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A Quick Guide to Natural Sweeteners

A Quick Guide to Natural Sweeteners

A Quick Guide to Natural Sweeteners

A Quick Guide to Natural Sweeteners

A Quick Guide to Natural Sweeteners

If you’re looking to improve your energy levels, release stubborn weight, reduce chronic inflammation, and increase your mental clarity then one of the first things you can do is greatly reduce or altogether eliminate refined sugar in your diet.


What Happens When We Eat Too Much Refined Sugar? 

 Excess intake of refined sugar can increase your risk of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes as well as deplete your body of minerals, cause tooth decay, drain your energy levels, and cause weight gain. Plus, it has no nutritional value! 


Most people don’t know that there are hidden added refined sugars in many of the processed foods they consume on a daily basis. Most cookies, cakes, granola bars, and cereal unsurprisingly have large quantities of added refined sugars, but things like ketchup, barbeques sauce, marinara sauce, salad dressing, yogurt, and canned fruit are oftentimes packed with high amounts of refined sugars that most people don’t even know about!


So if you have a sweet tooth and still want to enjoy the foods that you love without compromising taste OR your health then be adventurous and try to use some of these natural sweeteners instead - you might be surprised by how good they taste and how much more energy you have after using these safe alternatives.


Our Favorite Natural Sweeteners 

  

Stevia - This sweetener is derived from a leafy mint-like plant (Stevia rebaudiana). Its leaves have up to 150x the sweetness of sugar and the extract can be up to 600x sweeter, so a little goes a long way with this option.


Stevia comes in a variety of forms as well: whole leaf, ground leaf, refined granules, and liquid. You’ll need to read labels and see what works best for your needs.


Stevia is a zero calorie sweetener option that does not impact blood sugar levels or feed candida.


 

Date Sweetener - This sweetener consists of crushed dates and has a dense flavor and texture that works well as a replacement to granulated brown or white sugar. It is a great source of fiber, potassium, and iron!


Raw Honey - Filled with vitamins, minerals, over 22 amino acids and antioxidants, honey is a real powerhouse! It has antifungal and antibacterial properties and can be used to disinfect, heal and soothe.


Honey keeps all of its beneficial properties and vitamin/mineral content intact when it is not filtered or processed and when it is kept below 35 ℃.  


This natural sweetener has so many uses - add it to a smoothie, tea, cookies, or fruit salad!


Erythritol - This is a sugar alcohol which is created by fermenting yeast with the plant sugars from corn or wheat starch. It has become a popular sweetener choice because it has a low glycemic index score as well as almost no carbs or calories. This makes it a desirable option for those on a low carb or low sugar diet. There is also some research that suggests erythritol may help to prevent cavities.


This comes in both granulated and powdered forms that are often used as a replacement for sugar in baking.   


Maple Syrup - Maple syrup is produced by collecting the sap from a maple tree, boiling it until most of the water evaporates, and then filtering it. Most of us are used to drenching breakfast foods in maple syrup, but unfortunately many of the options that you buy at a conventional grocery store have high fructose corn syrup and artificial flavorings added to them and, as a result, are harmful to your health.  


Maple syrup is considered a natural sweetener and a healthier alternative to refined table sugar due to its antioxidant and mineral (zinc, manganese, calcium, potassium, and iron) content . Refined table sugar has a glycemic index of 65 and maple syrup has a glycemic index of 54, so it will raise blood sugar less than regular table sugar.


Maple syrup, like all other sweeteners, should be eaten in moderation. Be sure to read labels and make sure to purchase only pure maple syrup!


Black Strap Molasses - Blackstrap molasses is produced by boiling sugarcane juice three times in order to crystalize the sugar. It’s rich in antioxidants, a good source of potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus and has 18 different amino acids. 


You can add it to baked goods, smoothies, and sauces. 


Fruit Purees - Fruits like apples and bananas are naturally sweet and have essential vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin A, Vitamin C, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, and iron. 


When making baked goods like bread, muffins, or cupcakes you can find recipes that call for applesauce or bananas as a sweetener and you might be surprised by how delicious they taste! 


If you have a sweet tooth, instead of reaching for a “treat” that is loaded with refined table sugar that can cause you to gain weight, feel sluggish, and increase your risk of heart disease, try out a recipe with one of these natural sugars instead!


Here’s a few of our favorite sweet recipes that take only a few minutes to make:

Savoury Oat Bars

Carrot and Cinnamon Breakfast Bars

Banana Chocolate Chip Blondies 


Even though natural sweeteners are much better for your health than their refined counterparts, you should still only enjoy them in moderation. It is important to read the labels to be sure there are no additives that would impact the purity of the product you are looking for. 

  

If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to break a refined sugar habit, it’s worth trying a few of the many alternatives on the market and finding something to add some sweetness to your life without the harmful side effects! 

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