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 ultrasweet.
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.
Nutritional Values Of Artificial Sweeteners & Sugar Substitutes
Below youll find the nutritional values of the most common, artificial sweeteners, natural sugar substitutes, sugar alcohols, and common sugars.
Weve broken the different sweeteners in the tables below into four columns:
- Calories per gram
- The Calories per teaspoon equivalent
The nutritional values are as follows:
Is Honey Better Than Sugar
For people who are looking to lower their intake of table sugar, honey can be a convenient and natural alternative. It doesnt raise blood sugar levels like sugar, given its lower GI value. It also tastes sweeter since it has a high level of fructose.
Suppose that you are diabetic or trying to manage your blood sugar. In this case, there are not very many benefits to swapping to honey. Honey also offers very little nutritional benefit. If you do want to try honey or discover that you actually prefer it in your coffee, try to find a raw brand. Raw honey provides more antioxidants, nutrients, and vitamins than regular table sugar.
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Alternatives To Refined Sugar
The next time that you want to add a touch of sweetness to your favorite food or drink, you may want to carefully consider the sweetener you use.
Most Americans consume far too much added sugar in the form of refined sweeteners like white sugar and high fructose corn syrup . These sweeteners are often added to sweetened beverages, sugary cereals, sweet snacks, and desserts.
Although sweets taste delicious, eating too much added sugar may take a toll on your health.
For example, diets high in added sugar are strongly linked to medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and fatty liver disease .
While its perfectly healthy to enjoy foods that contain a small amount of added sugar on occasion, keeping your total sugar intake to a minimum may help reduce your risk of these conditions and improve your health in other ways.
If you want to cut your intake of common refined sweeteners like white sugar and HFCS, there are many alternatives to choose from. Some of these even contain zero or very few calories (
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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.
Coffee Creamers & Non
Personally, I put oat milk in my morning coffee and it really hits the spot. I admittedly have a serious sweet tooth, so the limited amount of sugars in the oat milk curb my cravings and I find myself ready to take on each day!
If I am looking for a bit sweeter oat milk coffee, monk fruit is my favorite addition – this combination really does the trick and keeps me energized.
Looking the THE BEST dairy-free coffee creamer? I’ve got you covered. Check out this amazing recipe: 3-MINUTE COCONUT CASHEW MILK. It’s life-changing. Just saying.
Oh, and if you’re looking for something perfect for fall and winter, check out Kit’s STARBUCKS COPYCAT SEASONAL COFFEE CREAMERS. So good!
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How To Drink Coffee Without Sugar Amasake
AMASAKE is another natural sweetener widely used in oriental cuisine, which is obtained from the enzymatic germination of white rice and which can also be easily self-produced at home, and can also be used alone as a magnificent dessert!
It comes from Japan and is a natural sweetener that is obtained from the fermentation of cereals, generally rice, but also oats and millet.
This fermentation is what the work of a microorganism can do, the koji mushroom, which splits the starch of the beans into simpler sugars.
It looks like a more or less dense pasta with a sweet taste: given its consistency, it is ideal for preparing puddings and spoon desserts, but it can also be enjoyed as it is.
Ways To Sweeten Coffee Without Sugar
So, why not just use regular cane sugar in coffee? Well, large amounts of regular sugar can potentially have negative effects on ones immediate and long term health.
An important health benefit of sugar alternatives is a lower glycemic index, which can lower blood pressure and promote heart health.
The American Heart Association recommends limiting sugars in our diet, as sugar can have adverse health effects on our bodies. It can cause weight gain, diabetes, tooth decay, and even an increase in blood sugar levels.
Increased blood sugar levels can eventually lead to the potential for heart disease and other health problems such as cardiovascular disease.
However, this doesnt mean we need to cut out all sweetness! Natural sugar substitutes are a healthier option that can both satisfy our sweet tooth and support the health of our bodies. These healthy alternatives to sugar in coffee are also super tasty!
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Healthy Ways To Sweeten Coffee Brown Cane Sugar
The first valid alternative as a natural sweetener to white sugar is undoubtedly brown cane sugar, very similar to white sugar, both in flavor and sweetening power.In large retailers, often what is passed off as cane sugar is actually nothing but white sugar with dyes.
Brown cane sugar has a slight licorice aftertaste, is grainy, sandy, and browned in color. It is the result of the very first extraction from cane juice after its harvest, typical of Brazil. It is very rich in nutrients such as magnesium, potassium, vitamins, and mineral salts.
There are several varieties, all excellent to try at least once to choose our favorite: panela mascobado* Dulcita rapadura melado de acucar.
What Are Natural Sweeteners
Concerns about sugar and artificial sweeteners have led to a marked increase in consumption of natural sweeteners.
Of course, you might consider sugar a natural sweetener. After all, its just sucrose , extracted from natural sources like sugar cane, sugar beets and corn. However, the refined brown or white sugar that we consume every day is heavily processed with chemicals before it gets to our table or into our foods.
The juice from sugar cane or beets is filtered, turned into syrup and then crystallized meaning the vitamins and minerals are virtually all removed when table sugar is made. In other words, refined sugar is way past the natural stage. Unhealthy high-fructose corn syrup is sweetened even more, by chemically changing much of its glucose into fructose with the help of enzymes. Its even less natural.
So if natural sugar isnt really a natural sweetener. What is? Generally speaking, natural sweeteners are sugars which havent been chemically refined, and havent been stripped of all their nutritional value.
Heres one example. Think about sweetening a cup of tea with raw honey, straight from the farm. That sweetener is just about as natural as you can get.
Some natural sweeteners, though, are more natural than others. And the FDAs definition of natural doesnt help it only says that a natural product cant contain artificial ingredients, and it can only be processed in a manner that does not fundamentally alter the product.
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Benefits And Risks Of Using Agave Nectar Instead Of Sugar In Coffee
You can attain several health benefits from using agave syrup or nectar in your coffee instead of sugar. These include:
Table sugar contains mainly sucrose, which can impact blood sugar in a way that is harmful to those who have diabetes. In light of this, such individuals are advised to ditch table sugar and other added sugars where possible .
A good alternative for such individuals is agave syrup. It has a lower glycemic index than table sugar, which helps in controlling blood sugar . Stable blood sugar levels are significant for individuals with diabetes.
Agave nectar contains a small amount of vitamin B-6, which plays a crucial role in metabolism. It is mainly concerned with the metabolism of carbohydrates and proteins .
Improving Heart Health
The vitamin B-6 in agave nectar can also help in improving heart health. It helps lower your homocysteine levels, which protect you against strokes and heart diseases .
Reduced Depression Levels
Agave syrup also contains small amounts of folate and vitamin K. These two have a vast array of mental health benefits. WebMD acknowledges that the two have been associated with reduced depression risk .
Sugar Alternatives To Try
Is sugar your dietary weakness? Many people crave it. But even if you dont necessarily have a sweet tooth, it can be tough to avoid sugar altogether. Nearly everything contains added sugar from soda and other sweetened drinks to almost all processed foods.
Fortunately, a wide range of sugar substitutes and sweeteners both natural and artificial are available to help reduce the amount of table sugar in your diet. Limiting sugar intake is especially important for older adults.
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Which Kind Of Water Is Best For Sweeter Coffee
You should use filtered or bottled water because tap water can have funky flavors that could make your coffee taste worse.
The temperature needs to be around 195°F to 205°F
If youre using an electric drip machine than you probably dont need to worry too much about the temperature because the machines regulate it for you.
But temperature makes a difference so when youre using a kettle its best to let your water sit for 30 seconds to a minute off the heat after it has boiled.
If the water is too hot when it hits the coffee more of those bitter flavors could end up in your cup. And as you probably guessed, if its too cold your coffee will be watery and weak.
Best Healthy Alternatives To Sugar In Coffee
1. Liquid Stevia
Unlike other sweeteners, liquid stevia has no aftertaste or acquired taste! This zero-calorie sweetener that comes from the stevia plant has no calories or carbohydrates, making it a healthier substitute to refined sugar.
Interestingly, it is thought that using drops of stevia in moderation can benefit our immune systems! I use the SweetLeaf brand, notice no bitter aftertaste, and think it’s great!
If you notice any bitterness with your stevia, try adding just a pinch of sea salt to balance it out. It sounds strange, but it really works! Or just try another brand.
Keep in mind that every brand of liquid stevia has a different level of sweetness. With some you may need 10 drops in your cup of coffee and with others you may need 20 drops. It takes a little experimentation to get it just right.
2. Monk fruit extract
What is monk fruit?
Monk fruit is a small, round fruit native to northern China. This sweetener is extracted from the fruit itself, making it a natural sweetener and a raw sugar.
Monk fruit has received the generally recognized as safe or GRAS designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Although it is new to the U.S. market, some evidence suggests there may be health benefits to this natural alternative to refined sugar.
Monk fruit is a definitely one of our top healthy alternatives to sugar in coffee!
3. Pure Maple Syrup
5. Coconut sugar
What does a low glycemic index mean?
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Artificial Sweeteners For Coffee
Artificial sweeteners are synthetic rather than naturally occurring.
They make me nervous and often taste weird so I hardly ever use them. Stevia tastes kind of weird too, but Im more comfortable with it so Ill use it over the artificial stuff if I have to.
Artificial sweeteners can also mess up the bacteria in your gut, and when you already have digestive problems introducing them may not be the best idea.
Im including artificial sweeteners in this post because lots of other people like to use them.
A few of the top artificial sweeteners for coffee are:
Next Time You Reach For The Sugar Bowl Try Stirring One Of These In Your Coffee Instead:
Ive tried all these substitutes and they work I havent had to put sugar in my coffee since!
- Cinnamon Adding cinnamon to your coffee adds a hint of sweetness and also provides the immune system with a boost, which we can all use in the morning! I just sprinkle a little bit on top, but some people stir it into the grounds before brewing or stick in a cinnamon stick. If you would like to vary the flavor you can also try nutmeg or cardamom.
- Nut Milk, Coconut Milk, Coconut Cream or Organic Cream This is a great way to add an instant full bodied feel to your coffee. Coconut is naturally sweet and will sweeten your coffee without refined sugar. What I like to do is add my homemade coconut milk to a milk frother before adding it to my coffee . The frother really helps to add creaminess youll never miss the dairy creamers! For extra flavor, you can add a bit of vanilla extract to the coconut or nut milk to create your own homemade vanilla dairy-free creamer.
- Unsweetened Cocoa or Cocao Powder The chocolate mixed with the coffee enhances the subtle notes in the beans that you may not have noticed before. Cacao has also been shown to provide important antioxidants which can increase the overall quality of your morning coffee. A small amount can be stirred into the coffee itself or into the grounds before brewing.
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How To Sweeten Coffee Without Sugar: 19 Healthy Alternatives
EnjoyJava helps coffee lovers make the best cup of coffee. When you use our links, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.
Looking for a healthy sugar alternative for your coffee? In this post, youll learn how to sweeten coffee without sugar. We cover 19 natural and artificial sweeteners, plus spices and healthy fats.
Youll also learn how to choose the best beans and brew methods for a better flavor .
Unsweetened Or Sweet Coffee: Which One Is Better
Coffee additives often depend on personal preference. However, it is widely agreed that when it comes to health, unsweetened coffee is better. Even just a little bit of sugar can make an impact on your health and your waistline. Coffee is also well known for its health benefits, such as providing energy and helping to burn fat, but these benefits are offset with the addition of sugar.
If youre trying to get a boost of energy or want to drink coffee to support your heart health, choose black coffee or go with sugar alternatives. The coffee will still taste great and will provide the benefits you need.
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Best And Worst Ingredients To Add To Your Coffee According To Experts
There are few things more personal than your coffee order. My grandmother insists on the first cup of a freshly perked pot when we share Sunday brunch, black. My mother microwaves her coffee for a mouth-numbing 1 minute, 35 seconds, with half a Splenda packet and a third of a cup of 2% milk. My friend Maddy orders an extra-hot cappuccino with an extra shot and oat milk.
Whatever your extra-special order is, we asked nutritionists to rate whether your coffee additions have a positive, negative or neutral effect on your health. And dont worry if your current order isnt nutritionist-approved, they have suggestions for healthier options to try.