How to Substitute Healthier Sweeteners for Sugar

How to Substitute Healthier Sweeteners for Sugar

There are natural sweeteners that can be used in place of white sugar. We explain the characteristics of each sweetener and how to make the substitution.

How to Substitute Healthier Sweeteners for Sugar

The problems associated with excessive sugar consumption are well known. It generates glucose peaks that produce a feeling of energy and well-being, but are followed by drops that produce the desire to eat again. It is an addictive mechanism that is related to problems such as fatigue, mood swings, inflammation, insulin resistance, obesity, and diabetes.

Ideally, we should reduce our dependence on sweet taste and learn to feed ourselves with natural products of all flavors that provide the nutrients we need. But if we want a dose of sweetness, we can choose natural sweeteners to replace the sugar. There are many options and in this article we are going to explain how to do the replacement.


They are natural plant products with great sweetening power but that do not provide calories:


The sweetness of stevia comes from its compounds, steviosides and rebaudiosides. It is heat stable and can be used for cooking and to make processed foods.

  • It is suitable for diabetic people because it regulates blood sugar levels.
  • Avoid obesity and hypertension.
  • It does not overload the liver or the intestine.
  • It does not cause cavities.

It has an aftertaste reminiscent of liquorice. It is often marketed mixed with other artificial sweeteners, or with polyalcohol such as erythitrole.


Its sweetening compounds are the mogrosides. The fruit powder is marketed, or the extract of the mogrosides in drops. Sometimes it comes mixed with erythitrole or stevia, to mask its mild aftertaste. It is heat stable and suitable for cooking.

  • It is very suitable for diabetic people and for weight control diets.
  • It does not overload the liver or the intestine.
  • It does not cause cavities.

In traditional Chinese medicine it is used medicinally for the throat, fever and longevity for its antioxidants, without reported side effects


Yukon is a tuber from the Andes so rich in fructooligosaccharides that it is considered a prebiotic. It is a natural sweetener that is low in calories and has a glycemic index.

  • It is suitable for diabetic people.
  • It does not cause cavities.

It is used to lose weight by taking a teaspoon and an hour before meals. You should not take more than 50g a day because it would cause intestinal problems such as gas or diarrhea.


Despite their name, they do not contain alcohol. They are listed as food additives, with a letter E assigned. They often appear in “no added sugar” products such as candy, cookies, desserts, and soda. They are used in syrups or lozenges and in toothpastes.


It is the sweetener additive E967. The best xylitol is obtained from cereals and plants, especially birch. Its sweetness is similar to that of sugar. It can be used in hot drinks without losing its sweetness.

  • It does not produce cavities, it takes care of dental health.
  • It is hypoglycemic.
  • It is prebiotic.

It is a fructooligoaccharide, which strengthens the intestinal flora, but in excess, more than 50g, it can cause gastrointestinal discomfort.

It does not provide other types of nutrients, such as vitamins or minerals. It is toxic to dogs.


It is the sweetener additive E968. It is made from corn starches and other plants. The taste of erythritol is very similar to sugar, but more refreshing. It is often used mixed with stevia, to enhance its sweetness.

  • It is suitable for low-calorie diets and people with diabetes.
  • It does not cause cavities, but rather remineralizes tooth enamel.
  • It does not cause intestinal discomfort, although it is recommended not to consume more than 1g per kilo of weight per day.


They are controversial because their ratio of oligosaccharides is very high, usually sucrose, which is a molecule of glucose and fructose.

Its contributions of vitamins and minerals are minimal. In excess, they have detrimental effects on health: they are contraindicated in cases of diabetes and promote obesity and tooth decay.

The sudden rise in glucose unbalances the body, while fructose causes fatty acids and obesity.


Its composition is 97% sucrose. The rest of the molasses contains fiber, B vitamins and minerals, but in not representative amounts.

It is a product with a healthy halo, but very similar to refined white sugar.


Its composition is 22% water, 30% sucrose, 13% fructose, 12% glucose and 20% other carbohydrates and fiber.

Its proportion of micronutrients such as minerals and vitamins is somewhat higher than that of whole sugar.


It is composed of 71% sucrose, 3% fructose and another 3% glucose. It contains minerals such as calcium, potassium and iron, fiber, and antioxidants.

Its glycemic index is lower than that of other sugars due to the presence of inulin (prebiotic fiber).


It is a refined product that is extracted by means of artificial enzymes from the root of the Mexican cactus.

It is composed of fructose, 77%. The remaining 23% is water and small portions of minerals and vitamins.


Its main nutrients are fructose 41%, glucose 36% and other sugars 5%. The amount of water is approximately 18%.

Raw honey is a natural product that contains enzymes, trace minerals, vitamins and proteins in small amounts, as well as antiseptic and bactericidal properties.

But commercial honeys are pasteurized, lose their values ​​and are just another sugar with no added value.


Maple sap of ecological origin is a natural product that is obtained without artificial substances.

It contains 32% water, and a sugar concentration of 67.5%, mainly sucrose.

Provides some antioxidants and small amounts of minerals and vitamins.


It is obtained from pitted dates and ground with water. Once strained and pressed, they are simmered to concentrate their sugars to 70% of their weight.

These sugars are mostly glucose and fructose, and fiber has been lost, so its initial glycemic index of 55 rises to 65. It provides traces of calcium and potassium.


How much stevia, xylitol, and erythritol or date paste do you have to put in to replace the amount of sugar that a recipe asks for? In the table you can see the equivalences. In each case you just have to make a rule of three with the amount indicated by the recipe.


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