Sugar is found everywhere, from the milk we drink to the bread we eat, sugar is lurking in just about everything we have in our diet. The good news is that there are steps you can take to help reduce your sugar intake, and it all starts by finding healthier alternatives to processed sugar.

In addition to eliminating packaged foods that contain added sugar, you can start swapping the added sugar you add to your morning cup of coffee, or the sugar you add to your favorite recipes.

By making these healthier swaps, you will be safeguarding your health for the future by reducing inflammation, curbing sugar cravings, and helping to maintain a healthy weight.

Here are seven healthy sugar swaps you can start making today.

#1 Raw Honey:

Raw honey makes an excellent healthy sugar swap, and actually holds quite a few health benefits. Raw honey has been found to hold powerful antibacterial and antioxidant health benefits. (1) You can use raw honey in place of regular sugar in your favorite baking recipes for added health benefits, and can even drizzle some raw honey over a bowl of oatmeal, or mixed into your morning cup of tea or coffee.

#2 Pure Maple Syrup:

Pure maple syrup is another excellent natural sweetener, and can be added to baking recipes as a healthier alternative to sugar. Pure maple syrup is rich in manganese, zinc, and magnesium adding some additional health benefits to your recipes. The trick to maple syrup is to choose pure maple syrup and not the refined versions.

#3 Stevia:

Stevia is a zero calorie natural sweetener that is made from the stevia plant and is commonly enjoyed among those following low-carb diets. Stevia is a much healthier alternative to artificial sweeteners and comes in different forms. You can find stevia in liquid and powder form. No matter what type of stevia you choose to use, be sure to choose one that is free from added ingredients. Some brands of stevia mix in artificial sweeteners, so be sure to steer clear of these, and choose pure stevia instead.

#4 Fresh Fruit:

Fresh fruit makes for another excellent healthy sugar alternative, particularly things like bananas and applesauce. You can also use unsweetened dried fruit in some of your recipes.

#5 Molasses:

Molasses is commonly added to tradition chocolate chip cookie recipes to give it that old fashion flavor, and you can add molasses to many of your other favorite baking recipes for that same taste! Molasses also tastes great when added to a bowl of oatmeal, or blended into a smoothie. It’s a great source of iron, vitamin B6, and selenium.

#6 Coconut Sugar:

Coconut sugar can serve as a great alternative to regular table sugar, especially if you are looking for an option that tastes similar when added to recipes. Coconut sugar has a lower glycemic index than table sugar, so it doesn’t affect blood sugar levels as much as regular table sugar. (2) However, keep in mind that you will still want to limit your use. Use coconut sugar in moderation in baking recipes, coffee, or tea.

#7 Dates:

Dates are a great natural sweetener that come with some added health benefits. Dates are rich in dietary fiber, high in antioxidants, and are naturally very sweet. You can make delicious energy bites using pitted medjool dates, raw cashews, and raw cocoa nibs. You can also enjoy a sliced and pitted date with some almond butter, or enjoy one or two blended into a smoothie. You can also find date sugar at some health food stores to use in place of regular table sugar if you are looking for something that has a similar texture to regular sugar.


There are so many natural sweetener options that it makes swapping table sugar out of your diet so much easier. Even though sugar is found in just about everything, we have the power to reduce how much sugar we add to our diet by choosing to make healthier options in homemade recipes. You can significantly cut down on the amount of sugar in your diet by eliminating as much packaged foods from your diet, and sticking to whole and nutrient-dense choices instead.

As a way to help you get started, here are some other ways you can cut back on your sugar intake.

  • Skip flavored yogurts and choose full-fat unsweetened choices instead.
  • Make your own homemade salad dressing vs. using store-bought.
  • Read the back of every food label, and stay away from foods that have sugar as one of the first few ingredients listed, and stay away from foods with more than five grams of added sugar.
  • Eliminate granola bars that are artificially sweetened, or sweetened with regular sugar.
  • Choose unsweetened plant-based milk like almond or coconut instead of dairy.
Try making these sugar swaps to help support overall health. You would be surprised at how much you don’t miss that added sugar once your taste buds adjust to natural sweeteners. Get your whole family involved by tossing all sources of added sugar from your kitchen, and replacing them with these healthier options instead.

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