Unless you have had your head stuck under a rock over the past six months you will have heard a lot of chat about refined sugar and the harm it can have on your health.
There have been loads of great documentaries about the subject as well as various celebs ditching the sweet stuff in order to feel a whole lot healthier.
As a health coach I am not one for health fads in any shape or form but I can not deny the fact that every one I have worked with tends to feel a whole lot better when they reduce or remove refined sugars.
But first what the heck do we mean by refined sugars? Basically put, it is the process by which raw cane sugar is bleached and striped of its natural goodness and reformed into what we now call table sugar. I won’t go into depth about the negative impact it has on your body but if you are want to find out what the problem with sugar is - then just click here.
So what can you have instead? Should you just live a life lacking all things sweet?
Of course not!
Diving into a slice of cake or a wee biscuit with your cup of tea is one of life's little joys. I may be a health coach but I love cake and there is no way I am doing without cake.
Thankfully there are some great alternatives.
So here are top 5 natural alternatives to sugar and why they could do your body GOOD:
1. Raw Honey
This has been a recent discovery for me but I love it. It is great in my cocoa/hot chocolate and I have used it in chocolate pudding to great success. It has quite a rich, molasses-like taste and has a lower glycemic index than honey and contains lots of nutrients like zinc, calcium and other minerals that will do your body good.
I love this stuff. Yes it is very sweet but it is 100 per cent natural and from trees so as long as you don’t drink gallons of the stuff then I reckon it can be a healthier addition to pancakes and bacon.
These are a favourite of mine when baking (I am healthy cake baking fiend). I often use ripe bananas, cooked apples, carrots, beetroot, butternut squash or parsnips even to give a naturally sweet taste in food. I use them in smoothies, cookies, cakes, puddings and more. My top fruit and veg for natural sweetness are:
• Butternut squash
• Cooked apples ( apple crumble anyone??)