Chef, you already know that your health-conscious customers are keeping an eye on their sugar intake. Whether they’re watching their weight or are concerned about health issues like diabetes or heart disease, they expect to see low-sugar options on your menu. Keeping your customers happy will encourage them to return and create a buzz about your business.
The World Health Organisation recommends that less than 10% of total energy intake should come from sugar, which includes ‘natural’ sugars hidden in foods including fruit and vegetables. So, it’s time to get seriously creative. Here’s what you need to know about sugar, Sugar:
Keepin’ It Real
Fructose is a naturally occurring sugar found in all fruits and in smaller amounts in vegetables. This type of sugar is a far healthier choice in the kitchen because it has a slower release in the body, avoiding the ‘spike’ that comes from processed sugar.
High in fructose: Lower in fructose: Blueberries Cranberries Tomato-concentrate Potatoes Raw figs Artichokes Pumpkins
Beware of hidden sugar!
Beyond the obvious sugar-laden foods like chocolate, there are surprising sources of hidden sugar. These include cereals, breads high in refined carbohydrates, carbonated soft drinks, yoghurts and bottled sauces.
As part of Unilever’s commitment to providing healthy options for our chefs to offer customers, our Lipton Iced Tea does not contain added sugar. Compare this to carbonated soft drinks, which on average contain a seriously unhealthy 7 teaspoons of sugar per can. So, it’s always a good idea to have a quick scan of the label just to make sure.
Sweet ideas without the sugar
But how to cut back sugar in your kitchen? Firstly, give sugar substitutes a miss wherever possible. Aspartame and Sucralose are chemicals which tend to have an unpleasant aftertaste. There are many great recipes that have already been created to tackle the issue, so seek out inspiration from other chefs and add your own twist. Why not experiment with different flavour combinations until you find your own version of the dish to add to your menu? Chocolate mousse made with cacao and avocado and lime is incredibly smooth and creamy, for example. Try our spin on a guilt-free chocolate mousse without any refined sugars added.
You could also try these ‘sweet’ tricks:
High in fructose, so a little goes a long way). Blend the soaked fruit with a little water to make a sweet paste.
In stick or powder form – add to curries to balance the sharpness of the other spices
Its sweet juice contains less sugar than fruit juice. It’s also a miracle substitute ingredient for a chocolate cake which gives the ‘mouth feel’ of the sugar-loaded original.
It still contains a high amount of glucose and fructose, but a little goes a long way. Plus, honey contains B vitamins, Vitamin C and powerful antioxidants, all great health benefits.
A great boost of flavoursome nutrition to your baking assortment