No, we’re not talking about those little colorful packets in the holder next to the salt and pepper. We’re talking about sugar alternatives that contain ingredients, or is the ingredient, that you can actually pronounce.
With the constantly changing health guidelines and tips, it’s no wonder that we’ve become downright confused as to what to put in our bodies. First Sweet’N Low was healthier than white sugar, than brown sugar was healthier, than agave was top dog, before finally most people threw their hands up and claimed white sugar was never bad to begin with.
And, while I don’t recommend anyone snubbing their nose at white sugar, because this is life and we should all enjoy a cupcake once in a while, there are some great alternatives to the white stuff. Take a look at some of the healthiest sugar substitutes! Perhaps one may show up in your cabinet.
Made from those dried little fruits you can find in crates at your local market, date sugar is one of the purest sugars currently on the market. It’s made from dehydrating dates and grinding them up until they reach the consistency of brown sugar, thus making this sugar alternative great for making at home. Along with its simple state, date sugar is filled with antioxidants and is high in potassium.
Coconut Palm Sugar
First introduced on the YouTube channels of ‘Vegan Gurus’, coconut palm sugar has been rising in popularity. Where only a year ago people wouldn’t know what coconut sugar was, today you can find it in your local market and on restaurant menus. Coconut palm sugar has a similar taste and consistency to brown sugar while actually containing very little coconut flavor. And, while no official studies have been conducted yet, it’s said to be a good sugar alternative to those with diabetes.
Lo Han (Monk Fruit Sugar)
Made from the monk fruit, also known as Luo Han Guo, Lo Han is a popular sugar alternative in Asian countries. With zero calories and carrying a taste identical to white sugar, Lo Han is a great sugar swap for any sweet occasion. Add it to anything, from teas to baked goods. Bonus: For centuries, it has been used in China as an ingredient to treat obesity and diabetes.
Pure black and thick, blackstrap molasses is a highly concentrated form of – you guessed it- molasses. Unlike white sugar, blackstrap contains vital vitamins and minerals, including B6, Iron, Calcium, and Potassium. With a strong taste to it, blackstrap is a great alternative to sugar as you only need a tablespoon or two in order to achieve your desired sweetness. This alternative is best used in baking.
Derived from the yacon plant – a potato looking root- yacon syrup is loaded with benefits. Like the yacon plant, this syrup is said to help lower blood pressure, promote weight loss, and improve liver health. Half the calories of white sugar, yacon syrup is a great alternative sugar to add to your smoothies. The reason why I say that it’s best used for smoothies is because of the subtle apple flavor the syrup carries.