Healthy Hacks

The Sweet Life: Healthy Sugar Substitutes

Too much sugar is definitely a bad thing. But as a nation who is addicted to sugar, cutting it out of our diets can seem extremely difficult and bland. A better way to eat less sugar is to swap it out for something better. Instead of adding sugar to your coffee, try healthier sugar substitutes.

Here are 4 sugar substitutes, how to use them, and how to tell the difference between good sugars and bad sugars.


What Is The Difference Between Natural Sugar And Refined Sugar?

refined sugar vs natural

The sugar you get from eating an apple is different from the sugar you get from drinking a glass of apple juice.

That’s because the apple contains fiber which would slow digestion and produce a smaller spike in blood sugar. The apple juice however, contains no fiber and would result in a larger increase in blood sugar.

The sugar in the apple is a natural sugar, where the sugar in apple juice is likely to be an added refined sugar.

It is this processed sugar, the kind found in baked goods and packaged foods is what you want to limit.

What is Processed Or Refined Sugar?

We all know there’s processed sugar in the cookies we buy and bake, but it’s also hidden in our salad dressings, our condiments, our dairy, and breads.

It often goes unnoticed because it hides under names like…

  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Corn syrup
  • Brown rice syrup
  • Galactose
  • Dextrose
  • Fructose
  • Maltodextrin
  • Corn syrup solids
  • Maltose
  • Fruit juice concentrate

And several more.

It’s these forms of processed sugar that are damaging to our health.


Healthy Sugar Substitutes

You can still enjoy your treats, just look for or bake with healthy sugar substitutes. Some of the best sugar substitutes include:

  • stevia
  • raw honey
  • maple syrup
  • xylitol



Stevia is a plant extract native to South America. It is about 200 times sweeter than sugar and calorie free!

It comes in granular form, like sugar, or liquid form, and helps sweeten your treats without raising your blood sugar. However, some can taste a little bitterness in the aftertaste.

Raw Honey

Raw honey is one of nature’s best sweeteners. It gives treats a warm sweet taste plus honey it is high in antioxidants and can actually boost your health.

Some studies even show honey can help you lose weight by curbing your appetite when it’s replacing sugar.


butternut squash brownies idealraw chocolate

How To Use Sugar Substitutes In Your Baking

Swapping sugar for stevia or raw honey is easy, here are the basic conversions. These might differ depending on the type of stevia or recipe, but they will give you a good idea to start with.

For stevia:

  • 1 c sugar = 1 tsp powdered stevia or 1 tsp liquid drops
  • 1 tbsp sugar = 1/4 tsp powdered stevia or 6-9 drops
  • 1 tsp sugar = pinch of powdered stevia or 2-4 drops

For honey:

  • 1 c sugar = 3/4 c honey, reduce oven temperature by 25 degrees
  • t tbsp sugar = 2 tsp honey, reduce oven temperature by 25 degrees


Try The 7-Day Sugar-Free Challenge

Try going sugar free for just 7 days! Can you do it?

Learn more.

Alissa Kepas

Alissa Kepas

Yoga Teacher, Reiki Master

As an experienced yoga instructor and Reiki master, I know the power that comes from yoga. I’ve practiced yoga all over the world and am always inspired by the nature around me. I encourage my students to let go and embrace new opportunities so we can become the best versions of ourselves.

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