Low-fructose alternatives offer a healthier option to refined sugar

Our national attraction to foods and drinks containing refined sugar has led to an accumulation of health issues ranging from obesity to tooth decay. Thankfully, natural sugar substitutes exist that provide a healthy dose of sweet without some of the negative side effects.

 Here is a look at some of the more common natural sugar substitutes. Keep in mind there is no perfect, issue-free option. The prudent course of action is to do enough research so you can make an informed decision about the safe use of any of the following natural sugar substitutes.

Stevia – This popular natural sugar substitute packs 100 to 300 times the sweetening power of sugar. Stevia as a sweetener usually comes as ground-up power from the leaf of the stevia plant. On the positive side, you don’t need much of it, and it is virtually calorie-free so it doesn’t spike your blood sugar. Just be careful with how much you use, and read the package label to be sure it hasn’t been mixed with sugar alcohols.

Chicory – This natural sweetener also does not spike your blood sugar as much as regular table sugar. Other positive side effects include the soluble fiber, B vitamins and essential minerals it contains. However, chicory often is combined with other ingredients that make its calorie count rather unpredictable. Again, the read the ingredient label to make sure other sugars haven’t been added.

Honey – Raw honey is about as natural as sweeteners get. It contains B vitamins and other nutrients, but is relatively high in calories. It is best used in small amounts rather than as your primary source of sweetener.

Coconut sugar – While not as sweet as some natural sugar substitutes, coconut sugar offers the benefits of being low in fructose and low on the glycemic index scale, which means it won’t spike your blood sugar as much as some options. On the downside, it has about the same number of calories and regular sugar and is rather pricy.

Using natural sugar substitutes doesn’t reduce the need for dental cleanings

 While some natural sugar substitutes are better for your body and your teeth than regular sugar, that doesn’t excuse you from going to the dentist for regular cleanings. Your teeth will need dental care for the rest of your life regardless of how well you eat and drink, but cutting back on sugary foods and drinks certainly will help you retain your smile.

Contact Janssen Dental Clinic at 920-983-8383 today to schedule your appointment with Dr. Craig and his team.

About Janssen Dental Clinic in Green Bay, Wisconsin

Janssen Dental Clinic is led by Dr. Craig Janssen, a third-generation dentist serving patients in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and the surrounding area. Dr. Craig and his staff specialize in reducing the fear and anxiety that people of all ages feel over going to the dentist, with services ranging from routine cleanings to restorative and cosmetic procedures. Call (920) 983-8383 to schedule an appointment. New patients are always welcome.

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