OKayks sugar-free cakes
After several months of research, testing and trying, the time has finally come. OKayks has a sugar-free cake that is also gluten-free and vegan. And, it is not only free from refined sugars, but also low in carbohydrates! The cake has 90% fewer carbohydrates than a regular cheesecake*!
The tea on sugar-free and all of the claims going around, is what I’m going to try to give you in this blog. What the difference is between natural sugars and refined sugars. How to recognize sugars on the ingredient list and whether natural sugars like agave syrup and maple syrup are healthy substitutes.
Small disclaimer: I am by no means a medical professional, just an enthusiastic foodie working on her health with a simple mission: to enable all those who currently say no to cake due to health reasons or dietary requirements to join in again. In this journey I read and learn a lot and in the blogs I try to take you along with me. I try to include the sources everywhere. If there is any missing or incorrectly described information, please let me know! In this journey I read and learn a lot and in the blogs I try to take you along with me. I try to include the sources everywhere. If there is any missing or incorrectly described information, please let me know!
What is sugar?
Sugar is a sweet substance that is classified as a carbohydrate and is found naturally in fruits, vegetables and milk, among other things. All sugars are carbohydrates, but not all carbohydrates are sugars. Carbohydrates is the collective term for all sugars, starches and dietary fibres found in our diet.
The most well-known form of sugar found in the ingredients list is granulated sugar or table sugar extracted from sugar beet or sugar cane. These sugars are added as flavouring to processed products, such as soft drinks, chocolate, sweets and also cakes and pastries. In some cases, syrup (maple and agave), coconut blossom sugar, palm sugar and honey are also used to sweeten products; all contain sugars. Sometimes syrup (maple and agave), coconut blossom sugar, palm sugar and honey are also used to sweeten products; these all contain sugars.
There are two types of sugar: monosaccharides and disaccharides. Fructose, glucose and galactose are forms of monosaccharides. Sucrose, lactose, maltose, and trehalose are the most familiar disaccharides.
- Fructose: fruit sugar, laevulose
- Glucose: grape sugar, dextrose
- Galactose: certain types of milk and cheese
- Sucrose: beet sugar, cane sugar, table sugar, granulated sugar
- Lactose: milk sugar
- Maltose: malt sugar
In general, you can assume that anything that ends with -ose or -syrup/ syrup is some form of sugar.
Added vs naturally occurring sugars
Another distinction is often made on labels between ‘naturally occurring sugars’ and ‘added sugars’. Naturally occurring sugars are the mono- and disaccharides that naturally occur in unprocessed products such as vegetables, fruit and dairy.
With added sugars refers to all the mono- and disaccharides that are added to the food by the consumer, cook or industry. Such as granulated sugar, but also grape and fruit sugar.
Refined vs unrefined sugars
Refined sugar (granulated sugar, cane sugar, caster sugar, and dextrose) is sugar that has been purified in a factory. Unrefined (natural) sugars such as palm sugar, coconut blossom sugar, honey and maple syrup is processed but not factory purified. This is why it usually has a darker color than refined sugar.
Your body processes all forms of sugar the same way. It does not distinguish between refined sugars and unrefined (natural) sugars. Honey and maple syrup are not necessarily better or healthier than the refined sugars found in products like cookies, candy or soda.
Is fruit sugar healthy?
According to the Dutch Diabetes Fund there is no such thing as healthy or unhealthy sugars. Whether you use granulated sugar, dates or maple syrup in your recipe, your body does not differentiate between added sugars or sugars naturally present in foods.
Now I don’t want to say that you should rather take a spoonful of sugar instead of eating a date, because in addition to fructose (fruit sugar), the date contains other important nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and fiber. Crystal sugar does not have these substances.
If you want or need to cut down on sugar, it is important to read food labels carefully. Manufacturers often use claims such as “no refined sugar” and “no sugar added” on products that actually contain sugars. Manufacturers use these claims to mislead consumers, and a product often appears healthier than it actually is. They often use alternatives instead of ‘regular’ sugar from sugar beets, such as coconut blossom sugar, agave syrup and fruit juice. This seems healthier, but the sugars in these sweeteners have the same effect on the body as ‘regular’ sugar.
OKayk’s cake is absolutely sugar-free
We have spent a lot of time researching and trying out different recipes for truly sugar-free cakes. This was not an easy task, as we wanted a cake that would fit into low-carb diets and one that would not immediately cause your blood sugar to spike.
We therefore use no sugar sugars, but pure erythritol in our recipes. Erythritol is a healthy sweetener that has no effect on glucose or insulin levels. This makes it a safe sugar substitute for people who need to watch their blood sugar levels for medical reasons, such as diabetics.
A study by the University of Maastricht has even shown that erythritol can protect blood vessels from damage caused by high blood sugars.
*Erythritol is legally classified as a carbohydrate, but these are in fact so-called ’empty carbs’ (polyols) because they leave the body – undigested – via our urine. If you watch your carb intake you can leave the polyols out of your macro calculation.
Ready to try sugar free and low-carb cake? Others won’t even taste the difference! Click here to view our sugar-free cakes