Sugar alternatives

Janella Purcell shares some advice

Q. Is sugar as bad as it is made out to be? What about these new, natural sweeteners on the market at the moment?

White sugar? Yes, it’s bad. Actually, there’s nothing good about it. Not environmentally, physically, behaviourally, or any other way. But never fear. There are so many gorgeous alternatives to this horrible and highly processed food that makes us fat, diabetic and hyper. Not to mention creating cavities in our teeth and contributing to an overly acidic system and poor digestive health.

The alternatives

Have you tried coconut palm sugar? It has the lowest GI of all the sugars including honey, uses a third of the resources that white sugar uses, is sustainable and is creating jobs for Indonesians, our close neighbours. It comes from drying out the nectar that drips from the blossoms of the coconut palm tree – the ‘tree of life’ as it was originally known.

You can use this like you would honey, agave, maple syrup, rice or spelt syrup or barley malt – which are all great white sugar substitutes.

There’s also panela (rapadura), which is another complex, whole sugar.

Avoid highly refined substitutes like stevia and xylitol and products made from it. They are not as bad as white sugar but they’re not good either, and why do we need to? We have all of these other beautiful sweeteners so readily available to us now. 

NEXT: How to curb your sugar consumption>>

Photo credit: Thinkstock

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