Excessive sugar consumption is definitely a huge problem nowadays. More specifically, added (refined) sugar. While the ideal solution is to do away with any form of added sugar, the four alternatives below are far better choices due to their numerous health benefits.
1 Raw Honey
The keyword here is “raw.” While regular honey isn’t completely awful for you, eating it raw is optimal. Raw honey has not been heated, pasteurized, or processed. It is also alkaline-forming and contains various vitamins, enzymes, and antioxidants.
Unfortunately, virtually all of those benefits are eliminated once the honey is exposed to high heat and is subjected to pasteurization.
Just don’t give honey to infants. And The National Institutes of Health states that you shouldn’t consume raw honey in order to prevent food poisoning, especially if your immune system is already compromised.
2 [Real] Maple Syrup
The primary reason why maple syrup is a better alternative than refined sugar, is because, like raw honey, it has numerous health benefits. (Calcium, Potassium, Iron, Zinc, Manganese, and 24 antioxidants, to be exact).
While this post touts “health benefits,” it is also important to note that most of the calories in maple syrup come from sugar. Definitely use this alternative in moderation!
I highly recommend medjool dates. Instead of adding cane sugar to that batch of muffins, replace it with dates that have been broken down in a blender. You can also purchase date sugar.
[Related Article: Date and Nut Bites Recipe.]
Honestly, this plant-derived tabel sugar alternative is pretty much the only sweetener that possesses health benefits AND is nowhere near as sugary as the above alternatives. So, if you’re going to go a bit overboard on sweetness, opt for stevia. Plus, it’s actually 200 times sweeter than sugar.
5 Blackstrap Molasses
This is better than your typical molasses because it’s the highest and not to mention the most nutritious grade of molasses there is. But just so you know, blackstrap still involves sugarcane. The special refining process is what makes it change in both consistency and color. Simply put, it’s the syrup that’s left over after the sugar has underwent extraction from the cane juice. And another thing to note is that the glycemic load is on the moderate side of the spectrum (55, to be exact), which is lower than table sugar.
*Note: These (apart from stevia) are NOT good alternatives for people with diabetes.
Are there any other natural sugar substitutes you’d like to add to the list?
*DISCLAIMER: Always consult a medical professional before applying the advice given throughout this website. While the articles on HMM are thoroughly researched, it is important to speak with your medical provider before starting a new exercise routine or introducing something new to your diet. We ourselves are NOT doctors, so the information we feature should not be used to replace any of your medications or lifestyle choices that have been recommended by your doctor. Read at your own risk and read our full disclaimer here.