Sunday, January 25, 2015

Giving Up Sugar | Part One | 5 Sweet Alternatives to Sugar

Sugar is a nightmare and arguably an addiction we all have, it's a sweet, sweet instant satisfaction and giving it up can be the hardest thing to do. So I thought I would put together a little series of posts on how to give up sugar. Now this advice isn't coming from someone that is trying it out for the first time, or from someone that has read the books and hasn't given it a go. I have successfully stayed of the white stuff for a year and a half, so my journey is well under way and I really hope what I have learnt can help you!

-Part One | Sweet, sweet alternatives-

One of the hardest things about giving up sugar is going cold turkey, when you take away everything sweet your body goes a little bit crazy and you can find yourself craving things you never would have before. When you first begin you should try out some sweet alternatives, they won't raise your blood sugar as much and have a much smaller impact on your system, but they're sweet all the same! So here we go:

Xylitol | Birch Tree Sugar
Xylitol is extracted from birch trees, it's mainly made of polyols (a non-digestable sugar) so it's a fantastic way to sweeten things up without the sugar rush. It's perfect for diabetics and also those that want an almost like-for-like sugar alternative. One warning - if you eat too much it's a laxative. Your bum will be on fire. TMI I know.

Coconut Sugar | Coconut Nectar
Coconut sugar comes in two forms; granulated and syrup. It's perfect for sweetening up your tea and baking healthier brownies, its low GI means its impact on your blood sugar is also very low. Taste wise it's more like brown sugar, it's rich and warm. Plus it has a huge amount of minerals and amino acids in it, so it's actually beneficial to your body!

Honey | Raw or Unpasteurised
Now I'm being a bit specific with raw honey, this means it stills has its antibacterial, somewhat medicinal properties. If you go for a refined honey (think rowse/supermarket brand) they've bee through the works and have very little goodness left, you might as well pour fructose syrup on your porridge. Honey sweetens things up, helps your immune system and can also help rid you of hay fever if you source it locally.

Agave Nectar 
This one comes from the same plant as tequila whoooo but doesn't get your tipsy not so whoooo. It's made of mainly fructose with a dash of glucose, so again it does't raise your levels up to drop them back down. Agave had all the attention a few years ago, but now it's not so much in the lime light, it only comes in syrup form, making it more useful for beverages and liquidy meals than anything else.

Maple Syrup
This one is a little bit too similar to sugar for my taste, but it has a whole different level of nutrition. It has a host of minerals and actually benefits your body, rather than just putting it into overdrive. 

So there we go, some sweet alternatives, part two will be all about cravings, how to get rid of them and how to satisfy yourself when you're first giving up, so stay tuned!



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