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The simple sugar swap that could save you hundreds of calories

Prima logo Prima 20/04/2017 Carla Griscti

The simple sugar swap that could save you hundreds of calories © Provided by National magazine company ltd (Hearst UK) The simple sugar swap that could save you hundreds of calories Last week Jamie Oliver got a little over excited about George Osborne's decision to levy a new sugar tax on sugary drinks, and quite rightly so too.

With sugar being the main culprit for most cases of obesity, diabetes and dental issues in the UK, it really is a good time to start cutting down on the sweet stuff. 

But for sugar fiends everywhere, we know how difficult it can be to cut something from your diet that you've become so accustomed to, especially something as addictive as sugar. 

But there are heaps of natural sweet substitutes that taste just as good – if not better – than the real thing, and they're much healthier for you too. Once you've made the swap, you'll wonder why on earth you were pouring heaped teaspoons of sugar into your afternoon cuppa anyway.

Desperate to know the secret sugar substitute we're simply loving right now? Drum roll please…

Cinnamon. 

Not only does it taste great stirred into an array of warming hot drinks, it adds a hint of sweetness sprinkled on top of cereals, fruit and healthy puds. But that's not all; it will also help to cut calories too. Genius no? 

Here are five reasons why cinnamon should be your new sugar alternative. 

5 benefits of cinnamon

1. Cinnamon controls insulin

Cinnamon has the ability to naturally imitate the activity of insulin in the body. This helps to regulate (and reduce) blood sugar levels, so can be helpful for those who suffer with diabetes. Not only this, spikes in blood sugar levels can cause a storage of excess fat, so stocking up on cinnamon can help reduce the risk of gaining unwanted excess pounds. 

2. Cinnamon can help reduce cholesterol 

Studies have shown that cinnamon can help to cut cholesterol by 18%, and sugar levels by 24%, which is great for your heart health.

3. Cinnamon speeds up metabolism 

Where the sweet Indian spice can control insulin, it can also alter the metabolism of sugar and carbohydrates, which means you're able to burn off excess calories much quicker. Eating cinnamon induces a similar metabolic reaction to chillies and hot peppers, so your body uses up more energy to burn fat faster. 

4. It burns belly fat

Cinnamon specifically targets the fat around the belly, which is called visceral fat. Bulging belly fat is different to the fat that's stored around the rest of the body, as it indicates a greater risk of heart disease and diabetes. The active compound in cinnamon – cinnamaldehyde – stimulates the metabolism of the fatty visceral tissue, so if you're looking to reduce your belly bulge, a sprinkling of cinnamon is the best way to do it. 

5. It can help to suppress your appetite 

Last but not least, cinnamon can help to slow down your digestion, so the food will take longer to reach your stomach, helping you to feel fuller for longer. Also the sweetness of cinnamon will help to curb those sugar cravings, so you'll feel less inclined to delve into that sugar-coated doughnut come lunchtime!


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