Artificial sugar alternatives may simulate the taste of sugar, but the side effects can be extremely harmful. Even more alarmingly, studies indicate that artificial sweeteners can be as bad for your health as sugar In many cases, the chemicals that are used to make artificial sweeteners make them far worse for you than ordinary table sugar. Fake sweeteners have been linked to:

  • Metabolic Syndrome
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Hypertension and Cardiovascular Diseases
  • Weight Gain
  • Tooth Decay

The good news is, there’s dozens of healthy, organic alternatives to both artificial sweeteners and simple sugars. This article is a massive list of our 31 favorite healthy alternatives.  

 

1. Honey

Honey Alternative Sweetener

 

What is it made from?

Raw Honey. You don’t need to take processed types. It has many minerals, vitamins, and even some proteins in small quantity, without containing any undesired sugar molecules.

How can it be used?

As a rule of thumb, you should use ¾ of a cup of honey to substitute one cup of sugar. If you’re cooking on a large scale, a simple formula to calculate the required volume of honey would be to multiply the sugar volume you would use in the product by 0.75. The answer would be the volume of honey you should in place of sugar.  

 

2. Agave Nectar

Agave Alternative Sweetener

 

What is it made from?

Prepared from different species of agave, a plant found in mainly in South America and South Africa, it can easily be found in most supermarkets in the UK.

How can it be used?

For the past decade or two, there has been a lot of debate on whether Agave Nectar is healthy substitute for sugar, but the consensus now is that it’s acceptable. Calculate the amount of sugar you’d put in your food and then use a third of that amount for Agave nectar.  

 

3. Stevia leaf extracts or Dried Stevia Leaves

What is it made from?

Hailing from South America, Stevia is available in the UK in almost all forms. You can buy the leaves, the extract or dried leaves grinded into powder form. It’s best to buy the leaves themselves and then process them yourself since industrially processed Stevia extracts or powder often contain harmful additives.

How can it be used?

Stevia, being 30 times sweeter than table sugar, is one of the most powerful sugar alternatives. Most people prefer to go natural by plucking the leaves from the plant, rinsing them in cold water, and then laying them out on paper towels so that no unnecessary moisture is left in the leaves. After the moisture is gone, the leaves are ground and the sugar substitute is ready. But be careful with its use: only one tablespoon of stevia would do for a cup of table sugar.  

 

4. Xylosweet

What is it made from?

Xylitols are hybrid compounds made of sugar and alcohol molecules bonded together. The peculiar bonding structure gives them the ability to stimulate sweet taste receptors on the tongue, but they contain 40% less calories than table sugar.

How can it be used?

Xylitol, also being marketed as Xylosweet, can only be used in few recipes. It doesn’t contain the same properties as sugar, which means you can’t use it in all kinds of baking (It won’t let yeast rise). However, if you’re looking for just a sugar replacement and not only ancillary sugar attributes, you can use Xylitol almost everywhere. And since Xylitol is just half as sweet as table sugar, you’d have to use it in double the amount of sugar you’d use.  

 

5. High Fructose Corn Syrup

 

Corn Syrup Sweetener

 

What is it made from?

It’s a sweetener made from corn, and is easily available in the UK and used commonly in beverages and fast foods.

How can it be used?

In the past, many people did not believe that high fructose corn syrup was a good alternative. However, that train of thought has shifted, and now high fructose corn syrup si in the category of natural products. This means that HFSC is now widely accepted as a healthy sugar alternative. It’s cheaper than most other forms of sugar and used extensively in food beverages and products in the market. It’s almost as sweet as table sugar, so there’s no real difference in the amount you should use for HFSC than that for table sugar.  

 

6. Maple Syrup

Maple Syrup Alternative Sweetener

 

What is it made from?

Made from the sap of the Maple tree, it has become a household product in the UK.

How can it be used?

Pure maple syrup can be found in the market of Grade A or Grade B class. Both are equally good substitutes for table sugar. The only difference is that Grade B Maple Syrup is more concentrated than Grade A, which means it’s more suitable for cooking purposes than it is for drizzling onto your food. You should use the same volume of maple sugar as you’d do for sugar. Instead of changing the volume, you should reduce the liquid volume in the recipe by half-cup to prevent the liquid from diluting the taste of the syrup. For other kinds of food, you don’t need to reduce the liquid content.  

 

7. Blackstrap Molasses

What is it made from?

Blackstrap Molasses is one of the many types of molasses, the byproduct left after sugarcane is refined and processed for table sugar.

How can it be used?

Blackstrap molasses is even sweeter than honey. It adds a sweet, dark, somewhat concentrated taste to the food. The exact amount to replace your sugar content is not easy to tell, since blackstrap molasses doesn’t just add sweetness to the food, but also brings a rather strong flavor to it. Use it according to preference.  

 

8. Balsamic Syrup

What is it made from?

Made from balsamic vinegar after reducing it to a concentrated, fuller flavor, balsamic syrup. It can be found in supermarkets across the UK or you can make it at home yourself.

How can it be used?

Balsamic syrup is usually drizzled onto finished foods. It can also be splashed on sauces or soups. Put a small quantity in braised dishes and enjoy a rich, slightly sweet flavor in every bite. Reduce and concentrate balsamic syrup and pour it over your desserts for a remarkably tangy, sweet flavor. Or, dilute the syrup and pour a small quantity in soda or other drinks.  

 

9. Banana Puree

Banana Alternative Sweetener

 

What is it made from?

Made of bananas and a few tablespoons of water.

How can it be used?

Take overripe bananas (since they’re sweeter and puree better), put them into a food processor, and add a tablespoon of water. Blend the mixture. You have to attain an applesauce-like consistency, so add more water if you need to. If you’re pureeing for later use, also add one teaspoon of lemon juice. Use it just like applesauce and give your food the flavor of banana with the nutrition of fructose.  

 

10. Real Fruit Jam

Organic Fruit Jam Sweetener

 

What is it made from?

It’s a real homemade alternative, made from as many fruits as you like. Just don’t let sugar into it.

How can it be used?

Replacing table sugar with real fruit jam is very much like doing it with maple syrup. Keep the volume of real fruit jam the same as it was for sugar, but instead of changing the volume or reducing the liquid by a half-cup, reduce the liquid content in the recipe by ¼ cup. That’s all you need to enjoy the sweetness of fruit jam instead of sugar. It can be used in almost anything.  

 

11. Apple Sauce

 

Apple Sauce Sweetener

 

What is it made from?

Nothing but apple and a small amount of water.

How can it be used?

You can buy applesauce from your neighborhood grocery store, or you can make it yourself, which is a better option. Commercially available versions often contain preservatives or additives that rob it of much of its nutritious value. You can use applesauce almost everywhere. However, applesauce, like many other natural sugar alternatives, is a wet substitute. This means if you’re using it as a substitute in a recipe written for sugar, which is dry, reduce the liquid content in the recipe by ¼ cup for every cup of applesauce.  

 

12. Erythritol

What is it made from?

It’s a sugar alcohol with a sweet taste but no calories.

How can it be used?

Erythritol is a bit complicated, and should be used carefully. When used in the right quantity, it’s one of the best sugar replacements, and it can be used in almost every kind of food. There’s nothing you can do with sugar and not with Erythritol. But be careful: you can’t take too much of it, or it will disturb your digestive system.  

 

13. Raisins Puree

Use Raisins to Sweeten Food

 

What is it made from?

Raisins and water.

How can it be used?

Raisins can be used in almost all kinds of food, from baking to cooking to tea to drinks. Again, they’re a wet substitute to sugar, so remember to reduce the liquid content in the recipe. Also, raisins puree is sweeter than table sugar, so use ¾ cup of raisins puree where you’d put a cup of sugar. Once prepared, you can store it in the refrigerator up to a month.  

 

14. Cinnamon

Organic Cinnamon Sweeteners

 

What is it made from?

The inner bark of the Cinnamomum tree.

How can it be used?

You can use cinnamon everywhere sugar can be used. If the food is meant to be cooked, you can put a cinnamon stick and wait for it to saturate throughout the dish, or if you’re putting it in a recipe where it won’t be cooked, you can simply grind it and use it in tablespoons. You can sprinkle it on your cake or pastry. It’s also a universal favorite replacement for sugar in tea and coffee.  

 

15. Cranberries

What is it made from?

Cranberries (fresh or dried depending on convenience).

How can it be used?

There are two ways in which you can use cranberries. First, get dried cranberries from the market, put them in the food processor with some water, and grind them. You’ll get a paste that you can use as a sweetener. Second, you can simply grind the dried cranberries and turn them into powder. Then, you can use the powder like sugar. Cranberry powder is less sweet as compared to sugar, so you’d have to use more of it to reach the same level of sweetness.  

 

16. Grapefruit

What is it made from?

Fresh grapefruit.

How can it be used?

Grapefruit is different from most others given here. First, it can’t be used as a sugar replacement in all recipes. Assuming that you can get your hands on a fair number of grapefruits, you can still use them in a very select few foods. You can add grapefruit juice in other juices, in your tea or coffee (without milk), and similar food items. It will introduce a pleasantly sweet and sour sensation to your taste buds.  

17. Rapadura

What is it made from?

It’s the most concentrated form of sugar cane juice from which all water has been evaporated.

How can it be used?

If you’re looking to steer clear of all sugar-related sugar substitutes, you should give this one a pass. But if you’re looking for a concentrated (the most concentrated, in fact) form of sugar cane juice, which is cooked to evaporate as much water out of it as possible, and which contains all the vitamins and minerals of sugar cane juice, Rapadura is your answer. You can use it wherever sugar is possible.  

 

18. Barley Malt Extract

Organic Sweeteners

 

What is it made from?

Extracted from barley and malt, these syrups are easily available in all big grocery stores in the UK.

How can it be used?

The extracts of organically prepared barley and malt have long been used as natural sweeteners. Unfortunately, most commercially available extracts contain preservatives and other additives. However, if you can find an organically prepared version, you should give it a try. It can substitute for sugar in all recipes and is particularly loved in baked products.  

 

19. Sucanat

What is it made from?

Made from sugar cane juice without subjecting it to refinement or processing.

How can it be used?

Sucanat stands for SUgar CAne NAtural, and is sugarcane in its most natural state. In simple terms, it’s table sugar minus all the stages of refining that it has had to go through. So it contains all other nutrients forming part of sugar cane juice. It can be used just like sugar.  

 

20. Mixed Fruit Puree

What is it made from?

Made from a range of fruits.

How can it be used?

Mixed fruit puree is puree taken to the next level. To make it, take a jar, and put the fruits (apricots, raisins, dates, figs, etc.) in it so that one-fifth of the jar remains unoccupied to accommodate water. Add water to the jar and put it into the refrigerator for at least 10 hours. After that, take it out, strain the mixture, put the fruits in the food processor with only a small amount of water from the jar, and grind the mixture. Use it wherever you need sweetness (except for products made primarily of milk, e.g. tea). You can store the puree for up to two months.  

 

21. Fresh-squeezed Orange Juice

Orange Juice Organic Sweetener

 

What is it made from?

Fresh Oranges.

How can it be used?

Orange juice can serve as sweetener (albeit as a light one) in a range of foods. You can use it in coffee or tea (without milk), baked products, or even a number of cooked items. The only limitation is that it only contains sweetness in a mild amount. More than anything else, orange juice is a superb substitute for salad dressing, which contains loads of calories and carbohydrates.  

 

22. Yacon Syrup

What is it made from?

Extracted from the root of Yacon, a South American plant, Yacon Syrup can be purchased mainly online from Amazon or other websites.

How can it be used?

With a taste similar to that of molasses, yacon syrup contains half the calories that sugar does. You can use the syrup in all food items. Just make sure that you don’t use it too much, or it’ll upset your stomach. Perfect for diabetics and athletes!  

 

23. Amazake

Organic Sweetener Amazake

 

What is it made from?

Made from plain rice.

How can it be used?

Not many peoplens know about it, but it’s been around quite a while in Japanese restaurants and households. A thick, creamy, and sweet mixture made purely of rice, Amazake can be used with or without blending. Blending makes it even thicker, so much so that you can eat it. You can always dilute it by adding water. Continental foods and baked goods are two outstanding uses for Amazake.  

 

24. Evaporated Cane Juice

What is it made from?

Concentrated sugarcane juice.

How can it be used?

Evaporated cane juice can be used everywhere sugar is used. It contains the same amount of calories as ordinary table sugar does, which is one thing to watch out for. Despite that, many researchers suggest that it might be healthier than table sugar given the fact that it’s not usually subjected to pesticides and additives before making it to your shelf.  

 

25. Turbinado

 

Organic Food Sweetening

 

What is it made from?

Unprocessed sugar cane juice turned into brown crystals.

How can it be used?

There’s absolutely nothing that can be made with table sugar but not with Turbinado. Turbinado contains more minerals, vitamins, and other nutrients than table sugar. But you should always remember that Turbinado is also sucrose, which means it’s only slightly better than table sugar.  

 

26. Lo Han Kuo

What is it made from?

Made from Lo Han Kuo, a Chinese plant, and available in Asian superstores.

How can it be used?

Lo Han Kuo is a Chinese plant available in most Chinese supermarkets in the UK. The herb tastes sweet and has been used in China for millennia for its therapeutic qualities. If you want it to sweeten your tea or coffee, simply add the leaves to the boiling water and let it boil for a few minutes. If you want to use it for other foods, simply dry the leaves, grind them into powder form, and then use the powder wherever you like.  

 

27. Muscovado Sugar

What is it made from?

Muscovado Sugar is made from soaking the sugar cane and evaporating the water out of it until sugar crystals are formed.

How can it be used?

Mascavado sugar is one of the most unrefined forms of sugar, which means it’s still rich in the high molasses content of the sugar cane juice. It’s perfect for use in gingerbread or fruit cakes! Again, it’s still sucrose, so use it sparingly.  

 

28. Sorghum Syrup

What is it made from?

It comes from the stalk of the Sorghum plant after it has been concentrated by evaporating water from its extracts.

How can it be used?

Many use sorghum syrup as a substitute for honey, molasses, or maple syrup. Sorghum syrup is especially used in baked products. Cookies, pancakes, ice cream toppings are ideal uses. Since it’s a wet substitute for table sugar, you should reduce the liquid content in the recipe by ¼ cup.  

 

29. Brown Rice Syrup

Brown Rice Sweetener

 

What is it made from?

Derived from brown rice after subjecting it to enzymes and decomposing the starches into smaller sugar molecules, the end product is a thick, sticky sugary syrup called brown rice syrup.

How can it be used?

To use brown rice syrup as a substitute for table sugar, use the same volume as you would for sugar, but reduce the liquid content by ¼ cup. If you’re using it as a replacement for corn syrup, don’t change anything. Use it in the same ratio as for the corn syrup with the same liquid content. You can use it especially in baked foods to avoid getting high blood sugar level.  

 

30. Coconut Palm Sugar

Coconut Sweetener

 

What is it made from?

Made from the sap of the coconut palm, it’s becoming increasingly available in pharmacies across the UK. You can also buy it online.

How can it be used?

Coconut palm sugar is a relative newcomer in the UK markets, but is quickly gaining popularity. You can put it in your morning coffee, custard, or cookies. It will add the same sweetness as sugar does, but with more benefits. Since it’s as sweet as sugar, you don’t have to change the ratio in which you use it or reduce the liquid content. Simply replace the sugar in the recipe with the same amount of coconut palm sugar.  

 

31. Dates Puree

Use Dates to Sweeten Food

 

What is it made from?

Dates and water.

How can it be used?

Just like other fruit purees, dates puree is a sugar substitute that can be used in many foods. To make it, remove the pits from the dates, put the dates in the food processor, add some water, and grind the mixture to form a paste. Add this puree freely to anything from coffee to fruitcake to french toast. Afterwards, keep it in the refrigerator, where you can store it for up to a month.

 

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