4 Sugar Alternatives That Are Actually Good

Sugar Alternatives That Are Actually Good for You

We’ve all heard the news and read recent studies enough to know that certain things are bad for you one day and great for you the next – red wine, the internet, painkillers. Sugar is no exception. 

Sugar has been linked to various health conditions such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Sugar also encourages weight gain due to the chemical processes it sparks – having to process sugar actually prevents your body from burning fat, so those with a sugar-full diet may find they don’t lose weight, no matter how many hours they clock in at the gym. 

So what kind of sugar should we eat that actually can be good for our health?

I’ve found some sugar alternatives that are good for you when eaten in moderation. With this list, you won’t feel guilty indulging on your sweet tooth, you won’t sabotage your weight loss efforts and you won’t worry about the effects on your general health anymore!

Coconut Sugar

Coconut sugar, or coconut palm sugar, is essentially a by-product of the humble palm tree. It’s collected from the bark and the sap from palm flowers and acts as a great alternative to sugar while still providing sweetness. The best thing about using this is that it’s so much better for your body than sugar cane – it keeps your energy levels stable. Coconut sugar helps to avoid annoying dips and peaks that can cause mood swings and further cravings! 

  • Where Can I Find Coconut Products I Can Trust?

Most supermarkets now offer great coconut products, from coconut oil to coconut sugar. Coconut sugar is almost like a thick paste that is dry but dissolves easily. 

  • Does Coconut Sugar Have Flavor?

Not really. Coconut sugar tastes like a heavy, sweet sugar, pretty much like the regular sugar we are accustomed to. We recommend using it for baking in place of caster or Demerara sugar. Coconut sugar is fine to add to hot drinks as well, as it won’t overpower your tea or coffee. 


Stevia is a great alternative to sugar and comes from a plant, so it’s 100% natural. It’s great for anyone with pre-existing medical conditions, such as diabetes, because it doesn’t cause spikes in energy. Stevia is also believed to actually aid weight loss, therefore a perfect solution for anyone with a sweet tooth but is aiming to lose weight.

  • Is Stevia Okay for Vegetarians and Vegans?

Yes – it comes from a plant so it’s absolutely fine for vegetarians and vegans.

  • Is This a Good Option for Using in Hot Drinks?

It is, and it’s much better for you than sweeteners. Start with a little at first, just to taste – you don’t need as much as you think. Stevia offers a pretty strong, sweet kick without adding any other flavor, so can also be used for baking. One thing to be aware of is that the consistency of stevia differs from that of normal sugar, so you may have to compensate with extra flour in order to have the perfect bake! 

Humble Honey

Raw honey is jam-packed with goodness and is known as a good anti-bacterial and anti-fungal agent that helps your body in more ways than one.

Which Honey Is Best for Me? 

Raw organic honey is the one to look out for, as it’s left with all its natural nutrients compared to the pasteurized ones. The golden rule is to keep the honey on its natural temperature because studies show that heating raw honey poses the risk of destroying all its health benefits. If you’re after a sweet coffee, sticking to alternative sweeteners like stevia is advisable.

  • Can Vegetarians and Vegans Use Honey as an Alternative?

Good question – vegans generally steer clear of any animal product or by-product, and, since honey comes from bees, it’s not considered a vegan alternative. Most vegetarians are fine with this though! Anyone looking for a 100% natural, plant-based and vegan sugar alternative should consider stevia instead, as mentioned above.


Dates aren’t just what people go to the movies for – it’s also a delicious fruit full of nutrients! Dates make a great snack on its own but are also a great alternative to sugar and artificial sweeteners.

  • Are They Really Sweet Enough?

Yes! Dates are incredibly sweet anyway, and Medjool dates are my go-to if I’m craving something sweet. Dates are probably the healthiest sugar alternative I’ve included in this list, as it also contains plenty of vitamins and minerals. 

  • What Can I Use Dates for?

Pretty much anything! Obviously, dates are normally bought as fruits, either fresh or dried, so you can’t use it exactly in your drinks. You can, however, grind them up in a processor to add to smoothies or use in baking. 

My favorite thing to do with dates is cut the seed out, insert a raw almond, dip in almond butter and eat as is. Dates are already packed with nutrients, but sometimes I just need additional texture.

I also make raw, vegan energy balls by throwing dates, cashew butter, banana and chia seeds into my blender – enough to give the sugar hit I’m after without any of the nasty side effects. Perfect to keep in the fridge for later, but healthy enough to eat in one delicious go! 

In conclusion

Ideally, we should cut out processed sugar out of our diets entirely, but we all know that’s not realistic for most people (myself included!). However, small changes can make a huge difference. Cutting back on sugar and using any of my listed alternatives can make you feel better and your body will thank you for it. 

As you consistently choose and use these alternatives than the processed ones, your ‘sugar highs’ will become a thing of the past and your energy level will be more consistent than ever. These alternatives taste good minus the guilt, aid weight loss by either actively burning fat or speeding metabolism where sugar would only slow it down, and help you become more experimental in the kitchen. 

As always, eat a plentiful diet and make sure any processed foods or sugar is kept to a minimum and you will be well on your way to living a healthier life in no time!