Everyone knows that too much sugar isn’t good for us, but we’re only human, right? We can’t help it if we crave some sugary goodness every now and again. However, when you’re trying to lose weight or simply maintain an overall healthy diet and lifestyle, your sweet tooth may sabotage your efforts. The good news? There are plenty of healthy sugar substitutes that will not only satisfy your sweet cravings but are also good for you too. Of course, when it comes to even natural sugars, it’s important to remember to enjoy it in moderation. Check out these 5 healthy sugar substitutes that’ll satisfy your need for something sweet without harming your health and wellbeing.
1. Raw Honey
Perhaps our favourite natural sugar substitute is raw honey. There are countless benefits to raw honey, but it’s important to note there is a difference between raw honey and most commercial kinds of honey you find at the shops, so make sure the label says ‘raw honey’. What we love about raw honey is that it’s not just a pure sugar – it’s actually a source of food. Furthermore, honey contains amino acids, electrolytes, antioxidants and antimicrobial compounds that greatly support the overall health of your body.
Stevia is another healthy sugar substitute that is safe to consume and won’t interfere with your healthy diet. In fact, stevia is a great sugar substitute for people who suffer from blood sugar issues or diabetes. This is because stevia is an all-natural sweetener that comes from the leaf of a flowering plant and contains no calories. Stevia comes in a variety of forms and when possible, you should opt for full, green leaf stevia. It’s also important to note that many brands you’ll find in the supermarket should be avoided because they are highly processed and contain added chemicals, so be sure to always read the label or source your stevia from a natural health food store.
3. Agave Nectar
Agave nectar is another popular and healthy all-natural sugar substitute. Agave nectar comes from the agave plant (fun fact: this is also where tequila comes from, but don’t worry, it won’t get you drunk), and is a lot sweeter than white sugar. Agave nectar also contains a prebiotic, which is a type of dietary fibre that is good for nourishing your gut bacteria. When shopping for agave nectar, opt for a brand that is organic, as this will ensure you are consuming it in its most natural state.
4. Maple Syrup
Maple syrup is one of the best healthy sugar substitutes not because it’s 100% natural, but because it tastes phenomenal in almost everything. Maple syrup contains higher levels of nutrients, antioxidants and phytochemicals than white sugar. It is also known for being beneficial for reducing free radical damage that can cause inflammation in the body and cause various types of diseases. There are plenty of naturally occurring nutrients found in pure maple syrup, including zinc, potassium, manganese, thiamine, calcium, iron, magnesium, and riboflavin. So really, who says delicious, sweet things can’t be good for you?
5. Coconut Sugar
We love all things coconut, especially coconut sugar, which is an amazing healthy sugar substitute. Organic coconut sugar is vegan, unrefined and free from GMO. Coconut sugar is derived from coconut juice, which contains potassium, electrolytes and nutrients. So, when you’re looking for a healthy sugar substitute for baking or something to sweeten your coffee that’s non-toxic, non-GMO and is easily digested by the body, look no further than coconut sugar.
All of the above healthy sugar substitutes are much lower on the glycemic index than sugar, which means they will affect your body less and not cause your energy levels to drop or spike your insulin levels. Elevated insulin levels increase your risk of getting Type 2 Diabetes, which is why it’s important to stick with sugar substitutes that are all-natural and healthy and won’t cause your insulin levels to rise.
We hope you’ve found this article on healthy sugar substitutes useful. Being healthy doesn’t have to mean eliminating your favourite treats, not when you know the best natural and wholesome substitutes.