1. Coconut Sugar – Made from the sap of cut flower buds of the coconut palm, coconut sugar is an ideal alternative. It does have just as many calories as regular sugar, but it has a low glycemic index which prevents blood sugar spikes. That makes it a perfect alternative for diabetics or anyone else watching their sugar intake. It is also a great source of potassium, which helps fight metabolic syndrome risk factors. But don’t be fooled. Even though it comes from a coconut, it doesn’t have its taste. Imagine something more along the lines of brown sugar. You can even swap it out for regular sugar for cooking and baking.
2. Raw Honey – Not all honey is the same. Most honey, probably the kind you have sitting in your pantry, is heavily processed. And that refined honey is no better than white table sugar. When we say honey we mean 100 percent raw organic honey. It hasn’t been heated, pasteurized, or processed in any way. Raw honey contains vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. The darker the honey, the more nutrients and flavour. It is just as sweet as sugar, only much healthier. It also has antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic, and antioxidant properties.
3. Blackstrap Molasses – With its robust bittersweet flavour, blackstrap molasses is the liquid byproduct of sugar cane. But don’t confuse blackstrap molasses with regular. They’re produced a bit differently. But that small change makes a huge difference. Blackstrap molasses contains an array of healthy minerals such as iron as well as vitamin B6, magnesium, and calcium. It also has more antioxidants than any other natural sweetener. This substitute also has a low glycemic index to help control blood sugar levels.
4. Stevia – This low-calorie natural substance is made from the sweet leaf plant native of South America. Stevia is much sweeter than regular sugar. So a little goes a long way. The leaves can be used whole or ground up in food and drinks. Its glycemic index is zero so it has no effect on your blood sugar. There are also no artificial ingredients in it. When possible use the raw form.
5. Date Sugar – Made from dehydrated dates, it is loaded with fibre, vitamins, and minerals. It is best used for baking since it doesn’t dissolve very well in liquids. It makes a great alternative to brown sugar. You can actually make your own date sugar. And it’s easy. But you can also find it at a health food store. Just be sure it is unprocessed and raw.
6. Xylitol – Xylitol is a substance that is categorized as a sugar alcohol (or polyalcohol). Sugar alcohols are like hybrids of a sugar molecule and alcohol molecule. Their structure gives them the ability to stimulate the sweet taste receptors on the tongue.Xylitol is found in small amounts in many fruits and veggies and is therefore considered natural. Humans even produce small amounts of it via normal metabolism.It is a common ingredient in sugar-free chewing gums, candies, mints, diabetes-friendly foods and oral care products. Xylitol has a similar sweetness as regular sugar but contains 40% fewer calories.Xylitol is a refined natural sweetener, so it doesn’t contain any vitamins, minerals or protein. So basically it can be classed as “EMPTY CALORIES”. Xylitol can be processed from trees like birch but it can also be made with an industrial process that transforms a plant fibre called xylan into xylitol.Sugar alcohols are technically carbohydrates, but most of them do not raise blood sugar levels and therefore don’t count as total carb intake, making them popular natural sweeteners in low-carb products.
These healthy sugar alternatives not only offer you the sweetness you love, but you also get vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Now you can satisfy your sweet tooth, avoid toxins, and nourish your body.