The Mediterranean Diet is a great way to live, and a healthy diet that can be consumed by anyone. The only limitation of the Med Diet is sugar: natural sugars like honey, cane juice, or fruit are fine but no refined sugars like table sugar.
A recent study, published in the journal Nature, asked an interesting question: How much sugar would you use per day to follow the traditional Mediterranean diet? The researchers estimated that a person following this diet should consume 2.3oz (65g) per day of sugar.
Listed below are some of the best sweeteners you can use while following the Med Diet.
Honey is a great way to sweeten your Med Diet. It is loaded with antioxidants and is mainly fructose, a simple sugar. It has a low glycemic index, which means it doesn’t spike blood sugar levels like normal table sugar or even some other artificial sweeteners. Honey has been found to reduce blood pressure in hypertensive patients, lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. However, honey should only be used in moderation as it is still an extremely concentrated source of sugar.
Coconut Palm Sugar
Coconut palm sugar is a great way to add natural sweetness to food without consuming too many calories. This organic product is 100% natural with no additives or preservatives added. You should be able to find it at most health food stores or online under the name “Organic Raw Coconut Palm Sugar”.
One tablespoon of coconut palm sugar has about 50 calories. It’s not as sweet as sugar or maple syrup, but it does taste great in smoothies and other drinks.
Pure maple syrup is another option that is healthier than sugar. Added to food, it can give a rich taste and sweet flavor with maple syrup is a sweetener obtained by reducing maple sap. It is made up largely of sucrose, the same type of sugar that makes up granulated sugar. Maple syrup is made up of about 35% water while white sugar contains hardly any
Simple syrup is a good option if you want to avoid real sugar. It’s made by heating together equal parts sugar and water until the sugar is dissolved. You can then add it to drinks or food for a sweet taste.
This is especially good in coffee because it gives it a rich flavor without adding calories or a bitter aftertaste. You can also mix this with lemon juice for an interesting alternative to sugary lemonade with your dinner.
You might be surprised by the number of health benefits that come from drinking simple syrup.
Maple syrup is made from sweet sap that flows from maple trees in springtime. These trees grow in regions such as Canada and the northeastern United States. You can make this at home or buy it at many local markets, including farmer’s markets.
To Sums It Up
As you can see there are plenty of alternatives to sugar, and each contains its own health benefits as well. So if you want to add sweetness to your Med Diet, keep these items in mind.