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Natural sweeteners: the list of natural sweeteners and the comparison with artificial ones. From natural calorie-free and low-calorie sweeteners.
Before reviewing inatural sweetenerslet's see why it is wise to choose alternatives to white sugar.
Alternatives to refined sugar
Not everyone knows that it is refined white sugar, even if it is of vegetable origin, it is filtered using charcoal of animal origin (animal bones). Also, with the refining process, itwhite sugar it loses all its beneficial nutritional properties.
The result is the sugar we know: a finished product with a crystalline white color and a sweet taste. The contraindications? It is a terribly fattening food and completely devoid of nutrients. In athe alternative to refined sugar there are the natural sweeteners healthier and more nutritious.
Whole cane sugar
Whole cane sugar is obtained from the sugar cane juice that is left to settle, then evaporate. From this process a syrup containing molasses is obtained, which gives the characteristic amber color and non-crystalline appearance.
From a nutritional point of view it contains more mineral salts than white sugar but does not change the energy value, so we are talking about a sugar with many calories, like white sugar. Brown sugar has 384 Kcal per 100 grams of product.
Natural sweeteners: stevia
Between natural calorie-free sweetenersstevia stands out.
Stevia has 250 times more sweetening properties than sugar, it has no calories and has no glycemic index.
Coconut sugar is a natural sweetener rich in trace elements (potassium, calcium, phosphorus, sodium, magnesium and manganese), it has a low glycemic index and its flavor resembles brown sugar but is much more nutritious.
Coconut sugar is anatural sweetenervery interesting. Certainly it cannot be considered among thelow calorie natural sweetenersas it contains sucrose, fructose and glucose (in addition to 4% of inulin and 19% of other polysaccharides).
S.ciroppo of maple
Maple syrup is a sweetener that is obtained from the sap of black maple. It is one of the relatively low-calorie natural sweeteners with a high mineral content. A dose of 100 grams of maple syrup provides 260 calories.
Date sugar is obtained from the dehydration of dates which are then grated and reduced to powder, thus keeping most of the minerals and fibers intact.
Date sugar is not indicated in drinks as it does not dissolve easily, but it represents a valid natural alternative for all those products that require cooking in the oven.
Honey contains a fair amount of vitamins and has antimicrobial properties. It has more calories than refined sugar but it is sufficient to use less as it has greater sweetening power. Useful for sweets and flavoring drinks: tea, coffee, milk, herbal teas and even fresh flavored water!
S.ciroppo of agave
Among the natural sweeteners, we couldn't help but mention agave syrup. Agave syrup is obtained from the evaporation of agave juice at low temperatures, keeping most of the nutrients intact. Agave syrup has the same caloric amount as refined sugar, but is much sweeter, so just like honey just use less.
Sugar cane syrup
Sugar cane molasses is even richer in micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) than cane sugar. It is a raw and therefore unrefined product.
Betweennatural sweetenerswe also include corn syrup. We cannot consider corn syrup as a healthy alternative to refined sugar but it can be useful for the preparation of sweets or drinks.
It is a natural sweetener with a low glycemic index. It has 40% fewer calories than sugar (2.4 kcal per gram). It's anatural sweetenerwhich is obtained from the fibers of the birch and beech bark. It can be used like sugar, except for baked preparations that need to rise.
It's asweetenedobtained from the processing of rice. Contains B vitamins and can be used to make puddings, panna cotta, ice cream or to sweeten drinks. It can be considered alow calorie sweeteneras it provides a third of the calories of classic white sugar (153 kcal per 100 grams of product).
Despite the name suggests the great family ofartificial sweeteners, erythritol is a natural calorie-free sweetener. It is extracted from vegetable sugars subjected to a fermentation process. Its glycemic index is zero and a negligible calorie intake. Limited use is recommended to avoid laxative effects.