When it comes to cooking Paleo diet desserts, most people are a little confused. Especially when it comes to what you can use as a sweetener. Some people believe that we shouldn’t use any at all. Whilst others suggest a little won’t harm us.
But why is it that such are often considered to be non-compliant?
If you eat such too often it can cause you to gain weight. Plus you may well find that your blood glucose levels go up.
Yet it wasn’t until around 50 years ago that the use of sweeteners became more popular. In around the same time we have seen an increase in the number of people who have become overweight and also become diabetic.
So it does make sense that we don’t eat too many sweet things. But never should we be following the same diet that other people do. I am someone who isn’t overweight or diabetic. As a result, I am one of those people who can indulge in the use of sweeteners.
I do eat sweeteners regularly and have pretty much stayed the same weight throughout the last 30 years or so. But I am someone who does exercise regularly (attend HIIT sessions twice a week). I also have a dog that needs walking on a regular basis.
So I am someone who cannot tell you that including sweeteners in your Paleo diet is okay or not. It all depends on your reasons for choosing to follow this lifestyle.
If you are wanting to include some form of Paleo sweetener in your diet then you need to read on. I will explain more about the difference between the various ones that you can use if you wish.
These are the kind that has not been processed. The ones that you will find occur naturally in nature.
Just because it says it is a natural sweetener on the packet, doesn’t necessarily mean it is. Most of these tend to undergo a lot of processing and refining. This makes them far from natural.
This is a wonderful natural sweetener. You may even find as some suggest using a locally sourced one will help to reduce hayfever symptoms.
Yes, it is natural, but raw honey can still cause problems with insulin levels in your body. This is because as a food it closely resembles sugar. Within it, you’ll see that around 50% of it is fructose. As for the other 50%, 44% of this is glucose and 1% is sucrose. So this is why you should limit the amount you use.
Again look for one that is as natural as possible. This sweetener is extracted from the sap of the maple tree. In fact, it has been a common ingredient in the diet of Native Americans.
If you are thinking of using this as a Paleo sweetener there is one thing you need to be aware of. This has a high carb content and also contains a lot more fructose. As an alternative to syrup when cooking you might want to try Maple water instead. But you may find that it doesn’t offer enough sweetness in your food.
Of all the Paleo sweeteners people talk about these days this one is up there. This one comes from a herb and doesn’t contain any sugar molecules. This is why it makes it such a wonderful alternative to sugar.
The problem is that the green leaf version isn’t all the common. Instead, you’ll often find that it comes in white powder form. As a result, it has been highly processed and refined. Important when following Paleo you avoid this type of sweetener at all costs.
If you do want to use Stevia when cooking then look for it in the purest form possible. I would go for it in liquid (glycerin) form. But before buying check the label.
If it contains ingredients such as maltodextrin or erythritol in it, then, of course, don’t use it. Both of which can lead to digestive problems.
Luckily these days it is possible to buy both the plants and seeds. There are quite a few places online that sell them these days. Now grow your own and use the leaves from the plant to sweeten not just tea but other foods as well.
If you don’t have the time or inclination to grow your own. There are some great stevia powders now available. You’ll find that this is the perfect sweetener for you to incorporate into your Paleo meals.
As with most things I would suggest that you eat these in moderation. If you are trying to lose weight then, of course, don’t smother your Paleo pancakes in honey or maple syrup each morning.
Also, it is important that you listen to the way your body reacts when you use such. We are all different and so such can have a different on every one of us.
I hope that this helped to clarify matters a little further about whether to include sweeteners in your diet or not. It is best to select the one that is readily available where you live. This will help to ensure that the one you are using doesn’t contain that many chemicals. Plus it will also be one that contains plenty of nutrients that your body needs.
Where I live I go for local raw honey. Unfortunately, when it comes to Maple syrup the only varieties available to me are the refined kinds. If you have access to maple syrup make sure that you go the Grade B variety. You’ll find that this is a much darker in color as it contains so many more nutrients.
Along with the 3 sweeteners, I’ve mentioned above, there is another one I love to use regularly when creating sweet dishes. But this is a spice and the one I love using regularly is cinnamon. I love to use it when I’m making myself some banana pancakes without the flour. As well as adding some sweetness into this dish, it is very beneficial to my health.