Every single time I read an article about the health benefits of coffee, I just have to save it so I can share it on social media. Since you clicked on this article when you saw the word “coffee”, I am assuming you are a coffee lover much like myself and we both know that coffee has constantly been assessed by nutrition lab rats the world over for its health benefits.
Yes, feeling great and awake and alive despite the looming workweek ahead of you can be considered a health benefit, but wait there’s more. Before you think I’m about to cut into an infomercial selling pitch, here goes, coffee has been proven to help prevent cardiovascular disease, Type 2 Diabetes and liver cancer. It is a great source of antioxidants that are linked to better aging and more vibrant cell regeneration.
Since you’re reading this article in the Health, Living & Lifestyle section of this website I also think you’re a big fan of healthy living. Thus I know what’s on your mind. No, I won’t ask you to pick a card and remember which one it is, don’t worry. I know you’re wondering how to make coffee even healthier for you. Well, here’s one major factor, sugar. Some of us just can’t take that pure, blissful, wonderful, true taste of black, unsweetened coffee and so you need to mix in some sugar into it. Sugar hasn’t been on the good side of healthy lately, no thanks to its associations with mobsters like obesity and diabetes, its reputation sure isn’t as sweet as its taste.
Well don’t worry, we put together some ways to make your coffee sweeter without using sugar!
Before you start exclaiming that it’s just too early for a shot of tequila, I want you to know that Agave nectar is derived from a completely different part of the plant. Agave nectar may contain a few more calories than sugar when they go pound-for-pound. But the nectar is much sweeter than sugar so the amount you put should be significantly less than the amount of sugar you put in and the calorie count should show a net loss in favor of Agave. For diabetics who can’t control their sweet tooth, this is a much better option than sugar because the nature of the fructose contained in it dissolves slower in the bloodstream fully avoiding the sugar shock and actually helping you maintain a consistent blood sugar even with medication. A plant that makes you happy both in the morning and at night, this is one awesome shrub!
Sugar substitutes have also recently been lingering in the same penalty box sugar has been in for a while. With some studies linking known sugar substitute products to long-term cancer growth, the need to substitute the sugar substitutes has been a subscribed topic of substantial proportions. There is hope in Stevia though because of its more natural production process. Stevia comes from a plant and contains fewer calories than sugar and carries a much sweeter taste. So using less of something with less calories means you really get a very lean sweetener and makes it a healthy sugar alternative.
Vanilla / Almond Extract
Make your coffee taste like that fatty blended drink they proudly shout your name out for with this little trick. Put in some pure vanilla or pure almond extract into your coffee to add some flavor to it. It won’t be as sweet as using sugar but the more natural flavors complement your coffee very well and will definitely reduce the bitterness. Take note, vanilla syrup or almond syrup is not the same as their pure extract counterparts so look for the latter.
This particular one takes the term life hack all the way to the top that you can actually maybe call it a “life cheat” but don’t worry, I mean that in a good way. The miracle berry with the scientific name synsepalum dulcificum is not that sweet in itself and thus it scores very low on the glycemic index. Here’s the kicker though, ingesting this or putting it on your tongue and chewing it fools your taste buds into thinking whatever you put in your mouth is sweet. It has something to do with the molecular bonding of the chemicals in the fruit and your taste receptors and so you may try this before you swig down that next cup.
Finally, here is the healthiest way to enjoy your coffee without worrying about the effect of sweeteners.
Yes, that’s correct, the best way to enjoy a cup of coffee without worrying about the health impact of sugar is not to add any sweeteners to it at all. You’ll enjoy the coffee’s full taste and aroma if you take it this way. Normally the human body can adapt to the new taste in as little as a week. Then you’ll consider even a tiny bit of sugar in your coffee to be just too sweet.
Here are some tips to make the transition easier though.
- Opt to purchase whole beans or grounds that are made from Arabica coffee beans. These beans contain less caffeine and have a less-bitter taste attributed to them.
- Look for a light roast or blonde roast while you are in transition since dark roasts tend to bring out the bitter flavor in the coffee beans.
- Coffee beans from regions in Panama and Guatemala have hints of chocolate taste to them due to the quality of the soil in their area. This also makes the cup more acceptable to drink without any sweetener at all.
So that rounds up our tips on making that already healthy cup of coffee even healthier for you and your lifestyle.