How to you flavour and sweetness to cooking while also using less sugar

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NHS guidelines, added sugars should not make up more than 10% of the energy or calorie intake you obtain from food and drink everyday. Which is approximately 70g for men and 50g for women.

Six types of sugar:

• Glucose: Simple sugar that can be carried in the blood. One half of sucrose or table sugar

• Fructose: Simple sugar that occurs naturally in fruit. The other half of sucrose

• Sucrose: Table sugar it is refined and occurs naturally in sugar cane or beets

• Lactose: Milk sugar, which makes up just less than 5% of cow’s milk

• Maltose: Two joined-up glucose molecules
• High fructose corn syrup: Where half of the syrup’s glucose has been converted into fructose. Chemically very similar to sucrose.

Coconut palm sugar is produced from the sap of the coconut palm’s flower buds, coconut palm sugar has a glycaemic index rating of 35; notably lower than refined sugar. Coconut palm sugar is therefore a perfect substitute in cooking as the affect on your blood sugars is less dangerous. Also, it is more nutritious containing; amino acids, potassium, magnesium, zinc, iron and B vitamins. Conveniently it can be used in the same ration as refined table sugar in recipes.

Fruit contains a simple sugar called fructose along with fibre, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Increase fibre intake, by replacing table sugar with chopped or pureed fruit to sweeten yoghurt, cakes like in a banana bread recipe or mashed bananas in flapjack instead of sugar and golden syrup, (the negative is a shorter shelf life) some food may be frozen. Fruit peel is also full of antioxidants and can be grated into smoothies or used to tenderise meat. Add chopped apples making muesli. Humans are not meant to consume as much sugar as we do only a limited amount in proportion to our calorie intake in a varied balanced diet, such as fructose which is naturally occurring sugar in fruit.
The NHS recommends eating five portions of fruit and vegetables per day, each weighing 80g of different colours to benefit from the different vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

Agave nectar is a sweetener from several species of the agave plant in Mexico consists of glucose and fructose. It is about 1.5 times sweeter than table sugar and has a similar consistency to honey.
It is used as an alternative to sugar as it has a much lower glycemic index than that of sucrose. It is used as a vegan alternative to honey as it is a plant.
The ratio of fructose to glucose is roughly 70% fructose to 30% glucose, whereas sucrose is 50% fructose to 50% glucose. However, there is no proof that refined agave syrups are healthier than refined sugar as they still contain the same number of calories per serving.

strong>Honey is a naturally sweet liquid (made from the nectar of flowers and collected by honey bees), 80% natural sugars, 18% water and 2% minerals, vitamins, pollen and protein. Fructose and glucose make up 70% of honey’s natural sugar content, the balance determines if honey is cloudy or clear. It is higher in nutrients than processed white sugar. A 100g of caster sugar provides 400kcals of energy, 100g of carbohydrates, equivalent amount of pure clear honey provides on average, 330kcals of energy, 81g of carbohydrate so they are relatively similar. It has benefits antibacterial properties also it has been used as a natural remedy for over 5000 years.
In cooking, replace sugar with honey, use it to add sweetness and flavour to food and drink. In baking cakes it attracts water so keeps cakes moist for longer.

Stevia is a natural sweetener made from the leaves of the stevia plant (Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni), which is native to Paraguay, and mostly grown there and in Brazil.
Steviol glycosides are high intensity sweeteners, 250-300 times sweeter than sucrose, and comes in liquid or powder form.
It has no calories, contains no sugar or carbohydrates and boasts a glycemic index of 0, making it attractive to dieters.
Stevia comes from the stevia plant and has been added to Sprite lemonade by Coca-Cola to lower calories by 30%.
Previously, stevia was mainly known among industry insiders, but since knowledge has been shared it is now an attractive sweetener, as such there is an accelerated growth in use of the ingredient. There was a global increase in stevia used in food production. The EU passed a law, in 2011, allowing stevia to be used in food and drink.

Dextrose
is manufactured from corn, it is a form of glucose, a monosaccharide, which is a “simple” sugar. It is, according to the Oxford Dictionary of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, the traditional name in pharmacy for d‐glucose “the dextrorotatory component of invert sugar”. It can be bought in liquid or powder form, it is gaining in use as a sugar substitute as it is considered by some to be the “good” part of sugar, the glucose, for athletes or those who have been ill. Athletes may use powdered dextrose after exercise to boost energy levels in muscle – as it quickly raises blood glucose levels, as it has a high glycemic index rating of 100.
Other sweet foods can also quickly raise blood glucose levels, however, they can contain sucrose, a combination of glucose and fructose. Fructose does not convert into glycogen in your muscles, which is why athletes prefer to use dextrose.

Xylitol originates from wood but is or was used in food and drinks as a sugar alternative? Personally, I find this concerning and as I suffer from food allergies/intolerances and IBS.
Xyl” is the Greek for wood.
Xylitol was first made from Finnish birch trees in the early 1900s.
However, it is also naturally produced by most living things including trees, fruits, plants, animals and even people, as xylitol being the alcohol form of xylose.
Xylitol is used as a sweetener, it has 40% fewer calories than sugar, 75% less carbohydrates, a low GI (of 7), and believed to inhibit the bacteria in the mouth that causes tooth decay but tastes similar to sugar. It is now used in mints, gum, children’s sweets, and certified by the British Dental Health Foundation.
There are many recipes out on how to cook with it to reduce sugar in the diet.
However, there are also concerns as it can affect people with intestinal or bowel problems.

Tru3 J0y

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