Refined sugar is sugar converted from its natural and healthy state to its artificial, unhealthy and addictive state. They can be found in energy drinks, soft drinks, malt drinks, flavoured water, candies, chocolate, packaged fruit juices among others. Refined sugars can be quite unhealthy and should not be consumed by anyone irrespective of age or sex. This is because with high sugar intake comes heart diseases, diabetes, cancer and other deadly diseases. They have empty calories. That is why after eating or drinking anything that contains them, you still crave for some real food. They are bad for your teeth and can also affect your mood. It’s therefore important for you to limit, or if you can, totally avoid their intake. In fact, the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that you cut your sugar intake to 25g or lesser in your daily diet.
Essentially, this sugar is void of essential nutrients required by the body. They are labelled as being unfavourable to your health. I know you may be wondering, “So are you saying I am doomed to eat bland, tasteless meals all my life”? Certainly not! There are nutritious and natural substitutes you can consume in place of refined sugar. We’ve listed some of them below:
Fruits contain sugar, a natural form of sugar with vast essential nutrients and antioxidants. It also contains water and fibre, which can help with the feeling of being full, which you don’t get from refined sugar. Also, they are an important part of a healthy diet. Remember the old saying, “an apple a day, keeps the doctor away”. A good daily mix of fruits will definitely keep you healthy and reduce your visits to the hospital.
Sugar is also naturally found in vegetables and these vegetables are packed with vitamins and fibre. Your body digests the sugar from vegetables slower, thus making it easier for your body to process. Here are few instances of how you can infuse some vegetables in your diet: you can utilize the natural sugar in sweet potatoes by adding it to your meals, you can spice up your water with cucumber and or lemon leaves. You can also make vegetable salad which your body system will be grateful for.
Pure honey which is produced by bees, has lots of essential nutrients like Vit B and iron. Raw honey has various health benefits. Its anti-bacterial compound helps fight infection in the body, and it also boosts the immune system. It contains a molecular structure that is similar to glucose, making easy for the body to digest food. Honey can be added to your tea, papcustard and also can be used in place of sugar to bake cake and other pastries (that cake go cost o).
This is one of the derivatives of coconut. It is taken out from the sap of coconut palm. Coconut sugar is nutritious, contains minerals and fibre as well. It has potassium, sodium, and magnesium, which are important for regulating your body’s water content as well as your heart. Coconut sugar can be used in place of refined sugar in any food.
Do you remember that refreshing feeling you get from taking coconut water at the beach? Coconut water is not only refreshing, it’s also loaded with essential nutrients, including minerals that most people don’t get enough of. This milky juice found in coconuts contains 94% water and very little fat and is a sweet source of hydration. It is low in calories and carbs. So, you can stock up on some coconuts and switch to this whenever you need a healthy refreshing drink other than water.
Sugar cane juice
To get juice from sugar cane, raw sugar is extracted from peeled and crushed sugar cane. It is consumed as a beverage in many places. Sugar cane juice is a healthier option, which feeds the body with natural vitamins and minerals. It is also rich in antioxidants that help fight infections and boosts immunity. Anytime you feel dehydrated and need to take something refreshing, grab a glass of chilled sugar cane juice and enjoy its benefits.
It is understandable that refined sugar cannot be utterly eliminated in your diet, however moderation is key when it comes to its intake. The body constantly needs sugar and this is because it needs it to produce the energy it uses to do both internal and external activities; you can rely on the above-mentioned alternatives to supply this energy.