Sugar consumption is directly related to our skin’s health. This is because foods with a high glycemic index can often lead to inflammation in the body which then affects our skin. Despite the recommended sugar intake for adults being 30 grams per day, this is easily consumed with 2 glasses of store-bought orange juice. Yes – you read it right, just 2 glasses. Take a look at some examples of sugar values in 150ml of each leading orange juice.
So what can you do to avoid refined table sugar? Shayaan Khan of Holistic Force shares his top 5 sugar replacements.
1. Artificial Sweeteners
According to Shayaan, switching from Coke Original to Coke Zero is a simple way to cut out sugar from your drink. Although controversial, research suggests the use of Coke Zero is in fact a healthier option due to the excessively high sugar content in Coke Original.
2. Alternative Syrups
Using syrups like honey and maple syrup are great ways to naturally sweeten food or drink without the use of sugar. Shayaan recommends reading the fine print of the brand you buy. Make sure you are going for syrups that have no added sugar and you are looking for organically sourced raw ingredients. For weight loss, an ideal option would also be low calorie, too! Some of the brands below are great options to start with.
Xylitol naturally occurs in small amounts in some fruit and vegetables. It is categorised as a sugar alcohol that has a very similar sweetness to sugar. However, it is a low-calorie option, offering over 40% fewer calories than refined table sugar. Xylitol also contains no fructose and has a negligible impact on blood sugar.
4. Coconut Sugar
Coconut Sugar is the sugar derived from coconut palm trees. It is the dehydrated sap from the coconut palm – not to be confused with palm sugar. According to Shayaan, this is a better alternative to refined table sugar as it has a lower glycemic index. In addition to this, although in trace amounts, it retains some nutrition from the coconut palm. Coconut sugar should still be used in moderation, as it is not a zero-calorie option.
5. Monk Fruit Sweetener
Monk fruit sweetener is a natural, zero-calorie option that offers up to 250 times greater sweetness than refined table sugar. The sweetener is extracted from monk fruit juice that is dehydrated into a concentrated powder. Monk fruit is unique and derives its sweetness from an antioxidant called ‘mogrosides’ therefore it is also free from glucose and fructose.