slightly thinner. It is extracted from various species of the agave plant, which grows mainly in Mexico and South Africa. Agave nectar (or syrup) is commonly used by people with diabetes because of its low glycemic index, but it should be used with caution.
HONEY has a lower GI value than sugar, meaning that it does not raise blood sugar levels as quickly. Honey is sweeter than sugar, so you may need less of it, but it does have slightly more calories per teaspoon so it's wise to keep a close eye on your portion sizes.
XYLITOL looks and tastes like sugar but has fewer calories and doesn't raise blood sugar levels. ... Xylitol Has a Very Low Glycemic Index and Doesn't Spike Blood Sugar or Insulin.