Armed With Health Blog

Home » Recipes » Sweet On You: The Scoop on Natural Sweeteners

Sweet On You: The Scoop on Natural Sweeteners

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 44 other followers


Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.

Blogs I Follow


Sweet on You

By now you likely know how detrimental highly processed, granulated white sugar is to your health. If you need a refresher, here are some of the many ways white sugar wreaks havoc on your biochemistry, courtesy of UCSF’s Dr. Robert Lustig, a crusader against sugar and author of Fat Chance:

  • Sugar contributes to obesity
  • Sugar contributes to insulin resistance and diabetes
  • Sugar is addictive and toxic
  • Sugar makes you want to eat more—and move less!

If sugar is this harmful, it makes good sense to minimize or eliminate it altogether. But some occasions just call for a sweet treat! In those instances, you CAN have your cake and eat it too—with these 5 sweet, all-natural alternatives:

1. Honey
Raw honey has myriad health-promoting qualities. It contains natural antioxidants, although the quantity does vary across varieties (buckwheat honey reportedly delivers the most). Honey is also chock-full of enzymes, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals. Note that baking with raw honey will destroy many of the nutrients in honey. If you want to use it to flavor your tea or coffee, wait until your beverage has cooled enough to drink.

Sugar substitute: In dressings, and slaws; warm beverages

2. Blackstrap Molasses
Blackstrap molasses is a sweetener that is actually good for you—it’s high in antioxidants and several health-promoting trace minerals that are difficult to find in other foods, such as: iron, calcium, copper, manganese, potassium, and magnesium. Opt for unsulphured blackstrap molasses as it doesn’t contain the processing chemical to which some people are sensitive. Unsulphured means it’ll have a cleaner and more clarified taste.

Sugar substitute: Use in place of brown sugar or when you want to impart a slightly smoky flavor. Great in baked beans and gingerbread.

3. Coconut Sugar
Proponents argue coconut sugar tends to be less refined than granulated sugar; they say it also contains minerals like magnesium, potassium zinc and iron. In addition, coconut sugar has been touted to have a lower glycemic index than the uber-refined white stuff, which means that it can cause a less dramatic spike in blood sugar. As always, moderation is key!

Sugar substitute: Can be used as a 1:1 substitute for sugar in baking and cooking. You can also find it in syrup form; in that case, adjust your measurement in baking to ¾ cup for 1 cup sugar, reduce liquid by 2 tbsp for each cup and reduce cooking temperature by 25ºF.

4. Date Sugar
This may be the rock star of the group. Made from ground dates, this sweetener delivers all the nutrients in dates, including potassium and calcium—and is similar in healthful polyphenols as green tea! But that’s just part of the story: Date sugar is also low in calories, helpful for constipation, and makes you feel full longer. Look for varieties that have one ingredient only.

Sugar substitute: Yummy in bars and cookies, substitute this way: for every one cup of sugar, use 2/3 cup of date sugar.

5. Stevia
Derived from a plant with sweet leaves, it doesn’t get much more natural than this. The glycosides in the leaves of the Stevia Rebaudiana plant account for its incredible sweetness. Stevia is calorie-free, and the powdered concentrate is 300 times sweeter than sugar. Stevia is widely used all over the world and is becoming more commonly found in the U.S. Stevia can help keep blood sugar levels in check and despite being very sweet, it doesn’t contribute to cavities.

Sugar substitute: A little stevia goes a LONG way. A fraction of the amount and you’ll have ample sweetness. You can even grow your own!

Above all, for optimal health, try to keep your sugar consumption down to 15-25 grams per day. This means you may have to stop at one cookie, but it doesn’t mean you need to cut out all of the sweetness from your life.


1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Christ! Xmas

all about Christmas and Santa.


When your desires are strong enough you will appear to possess superhuman powers to achieve.

Fried Chicken Feet

Things that make me go "huh" and LOL

Armed With Health Blog

It's more than just survival...

Joggin' Happy

runnin' and cookin' with a smile

A Bare-Handed Soul

Wrestle some angels, maybe skin the knee's of a demon or two.

Praise the Lord and Pass the Prozac

Would a sane person move a family of 6, plus one dog and one pet rat into 1400 sq. ft. AND bring home a Great Dane puppy the very next day?

Eat Drink and Be Aware

Notes on the Examined Life from a Fitness-Minded Foodie


Wellness, for all life stages, including practical, research-based nutrition, exercise, positive mentality & spirituality


Living with PCOS on a plant-based diet

Milk Is For Cows...

...and I am not a cow!!

Health Coach Jillian

Let's Get Healthy, People!

domestic diva, M.D.

my mother raised the perfect housewife...then I went to med school

The Wellness Wordsmith Blog

Author Your Own Books and Blogs Without Writing a Word

The Blog

The latest news on and the WordPress community.

%d bloggers like this: