What Are The Best Sugar Substitutes For Baking
Nowadays people like to use more all natural sugars, some of my favorites being maple syrup, stevia, agave and honey. Since creating this chart Ive discovered 2 other sugar substitute brands I really like, Lakanto Sweetener and Swerve. Lakanto brand offers both liquid and powdered sugar replacements while Swerve is a great alternative dry sweetener.
Best Stevia: Sweet Leaf Sweetleaf Organic Stevia Sweetener
Research suggests that blackstrap molasses contains the highest amounts of antioxidants among sweeteners, including maple syrup and honey. This dark, bitter substance is what remains after all the sugar has been extracted from raw sugar cane. The intense flavor can overpower recipes, so it’s best to use the bittersweet, sticky liquid in small amounts.
Wholesome Sweetener’s full-bodied USDA Organic Molasses adds a natural caramel color and flavor to your favorite recipes, including gingerbread, bran muffins, marinades, and BBQ sauces. With 60 calories and 14g carbohydrates per 1 tablespoon serving, Wholesome’s Grade-A, unsulphured molasses is not low calorie or low-carb; however, it does contain 10 percent of your daily value of calcium and 20 percent of your daily iron needs. For this reason, molasses is a top sweetener for vegans.
How To Use Liquid Sweetener
Take care to fully read;the chart because there are tips below the measurements about adjusting ;the liquid used in the recipe if you choose to use the liquid sugars like agave, honey or maple syrup. Likewise if you use stevia, you will also need to make adjustments to make up the weight of the sugar left out.
Natural Substitutes For Sugar
Added sugar is one of the most controversial ingredients in the modern diet.
It has been associated with many serious diseases, including obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers.
One contributing factor is that most people consume way too much sugar without even realizing it.
Fortunately, there are many ways to sweeten foods without adding sugar to them.
This article explores 9 alternatives to refined sugar.
Sugar can interfere with hormones in your body that regulate hunger and satiety, leading to increased calorie intake and weight gain .
Excessive sugar consumption can also harm your metabolism, which can lead to increased insulin and fat storage .
A high sugar intake is associated with poor oral health and some of the most deadly diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers .
In addition to causing health problems, sugar has some addictive properties. It causes dopamine to be released in the reward center of the brain, which is the same response activated by addictive drugs. Nevertheless, sugar should not be compared to drugs.
These properties lead to cravings and can drive overeating, especially among stressed individuals (
Healthy Sugar Substitute In Baking
Our altered lifestyle demands to alter the way we have been eating food. It demands us to reduce the number of calories and sugar we are eating in our food. This calls for finding the substitute for sugar. Today we shall talk about 20 healthy sugar substitute in baking.
In baking, sugar does a lot more than just adding sweetness to baked goodies. Sugar is the food for yeast and I have written more on this in taming the yeast. Sugar is also used in caramelization which is a type of non-enzymatic browning reaction.
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How To Substitute Sugar In Baking Recipes
If youre looking to substitute the sugar in your recipe with something more flavorful or just plain fun, getting the measurements right can be a little tricky. This is because the ingredient youre subbing in might have a different texture or moisture level from cane sugar, which changes the composition of your batter or dough. But have no fear weve figured it out for you!
Here are our top six sugar substitutes when it comes to baking:
Use 1 Teaspoon For A Cup Of Sugar
This sweetener is extracted from stevia leaves called Stevioside and Rebaudioside A. This natural sweetener taste little different from sugar, zero calories and is almost 200 times sweeter than processed sugar. Stevia is helping in lowering the blood pressure. It is also considered to be beneficial for diabetic patients.
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Role Of Sugar In Baking
Sugar plays various roles in baking, and you get different results depending on what type of sugar youre using. The most commonly used sugar varieties in baking include white and brown sugar. And while both are primarily added to the dough to induce sweetness, they also play various other roles in baked goods. Different varieties include icing, muscovado, castor, turbinado, nib, and sanding sugar.
White sugar thins out the dough, so the end product comes out airy and fluffier. This condition is because when added to the dough, white sugar stops gluten formation. As a result, such baked goods come out drier and thinner, and the liquid ingredients in the recipe mainly contribute to the moisture content. And white sugar gives you powdered sugar when pulverized, and this is perfect for whipping frostings and as a sprinkled topping for baked goods.
Brown sugar is moist compared to white sugar. This high-moisture content is because brown sugar contains molasses, which explains its sticky texture. When used for baking, it adds this high moisture to the foods, making the crust tender. Also, brown sugar encourages gluten formation, so baked goods come out dense compared to white sugar. And in many recipes, the brown color of this sugar excels and its caramel-like toffee flavor.
Drawbacks Of Using Substitutes
Some studies show that eating foods with zero-calorie sweeteners may have the opposite effect intended and may promote weight gain. For instance, some research shows that an increased intake of very sweet substitutes may boost ones desire for sweetened foods. Theres also no telling what the long-term impact of consuming sugar substitutes may have on the body and overall health.
Certain substitutes may have immediate concerning effects on the body. Some people, for instance, may have allergic reactions to specific substitutes. Other individuals complain that alternatives like aspartame cause headaches and may act as a trigger for migraines. Several sugar substitutes also cause gastrointestinal distress.
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Xylitol Calories And Nutritional Values
Xylitol is much lower in calories than table sugar. One gram contains just two calories! But youll look in vain for other nutrients like vitamins, minerals, fiber, fats, and such in xylitol which isnt a big surprise given that its just a sweetener.
What makes it really special, however, is that xylitol, like all sugar alcohols, cannot be completely metabolized by your body, which is why it has a lower calorie value.;;
Whats The Difference Between Natural And Artificial Sweeteners
Sugar alternatives can be natural or artificial. Basically, artificial sweeteners are synthetic sugar substitutes, which may be derived from naturally occurring substances, such as herbs or sugar itself. Natural sweeteners, on the other hand, are generally substitutes already found in nature, but in some cases, they could have gone through processing, which makes themwell, not that great for you.
For natural substitutes, the most important things to consider are glycemic index and fructose content, explains Lauren Slayton, MS, RD, and founder of NYC-based nutrition service Foodtrainers. Glycemic index is a measure of how your body reacts to a type of foodand how much it raises your blood sugar. Spikes in blood sugar are related to diabetes and insulin resistance and therefore can cause long-term problems.
In addition, foods with high fructose levels can increase hunger hormones, and then are readily stored as fat. And just as natural sweeteners arent the holy grail of nutrition, artificial sweeteners are also not as bad as you think they might be. If youre looking to balance blood sugar levels, an artificial sweetener might be the better option of the two, adds Agyeman. But they all tend to have different flavor profiles.
Below, check out a list of sweeteners , to help determine the best sugar substitute for your favorite sweet treats.
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Soo Are There Any Sugar Substitutes You Should Stay Away From
“Like sugar, artificial sweeteners provide a sweet taste, but what sets them apart is the fact that after consumption, they do not increase blood sugar levels, says Shapiro. Because of that, Shapiro notes, they may stimulate your appetite and could cause weight gain as a result.
The sugar alcohols found in certain artificial sweeteners may also affect digestion since your body cant break them down. The main problem is that they can cause digestive problems, especially when consumed in large amounts. Since your body cant digest most of them, they travel to the large intestine where they are metabolized by your gut bacteria, and this can cause bloating, gas, or diarrhea.
In terms of natural sugar substitutes, they can raise your blood sugar depending on their fructose content and glycemic index. Sweet begets sweet. The more sweet you eat, the more you crave, says Slayton. Depending on the substitute you use, it could raise your blood sugar and cause a nasty crash, or could cause you to crave more sugar.
So, its recommended to try and limit sugar substitutes as much as you can. Slayton also offers up this trick: Im a big fan of using cinnamon for a number of reasons: reducing appetite, stabilizing blood sugar, she says. Adding a combo of cinnamon and vanilla to something sweet kind of tricks you into thinking you’re eating something more sugary than you actually are.
Types Of Sugar Substitutes
Here are the main types of sugar substitutes along with their pros and cons:
Artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame and sucralose , are used to sweeten drinks and other foods without adding calories. Theyre useful for those who may want to avoid added calories but who still want to enjoy sweet beverages and treats. Theres some evidence, however, that artificial sweeteners may have unintended effects on our bodys processes, including hormone production. Some artificial sweeteners may also cause digestive issues in specific individuals.
Artificial sweeteners typically have zero or very limited calories and also tend to be extremely sweet, much sweeter than sugar, so less is required to sweeten foods. Most artificial sweeteners are a poor choice for baking, however, despite being ultra sweet.
Sugar alcohols, such as xylitol and erythritol, have fewer calories than sugar and occur naturally in fruits and vegetables. Theyre often used to sweeten processed foods, and research shows that certain sugar alcohols actually improve dental health. The downside? Sugar alcohols may lead to gastrointestinal distress if consumed in large quantities.
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Foodis Brown Sugar Better For You 5 Common Sugar Myths Debunked
Take note that for baking, you typically cant just substitute a sugar alternative one-to-one with no other changes. Youll need to adjust ratios of other ingredients to get the desired result youre looking for. Sugar alternatives will also impart a different flavor, so youll want to keep in mind whats most appropriate for what youre making.
Golden Caster Sugar Substitutes
It is not recommended to use brown sugar as a replacement for golden caster sugar. Brown sugar contains more moisture which will have an effect on the texture of your baked goods.
Regular caster sugar is the best substitution, whether store-bought or homemade. Your end product will be exactly the same in texture. There may be a slight difference in flavor, although this might not be noticeable in some recipes.
Demerara or Turbinado sugar can be used only if the large crystals are ground in a blender or food processor before using. This will break down the crystal size to be more like that of golden caster sugar.
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Pay Attention To This When Buying Xylitol
Weve noticed that more and more shops are adding xylitol to their shelves. But if you cant find it in regular supermarkets, try health food stores, drugstores, or organic food stores. Theres also a wide range of xylitol products online.
What should you look out for when buying xylitol? As with other products, its worth taking a closer look, especially at the info about production and origin. For example, since xylitol can be made from corn residues, you should make sure that the corn hasnt been genetically modified. Basically, look through the information provided by the manufacturer and compare it with others to make sure youre choosing a high-quality product.
Is leaving the smallest possible ecological footprint also important to you? Then xylitol products from locations close to home are the better choice.
Questions For Your Doctor
- Is one sugar substitute better for my health than another?
- Is it better to use real sugar in moderation than to use a sugar substitute?
- Is sugar-free eating better for my overall health?
- Can sugar substitutes make me fat?
- Im pregnant. Are sugar substitutes safe for me?
- I have diabetes. Which sugar substitutes should I avoid?
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Use 1 + 1/3 Cup For A Cup Of Sugar
An unrefined version of brown sugar that is less sweet than sugar, Jaggery is a traditional Indian sweetener. Jaggery retains all mineral salts in it and hence is healthier than sugar. Again, the amount of calories in Jaggery and Sugar remains the same as they both are derived from Sugarcane. There are numerous benefits of Jaggery over sugar and wellbeingmantras.com has beautifully captured them. Jaggery is my choice of substitute for sugar in baking.
Baking With The Right Sugar Substitutes
So, which is the best sugar substitute to use for low-glycemic brownies, cookies, cakes and more? Baking with erythritol and xylitol are two options that dont give you that quick rise in blood sugar like white sugar does. Additionally, baking with monk fruit and stevia are zero-glycemic options that are popular in the sugar-free and keto communities. Baking with sugar substitutes can also open up a whole new world, which goes well with a variety of diets.
When it comes to the right low-glycemic natural sweetener swap, its all about personal preference. Take into consideration what youre baking, as well as your health goals.
Ready to find your ideal low-glycemic sugar substitute? You can choose from:
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Use In Cooking And Baking
Because many sugar substitutes are much sweeter than sugar, it takes a smaller amount to achieve the desired sweetness. Therefore, when cooking or baking, your recipe may need to be adjusted if you’re swapping white table sugar for a sweeter alternative.
While the sweetener package may have specific instructions for cooking and baking, this may come down to trial and error , or you can search for specific recipes that use sugar substitutes or natural sweeteners in place of white sugar.
A few other things to be aware of when cooking and baking with alternative sweeteners:
- Your baked goods may be lighter in color as natural sugar browns more deeply when baked and artificial sweeteners don’t brown as nicely.
- Cooking time may need to be adjusted.
- There may be a texture or aftertaste you’re not used to.
- The volume of cakes or cookies may be slightly decreased as you’re using much less sweetener.
Is Erythritol Keto Friendly
Erythritol is a keto-friendly sweetener that we use liberally in our recipes particularly in our low-carb desserts that require a crumbly consistency.
While we can tell slight variances in the taste of desserts with erythritol vs. sugar, we cannot tell which is the sugar dessert or the erythritol one. Just that there is a slight difference.
One point to note is that erythritol is not hygroscopic .
For this reason when making recipes that require a moist texture we use a blend of erythritol and stevia such as Natvia .
If there were one contender as the best sugar substitute for baking cookies or crackers, and we could only choose one. It would be Erythritol.
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Why Trust Verywell Fit
A personal note on my;recommendations written above.;As a dietitian, I am not always comfortable recommending sugar alternatives. I frequently recommend natural sweeteners such as honey and maple syrup, but understand that these higher-carbohydrate, higher-calorie options may not work for all individuals. After spending time reviewing the most current clinical research and looking at multiple products,;however,;I came up with a list of products that I would recommend to someone looking to use a substitute for sugar.
Note that the USDA 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines recommend that added sugars be limited to less than 10 percent of calories per day.;I believe;the sugar alternatives in the round-up are made by trusted brands are composed of high-quality ingredients.;”Eliza Savage, MS, RD, CDN
Baking With Xylitol An Overview
Since xylitol can be exchanged one-to-one for sugar and is also heat stable, there is nothing keeping you from using this sweetener in your next baking session. Plus: it dissolves even better warm than cold.
Let your imagination run wild and use xylitol in any recipe that calls for sugar! Theres only one spoilsport you need to watch out for, and thats yeast. Yeast cant metabolize xylitol so your dough wont rise as well. But theres plenty of other possibilities!
Want to start right away and treat yourself to something sweet without the guilt? Then take a look at our recipes section and choose your favorite sweet snack to make!
Our tip: Not in the mood for baking? Check out our Cookie Dough Protein Bar! Tastes as delicious as a cookie, with no artificial flavors or added sugar. Sounds like a perfect snack to us!
“>snack on our Cookie Dough Bars
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