Quit using sugar all together can be tough.
But you have to take in account how harmful sugar can be, it’s definitely worth the effort.
6 Natural Sweeteners That Are Good for Your Health all are low in calories and fructose and taste very sweet.
Thankfully, there are actually quite a few sweeteners found in nature that are good for your health.
Artificial sugars are used in various applications ranging from industrial food processing
to daily dinner preparations. You can also find natural sweeteners that can be used to
effectively substitute the best artificial sweeteners in your recipes and provide results
just as great. Ranging from raw honey to purees made from banana, natural sugar
substitutes provide a healthier alternative. Nonetheless, it is important to regulate your
sugar intake as even the healthy sweeteners can have side effects if taken without
moderation. Here is a brief look at some of the best natural sweeteners you can use as
natural sugar substitutes.
This is one of the most popular healthy sugar alternatives in the market. Stevia is said
to be 200 times sweeter than sugar and comes in various forms including packets, liquid
drops, baking blends and dissolvable tablets. It is derived from the leaves of Stevia
rebaudiana, a warm climate plant native to South America. It was traditionally
used to promote weight loss and manage healthy blood sugar as it contains no
calories or carbohydrates.
Stevia is said to be 200 times sweeter than sugar.
2. Raw honey
This is perhaps one of the most recommended natural sugar substitutes you will come
across. Besides being a natural sweetener, raw honey is a superfood packed with iron,
calcium, potassium, enzymes, antioxidants and vitamin 86. It also contains niacin and
riboflavin. Raw honey is a truly healthy sweetener that promotes digestive health and
has low glycemic load impact with one tablespoon containing around 64 calories only.
Raw honey is a superfood packed with iron, calcium, potassium, enzymes, antioxidants and vitamin 86.
3. Maple syrup
Made from the sugary sap of maple trees, maple syrup is another recommendable
healthy sweetener you can use as substitute for artificial sugar. It comes in different
grades depending on the extraction process and color grade. Grade B, which is the darkest
color is considered the best and contains about 70% sucrose, manganese,calcium, vitamins
Maple syrup is also heat stable meaning it can be used in marinades, baked goods and sauces without any concerns.
4. Agave syrup
This is yet another syrup sweetener derived from natural plants. Agave syrup or nectar is
commercially available in various blends as it is derived from different species of the plant.
It is said to be roughly 1.6 times sweeter than sugar and tastes close to honey. It contains
vitamins, carbohydrates and various minerals including iron, potassium, calcium and
magnesium. Since it dissolves very quickly, agave nectar is best used in breakfast cereals
and cold beverages.
Vegans can also use agave syrup in place of honey.
Derived from the dates palm tree, both dates (the fruit) and its sugar are good sources of
iron, protein,potassium, calcium, dietary fiber, vitamins A, C and B vitamins. They also
contain traces of copper, manganese, magnesium, zinc and selenium. Dates have been
used to improve the process of metabolizing carbohydrates, fats and proteins. They also
have anti-inflammatory, anti-infective and anti-hemorrhage properties. This makes dates
one of the healthy sugar alternatives.
However, dates should be taken in moderation as they contain higher amount of sugar.
6. Coconut sugar
Coconut sugar has been recommended as a viable replacement for the best artificial
sweeteners. Like other coconut products (water, milk, oil…) coconut sugar has a low
glycemic content and is packed with various nutrients ranging from minerals like iron
calcium, phosphorus,zinc and potassium to polyphenols, antioxidants and various
phytonutrients. Although it is slightly coarse than sugar, it dissolves easily and
offers heat stability.
Coconut sugar is very versatile and can be used in many recipes to substitute refined sugar.
More natural sugar substitutes
Above we mentioned 6 natural sweeteners are arguably the best you can find in the
market. The full list of healthy sweeteners that can be used to replace artificial sugar is
probably inexhaustible. Other healthy sugar alternatives known to provide results just as
- Balsamic glaze
- Banana puree
- Brown rice syrup
- Blackstrap molasses
- Real fruit jam
Finding natural sugar substitutes should not be a daunting task as there are several
brands in the market. Nonetheless, not all offers are safe and/or healthy and some may not
adequately substitute sugar in your recipes. It is advisable to shop from credible reputable
outlets known to provide the best healthy sugar alternatives. More importantly, read the
label and find out more information about the ingredients used. A good natural sugar
replacement should work just as effectively as the best artificial sugar albeit with fewer
or no side effect. Nonetheless, sugar intake should always be moderated if you want to
stay healthy and keep the risks of high blood sugar at bay.
Glycemic Index of 62 Common Foods
Published by The American Diabetes Association on the National Institutes of Health, (NCBI)