What to replace sugar? LIST OF healthy sugar substitutes

There are a lot of sweeteners advertised as healthy substitutes for white sugar, which ones are worth recommending? Which sweeteners are suitable for diabetics, and which diabetics and slimming people should stay away from? View an overview of healthy sweeteners.

Sugar fortifies” was the famous pre-war slogan: Today, we know that this is not true: Excess sugar in the diet is considered a risk factor for many diseases – caries, hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases and is the main cause of overweight and obesity problems. wanting to be healthy, you have to give up the sweet taste completely? There are many sugar substitutes on the market that we can incorporate into the diet without fearing for health and enjoying the sweet taste.


Why change sugar? List of valuable natural sweeteners

1. Stevia

Stevia is a plant originating from South America. It contains steviol glycosides in leaves and stems, which are responsible for its sweet taste, and they do not provide calories. Stevia is sweeter than sugar 200-300 times, so to sweeten drinks and desserts very small One teaspoon of powdered stevia leaves corresponds to the sweetness of a glass of sugar, fresh, dried and powdered leaves can be used for sweetening, and stevia pills and liquids are also available in the shops Fresh leaves are recommended for salads and beverages. It also has a slightly bitter aftertaste that does not suit everyone.It also quickly caramelizes during baking.The most recommended are brown or green extracts andsteviapowders becausethey are less processed and not without nutrients – in contrastthese contrast to a white or transparent.


2. Xylitol

Xylitol is a sugar made of birch bark, it contains 40% less calories than traditional sugar (240 kcal) and it has a glycemic index (IG = 8) close to 10 times lower, so it does not cause sudden outbursts of insulin into the bloodstream. According to many scientific publications, consumption of xylitol causes great health benefits Xylitol counteracts the acidification of the body supports the absorption of calcium and magnesium, thanks to which it improves bone mineralization and prevents osteoporosis due to bactericidal action improves the body’s resistance positively affects the intestinal microflora, and long-term inhibits The sweetness of xylitol is similar to the sweetness of sugar, it can be used to sweeten coffee and tea, add to baking and fruit preserves, it is suitable for cooking, baking and freezing – its sweet taste stays in a wide range of temperatures.

3. Maple syrup

Maple syrup is a traditional Canadian delicacy that is obtained from maple tree juice by evaporation of water, it contains no preservatives and can be stored for up to 18 months. In addition to the main ingredient – sugar – contains calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus and manganese, and B vitamins and polyphenols with antioxidant and anticancer effects are therefore healthier than regular sugar, it also provides fewer calories (270 kcal / 100g), but contains large amounts of sucrose (from 52 to 75%), so it should be Occasionally used, it can not be used by people on a sugar-free diet and is not indicated for diabetics: IG maple syrup is 65, slightly less than sugar (IG = 70) Maple syrup can be used to sweeten baked goods, as a topping for pancakes, waffles and French toast, a sweetener for drinks and cocktails, and a component of marinades for meats. If you want to use maple syrup for baking, it’s worthUse 1 measure sugar scoop ¾ scoop of maple syrup and reduce the amount of liquid added to the dough.


4. Date syrup

Dates are naturally very sweet, they contain a lot of valuable nutrients like carotenes, B vitamins, vitamin E, calcium, iron and phosphorus.” Dried fruit can be used to sweeten the cakes. Why not make them more liquid and expand Range of applications – Ready date syrup contains vitamins and minerals such as dried fruits, sometimes it can be bought in stores in the fit and eco department, however, its price is very high, I recommend to prepare the syrup yourself 100 g dates should be poured 200 ml of hot water, wait for 3 hours and mix It to get a clear syrup like on a shop shelf, you need to wipe it through a sieve, but it requires a lot of patience .The date syrup is sweeter than sugar. Adding it to dishes, reduce the amount by 1/3 relative to sugar. coffee syrup, cakes, pouring pancakes and porridge, as dressing for salads or marinade for meats.sometimes from maple syrup, because its calorific value is quite high – about 270 kcal.The glycemic index of a date syrup depends on how it is prepared and can be 35-60.


It will be useful to you

What fruits can be used for sweetening?

Bananas – for fruit cocktails with natural yogurt or milk, oatmeal cookies without flour and sugar, cakes and porridge

Dried fruits, e.g. raisins, apricots, figs, plums – addition to breakfast porridge or millet, natural yoghurt, for cakes and cookies, sweet omelette, salads

Pineapple – for cocktails, cottage cheese

Fruit juices – for water and tea, for sweetening jams, yoghurts and pastries ”



5. Melasa

Molasses is a by-product of sugar production, which occurs in the form of a dark brown syrup with a content of about 40-50% sucrose.The most common is cane and beet molca.As a waste from the purification of sugar contains ingredients whose sugar was deprived in the process of refining. iron, magnesium, potassium, calcium, copper, phosphorus, chromium, zinc and B vitamins. The use of molasses can help reduce the level of bad cholesterol in the blood, it is also beneficial in iron deficiency, it also supports the work of the immune and nervous systems. You can also find molasses from carob or carob bean flour, which regulates intestinal function, can be used to treat diarrhea and digestive problems, is also used in the treatment of asthma and allergy problems. You can spread bread with molasses, add to muesli, curd or pancakes. It is suitable for sweetening coffee and tea, baking cakes and gingerbread, as well asmarinade component 100 g molasses provides 290 kcal, and its glycemic index is 70, therefore it is not recommended for diabetics.


6. Honey

Honey has a similar caloricity to white sugar (324 kcal / 100 g), but it does not contain the same” sweetness. “Its main ingredients are sugars – glucose and fructose. Depending on the honey variety, and thus the proportion of glucose and fructose, the index glycemic is 50-87.The more fructose in the honey, the lower the IG. In addition to sugars in honey, we find small amounts of minerals, B vitamins and proteins, tannins, waxes, volatile oils, pollen, enzymes and organic acids. these ingredients are responsible for the health-promoting properties of honey, including cough, asthma and hay fever, bactericidal and fungicidal activity, improving the digestive system and increasing myocardial function. The beneficial effect of honey disappears at temperatures above 40 ° C.


7. Erythritol

Erythritol belongs to the same group of chemical compounds as xylitol. Of course, it occurs in some fruits and pollen, but it is produced in the fermentation of glycerol using the appropriate yeast strain. Erythritol is in the same form as white sugar. The sweetness of erythritol is 65-70% sweetness of sucrose, Erythritol is a very good substitute for sugar for diabetics and people on a sugar-free diet – it does not increase glucose and its glycemic index is 0. It is also very low in calories. 100 g of erythritol provides 20 kcal. It can be sweetened with hot drinks and added to baking, its advantage is that it does not leave a foreign aftertaste .. As a food additive it has been used in Poland since 2008. Unlike other polyhydric alcohols (eg xylitol) consumed even in large quantities does not cause diarrhea. ”


Worth knowing

Xylitol and erythritol belong to semi-synthetic sweeteners from the group of polyols (polyhydric alcohols).Other polyols used in the food industry includesorbitol and mannitol.They are obtained from natural sources (eg xylitol from birch bark, erythritol from whey, sorbitol from glucose, mannitol from sucrose) using enzymatic, chemical or biotechnological methods.In the digestive tract they are differently digested than sugar, which is why they show much lower calorific value and do not increase rapidly the level of glucose in the blood.For this reason, they are used in diabetic products.Polyols are less sweet than sugar, which is why they are often combined with intensely sweet substances such as aspartame, acesulfame K or sucralose in products.Part of the polyol passes in large quantities to the large intestine, where they ferment, and thus can cause diarrhea and bloating.The exception is erythritol, which is metabolized differently.The low molecular weight of erythritol and the lack of enzymes responsible for its decomposition in the human gastrointestinal tract cause that about 80% of this sweetener is absorbed in the small intestine and is excreted unchanged with the urine.Ingestion of erythritol does not cause bloating and diarrhea, because of the remaining 20% ​​that go to the large intestine, only half is converted by the bacteria into free fatty acids.Such small amounts of free fatty acids and gases formed next to them practically exclude bloating and diarrhea.


8. Tagatose

Tagatose is a monocotester that is obtained from lactose (milk sugar) as a result of complicated chemical or enzymatic transformations.The tagatose is almost as sweet as sucrose – it shows 92% of its sweetness, provides much less calories. 100 g tagatose is 150 kcal, while traditional sugar – 400 kcal. It is also characterized by a low glycemic index (IG = 7.5), does not increase blood sugar rapidly, therefore it is recommended for people suffering from diabetes and slimming. Tagatose can also be used at high temperatures, e.g. For the sweetening of beverages, baking cakes, mousses and sauces, it is distinguished by the fact that it is fermented, so it can be a yeast medium – it can be used to bake yeast dough. Only 20% of tagatose is digested in the digestive tract. part goes to the large intestine, where it acts as a prebiotictherefore, beneficial for the composition and nutrition of the intestinal microflora, inhibits the multiplication of pathogenic bacteria and improves the functioning of the intestinal function.Unlike most polyhydric alcohols used for sweetening, such as xylitol, tagatose does not cause diarrhea.


Comparison of sugar substitutes – table

substitute sugar kcal / 100 g glycemic index the possibility of use in high temperature recommended for diabetics

Stevia 0 0 YES (however, it quickly caramelizes during baking) YES

Xylitol 240 8 YES YES

Maple syrup 270 65 YES NO

Date syrup 270 35-60 YES NO

Molasses 290 70 YES NO

Honey 324 50-87 YES (however, at temperatures above 40 ° C, it loses health-promoting properties) NO

Erythritol 20 0 YES YES

Tagatosis 150 7.5 YES YES



Some of the natural sweeteners, despite the fact that their names sound “eco” and they associate well, have very little nutritional value, eg agave syrup or brown rice syrup.These are products that mainly contain pure sugar.Rice syrup consists of glucose, maltose and maltotriose, and agave syrup – 90% fructose.Fructose may be healthier because it is fruity sugar, but in no fruit you will find such concentration of sugar, and numerous studies confirm the negative effect of consuming large amounts of fructose on health.Both syrups – just like regular sugar – contain only sweeteners, i.e. empty calories.

Healthy sugar substitutes also do not include unrefined brown sugar or brown sugar from sugar beets.It is true that they contain small amounts of mineral substances (about 1%), but both are almost pure sucrose.White beet sugar delivers 405 kcal, brown – 400 kcal, and cane 396 kcal in 100 g. For those who care about the line, the difference in calorie is unnoticeable