Searching for a Sugar Substitute? Five Alternatives to Classic Sugar

Alternative sweeteners lend a different flavor to foods and can have a few health benefits, too.
Related To:
133575354

133575354

Maple Pancake Syrup

Photo by: Lori Sparkia

Lori Sparkia

White sugar is a standby in the kitchen, but there are plenty of reasons to seek out alternatives. Alternative sweeteners lend a different flavor to foods — be they baked goods, salad dressings or cocktails — and some of them even have health benefits. (Keep in mind, though, that added sugar is added sugar, no matter the source. For your health, that should be limited to 6 teaspoons a day for women and 9 teaspoons for men.)

Maple syrup: Thank researchers in Rhode Island for bringing us some sweet news about maple syrup. They discovered several anti-inflammatory compounds in maple syrup, including a new one that they named Quebecol. A drizzle can sweeten coffee with its distinctive maple flavor.

477461681

477461681

Various types of honey

Photo by: bozhdb

bozhdb

Honey: Honey can take on some of the flavors of the flowers pollinated by honeybees. It shines best in dishes where you can appreciate its subtle flavor, such as stirred into tea or drizzled on steel-cut oatmeal along with a splash of heavy cream.

Turbinado sugar: This is a raw cane sugar that is less processed than brown sugar and has some of the natural molasses in it. You can pretty much use it in place of white sugar — it generally has a larger grain, which gives baked goods a nice crunch when it’s sprinkled on top.

Molasses: It’s kind of an old-fashioned ingredient, but one of the best in terms of extra health benefits. Blackstrap molasses — the dark, intensely flavored kind — is an excellent source of calcium and iron (a tablespoon gives you 20 percent of the daily value). Bake it into cookies or go all Little House on the Prairie and spread it on toast.

Monk fruit hanging on a vine.

Monk fruit: The latest zero-calorie sweetener to hit shelves is monk fruit extract, made from a fruit grown in sub-tropical Asia. It’s 200 times sweeter than sugar, and it’s blended with other ingredients, such as stevia, in some zero-calorie sweeteners.

Kerri-Ann is a registered dietitian who writes on food and health trends. Find more of her work at kerriannjennings.com or follow her on Twitter @kerriannrd or Facebook.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Sweet Alternatives to Sugar

Looking for a creative replacement for processed table sugar? These four natural sweeteners can bring new flavors and different levels of sweetness to your favorite recipes.

Baking With Sugar Alternatives

Sugar helps make baked goodies puffy, golden brown and moist, but plain granulated sugar isn’t your only option. Whether you’re looking to cut calories, use less processed ingredients or simply change up the flavor, here are some options.

5 Ways to Curb Sugar Cravings

Trying to reach for healthy snacks but the sugary treats are calling you? Use these strategies to help douse that sugar-fueled fire.

Is Sugar Toxic?

A recent episode of 60 Minutes titled “Is Sugar Toxic” had folks buzzing over Twitter and whispering at the water cooler. But is sugar really the enemy ?

8 Surprising Sources of Sugar

Move over salt, there's a new bad guy in town: sugar. You’ll be shocked to find out that these 8 common foods contain more sugar than you think.

Farewell, My Sweets: The Sugar Shunning Trend

If fat was the star dietary villain for the past few decades, sugar is quickly stepping up to take its place.

How to Cut the Sugar from Summer Drinks

We consume over three times the daily recommended amount of added sugar each day, and sugary beverages are one of the main contributors to this sugar overload.

Ask the Dietitian: What's the Difference Between Added and Natural Sugar?

What’s the deal with all they types of sugar out there? Are all sugars created equal? And are all sugars bad?

News Feed: Fish and Brains, Sugar in Fruit, Pomegranate Healthfulness

Eating fish may aid your brain, sugar in fruit beats sugar in soda — plus, parsing pomegranates and health.

Reading List: Alli Linked to Liver Failure, New Sugar Guidelines & Becoming a Locavore

In this week’s nutrition headlines: the danger in taking supplements, American’s drowning in sugar, and the popular weight loss pill Alli is linked to liver failure.

Food Network Apps

In the Kitchen

Get over 70,000 FN recipes on all your mobile devices.

Facebook Messenger

Ask our bot for recipes, meal ideas and daily food trivia.

Amazon Echo

Just say "Alexa, enable Food Network skill" to get started.