Sugar is one of the most popular products in the food and drink industry today. It's depressing to imagine a world without sugar. What would happen to our food and drinks? Well, there are still healthy, sugar-free products out there.
And with almost every food we consume containing sugar, it's time we ask the healthy question - "Which sugar is good for our health?"
In this article, we would dive into the two natural sweeteners Cane Sugar and Stevia, and decide which is better for healthy living.
Both Stevia and Cane Sugar are used to sweeten products all over the world. The majority of desserts and sweet drinks are produced with cane sugar, but stevia is gaining popularity as clean labels are becoming more important.
What is cane sugar?
Cane Sugar, also known as sucrose, is a carbohydrate extracted from sugarcane plants. It's the most common form of sugar, widely used in cooking, baking, and beverages. Sucrose is composed of boned glucose and fructose molecules, and it's known for its familiar taste and versatility in various culinary applications.
What is stevia?
Stevia is a natural sweetener derived from the leaves of the Stevia rebaudiana plant. The sweetening components in Stevia, known as steviol glycosides, are extracted and purified to create the sweetener.
Unlike Cane Sugar, Stevia is virtually calorie-free and doesn't cause spikes in blood sugar levels, making it a popular choice for those seeking a low-calorie alternative.
Formulation differences: caloric content and sweetness
Cane Sugar is energy-dense, containing approximately four calories per gram. Its high caloric content can contribute to weight gain and metabolic issues if consumed excessively.
Stevia, in contrast, is incredibly sweet with minimal caloric impact. The steviol glycosides in Stevia are about 30 to 150 times sweeter than sucrose, which means only a small amount is needed to achieve the desired level of sweetness.
Cane Sugar offers a quick source of energy due to its high carbohydrate content, but it lacks essential nutrients. Its rapid absorption can lead to energy crashes and fluctuations in blood sugar levels.
On the other hand, Stevia doesn't significantly impact blood sugar levels and has no discernible effect on insulin secretion. Additionally, its non-nutritive nature means it doesn't contribute any calories or carbohydrates to your diet.
Pros and cons of cane sugar and stevia
Here are the good sides and bad sides of Cane Sugar and Stevia:
Cane sugar pros
- Familiar taste and texture for cooking and baking.
- Suitable for caramelising and browning in recipes.
- Less intense sweetness, allowing for better control in recipes.
Cane sugar cons
- Its high caloric content contributes to weight gain and related health issues.
- It can cause crashes in blood sugar levels.
- Overconsumption is linked to dental cavities.
- It’s virtually calorie-free, aiding in weight management.
- It doesn't impact blood sugar levels, making it suitable for diabetics.
- It requires only small quantities for desired taste.
- Some individuals might detect a mild aftertaste.
- Baking with Stevia can result in different textures and browning due to its lack of bulk.
Is cane sugar healthier than stevia?
The answer depends on your health goals and dietary needs. Cane Sugar provides energy but also comes with the baggage of extra calories and blood sugar spikes.
Stevia, on the other hand, offers sweetness without these downsides, making it a suitable choice for those aiming to manage weight or blood sugar levels. Just like vitamin gummies, it is a healthy sugar alternative.
As you navigate the world of sweeteners, it's important to weigh the pros and cons of Cane Sugar and Stevia. Consider your dietary requirements, taste preferences, and health objectives. Moderation is key, regardless of which sweetener you choose.
By making informed decisions, you can enjoy your favourite treats while keeping your well-being in mind. Stay tuned for more educational content on nutrition and well-being, right here on the Chewwies.