Sugar Alternatives

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Latest Edit: Iva Lloyd, ND 2013-07-07 (EDT)

Sugar Alternatives Pros Cons
Raw honey
  • More calories than normal sugar.
Maple syrup
  • Beneficial as a sweetener in baking and in fruit-based recipes. Don’t forget to reduce other liquids by about a quarter.
  • High in minerals and nutrients.
  • Best to buy organic and in glass.
  • Conventional maple syrup may actually be coloured water or contain formaldehyde.
Brown rice syrup
  • Made from boiling brown rice. The syrup is gluten and wheat free.
  • Suitable for baking or for drizzling over pancakes or porridge.
  • Butterscotch flavour.
  • May contain high levels of arsenic depending on where rice was grown.
  • Not suitable for adding to coffee or tea.
  • Heavily processed.
  • High in fibre and other nutrients and tryptophan.
  • If using whole, the Medjool dates are best.
  • To make date paste, blend or cook fresh dates with a little water over low heat or soak for several hours prior to blending.
  • Comes in a range of strengths and flavours.
  • Great for baking.
  • Not great in coffee and tea.
  • Ensure your fruit sugar doesn’t include added sugar.
  • May be sweetener of choice for those with diabetes, candida or cancer.
  • Green leaves are better than the white extract.
  • It is very sweet, so you only need a small amount. (A pinch = 1 tsp. sugar)
  • Stevia is often mixed with other fillers. Be sure to read labels.
Yacon (Jerusalem artichoke)
  • Rich in iron and only mildly glycemic.
  • Generally available as dehydrated chips and as a syrup.
  • May help prevent the growth of bacteria.
  • Naturally found in fibrous fruits and vegetables, corn cobs and some hardwood trees.
  • Man-made chemical.
  • In a number of foods, such as gum and supplements.
Coconut sugar
  • Higher nutrient content and lower glycemic index than most sugars.
  • Tastes similar to brown sugar, but is slightly richer.
  • Distinctive coconut flavour.
  • Rich in vitamins and minerals.
  • Blackstrap molasses is the most beneficial and is a good source of iron and calcium.
  • “Waste” product from production of refined sugar.
  • Produced from and sweeter than sugar.
  • Rich flavour. Not suited for all recipes because it is thick and viscous.
  • Be sure to select unsulfured, organic sugarcane molasses.
Barley Malt Sugar
  • Similar to molasses in texture with a malty taste.
  • Ideal for baking in bread.
  • Easily digested with a low glycemic index.


  • Fructose, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Concentrated fruit juice, “Raw” “Natural” Turbinado & Sucanat Sugars