Sugar or substitutes?
Sugar is one of the most widely used sweeteners, either in drinks or in desserts; However, the intake of this becomes dangerous when we exceed a certain limit, since it can become the cause of various diseases, such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, kidney or liver problems, among others.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that the consumption of added sugar should be less than 5% of daily calories ; that is, if a person eats 2,000 calories a day, their sugar intake should be less than 25g . However, this is not usually the case in Mexico, since 85% of Mexicans consume a much higher amount.
According to a 2014 study by JAMA Internal Medicine, people who ate 17% to 21% of their daily calories from sugar are 38% more likely to die from cardiovascular disease.
If you are one of those people who find it difficult to give up sugar because you enjoy desserts and sweet drinks, remember that, fortunately, there are alternatives so that you can enjoy the taste while taking care of your health.
What is the difference between sugar and sugar substitutes?
Sucrose , commonly called sugar, is extracted from sugar cane and is the most widely used, because it is a carbohydrate that is easily absorbed by the body and provides a significant amount of energy almost instantly. Importantly, because of that, it also generates high blood sugar levels, which results in insulin spikes.
There are also other natural sweeteners, such as the following:
- Fructose, from fruits.
- Maltose, from wheat.
- Glucose, from carbohydrates.
- Lactose, from dairy.
On the other hand, sugar substitutes are known to be used as sweeteners with low or no calorie levels, which is why they are commonly used in special products for diets or people with diabetes.
Once you know the generalities of them, it is easy to see that the differences are in the caloric impact that your body will receive when ingesting them, but let's take a closer look at the most common sugar substitutes.
Stevia or Stevia
It is the best known, surely you have heard and seen a lot about this sugar substitute, this sweetener is obtained from the extract of the plant of the same name and sweetens between 200 and 300 times more than sugar.
Monk Fruit or Monk Fuit
It is extracted from the fruit of the same name, has no calories and sweetens between 150 and 200 times more than sugar.
It is a sugar alcohol naturally present in fruits and fermented foods; It has between 60% and 70% the sweetness of sugar but with fewer calories. Erythritol is famous for not causing a large increase in blood sugar, and it does not cause tooth decay.
This is a natural sweetener present in wheat and some fruits, although it can also be produced commercially from fructose or corn; It has about 70% the sweetness and 10% of the calories from sugar. Like erythritol, allulose does not generate insulin spikes or an increase in blood sugar level, nor does it generate oral bacteria that cause cavities. This sweetener is the most similar to sugar, in terms of texture and flavor.
Do they taste and use the same as sugar?
The sugar substitutes that we present to you are the most common on the market, you can find them in different presentations; Although they serve the purpose of sweetening dishes and drinks, some of them have a bitter aftertaste.
Due to the different presentations, you can use them in the same ways as sugar, but you must bear in mind that you will have to make a small conversion when making the recipes that are based on sugar; Most of the products come with a conversion table, although you can also find it on their official website.
We share the following conversion chart with the best known:
As you can see, both sugar and substitutes have pros and cons; Remember that the option to choose will always be the one that is best for your health and that you enjoy when eating, since these substitutes may be the best solution if you are one of those people who cannot give up sugar but want to have a healthier diet .