Sugar is as unhealthy as it is sweet. Nutrition tells us this and common sense tells us this as well. Sugar has a drug like effect on our brains, and has directly contributed to diseases like heart disease, obesity and diabetes. Sugar can also raise our blood pressure and slow down out metabolism. With all these reasons to avoid sugar, we know we need to move on from the sweet stuff. But we can’t just give up on all the treats we love so much, that wouldn’t be a very fun retirement. The solution is to find a healthier option to sugar to factor into our diets. Let’s look at the top-rated sugar alternatives.
What are Our Options?
According to Dr. Rohini Radhakrishnan, alternatives to sugar can be found as:
- Maple Syrup
- Fruit-based sugars, like monk fruit
- Other plant-based sweeteners, like stevia
- Xylitol, which is an alcohol-based sugar
Some of these options are pretty common and can be found in large quantities at any grocery store. The main point in looking for alternatives to sugar is to be healthier.
Why are These Options Healthier?
These sugar alternatives meet all the qualifications to be healthier options. That is because most of them are lower in calories, aren’t nearly as addictive, and are just as sweet or sweeter as sugar. They all also have no dependency on fructose, which is the chemical in sugar that does a considerable amount of damage to the human body. That said, they will satisfy any craving for something sweet.
The Monk fruit sweetener, for example, is approximately 300 times sweeter than normal table sugar. Although it originally had fructose in its chemical makeup, monk fruit sweetener relies on mogroside mainly for its flavor and any fructose is eliminated in the processing phase. Additionally, mogroside in the monk fruit acts as an anti-inflammatory, helping with blood pressure and digestion.
Other sugar alternatives like honey, maple syrup, and coconut have natural sugar that accelerate the body’s digestive process like sugar cane does. Plant-based sugars, like stevia, and alcohol-based sugars, like xylitol, have a minimal calorie count, are better for our blood pressure, and don’t damage our teeth.
With options like these, it’s a wonder why we feel like we need to worry about sugar at all. The Council for Retirement Security is working hard to provide seniors with the information that empowers them to be healthier in retirement. By making better choices, armed with proper knowledge, you can become healthier and stay that way, long into your golden years.