How To

Natural sweeteners for cutting back on sugar

And the ones you should be avoiding.

You’ve probably heard by now that refined white sugar is one of the worst evils lurking in our cupboards to date. And whilst we all give in to it now and then for baking purposes (and the odd sweet treat), for the most part, it’s correct.

When chasing after a sweet kick, most nutritionists recommended shelving the white sugar for a healthier alternative.

But it isn’t always simple distinguishing the truly healthy options from unhealthy items marketed as healthy.

Thankfully, we’ve taken the hard work out of it for you and sorted the sweet from the not so sweet.

Date Sugar

Mashed, blended, made into homemade sugar — the possibilities for dates are endless. From a nutrition perspective, dates are loaded with healthy fiber and make a great alternative for sugar-sensitive folk and diabetics, as they doesn’t raise blood sugar significantly. And they make delicious and satisfying on-the-go treats like these caramel balls.

Coconut Sugar

There was coconut milk, and then coconut flour, and now coconut sugar — these fruits (and nuts and seeds, botanically speaking) are changing the way we eat.

Coconut sugar is delicious proof that natural can taste good. It works fantastically well in all the ways you’d usually use sugar, but it gives coffee and tea a particularly exotic (and amazing) flavour.

Maple Syrup

Maple syrup is not only for pancakes. It is a great addition to baking recipes and an extra sweetener to almost any meal. Loaded with special antioxidants, maple syrup it’s the perfect natural sweetener for many desserts, including these divine tahini caramel chocolate cups.

Organic Honey

Honey is one of earth’s sweetest antioxidant-loaded miracles. A timeless super food, honey is great for sweetening tea, coffee and can easily be incorporated into most baking recipes like this beautiful spiced nectarine cake.


This one is surprisingly one of the healthiest refined sugar alternatives out there. Derived from the Stevia Rebaudiana herb, this natural sweetener is available in most supermarkets and is an easy substitute for sugar in all cooking and baking recipes. It goes perfectly in these healthy but delicious carrot cakes.


Brown Sugar – Brown sugar is essentially on the same nutrition level as white refined sugar and doesn’t make anything healthier.

Agave Nectar – This will be a horrid disappointment to agave enthusiasts, but it’s true. Agave is nutritionally void and contains empty sugar calories. Which means no health benefits.

High Fructose Corn Syrup – You should always check the nutrition information on food products for this culprit.

This article originally appeared on our sister site, Recipes+

Image via David Hahn /

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