Nutrition Articles

Alternatives for Refined Sugar

Alternatives for refined sugar
Alternatives for refined sugar. Ditch the sugar series. Alternatives for refined sugar. Strawberry maple smoothie.


Want to kick your sugar habit but still satisfy your sweet tooth? Then you’re in luck. Below I’ll be discussing five healthy, natural alternatives to refined sugar. Use them to sweeten your coffee, add extra flavor to your yogurt, or whenever you want to add a touch of sweetness to your dish without indulging in refined sugar. Let’s start the second part of my Ditch the Sugar Series: Alternatives for Refined Sugar. Also, try my strawberry maple smoothie at the end of this article.

Stevia is one of the most popular natural sweeteners. This herb which comes from South America is 300 times sweeter than refined sugar. It contains zero calories, so is a great choice if you’re trying to lose weight. Plus, it has no glycemic impact. This makes it the perfect refined sugar alternative if you’re diabetic. Stevia is also very easy to digest which means you won’t suffer from any of the digestive problems that are often associated with sugar substitutes.


Coconut sugar is created by heating the sap from coconut palms. Unlike refined sugar, coconut sugar doesn’t de-stabilize your energy levels, so is ideal if you want to stay productive and focused during the day. Like stevia, it’s also a great choice if you suffer from diabetes because it won’t disrupt your blood sugar levels. Another great thing about coconut sugar is that it supplies your body with nutrients as it sweetens and is a good source of calcium, iron, potassium, and zinc.


Date sugar is made by grinding down dehydrated dates into sugar-sized granules. As you’d expect from the production process, it has the same rich and sweet flavor of fresh dates and shares all its health benefits. These health benefits include promoting healthy digestion, strengthening your heart, and lowering your blood pressure. The main negative of date sugar is that it doesn’t melt or dissolve easily, so it’s not a good choice if you want to sweeten your drinks.


Honey is sweeter than refined sugar and has a much greater range of health benefits. It contains high levels of vitamins and minerals which support many vital processes within the body. It also has antibacterial and antifungal properties, so is a perfect sweetener for boosting your immunity. Unlike refined sugar, honey is also great for your skin and can help make it brighter, smoother, and more radiant. It tastes great in tea. It can also be used as a replacement for sugar in many recipes.


Maple syrup contains around half the calories of refined sugar and is a much more nutritious choice. It’s loaded with antioxidants that protect your body’s cells from damage and reduce the visible signs of aging. It is also a brilliant source of manganese and zinc which boost your metabolism and your immune system. In addition to this, it’s great for your skin and can protect against skin blemishes, dry skin, and redness. Finally, maple syrup has been shown to protect against a range of chronic ailments and diseases including arthritis, cancer, diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, and heart disease.

For a sweet-tasting smoothie, try this amazing recipe below!

This strawberry maple smoothie is just the cure for any of your sugar cravings and healthy too.

In case you missed part 1 in the DITCH THE SUGAR SERIES? Check the link out below.


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Strawberry maple smoothie

Strawberry Maple Smoothie

  • Author: Laura Villanueva
  • Yield: 1 Serving 1x


This naturally sweet tasting smoothie is just the cure for your sugar cravings. It is naturally low in sugar and tastes delicious. 


  • 3 strawberries, sliced
  • 1/2 zucchini, peeled and sliced
  • 1/4 cup ice
  • 1/2 cup unflavored dairy-free yogurt, low-fat
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoons pecans, toasted, plus more for garnish
  • Dash freshly grated nutmeg, plus more for garnish


1. Purée all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Pour into a chilled glass, and garnish with toasted pecans and grated nutmeg; serve.

Note: Please see ‘Tips’ above for suitable substitutions, storage advice, and more!

  • Category: Smoothies
  • Method: Blender
  • Cuisine: Low-Sugar


  • Serving Size: 1 Smoothie

Keywords: smoothies, drinks, strawberry smoothie, strawberry smoothie recipe


I would love to hear if you have ever tried any of the refined sugar alternatives that I mentioned. Let me know what your experience has been with ditching the sugar. Connect with me @Eat_Your_Nutrition on Instagram. I love seeing your photos. #EatYourNutrition #LauraVillanueva


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Hi, I'm Laura.
Your Healthy Gut Nutritionist!

Certified holistic nutritionist, nutrition and wellness author, weight and gut health specialist. I teach women how to discover effective ways to become the healthiest version of themselves.

My refreshing new approach to nutrition and healthy living have inspired many to make positive healthy lifestyle changes. You can achieve a healthy gut, learn how to restore healthy gut flora by learning my healthy nutrition tips, recipes, and follow my healthy gut diet plans, guides, and programs. 



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