We know that white, refined sugar is bad for us. It’s well known to be addictive—it causes the same changes in our brain dopamine as drug addiction. But it’s more than that. Sugar is linked to unhealthy levels of blood fats, high cholesterol, and many other health problems. The problem is, so many foods are packed with sugar that it can be hard to escape. Well, the good news is that at 12 Health we don’t add any extra sugar to our products. We prefer natural sweeteners.
Why Is Natural Sweetener Better?
The truth is that Australians are heavily addicted to sugar. The average adult consumes more than 24 teaspoons every day, and it’s putting you at risk. In fact, Australia’s sugar consumption is thought to be the highest in the world at 44kg of sugar per year per person. Sugar is an addictive substance that poses serious dangers for long-term health. However, natural sweeteners are a smart alternative to added sugars in beverages and baking. You still get to enjoy the sweet flavour without all the negatives.
Baking with Natural Sweetener
As for baking with all-natural sweeteners, the mixes turn out beautifully. All of our products from our Cacao Protein Muffin Mix to our Vanilla Protein Pancake Mix were designed with Natvia instead of refined sugar. And, when you check out our dessert recipes, you’ll notice that even our Double Chocolate Pancakes with Raspberries and Cashews calls for Natvia or Stevia and not white sugar. It’s an easy change that’s well worth it.
Nativa is 60-70 perfect as sweet as table sugar, yet it is almost non-caloric, and it does not affect blood sugar or cause tooth decay. It’s an all-natural sweetener that tastes like sugar but is made from the leaves of the stevia plant and blended with natural fruit nectars. It’s a healthy and natural alternative to refined sugar. Even better, Natvia has a low GI and contains no aspartame or saccharin.
Agave is a liquid sweetener produced from the sap of the agave cactus plant. The sap is treated with enzymes and heat to become palatable. However, it’s higher in fructose (80 per cent) than any other sweetener.
Stevia is one of the leading natural sweeteners on the market. It can be up to 300 times as sweet as table sugar but is derived from the leaves of the stevia plant. It has virtually no calories, and it doesn’t raise your blood-sugar level. Unfortunately, for some individuals, stevia can leave a bitter aftertaste.
Although less known, erythritol is a non-caloric sweetener that occurs naturally in fruits such as melons, pears, and grapes. It’s about 70 per cent as sweet as table sugar, and is commonly found in baked goods labelled as “light” and low-calorie.” The good news is that 90 per cent of erythritol is excreted in urine within 24-hours so it’s not absorbed into the body and won’t harm your teeth.
And if you’re still craving sugar, check out our blog on how to Beat Your Sugar Cravings with Our Healthy Snacks.