Natural Sugar Alternatives You Should Definitely Try!

28 February, 2020

We all know that sugar has had a pretty rough trot over the years and these days we are bombarded with ‘sugar free’ alternatives. But why exactly is sugar said to be so bad for us, and what exactly is this sweet little sinner we’ve been told is bad for us? Let us break this down for you. Sugar is sucrose, which is produced by plants through photosynthesis.. and for those who tuned out during science class *cough*, photosynthesis is a natural process (shown here on this chart designed by The Sugar Association) and its us humans that have ruined what is a natural product by corrupting it with processing and additives.

Sugar has a bittersweet rep when it comes to health. The processed stuff can cause major dental issues, are high in kilojoules which if consumed in excess can lead to a plethora of health issues, risking everything from type 2 diabetes to obesity. So we know that sugar in general should be consumed in moderation, but what if we were to replace sugar as we know it with other sweeteners that have the same sweet taste we crave, minus (some of) the nasties.

Here are our five favourite sugar alternatives that are sure to hit your sweet spot.

Stevia is quite simply the leap of the Stevia Rebaudianna plant that has been ground into a fine powder. Why we love it? It has …drumroll…NO kilojoules, NO carbs and has a zero glycaemic index – yup you read that right! Research actually suggests that stevia doesn’t affect blood glucose levels or interfere with insulin. Its actually super-dooper sweet and potent, and 1 teaspoon is has the sweetness equivalence of a whole cup of regular sugar! Woah!

Agave Syrup
Agave…sounds familiar right? …. Wait….feel a sudden regretful memory of twerking on the dancefloor coming on? Yep, Agave is what Tequila is made from. But, this delicious sweet syrup is non-alcoholic and is made from Mexico’s Agave cactus plant. The syrup is extracted by hand from its core, the flower shoot is cut out and the sap is then collected. Its low GI and not heat treated about 45 degrees during processing.

Winnie the Pooh loves it, and we do too. Honey has long been a source of sweetness added to dishes for centuries and we have buzzy bee’s to thank for this golden drippy elixir. When choosing your honey, be sure to buy ‘raw honey’ which means it hasn’t lost its nutritional value with heating like many other types sadly are. Honey is also known for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties too which is why it’s a common natural ingredient to help aid when we have a cough and cold.

Coconut Sugar

Yes, it’s a thing and we’re obsessed. Coconut sugar not only tastes slightly like coconut (YUM) but requires minimal processing, is low GI, is rich in amino acids and minerals and has been reported to be the single most sustainable sweetener in the world according to The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) – now that’s impressive huh!

Maple Syrup
Good ol’ maple syrup. We’ve been drizzling it on our pancakes since we were kids and we love how versatile it is. Made from the sap of the maple tree, maple syrup contains less fructose than other sweeteners and has good stuff in it such as calcium, zinc and iron just to name a few.