We are all set to begin the New Year with new pledges and resolutions to stay fit and tune in to a healthy lifestyle. To beat a big hurdle in your healthy resolution -- dieting boredom -- one needs to keep the diet plan and healthy eating target as exciting and simple as possible. Nature has blessed us with a few natural sweeteners which can best fit into our healthy diet, says
nutritionist and fitness trainer Iram Zaidi. Here are her four top natural sweeteners.
Stevia-plant based, zero calorie, easy to use and safe sweetener
Stevia is getting popular across the world as a natural sweetener. There were certain misconceptions with its bitter taste as a majority of products were based on traditional stevia sweeteners offered in the form of high purity Reb A molecule. A recently developed variety of stevia tastes exactly like sugar, so that our taste buds should not be compromised. Given stevia can replace some unwanted sweetener calories, it can be one tool for cutting calories from your daily diet without affecting blood sugar or insulin levels.
* Sugarcane juice -- Nature's superfluid and a great sweetener
Sugarcane juice has been a part of Indian culture for thousands of years. Ayurveda acharyas prefer the juice to be extracted from healthy canes and consumed in hygienic form. A great energy drink, skin toner, body cleanser and loaded with a variety of medicinal properties to fight a majority of diseases, sugarcane juice is unfortunately missing from our diet plans. One of the biggest reasons was the hygiene factor. Now, a bottled sugarcane juice or cold-pressed sugarcane juice are good pick-ups for a healthy start.
* Honey -- Nature's best anti-biotic and great sweetener
Natural honey is loaded with nutrients and is an essential part of Indian home remedy solutions from ages. It has proteins, minerals, and vitamins. The plant enzyme amylase present in raw honey is effective in breaking down and helping the predigestion of the starches and also helps to raise the level of antioxidants required in the body. One teaspoon of honey is only about 20 calories.
* Coconut sugar -- lower glycemic index and great nutritional value
Coconut sugar is also called coconut palm sugar. It is a natural sugar made from sap, which is the sugary circulating fluid of the coconut plant. It is a good source of minerals like iron, zinc, calcium and potassium, along with some short chain fatty acids, polyphenols and antioxidants. Coconut sugar and coconut nectar contain a fiber known as inulin. This fiber may help slow glucose absorption, offering an alternative for those dealing with diabetic concerns.
So, go ahead with these natural sweeteners as there is no need to put an extra effort to fight your sweet tooth by eliminating sugar from your meals.
(Views expressed are personal. Zaidi can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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