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7 Low Glycemic Sugar Substitutes (Plus a printable conversion chart!)

7 Low Glycemic Sugar Substitutes (Plus a printable conversion chart!)

There once was a day when what mattered in cooking and baking was only the end result: what the food tasted like, regardless of the consequences and aftermath its ingredients caused. Why? We really didn’t know better. Two sticks of butter? Sure, throw them in. One whole cup of raw sugar? Why not?!

 

Can you relate?

 

According to Mayo Clinic“We need to start talking about how our food supply is making many of us sick.” Left unchecked, sugar can have negative effects on our brain, mood, dental health, joints, skin, liver, heart, pancreas, kidneys, and maintaining a healthy weight.

 

But this isn’t news to you now because now the research has been around for quite some time. In reality, it’s likely you already know all of this. So what do we do about it?

 

Now we know better so we can do better. The more we learn about healthier lifestyle changes, the more we realize sugar can wreak havoc on our diet, waistline, and quality of life.  Plus, with so many amazing alternatives to sugar that can actually contribute to a healthier lifestyle (because not ALL sugar substitutes are good for you), there’s no reason not to integrate healthy sugar substitutes in cooking and baking.

 

This post will explore three aspects of sugar substitutes you need to know to make healthy decisions for your family, included with:

 

  • A Free Sugar Substitutes Printable- a handy sugar conversion guide you can print out and keep taped to the inside of your cupboard for reference anytime you're cooking or baking. GRAB THE DOWNLOAD 
  • Our “Never List” - sugar culprits we promise to never use or carry in our store, Healthy Family Foods
  • Sugar Substitute Roundup - Natural aspects of Stevia and other healthier options with links provided for locating those important products when you need them.

This is one post you’ll want to reference over and over, so take 10 seconds right now to bookmark this page!

 

LET’S REVIEW SUGAR SUBSTITUTE CULPRITS

First, let’s take a look at sugar alternatives to avoid. The following are sweeteners we promise to never use or carry in our store because of their negative effects to your health. Read each description and you’ll quickly see why these sugar substitutes can wreak havoc on your system.

 

Aspartame (NutraSweet, Equal, Spoonful, and more)

“Aspartame accounts for over 75 percent of the adverse reactions to food additives reported to the FDA. Many of these reactions are very serious, including seizures and death. ...Aspartame is made up of three chemicals: aspartic acid, phenylalanine, and methanol. The book Prescription for Nutritional Healing, by James and Phyllis Balch lists aspartame under the category of ‘chemical poison.’”

To learn more, click to find this resource.

 

Sucralose (Splenda)

“Although Sucralose is made from sugar it is not a natural product. Sucralose is produced by a multi-step patented chemical process … [it] may increase blood glucose and insulin levels ... [alter] the gut microbiome by decreasing beneficial bacteria by up to 50% ...and release harmful chloropropanols at high temperatures.”

To learn more, click to find this resource. 

 

Maltitol

Causes indigestion, nausea, gas, bloating, diarrhea, stomach pain, a spiked blood sugar (it’s high on the glycemic index), and weight gain.

To learn more, click to find this resource. 

 

Maltodextrin

Spikes blood sugar, suppresses the growth of probiotics, is made from GMO corn, may cause an allergic reaction or side effects, and has no nutritious value.

To learn more, click to find this resource. 

 

Saccharin (Sweet-n-Low)

“Today, saccharin is commonly manufactured by combining anthranilic acid (used among other things as a corrosive agent for metal) with nitrous acid, sulfur dioxide, chlorine, and ammonia.  Yes, that’s right. Chlorine and ammonia.”

To learn more, click to find this resource.

 

Whew! Now that we have those out of the way, let’s look at “the good stuff” - the sugar substitutes we love, use in our own kitchen, and recommend to our amazing customers.

 

SUGAR SUBSTITUTES WE STAND BEHIND AND WHY

Below are some of our favourite sugar substitutes and the positive effects that come with them when cooking or baking.

 

Stevia

“Stevia is a plant extract, not an artificial sweetener. ...Stevia is a zero-calorie sweetener – it adds a delicious sweet taste without adding calories because the steviol glycosides in stevia pass through the body without effect. ...it has no effect on insulin levels. Stevia has a glycemic index and glycemic load of zero. …Stevia is a high intensity sweetener – its sweet compounds are 200-350 times sweeter than sucrose (table sugar).”

To learn more, click to find this resource.

 

Monk Fruit

“The natural sweetness from the monk fruit comes from mogrosides, not fructose or sucrose. Hence, our sweetener has zero calories, zero glycemic index, and is the healthiest alternative to sugar.” LANKATO

Shop Lankato products

 

Oligosaccharides

“Oligosaccharides are sweet, non-digestible carbohydrates sourced from select fruits and starchy root vegetables. Oligosaccharides are prebiotic fibers, so they’re not only tasty, but they can help stimulate beneficial bacteria in your gut.” SWERVE

Shop Swerve products

 

Erythritol

“Erythritol is made by fermenting glucose with Moniliella pollinis, a natural microorganism. It also naturally occurs in many fruits and vegetables like melons, grapes and asparagus. Erythritol is classified by the FDA as a zero-calorie, 4-carbon sugar alcohol that does not affect blood glucose.” SWERVE

Shop Swerve products

 

Xylitol

“Xylitol is a sugar alcohol that is naturally present in small amounts in various fruits and vegetables. ...Although it is classified as a carbohydrate, this sweet crystalline substance is slowly absorbed from the digestive tract and does not cause rapid rises in blood glucose. In addition, the caloric impact of Xylitol is typically about 40% lower than other carbohydrates, making it a lower calorie addition to any diet. ...Dentists and Nutritionists alike encourage the use of Xylitol due to its unique and clinically proven dental benefits.” NOW FOODS

Shop Xylitol products

 

TIPS FOR USING SUGAR SUBSTITUTES

A word to the wise. Here are a few pointers from years of experience using sugar substitutes in baking.

 

Stevia alone does NOT sweeten chocolate things well. When used by itself, it pairs best with dairy based foods, (yogurt smoothies, cream cheese frosting, etc.) and cold drinks.

 

When using sugar substitutes in baking you have to keep to the bulk factor in mind. If a recipe calls for 1 cup of sugar, replacing with 1/2 tsp stevia oftentimes doesn’t work as the bulk of the sugar is needing. One-half bulk usually works with the addition of stevia to taste, or use a substitute that is a 1:1.

 

Xylitol and erythritol, (particularly xylitol) pair best with chocolate. Because chocolate already has bitter undertones, stevia and monk fruit’s slight tendency to bitterness greatly increases this flavour.

 

When someone is cutting sugar for the first time and starting to use an alternative, I always suggest Gentle Sweet or Swerve. It’s the easiest to adjust to and the most sugar-like in flavor. As you start to use them more and become accustomed to the taste, only then do I suggest people start experimenting with making their own blends.

 

It’s important to note that there are many sugar alternatives we don’t carry because of the negative way they impact blood sugar. Honey has health and medicinal benefits but using it in large quantities for desserts and baking is not always the best alternative to sugar for many reasons. The same goes for other “healthy” alternatives like agave, maple syrups, brown rice syrup etc.

 

SUGAR CONVERSION

Below we’ll review how various sweeteners can be substitutes for sugar, how the blends compare, and where to locate these options to purchase. We created a handy chart you can print and refer to each time you need it. Grab it here: PRINTABLE SUGAR CONVERSION REFERENCE GUIDE

Stevia = 1:300

Super Sweet (Stevia & Erythritol) = 1:4

Gentle Sweet (Stevia, Erythritol, & Xylitol) = 1:2

Monk fruit/Erythritol blend = 1:1

Xylitol = 1:1

Erythritol = 1:1

Swerve (Erythritol & Oligosaccharides) = 1:1

 

At Healthy Family Foods Canada, we don’t just sell health-conscious products, we lead you and encourage you to live a healthy lifestyle. Don’t forget to print off your sugar conversion reference guide.  

Comment below with your favourite sugar substitutes, tips and tricks for eliminating unhealthy sugar substitutes, and questions you have for the rest of the Healthy Family Foods Community.

We look forward to helping you understand how to love your new sugar alternative options and lifestyle!

 


Michelle - 13 Jul 2019 @ 01:01
Love swerve. But I do mix swerve with stevia alot when baking. Coffee gets stevia/ erythritol blend

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