Come the month of October and festivals follow one another in line. No Indian festival is complete without sweets. But the celebrations leave diabetics and weight watchers thinking whether they are a boon or a bane to them. Relishing sweets places them at a risk of high glucose level and weight gain but it also seems difficult to refrain from them.
This dilemma is traceable to the detrimental effects of refined sugar used in the preparation of sweets. Refined sugar is nothing but a bunch of calories with nutrients missing. Apart from increasing the blood glucose level and puffing you with calories, it leads to tooth decay, fatty liver, addiction and high cholesterol.
The sugar-free alternatives available in the market boast of being devoid of calories but they are a strict no-no. It is a wrong notion that they can be used as an alternative to refined sugar without compromising on taste .They are equally notorious as sugar when it comes to health.
Given these health risks let’s look at the options available for dessert lovers, the organic sweeteners that can be used in preparing your recipes.
The name itself dissolves sweetness in your mouth. Loaded with enzymes, antioxidants, iron, zinc, potassium, calcium, phosphorus and vitamin B6, 1 tablespoon of honey is capable of giving 64 calories. Don’t worry it doesn’t increase your glycemic load. Neutralising the free radicals and promoting healthy bacteria in the digestive system are its known benefits. But remember to use only raw honey, pasteurisation destroys all its health benefits.
It is a concentrated product of date, cane juice or palm sugar and can vary from golden brown to dark brown in colour. It’s colour is indicative of its purity, golden yellow being relatively pure than brown.
Used as a sweetener in laddus in Gujarat and puran poli in Maharashtra, it has a richer taste and contains trace minerals like iron, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus and calcium not found in refined sugar. Furthermore, easy to digest, provides instant energy, strengthens the nervous system and relaxes the muscles.
Organic jaggery is produced by crushing sugarcane originating from organic farms of India. Devoid of pesticides, chemicals, flavouring agents, preservatives, microbial contaminants and impurities it’s a perfect choice to incorporate in your delicacies.
Ever thought of using the dates you eat as a sweetener?
Obtained from the date palm tree, they are easy to digest and help in metabolising fats, proteins and carbohydrates. They are a rich source of copper, potassium, iron, manganese, magnesium and Vitamin B6. Helping to reduce cholesterol and preventing stroke, they are your heart’s best buddy.
They can be used as a sweetener in cookies, muffins, cakes and pies in the form of date paste.
You would have heard of coconut water and coconut milk but not of coconut sugar?
It is the sugar produced from the sap of cut flower buds of coconut palm and packed with nutrients like iron, zinc, calcium, potassium, phosphorus and antioxidants. It’s increasingly becoming a craze as a natural sweetener due to this high mineral content and low glycemic load.
Just whirl the coconut sugar in liquids brought in for your recipe.
A natural product from the maple tree and an incredible source of manganese, calcium, potassium, zinc and antioxidants, it prevents damage by free radicals. Darker syrups are preferred over lighter syrups due to more beneficial antioxidants. It is heat stable making it apt for any recipe.
No more stress of gaining weight and uncontrolled sugar. Just enjoy your organic delicacies this Diwali.