Hello Lovely Blossoms,
Have you ever made a recipe and used coconut sugar, molasses or sweetener and thought... well it's healthy right? The reality is much less sweet. There are so many sugar substitutes and varieties that it's easy to just give up and buy the usual old white sugar pack. Before we start off, I am not going to tell you what sugar to buy and what to leave...that is up to you. But let's educate each other a little bit more on the subject.
Now I will be the first one to admit that a tasty sugary treat is like cuddling a fluffy bunny in the middle of winter, but we can't have that all of the time. I have never been the biggest fan of white sugar so I always opted for brown sugar because I have always been told that it is the healthier option... turns out even this is trickery since it is basically white sugar with molasses added to give the brown look and molasses taste... but nutrition wise they are basically the same.
Sugar can be such a tricky subject because there is a vast amount of misinformation regarding this sweet ingredient. If you see items in the store marked "sugar free" they most likely contain molasses or honey or artificial sweetener and sometimes in large quantities. These is all forms of sugar, granted some are more natural forms of sugar but still they are sugar.
Coconut sugar is not the magical sugar solution that we all hoped for... this is made from the flower buds on the coconut palm... and big surprise.... its got the exact same calories per gram as normal white sugar. So the biggest difference between the two would be the enormous price gap.
Honey is a more natural form of sugar but you need to keep an eye on your intake because it has a higher calorie percentage than white/brown sugar and. The problem I have with substituting honey for sugar is that it is more expensive and we tend to consume more because it is just that delicious. So by cutting down your sugar with more honey seems to defeat the point....
There are some more sugar varieties I am not going to dive into because I feel these are the main ones people grab to feel they eat "more healthy" so I figured to start with them and I will later do a full on blog about the other varieties if need be.
The trick to moderate your sugar intake in the healthiest way is to eat nutritious fruits and vegetables and cut down on baked goods or added sugars. I love being in the kitchen and whipping up a batch of flapjacks or a quick home made bread, I do however watch the frequency in which I prepare these. We eat a home cooked nutritious meal every day of the week as much as we can, some days we treat ourselves with something naughty but I mean that is just life's little pleasures.
So the goal is not to cut down, but instead use in moderation, you can allow yourself some sweet things at times as long as you mostly allow healthy things. We are human, we cannot live with the illusion that we will never make mistakes or never have a sweet snack or doughnut for that matter, so allow yourself the occasional "reward" and you will stop feeling guilty when you do.
As you can see, we opt for brown sugar, simply because I feel that some of the alternatives are super expensive for the little difference in nutrition you get and in calorie consumption. If you have a sugar type that you love, be it molasses, honey or white sugar just keep ALL intake in moderation and you will be fine.
Here are some of the things we did that moderated our sugar intake a-lot:
Stop adding sugar to your coffee/tea... this might seem like such a harsh step but it is just going to be that first week that you think "I can't do this", then it will feel totally normal to not add any sugar, and it rocks.
When I bake any recipe, I always cut the sugar amount because I generally feel that recipes seriously don't need to be THAT sweet... and usually the ones you find online overcompensate on sweetness...You will be surprised to find that your baked goods still taste amazing with a little less sugar.
I stopped adding sugar to my cereals, they mostly already contain sugar so you are only piling on the bad stuff if you add more.
These points are a great start if you want to moderate the sugar in your home a little more, I will be exploring a few recipes over the coming weeks to post and review that you can make with less sugar but still gives that satisfying sweet taste.
To read the truth behind coconut sugar - https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/coconut-sugar
Photo credit - https://www.littlesnapsphoto.com
Till next time, be blessed.