Diabetes is challenging when it comes to opting a food item as artificial sweeteners are a strict no. However, natural sweeteners are always a better pick.
Here are a few best natural sweeteners for diabetics that are better than sugar:
1. Maple Syrup
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Organic maple syrup can be a much better option than traditional sugar since it contains zinc and infection-fighting polyphenol antioxidants. Maple syrup is sourced from tree sap and so, it goes through minimal processing to reach its conventional form. Always be sure to pick the darker maple syrup as it contains higher amounts of antioxidants.
If you want to add a little sweetness to your food, honey is one of the best options. Honey has enormous benefits as long as you purchase it raw, unpasteurized and unfiltered. It contains a range of powerful antioxidants like polyphenols which help promote heart health and beat cancer. In addition, the bee pollen in honey has been shown to boost the immune system.
(Image source from: Santos Organics)
This sweetener is made by boiling sugar down to remove the sucrose. The thick syrup that is left behind is molasses. The blackstrap molasses is the most nutrient-dense form of molasses which is achieved by processing the syrup three times to remove as much sucrose as possible. Indeed blackstrap molasses contains more iron than any other natural sweetener.
These sweet delights are completely unprocessed and can be eaten dried, fresh or pureed into recipes. However, keep their intake to a minimum as they are very high in fructose.
5. Coconut Sugar and Nectar
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These sweeteners are derived from the coconut blossoms of the coconut tree, and not the coconut itself. Overall this is still a better option than regular sugar as it does contain nutrients like zinc, potassium, and short-chain fatty acids. Coconut sugar contains inulin fiber, which has been shown to help improve diabetic health, as it helps slow the absorption of glucose and keep blood-sugar levels balanced. But you would have to eat a lot to make a difference so you would better stick to natural options.
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A zero-calorie low-glycemic sweetener that’s natural sounds too good to be true. But it all depends on what kind of stevia you are buying. Make sure that you pick raw, organic stevia that is still in its green form. Avoid conventional stevia brands that are often heavily processed and bleached.
With any of these options, moderation is still key and you should only stick to a few tablespoons in a day.
By Sowmya Sangam