Keeping your sugar intake down is a key part of managing type 2 diabetes. Let’s discuss some alternatives to refined sugar that will satisfy your sweet tooth but are safer and won’t spike blood glucose.
Dates are very sweet and often referred to as nature’s caramel. They contain fiber and many vitamins and minerals that your body needs. It only takes a couple to sweeten a yummy dessert or just eat them plain to tickle your taste buds. They have a hard pit in the center so just simply remove it before chowing down.
Berries are a great alternative to refined sugars. They contain phytonutrients which fuel your body with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that help to repair DNA damage from exposure to toxins and detoxify carcinogens. I like to add frozen (thawed) berries to my oatmeal in the morning. I call it my fruit-meal! The juice from the frozen berries also makes a tasty syrup. I also add a few dashes of cinnamon to my fruit-meal which leads to my next recommendation.
Cinnamon is the perfect spice to add to oatmeal, applesauce and tea. It acts as a great flavor enhancer without the need for extra sugars. Cinnamon can also help lower blood sugar by increasing insulin sensitivity, making insulin more efficient at moving glucose into cells. It has also been found in studies to help reduce cholesterol levels. Win!
Applesauce is a versatile food that you can add to baking recipes or just have as a dessert with a couple dashes of cinnamon. Makes sure you buy the unsweetened kind to avoid added sugars or make it at home. It’s simple! Take 3lbs of cored and sliced apples, 1/2 cup water and 1/2 tsp cinnamon and place it all in a pot. Let it cook over medium heat for 20 minutes. Use an immersion blender, food processor or potato masher to puree the mixture but leaving it a little chunky. If you want it a little sweeter just use sweeter apples or add a couple of pitted dates to the pot while cooking.
Bananas are a great sweetener! They are perfect for baking or making banana nice cream. I like to add berries, vanilla extract, cocoa powder and dates or nut butter to banana nice cream to have a nice variation of flavor. The riper the banana the sweeter it is. To make banana nice cream just add frozen bananas, and any extras that I mentioned, to your blender with 1/4 cup unsweetened plant milk. Add more plant milk if needed to get a smooth consistency.
Vanilla extract is great for sweetening because it gives a sweet taste without the unnecessary sugars. It is very potent so a little goes a long way. I love adding vanilla to my morning green smoothies to give them an extra umph of sweetness.
I hope this helps you to sweeten up your day in a healthy way! Which sugar alternative will you be trying out first?