Alternatives to Refined Sugar and Artifical Sweeteners

Hi everyone!

Let’s face it~for most of us, there are just times where we want something sweet and/or sweetened, regardless of whether we’re trying not to eat sugar, artificial sweeteners, processed foods, etc.  So, here are some nice alternatives to refined sugar and artificial sweeteners to try!

And remember, that whenever you are trying to switch from one product~ like sugar, splenda, sweet’n’low, etc.,~ that you have been using for months, years, or even decades, to another product, please realize that there will be a transition period.  Just be patient with yourself and your taste buds. 🙂

The Alternatives

Blue Agave~ This is a wonderful liquid sweetener made from agave nectar, from the agave plant.  It tastes very similar to regular sugar (to me it tastes exactly the same, but to my boyfriend it doesn’t completely).

If you need to make sure your blood sugar does not spike, this has a low glycemic index.  So, this will not make your blood sugar spike, which makes this a nice alternative for diabetics.  Blue Agave does have calories (This could be a positive or negative for you).

Before my No Processed Foods and No Sugar Challenge, I did really like blue agave as a sweetener.  However, I worry that it may make my face break out like regular sugar.  So, I have not tried it since my challenge.

Honey~ This is another natural sweetener.  It naturally has vitamins and minerals in it.  I have not found it to make me break out on my face at all (like I have trouble with when having any regular sugar).  So, this is a nice alternative for anyone with acne-prone skin.

Another awesome thing about honey is that if you buy honey from around your nook of the woods, it helps with allergies you may have trouble with, like pollen allergies.  If you buy honey that says “Product of U.S.A.,” or from somewhere else in the world, that’s fine, you just won’t get the allergy help (U.S.A. is too general to really help with allergies).  To get a really good honey, you want to find one that is pure and raw which will look creamier than “regular” honey.

This is my go-to sweetener now.  However, honestly it did take me a couple of uses to finally like it.  I have actually only started liking honey within the past month (and did not like it for the other 22 years of my life).  Now though, I love it. (Maybe this is partly because of my no processed foods and no sugar challenge that I now like honey?)

Honey does have calories (Could be a positive or negative to you).

*Make sure though that you do not use honey if you are allergic to honey.*

Stevia~ This is another natural sweetener from a plant.  If you normally use more artificial sweeteners, than this is the one that you will probably have a little bit of an easier transition to.

Out of the alternatives above and this one, this is the one that I am not completely convinced on.  I have heard that although this is from a plant, that it can make your body react like it is an artificial sweetener- in the fact that it may make you crave more sweet stuff (sugar may make you crave more sweet things as well, but it is not as bad as artificial sweeteners because sugar has calories.  Since artificial sweeteners do not have calories, the body thinks it has not gotten the food/sugar it thought it was going to receive.  So, it makes you crave more.)

Stevia does not have any calories, so this is why it is questioned whether the body reacts to it in the same way.

Regardless though, I still truly believe that this is such a better choice for one’s health than artificial sweeteners because Stevia is not a chemical. 🙂

And, if all else fails, use Organic Sugar!~ Although organic sugar will almost be the same as regular sugar, it at least is better for your health than normal sugar in this way.  When it is grown~ pesticides, herbicides, and synthetic fertilizers are not used on it.  There are also no added chemicals to bleach or filter the sugar either.  Just make sure to look for USDA Certified Organic Sugar!

So, here are some of the good alternatives to refined sugar and artificial sweeteners!  What do you think?~ Did you find any of these to be useful alternatives, or could you just not stand the taste of one of them?  Comment below and tell us what you tried, and what you normally use as a sweetener (regular sugar, splenda, etc.)  Or, did I completely miss a wonderful alternative?  Comment and let me know! 🙂

I hope one of these alternatives to refined sugar and artificial sweeteners made your day a little sweeter!

Have a sunny day!

~Kim

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Caitlin
    Aug 03, 2011 @ 14:52:31

    great ideas! i often use agave as a sugar substitute and i can hardly ever tell the difference. i thought you might be interested in an interview with a dietitian that i posted on my blog today here http://closetvanity.com/2011/08/03/take-5-with-ayla-withee-registered-dietitian-eat-simply/

    • sunnymothernature
      Aug 04, 2011 @ 00:11:15

      Hi Caitlin~ Thanks for commenting!

      That’s awesome that you like agave too! It is a really nice substitute.

      And thanks for the link to your interview~ I enjoyed reading it. I knew three of the five suggested ingredients to avoid~ the ingredients to avoid I didn’t know about were inulin/ chicory root, and sugar alcohols. I’m glad I know about these two now too, because I do have trouble with IBS. So thanks again! 🙂

      Have a sunny day!
      ~Kim

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