We all know that excess sugar contributes to obesity and can wreck havoc for those who suffer from diabetes. You may think it is smart to go with an artificial sweetener, but you'd be wrong. Artificial sweeteners are chemicals, and many of them have side effects. Sucralose, for example, contains arsenic, and other sweeteners are thought to cause cancer. So what is a person to do?
I suggest you consider using raw local honey as a sugar substitute. Raw honey has a great deal of health benefits in addition to taking the place of sugar. I get my honey locally because it is also thought to help reduce allergy symptoms. You'll still get plenty of nutrients from raw honey that isn't local, however.
Don't purchase processed honey. Processed honey found in local grocery stores is stripped of all its nutrition. You want to reap the benefits of the raw honey, which is full of antioxidants, amino acids, and vitamins and minerals. It has a low glycemic index, which means that it won't have as much of an affect on diabetics as regular sugar. It is also sweeter, which means you won't need as much of it.
You can begin your raw honey substitution with your next cup of tea or coffee. I was surprised at how easy this was for me, and now I don't even like putting real sugar in my drinks. When my daughter juices strawberries and kiwis, she misses the sweetness you'd get from a store-bought juice. I suggested she added honey and now she uses it all the time.
You may be wondering how to determine how much honey to use in the place of sugar when your recipes call for it. It really depends on the dish and how sweet you like your foods. Someone who enjoys sweets more than a person who likes savory foods would obviously use a bit more. I can give you a general guideline of ¾ cup of raw honey for every required cup of sugar in a recipe. Start with the guideline and add or subtract honey after performing a taste test. It won't be long before you discover just how much is right for you and your family.
Please note: Never give honey to a child under the age of one. Raw honey can cause infant botulism in children under a year old. It is rare, but definitely not worth taking the risk. Of course, I don't recommend giving babies any form of sugar before their first birthday.