Aspartame and Sugar Are Bad for Your Health, Use These 8 Natural Sweeteners Instead

aspartame-sugar-healthWe all have experienced the strange feeling of drowsiness between working hours 2-4, after the lunch and still work left during the day.

You unconsciously reach and grab sweets to give you energy, but instead you end up being more tired. You even make tea or coffee, pour a ton of sugar, Splenda or Equal to get a better taste and sugar bomb. After this coffee, shortly after it, you feel a drop of energy, like a crush.

Don’t be fooled- you don’t need to consume ONLY aspartame foods to get instant energy! Think of or discover healthier sweet things to consume every day as a natural option.

Here you have 8 replacements of the harmful sweeteners. They are low in rank on the glycemic scale, from low to medium and this makes them perfect for stopping sugar spikes in the blood or zapped blood sugar levels. These natural replacements are in fact good and nutritious too – they improve the ‘harmful’ foods in a way, like sodas, desserts or zero calorie drinks.

Raw honey

This is really popular and is unprocessed – the most natural thing you can get. It is good since it doesn’t get cooked, or exposed to great heat, filters that make it useless in nutrition. There are a lot of polyphenols in the honey – these are antioxidants good for many illnesses. In cooking, honey is used often as a sugar substitute and it is a good additive for tea, coffee, yogurt even, both in cooking and baking among many other options. On the glycemic scale, this is a medium. On the other hand, the processed honey is not as nutritious as the raw one, but it can still have a good taste and give you some benefits in small amounts.

Agave nectar

This nectar is also known by its name ‘nectar’ or ‘syrup’ and it is made from Mexican Agave tequila plant’s core. This is the same plant for extracting tequila taste too. After it is extracted, it is heated to make a thick structure, but thinner than honey and sweeter than sugar! It mainly has fructose, basically a natural sugar in fruits and veggies. This is a good option for the dinner table, the glycemic index is lower than sugar and honey together (GI 30). The agave plant comes in many forms and it offers many options for its extraction regarding color or flavor and smell.

It was popularized recently in the media because of the absence of chemicals in it during the process of getting it. Research nice about the agave to make sure you purchase the right kind always. The form of it is fragile and delicate; it tastes like caramel and you can dissolve it and mix it in almost anything. If you compared it to sugar for replacement in cooking, make sure you convert the weight since they are different. This is a thin liquid and that’s why you need less of this compared to sugar. You need to use ½ cups instead of 1 cup sugar.


This is a sweet substance too, it is derived from sugarcane and also sugar beet. If the young  sugarcane is harvested, to this is added sulfur dioxide like a preservative to a boiling point to make it crystalized like sugar. It can even be boiled a few times with each time producing more sugar than the previous, and this makes it weaker in sweetness with more nutritional value than before. It looks thick and syrupy. When you finish the last boil, the third one, you get what is known as blackstrap molasses, incredibly nutritional like a nutrition bomb and with a glycemic index of 55.use the molasses for baking or for making foods that are chewy and soft, thick like ginger cookies. For the measuring, 1 pound of this equals 1 and 1/3 cups sugar. Before you measure it, spray the measuring cup with oil so that the molasses spreads evenly.  For every cup molasses, use also 1 tsp baking soda to make a contrast in the acidic content and to get the best flavor.

Dates and raisins

This is extracted from date palm tree and dry grapes; both of these are fruits with great fiber content, a lot of minerals and vitamins too.  You can take them as a snack, but also these dried fruits are used in a lot of ways. Make a fruit salad with them or regular salad, or throw them for the cookie batch. Use them in porridge also, yogurt, cereals, puddings or smoothies. Or take them and put them in a blender and make a pancake batch or waffles. You can make date sugar by blending dried dates in tiny pieces so they look similar to brown sugar, cup per cup.

Fruit juice (concentrate)

The best form of this juice is of course from natural ingredients. The fruit juice can replace every liquid otherwise used in cooking sweet things, make this concentrate by cutting preferred fruits, putting them in a saucepan, add water and boil until it softens up, strain the seeds and skin and add natural sweetener if you want. Freeze this as ice cream or popsicle, or add it to mineral water to make sweet seltzer for parties, or also mix it with gelatin and blend to make sorbet and jello desserts.  It is low glycemic, 40 more or less.

Palm sugar

This sugar is similar to the regular one, crystalline and everything. But it differs in the sense of being natural and from the palm flower nectar from the coconut tree. If the nectar is pulled from these trees, it is placed under the sunlight to dry and make dark crystals something like regular sugar. This also has the calories, but at least the GI is 35 because of the slow absorbing to the blood. Dense in nutrients, with high levels of magnesium, zinc, potassium and iron. Also a lot of B1, B2, B3, B6 and C. this palm sugar has the use ratio of 1-1 with regular sugar because of similarity of structure. It can be a good replacement for brown sugar.


This one has no calories and its source is a small green shrub by the name Stevia reb Audi ana from South of America; this is even 300 times sweeter than sugar itself and it is most popularly used in the USA because it was approved by the FDA, back in 2008. It was popular because of the packages with the purpose for coffee and tea little bags of sweetener, but later it was also used for baking. For measuring be careful, the Stevia is strong. 1 tsp Is equal to1 cup of sugar. In its natural unaltered state, the Stevia is 0 in glycemic scale and 0 in carbs and sugars! But that can change and raise when other types of sugar like fructose, glucose or dextrose are added. Buy the stevia in regular shops or markets, or healthy food stores.


Our own bodies can make this substance naturally! This sweetener is found usually in fruits and veggies (berries, mushrooms or corn husk). A lot of fiber in them too. This is maybe the perfect sweetener with little calories and no effect on the insulin because the glycemic index is only 13! The teeth will benefit from this too – the mouth pH will be leveled nicely and fewer bacteria will stick to your gums and teeth. Because of this, Xylitol is the main ‘sugar’ in gums and FDA claimed it does not trigger cavity making. The solid shape of this is like table sugar with 1 to 1 ration, also good for use of cooking.

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