Looking to cut down on sugar? Try these six alternatives

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I love the yummy stuff – pastries, bagels, cereals and all. But we all know, consuming too much sugar, can put you at risk of elevated blood sugar, high blood pressure weight gain, abdominal obesity etc. It also increases your uric acid levels and you may not even know it! So, if you’re looking to satisfy your sweet tooth, here are some great alternatives and the best places to get them…

Six natural sweeteners
  1. Maple syrups
This syrup comes from maple trees. Manufacturers harvest the sap, then boil it down and filter it in sugar houses. It’s generally comprised of 70% sucrose, with a low fructose level. The syrup also contains a good about of antioxidants.
  1. Agave syrup
This syrup comes from the leaves of the leaves of the blue agave plant. It’s intensely sweet, so you don’t even need as much as regular sugar. But beware – this means it can spike your blood sugar quickly, so I wouldn’t recommend it to diabetics.
  1. Molasses
Molasses is a by-product of the sugar cane refining process. It’s rich in all the nutrients extracted from sugar during this process – iron, copper, magnesium, zinc, calcium and potassium. Thick, gooey blackstrap molasses is particularly rich in minerals and is a great vegan source of iron.
  1. Honey
You know of this one already, but I’m mentioning it anyway. While the commercial type isn’t too different to sugar, the raw, organic type remains rich in nutrients. That’s why I always vote raw, organic honey – it’s great for you and it tastes great too!
  1. Coconut palm sugar
Coconut palm sugar comes from the sap of the coconut palm. It’s low in fructose and high in vitamin C and potassium. But just be warned – many coconut sugars you’ll find on supermarket shelves have added cane sugar. So read the lead before you buy! You want to opt for one without other ingredients. It’s great for baking.
  1. Date sugar
Date sugar comes from dehydrated, ground dates. It has no additives, and boasts a high potassium and antioxidant content. More antioxidants than nearly a dozen other popular sweeteners, according to a 2013 Virginia Tech study.

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