Five foods where one may use healthy sugar substitutes for cooking. Processed sugar can cause chronic illnesses and is best avoided.
Processed Sugar (a.k.a white Sugar) can cause chronic illnesses; therefore, it is best avoided in cooking. Hence, this article shares an integral part of our journey to eradicate white Sugar from cooking – using healthier substitutes! It is one of the healthy kitchen habits that I had discussed in the article here.
Please Sign up to get the updates!
Why avoid Processed Sugar?
White/Processed Sugar is known to spike blood glucose levels and causes many chronic ailments, Type-II Diabetes is just one of them. Studies have also shown that processed sugars and foods containing them also lead to Alzheimer’s Disease [T5 Wellness Plan, Sears, et al.].
Our journey with quitting white sugar
Personally, when I had Gestational Diabetes (Read: How to manage Gestational Diabetes) four years ago, I could see a high-carbohydrate diet increased blood glucose levels. But, Sugar was on another level. Processed Sugar would cause a literal spike in the glucose levels. These blood-glucose spikes are what is behind many ailments today. Long story short, it has been four years since white Sugar or foods with it have stepped in our pantry. An informed, tried, and experimented departure it saw.
How to shop to avoid buying Sugar
When you buy something from the store, please read the ingredient list- please be aware that Sugar is hidden under many names, from high-fructose corn syrup to tapioca syrup. They are all synonyms, and all are better to pass. A good thumb rule is that any food with a long list of ingredients should be a red flag. I’ll save discussing this topic for another post.
Let’s dive in – I will discuss five foods and how you may replace Sugar in them.
The cake was the easiest of them all for us! Banana and jaggery powder do the trick, and within two or three trials, cake with white Sugar may not even go well with the taste buds.
The only pointer that worked for us, initially, I increased cocoa powder and vanilla essence a little to compensate for the transition from Sugar to jaggery.
Letting go of Sugar from Tea was a challenge for us, but now I am thrilled that the struggle is over. Jaggery replaced Sugar a couple of years ago and now, only one out of two cups a day gets added jaggery. Another hack is to have Tea in small cups, which can cut down even the jaggery consumption.
You may also add naturally sweet spices like cardamom and cinnamon to cut down the need to add any other sweetener.
3. Indian Desserts, Puddings, Pancakes, etc.
To begin with, Jaggery powder can easily replace white Sugar in any pudding or Indian desserts. Then, to cut down sweet even further, please give the humble spice, cardamom a try! Did you know that cardamom is a naturally sweet spice? Please try it in the desserts; increasing cardamom a bit can significantly reduce the need to add more sweeteners. Be patient, and you may soon find it difficult to eat processed Sugar.
4. Lemonade/Lemon Juice
Honey can replace Sugar in lemonade, and it doesn’t feel like a downgrade, even initially. If not already, please give it a try. These days, I add honey only occasionally without feeling any compromise in taste.
Again, like lemon juice, for all smoothies, juices bidding farewell to Sugar isn’t challenging at all. Why? Because fruits are naturally sweet; but if you must, adding a couple of dates tastes way better than adding processed Sugar of any form. You may even skip dates altogether if you don’t have a sweet tooth.
Lastly, if you resolve to let go of processed sugars, its best not to bring them home during grocery shopping. That is the first step and a real big one to keep this harmful ingredient out. Then, you may look out for so many better replacements. Soon, your taste buds may become averse to white Sugar! Good luck!