Sugar consumption is a contributing factor to an increased chance of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, dementia, macular degeneration, renal failure, chronic kidney disease, and high blood pressure. Many of us are constantly trying to find healthy ways to sweeten our foods and replace the enemy that is sugar.
You may think artificial and zero calorie sweeteners are a good substitute for sugar, but you may want to think again.
The debate continues as some studies conclude artificial sweeteners are quite harmful to your health, and actually trick your body into eating more. However, studies conducted by the National Cancer Institute and other health agencies say that artificial sweeteners are generally safe in limited quantities.
Why not take a step back from the debate and discover safe, natural ways to substitute sugar like figs and dates!
Minerals love figs! Figs supply excellent sources of calcium, potassium and iron, and have the highest combined mineral concentration of any cultivated fruit. Figs also have lots of fiber to help you poop! Figs are wonderful for bone health, blood health and digestive health.
You can make a fig puree for using as both a sugar and fat substitution. Combine 8 ounces of fresh figs and 1/4 -1/3 cup of water in a blender; puree until smooth. Soak figs in water until softened before pureeing.
Dates are great for the stomach, bones and blood. They are rich in minerals like calcium, iron, phosphorus, copper and manganese, and help also help you poop (Take that Beano!) Their complex natural sugar constitution boosts your metabolism.
Date puree can substitute 1 cup of sugar in any recipe. Puree 1 cup pitted dates with 1/2 – 1 cup hot water until a thick paste is made.
- Use fig and date puree in baked recipes, as a substitution for both fat and sugar. Replace up to half the fat in a recipe with the puree, and reduce or eliminate the sugar called for.
- Use the puree as a spread over toast and fruits
- Thin puree out with more water and use as a liquid sweetener for coffee, drinks and in place of honey or maple syrup in your recipes.
While were at it, Here are 20 other AMAZINGLY HEALTHY Foods
Almonds – great slimming fats that control appetite; other mixed nuts are good as well
Beans (black, kidney, lima, more) – packed with fiber and protein
Cinnamon – significantly helps control blood sugar
Grapefruit – lowers your fat-storage hormone, insulin
Whole Grain Oats – ½ cup contains a great amount of fiber and slimming resistant-starch
Avocado – healthy and slimming fats, also controls appetite
Wild Salmon – healthy fats and protein
Blueberries – fiber and ANTIOXIDANTS!
Broccoli / Celery / other greens – anti-Cancer and great fiber
Red Wine – anti-aging Resveratrol, stick to one glass!
Green Tea – antioxidants and great fat burner
Lentils – protein, fiber and a boost of metabolism. Costco carries a great and easy Lentil microwaveable package
Orange – ranks highest of 38 fruits on a list of most satiating, plus the Vit C!
Quinoa – lean friendly substitute for rice, high in protein and complex carbs
Kale – loaded with Vit C, B and calcium….make some Kale Chips!
Sunflower Seeds – good fats and Vit E
Sweet Potatoes – fiber, protein and Vit A and C
Greek Yogurt – low sugar variety, high in proteins and healthy fat – much preferred over regular yogurt; get the!
Coconut Oil – cook with it; super healthy fats that are burned for energy and cause fat loss; also builds immunity!
Turmeric (curcumin) spice – great anti-cancer benefits; powerful anti-inflammatory for arthritis, heart disease and more