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What Are The Sugar Substitutes For Baking

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What are the sugar substitutes for baking? Sugar substitutes are a blessing for those with diabetes and other sugar related diseases. So very often we use sugar substitutes in our coffee and tea. It is important to remember that those cookies, muffins and pie on the side with coffee may be loaded with sugar. 


Natural sugar substitutes are preferred over artificial sweeteners. Not every sugar substitute is healthy since some of the fructose and sucrose sweeteners are very sweet for consumption. Artificial sweeteners are sugar alternatives that are either chemicals or natural compounds used as food additives with not much extra calories. Saccharine, aspartame, acersulfaneK and sucralose approved by FDA of USA, is used for losing weight or to prevent weight gain by diabetic patients. These do not raise blood sugar levels but researchers have questioned its benefits. Some of these artificial sugars are good in coffee but not so good in baking.


So instead of the refined sugars or artificial sweeteners some of these listed below could be used in baking:


Agave Nectar: This is very similar to Aloe Vera plant. The Agave nectar is a little richer in calories than sugar and 40% sweeter but has a low Glycemic Index compared to sugar and can be used in oatmeal and other products. It can also be mixed in a glass of milk as sugar substitute, the natural form is liquid. 2/3rd cup of agave instead of 1 cup of sugar can be used.


Maple Syrup: This is a healthy natural sugar alternative and sweet as white sugar. Free of preservatives maple syrup is richer in flavor if darker in color. 1 cup of sugar =3/4th cup of maple Syrup. Also can be used in Tea, lemonade etc.


Raw Honey: Low Glycemic Index than white sugar so lesser blood sugar level effect but is more nutritious than sugar. Honey can be heated at low temperature before use. 1 teaspoon of sugar =1 teaspoon of raw honey.


Stevia: This natural sugar has almost 300 times the sweetness of sugar without the calories. Low in carbohydrates and sugars it is a natural sugar alternative but does not caramelize and is used in small quantities. They are found as powdered extracts. 1Teaspoon sugar=1/16th Teaspoon of Stevia is used for baking.


Image credit: Wikimedia

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