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Oh, Oh, sugar.

It’s as sweet as it is tempting and troublesome. Processed, refined sugar dominates our pantries, kitchens, and restaurant menus. It’s added by heaping spoonfuls to our food, both sweet and savory. However, Its direct link to weight gain and related health issues has us seeking the perfect sugar alternative.

Substitute your sugar intake with any of these natural sweeteners. They are as healthy as they are delicious, so dive right in. 

Manuka Honey

Regular honey is a common alternative to sugar. But Manuka honey, usually imported from New Zealand, boasts powerful antibacterial properties. It is one of the strongest naturally-occurring antioxidants available.

Eat 1 to 2 tablespoons of this raw honey each day to strengthen your immune system, develop clearer skin, and break free from sugar addiction.

  • Spread some Manuka honey on a slice of whole-grain bread for breakfast.
  • Add a spoonful to your nighttime cup of tea.
  • Eat a spoonful of this honey by itself to stave off colds.

In addition to ingesting Manuka honey, you can use it as a topical ointment for any skin issues from rashes to burns.

Erythritol 

While alcohol is rarely considered healthy, Erythritol, a type of sugar alcohol is one of the latest natural sweetener favorites among those who want to curb sugar intake. Erythritol results from fermenting the yeast of wheat or corn. It tastes a lot like bleached refined sugar, yet it doesn’t yield the same side effects as sugar if you eat it. Containing just 6 percent of the calories found in regular sugar, Erythritol is a great alternative for weight management. It’s also 70 percent as sweet as its unhealthy, processed counterpart.

  • Add Erythritol to baked goods.
  • Put a spoonful of it into your tea or coffee
  • Sprinkle some Erythritol over a bowl of oats or cereal.

Be careful not to eat too much Erythritol at a time. Ingesting it everyday in large amounts may cause you digestive discomfort.

Coconut Sugar 

Have you ever tried coconut palm sugar? This sweetener is formed from coconut palm sap. It has boomed in popularity along with all other things derived from coconuts, including coconut oil and coconut water. Though coconut palm sugar has nearly the same amount of calories as regular sugar, this alternative is significantly lower in fructose.

Fructose is the main culprit when it comes to your health and sugar consumption. It causes your body to resist insulin, eventually leading to diabetes and weight gain. Excess fructose can even cause liver damage and blood clots. If you do use coconut sugar, do so sparingly, especially if you want to try it as a diet first.

Brown Rice Syrup

If you’re looking for a slightly healthier sugar alternative, try brown rice syrup. This sweetener comes from — you guessed it brown rice. When boiled down to its syrupy goodness, it has the consistency of honey. It’s nutty flavor might be a welcome taste in oatmeal or a bowl of fruit and almonds. If you like the taste of brown rice sugar, try to keep your intake between one and two tablespoons a day.

Cinnamon

It may surprise you that cinnamon is touted as a superb alternative to refined sugar. After all, it’s spicy and sometimes bitter. However, even the purest of cinnamon has a tiny bit of sweetness. The mixture of sweet and spicy makes for an interesting taste profile. 

Put some cinnamon in your coffee. This will enhance your cuppa Joe’s taste as well as its benefits. Cinnamon is believed to reduce hypertension as well as help to regress heart failure in some instances.

What’s your Favorite Sugar Alternative?

Which sweetener sounds most promising to you? Experiment with what you like, and then let us know which worked best for you. Remember: stay away from refined sugars, and have a sweet day.