In a world of sugary treats tame your kid's sweet tooth with these natural sweeteners
Undoubtedly, Indian Children have a love for sweets. As a Mother, you are always worried about your kids eating habits. On top of everything, sugar consumption in kids has today become a big concern for every mother.
Undoubtedly, Indian Children have a love for sweets. As a Mother, you are always worried about your kids eating habits. On top of everything, sugar consumption in kids has today become a big concern for every mother. We are a sweet loving nation with the highest sugar consumption in the world and our kids are increasingly becoming sugar dependent. Consumption of added sugar is associated with excess weight gain, obesity, hypertension, dyslipidaemia, fatty liver disease and diabetes.
WHO guideline recommends adults and children reduce their daily intake of free sugars to less than 10% of their total energy intake. A further reduction to below 5% or roughly 25 grams (6 teaspoons) per day would provide additional health benefits. Children should not consume more than 6 teaspoons of added sugar per day, according to new recommendations from the American Heart Association (AHA).
Your key to developing healthy eating habits in young ones is to be a healthy eating and cooking role model. So what if you had alternate solutions to sugar and your kids can enjoy the sweetness at its fullest and be healthy at the same time? Nature has blessed us with a few natural sweeteners which can best fit into your kids' healthy diet. Making these top natural sweeteners a part of your family's culture, you can tame your kid's sweet tooth and allow them to enjoy the sweet delights in a healthy way, says Delhi based Nutritionist and Fitness Trainer Iram Zaidi.
1. Stevia-plant based, zero calories, easy to use and safe sweetener
Stevia is getting popular across the world as a natural sweetener. There were certain misconceptions with its bitter taste as a majority of products were based on traditional stevia sweeteners offered in the form of high purity Reb-A molecule. A recently developed variety of stevia tastes exactly like sugar so that our taste buds should not be compromised. Given stevia can replace some unwanted sweetener calories, it can be one tool for cutting calories from your daily diet without affecting blood sugar or insulin levels.
2. Honey — Nature's best anti-biotic and great sweetener
Natural honey is loaded with nutrients and is an essential part of Indian home remedy solutions from ages. It has proteins, minerals, and vitamins. The plant enzyme amylase present in raw honey is effective in breaking down and helping the predigestion of the starches and also helps to raise the level of antioxidants required in the body. One teaspoon of honey is only about 20 calories.
3. Coconut sugar — lower glycemic index and great nutritional value
Coconut sugar is also called coconut palm sugar. It is a natural sugar made from sap, which is the sugary circulating fluid of the coconut plant. It is a good source of minerals like iron, zinc, calcium and potassium, along with some short chain fatty acids, polyphenols and antioxidants. Coconut sugar and coconut nectar contain a fibre known as inulin. This fibre may help slow glucose absorption, offering an alternative for those dealing with diabetic concerns.
4. Sugarcane juice -- Nature's superfluid and a great sweetener
Sugarcane juice has been a part of Indian culture for thousands of years. Ayurveda acharyas prefer the juice to be extracted from healthy canes and consumed in hygienic form. A great energy drink, skin toner, body cleanser and loaded with a variety of medicinal properties to fight a majority of diseases, sugarcane juice is an ultimate natural sweetener.
So, go ahead with these natural sweeteners as there is no need to put an extra effort to fight your sweet tooth by eliminating sugar from your meal