Sugar Alternate options: Which Is Higher: Cane Sugar, Honey, Candy Syrups, or Stevia?

Many people can’t resist sugar and its candy style. Nevertheless, we’re additionally conscious that overdoing it with sugar isn’t the perfect for our well being. So, we frequently discover ourselves looking out for tactics to chop again on sugar whereas holding onto that beloved candy flavour. The excellent news is that we even have fairly a number of choices to assist us obtain simply that.

Within the article, you’ll study extra about these sugar options:

Why can we truly speak about limiting sugar inake?

Immediately, sugar lurks in varied varieties in an countless array of meals. It’s not as straightforward because it appears to keep away from consuming it in extreme quantities, typically with out even realizing it. It’s not solely present in sweets and desserts, but in addition in varied processed meals, baked items, and final however not least, sugary drinks. Moreover, it’s extremely possible that those that don’t have their food plan in test are unknowingly taking in an extra of sugar. So, let’s take a more in-depth look collectively at what sugar truly is and the way its options fare.

What’s sugar?

After we hear the phrase ‘sugar,’ most of us routinely consider white powdered or crystalline sugar, which we generally use for sweetening. Nevertheless, in actuality, this time period covers all monosaccharides and disaccharides (composed of two monosaccharides), often known as easy sugars.

  • Monosaccharides: glucose (grape sugar), fructose (fruit sugar), galactose
  • Disaccharides: lactose (milk sugar), maltose, sucrose (beet or cane sugar)

Most individuals know sucrose to be the basic white sugar, and it’s typically the one we take into consideration after we say that we must always restrict the quantity of sugar in our food plan.

What’s refined sugar?

This identify denotes the conventional white desk sugar. For a lot of, it triggers issues, maybe as a result of the time period ‘refinement’ feels like a harmful chemical course of. In actuality, it merely includes the gradual elimination of minerals, nutritional vitamins, and different elements from a combination obtained from sugar beets. These elements additionally contribute to the sugar’s brown color. After this ‘purification’ course of, what stays is a pure combination of easy sugars, sometimes with a white color.

Why limit your sugar intake?

What’s the impact of sugar on well being?

Sugar is usually introduced as a form of harmful substance that’s dangerous to well being underneath all circumstances. Nevertheless, this notion is much from the reality. Sugar can simply be a frequent a part of one’s food plan with out resulting in any issues. In truth, it’s even a pure element of some meals, like fruits and dairy merchandise. So, be happy to take a breath of reduction and luxuriate in your portion of fruit right now. However be cautious to not have an excessive amount of of it. Extreme consumption of sugar, certainly, turns into problematic.

  • Extreme consumption of sugar contributes to a increased total day by day power consumption, rising the danger of chubby and weight problems. [4]
  • Weight problems then raises the danger of varied illnesses, comparable to most cancers, kind 2 diabetes, and extra. [2]
  • Extreme sugar consumption may also contribute to the formation of dental cavities. [19]

For these causes, it’s solely becoming to purpose for a more healthy and extra body-friendly option to benefit from the candy style. There’s a variety of choices at our disposal, and right now, we could have a more in-depth take a look at which of them are probably the most appropriate.

How a lot sugar must you eat day by day, and how will you restrict it?

To stop the unfavorable results of extreme sugar consumption, it’s advisable to stick to the really useful day by day consumption. In keeping with the WHO, your day by day sugar consumption mustn’t exceed 10% of your complete day by day power consumption. [14]

  • Taking into consideration an power consumption of 1500 kcal, this interprets to roughly 38 g of sugar.
  • Contemplating a 2000 kcal consumption, this roughly equals 50 g of sugar.
  • At 2500 kcal, it’s round 63 g of sugar.
  • At 3000 kcal, it’s roughly 75 g of sugar.

That mentioned, the optimum day by day sugar consumption varies for every particular person. An endurance athlete who engages in lengthy coaching classes a number of occasions every week wants sugar to supply fast power to their muscle tissues. Due to this fact, their optimum consumption could also be a number of occasions increased in comparison with a sedentary particular person who doesn’t interact a lot in sports activities. The sedentary particular person would do greatest to stick to the utmost really useful consumption. To place issues into perspective, a serving of fifty g of sugar might be present in a 450 ml Coca-Cola, which for some is a daily a part of their day by day fluid consumption.

For those who’re eager about studying how one can keep away from liquid energy and why they are often problematic, learn the article: The place Are Liquid Energy Hiding, and How Do These Empty Energy Forestall You From Shedding Weight?

How are you doing along with your sugar consumption? For those who’re conscious that you just may be consuming greater than is advisable, on this article, you’ll be able to learn a number of recommendations on how one can minimize down on it painlessly: 8 Methods to Minimize Down on Sugar and Eat Much less Sweets

Uncover our bestsellers:

What can you employ to switch sugar?

There’s a various array of choices for substituting and changing sugar, so everybody can select in accordance with their very own preferences. There are two major classes to think about: synthetic sweeteners and sugar options, together with pure choices like honey or syrups, in addition to naturally derived sweeteners (polyalcohols, stevia).

  • Synthetic sweeteners embody sucralose, aspartame, saccharin, acesulfame Ok, and others.
  • Sugar options embody pure choices like honey or syrups. Nevertheless, in addition they embody polyalcohols, that are generally present in vegatables and fruits. It’s this second group that we’ll give attention to right now.

What are sugar substitutes, and how will you navigate via them?

Understanding the world of sugar substitutes can typically be fairly a puzzle. A few of them are basically sugar in a distinct guise, whereas others can have just about zero caloric worth. In consequence, we’ve got a class that provides no advantages over common sugar, whereas with others, we would even observe constructive well being results. So, how one can make sense of all of them?

Sugar options

The market affords fairly a number of selections to switch conventional white sugar. We’ll pay extra consideration to people who carefully resemble it, comparable to cane or brown sugar, and others. Moreover, for sweetening, you may as well discover options like banana powder, lucuma, and so forth.

1. Brown sugar

Brown sugar is virtually the identical as its relative, white sugar. It additionally originates from sugar beets, making it a virtually pure combination of sucrose. The one distinction from white sugar is that it doesn’t endure the refining course of and isn’t “whitened.” It incorporates what’s referred to as molasses, which imparts the brown color to it. Molasses additionally incorporates sure quantities of nutritional vitamins, minerals, and different bioactive substances, main many people to typically imagine that this sugar might need well being advantages.

So, is brown sugar actually more healthy than its white counterpart, as many imagine? As you may already suspect, that is fairly a false notion, because the content material of those substances is negligible. To ensure that their constructive results to manifest, you would want to eat brown sugar in kilograms, which definitely wouldn’t profit your well being.

Moreover, you’ll be able to encounter one more variant of brown sugar. There are merchandise in the marketplace that encompass white sugar, which has been colored brown. This product creates the phantasm of “wholesome” sugar solely resulting from its color.

So, what’s the ultimate verdict? For those who’re in search of an appropriate various to white sugar, reaching for brown sugar may be actually pointless. Its solely benefit might be a extra fascinating style to some folks, however we definitely can’t take into account it more healthy or extra nutritious in comparison with white sugar.

Vitality worth of white sugar / 100 g
Vitality worth of brown sugar / 100 g
387 kcal 380 kcal 

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2. Cane sugar

Cane sugar is derived from sugarcane. When it comes to its composition, it’s fairly just like beet sugar, because it’s predominantly composed of the disaccharide sucrose. In contrast to white sugar, it doesn’t undergo the refining course of, which permits it to retain the compounds liable for its distinctive flavour and aroma, together with a small quantity of nutritional vitamins and minerals.

Similar to with brown sugar, the identical precept applies to cane sugar – when you have been seeking to derive a notable quantity of those vitamins from it, you would need to eat it in substantial portions. Its sole potential profit nonetheless lies in its distinctive flavour profile, which might be a greater match for sure pastries or different candy recipes. Consequently, it’s clear that cane sugar doesn’t current a more healthy various to white sugar.

Vitality worth of white sugar / 100 g
Vitality worth of cane sugar / 100 g
387 kcal 380 kcal 
Cane syrup

3. Coconut sugar

Coconut sugar is produced from the sap of coconut palm blossoms via gradual heating and water evaporation. This sugar can be primarily composed of 70-80% of sucrose. Just like the aforementioned forms of sugar, coconut sugar additionally avoids the refining course of, thus retaining its unique content material of minerals, nutritional vitamins, and different bioactive compounds. Its uniqueness lies in its inulin content material, which is a fibre that features as a prebiotic (meals for helpful intestine micro organism). In addition to coconut sugar, you may as well come throughout coconut syrup, which, in distinction to sugar, incorporates extra water and consequently has a decrease sucrose content material. [6]

Coconut sugar can be recognized for having a decrease glycaemic index in comparison with others. In observe, this is able to recommend that it causes a slower rise in blood sugar ranges (glycaemia). Nevertheless, this info may be considerably deceptive, as findings from varied sources considerably diverge. Due to this fact, this impact can’t be reliably depended upon.

Coconut sugar can’t be thought to be a supply of nutritional vitamins and minerals both. It additionally doesn’t signify a big supply of fibre, provided that its inulin content material is merely 4.7 g per 100 g. Due to this fact, reaching a considerably substantial consumption of inulin would necessitate consuming appreciable quantities of coconut sugar each day.

On this case as nicely, the primary benefit lies in its distinctive style and aroma, which may come in useful in sure recipes. Moreover, it’s characterised by a decrease sweetening energy, making it helpful whenever you’re aiming to progressively cut back your extreme sweetening habits. [12]

Vitality worth of white sugar / 100 g
Vitality worth of coconut sugar / 100 g
Vitality worth of coconut syrup / 100 g
387 kcal 391 kcal 312 kcal 

4. Honey

Honey has been famend for ages as a wholesome sweetener, typically thought to own the flexibility to treatment any chilly or soothe a sore throat. It’s a typical observe so as to add it to our tea after we’re not feeling nicely, with the arrogance that it’d carry some reduction. Honey’s composition units it other than different sugar options; it incorporates not solely nutritional vitamins and minerals, but in addition phenols, natural acids, carotenoids, enzymes, and different bioactive compounds recognized for his or her helpful results. [5]

Research additionally point out that honey possible harbours quite a few well being advantages. It may be useful in selling therapeutic, offering reduction from signs of gastric ulcers, abdomen irritation, and digestive points. Even utilizing honey for sore throat and cough won’t be simply an outdated wives’ story, because it seems to be able to coating the throat lining and helping in eliminating undesirable microorganisms. [5]

Nevertheless, whenever you delve into the dietary composition of honey, you’ll come to understand that it’s predominantly composed of easy sugars. These sugars account for as much as 82% of its content material, break up virtually equally between glucose and fructose. Whereas honey’s power worth is barely decrease than that of white sugar, it won’t be the last word resolution for these seeking to seamlessly substitute the standard sugar. That mentioned, it does stand as a more healthy various to sugar, contemplating its related well being advantages.

Vitality worth of white sugar / 100 g
Vitality worth of honey / 100 g
387 kcal 304 kcal 


1. Maple syrup

Maple syrup is produced from the sap of maple bushes and is notable for its distinctive style and aroma. There are 4 completely different grades of this syrup, which fluctuate based mostly on the time of assortment and are related to completely different colors, flavours, and aromas. The darker and extra pronounced in flavour selection is often utilized in baking, whereas the lighter and milder model is utilized as a sweetener or topping. [17]

Roughly 60% of the syrup consists of easy sugars, primarily within the type of sucrose. It additionally incorporates bioactive substances like nutritional vitamins and phenolic compounds. Its caloric worth is round 30% decrease than that of white sugar. Hand in hand with this, it possesses a decrease sweetening energy, so when utilizing it, it’s useful to be aware to not compensate for its decrease sweetness by utilizing a bigger portion. [4,7]

Vitality worth of white sugar / 100 g
Vitality worth of maple syrup / 100 g
387 kcal 260 kcal 

2. Agave syrup

Agave syrup is obtained from the juice of the succulent known as agave, and its manufacturing course of resembles that of constructing fructose syrup. Easy sugars make up about 70% of its composition, with roughly 55% of the syrup’s content material being fructose. In consequence, it’s characterised by a better sweetening energy, and thus a smaller portion is adequate to realize the same sweetening impact as that of normal white sugar. [11]

Attributable to its excessive fructose content material, this syrup additionally boasts a decrease glycaemic index. Fructose, in actual fact, solely reasonably elevates blood sugar ranges (glycaemia), which is why agave syrup is typically thought to be an appropriate sweetener for people with diabetes. Nevertheless, one ought to strategy this potential profit with warning, as many elements affect the glycaemic index of meals. Thus, including agave syrup to a meal doesn’t essentially assure a low ensuing glycaemic index worth. [11]

Nevertheless, the fructose content material itself may be probably the most difficult side of agave syrup. Fructose is metabolized otherwise within the physique in comparison with glucose, and extreme consumption has been related to fats accumulation within the liver. Fatty liver has been linked to the next threat of cardiovascular illnesses and insulin resistance. [11]

The syrup itself won’t be problematic by way of fructose content material, nevertheless it might be one piece of the puzzle contributing to its elevated consumption. For example, when mixed with meals or drinks sweetened with fructose (many sweetened drinks use excessive glucose-fructose corn syrup, and so on.), you might find yourself consuming unnecessarily excessive quantities each day. This might probably result in unfavorable results.

The power worth of agave syrup is corresponding to that of white sugar, so with its excessive fructose content material, it doesn’t essentially function a great substitute. However, it might nonetheless come in useful as an occasional sweetener, maybe for including sweetness to your favorite pancakes or waffles.

Vitality worth of white sugar / 100 g
Vitality worth of agave syrup / 100 g
387 kcal 310 kcal 
Agave syrup
Sugar Alternate options: Which Is Higher: Cane Sugar, Honey, Candy Syrups, or Stevia? 10

3. Chicory syrup

Chicory syrup is constructed from the root of the chicory plant and stands out for its content material of inulin and oligofructose. It’s exactly inulin that imparts the syrup with its candy flavour, whereas additionally probably influencing the composition of the intestine microbiome in a constructive approach. It is because inulin acts as a prebiotic, basically offering nourishment for helpful micro organism within the intestine. [16]

Because the majority of the syrup’s ingredient profile contains fibre, there’s not as a lot room for sugar. Sugar solely makes up roughly 5% of its composition. In consequence, the power worth of chicory syrup is low, round 60% decrease than that of white sugar. [16]

This makes it fairly a exceptional product with a low sugar content material, considerably fewer energy than white sugar, and a excessive fibre content material. Regardless of that, it’s nonetheless candy, with its sweetening energy being roughly half that of normal sugar. On this case, we will say with confidence that it’s a syrup, which is ready to successfully substitute conventional white sugar.

Vitality worth of white sugar / 100 g
Vitality worth of chicory syrup / 100 g
387 kcal 160 kcal 

4. Different forms of syrups

Along with the aforementioned syrups, we will additionally discover a number of others crafted from particular elements. These embody, for instance:

  • date syrup: This syrup is constructed from dates and is often utilized in Asian delicacies. When it comes to its glucose and fructose content material, it’s just like agave syrup.
  • corn syrup: Produced from corn starch, this syrup incorporates a combination of glucose, maltose, and oligosaccharides (which consist of three – 10 molecules of monosaccharides).
  • barley malt syrup: Crafted from sprouted barley, this syrup is characterised by its excessive maltose content material (a disaccharide composed of two glucose molecules).
  • wheat syrup: Made out of wheat starch, this syrup not solely provides sweetness, but in addition aids in thickening dishes.
  • rice syrup: This syrup originates from brown rice and is primarily composed of maltose.
  • blueberry syrup
  • cranberry syrup


The time period polyalcohols (often known as sugar alcohols) may evoke ideas of dangerous chemical compounds that shouldn’t actually have a spot in a nutritious diet. Nevertheless, that’s removed from the reality, as these are substances naturally present in vegatables and fruits and are generally used as secure sweeteners.

However, one disadvantage is that they’ll set off digestive discomfort in some extra delicate people. This may manifest as signs comparable to bloating or diarrhoea. Polyalcohols usually are not fully absorbed within the digestive tract, so a portion of them makes their option to the massive gut, the place they work together with intestine micro organism. Nevertheless, tolerance varies amongst each particular person, and it’s all the time a good suggestion to see how your digestion responds to them.

1. Xylitol

Xylitol, often known as birch sugar, naturally happens in fruits and mushrooms. Because the identify suggests, it’s derived from birchwood. This sugar alcohol resembles granulated sugar at first look, nevertheless it incorporates round 40% fewer energy than sugar. An added benefit is that it affords comparable sweetening energy to sugar, so utilizing the identical quantity leads to roughly half the power consumption. [1,9]

One other benefit of xylitol is its minimal glycaemic index. In comparison with glucose with a GI of 100, xylitol has a worth of seven. It virtually doesn’t elevate blood sugar ranges, or does so solely minimally, making it an appropriate sweetener for folks with diabetes. Moreover, it’s recognized for its constructive influence on enamel and certain reduces the danger of tooth decay. Because of this it’s generally present in sugar-free chewing gums. [1,9]

Xylitol doesn’t actually have an appropriate day by day consumption (ADI) that will set an higher allowable restrict, however consensus suggests it’s at round 40 – 50 g. Past this amount, digestive points usually tend to happen. Nevertheless, you don’t want to fret; it’s fairly difficult to exceed such an quantity in your on a regular basis food plan. [20]

Vitality worth of white sugar / 100 g
Vitality worth of xylitol / 100 g
387 kcal 240 kcal 

2. Erythritol

Erythritol is of course current in sure forms of fruits like grapes, peaches, and melons. Nevertheless, it’s additionally manufactured via the fermentation of glucose. Just like xylitol, it resembles granulated sugar in look. In contrast to xylitol, although, erythritol boasts zero caloric worth, because it doesn’t metabolize within the physique and is excreted unchanged within the urine. Consequently, it doesn’t elevate blood sugar ranges and is an appropriate product for people with diabetes. Its sweetening energy is round 60 – 80% of that of sugar. A bonus is that it lacks a definite style, permitting it to be mixed with different sweeteners for elevated sweetness. For instance, it’s generally utilized in mixture with stevia. [8]

There isn’t a set ADI worth for erythritol both, however well-tolerated doses are famous to be as much as 0.66 g per kg of physique weight for males and 0.8 g per kg for girls. [3]

Vitality worth of white sugar / 100 g
Vitality worth of erythritol / 100 g
387 kcal 0 kcal 


Stevia is a plant recognized for its sweetening results attributed to the contained compounds known as steviol glycosides. These glycosides are processed and reworked right into a sweetener that’s accessible in varieties like powder, tablets, and even drops. The advantages of stevia lie in its zero caloric worth, but its sweetening energy is round 200 to 300 occasions better in comparison with common sugar. [18]

Stévia je tak vhodnou alternatívou cukru, ktorá navyše nezvyšuje glykémiu a nie je typická žiadnymi negatívnymi účinkami na trávenie. Jej jedinou nevýhodou je špecifická chuť, ktorá nemusí vyhovovať každému. Tá sa dá ale jednoducho zakryť kombináciou s inými sladidlami, ako je napríklad už spomínaný erytritol. [10]

Vitality worth of white sugar / 100 g
Vitality worth of stevia / 100 g
387 kcal 0 kcal 

Vitality and easy carbohydrate content material in sugar substitutes

Sugar options Vitality worth (kcal) Water (g) Easy carbohydrates (g) Sucrose (g) Glucose (g) Fructose (g)
White sugar 387 0.02 99.8 99.8 0 0
Brown sugar 380 1.34 97 94.6 1.4 1.1
Cane sugar 399 0.03 99.2 99.2 0 0
Coconut sugar 391 1.2 – 2.4 94 82 – 91 0.5 – 2.3 0.7 – 2.3
Honey 304 17.1 82.1 0.9 35.8 40.9
Maple syrup 260 32.4 60.5 58.3 1.6 0.5
Agave syrup 310 22.9 68 0 12.4 55.6
Chicory syrup 160 5
Coconut syrup 312 78
Xylitol  240 0 0 0 0 0
Erythritol  0 0 0 0 0 0
Stevia 0 0 0 0 0 0

What are the perfect and healthiest options to common sugar?

There’s quite a lot of choices to select from with regards to sweetening your favorite desserts and drinks. Finally, the selection depends upon your preferences, targets, and present dietary issues. Your choice will possible even be influenced by whether or not it is advisable to sweeten a drink, pancakes, or your favorite cake.

It’s essential to understand that not one of the aforementioned choices, together with the common white sugar, are evil substances that may instantly land you in a hospital mattress. When utilized in moderation and throughout the really useful day by day most consumption of sugar, every of those options can discover its place in your food plan (excluding particular well being points comparable to allergy symptoms, after all).

Which sweeteners are appropriate?

  • For common sweetening: You may virtually use all of them when adhering to the really useful day by day most consumption.
  • For weight reduction: xylitol, erythritol, stevia, chicory syrup.
  • When affected by diabetes: xylitol, erythritol, stevia, chicory syrup.

What are the primary takeaways?

Extreme sugar consumption can have unfavorable results on our well being, prompting many people to hunt options in our day by day diets. Happily, there are a number of choices accessible. From pure sugar options, we will take into account honey, syrups, selections like coconut or cane sugar, stevia, or polyalcohols. In acceptable quantities, most of those options are typically acceptable. Nevertheless, when aiming to cut back sugar consumption considerably, it’s advisable to give attention to these choices which have low or zero energy and easy carbohydrates. The selection of sugar options is all the time particular person, and it ought to all the time mirror the context of our total dietary habits.

Has this text caught your curiosity and supplied you with some new insights? Then don’t preserve it simply to your self, go forward and share it along with your family and friends.


[1] GASMI BENAHMED, A. et al. Well being advantages of xylitol. –

[2] MALIK, V.S. et al. Consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks and weight achieve: a scientific evaluation. –

[3] MAZI, T.A. – STANHOPE, Ok.L. Erythritol: An In-Depth Dialogue of Its Potential to Be a Useful Dietary Element. –

[4] MOORE, J.B. – FIELDING, B.A. Sugar and metabolic well being: is there nonetheless a debate? –

[5] PASUPULETI, V.R. et al. Honey, Propolis, and Royal Jelly: A Complete Evaluate of Their Organic Actions and Well being Advantages. –

[6] PURNOMO, H. Risky Elements of Coconut Contemporary Sap, Sap Syrup and Coconut Sugar. –

[7] RAMADAN, M.F. et al. Chemistry, processing, and performance of maple meals merchandise: An up to date complete evaluation. –

[8] REGNAT, Ok. et al. Erythritol as sweetener—wherefrom and whereto? –

[9] SALLI, Ok. et al. Xylitol’s Well being Advantages past Dental Well being: A Complete Evaluate. –

[10] SAMUEL, P. et al. Stevia Leaf to Stevia Sweetener: Exploring Its Science, Advantages, and Future Potential. –

[11] SARAIVA, A. et al. Agave Syrup: Chemical Evaluation and Dietary Profile, Functions within the Meals Business and Well being Impacts. –

[12] SARAIVA, A. et al. Coconut Sugar: Chemical Evaluation and Dietary Profile; Well being Impacts; Security and High quality Management; Meals Business Functions. –

[13] TANG, Z.-X. et al. Date fruit: chemical composition, dietary and medicinal values, merchandise. –

[14] WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION Guideline: Sugars consumption for adults and kids –

[15] WRAGE, J. et al. Coconut sugar (Cocos nucifera L.): Manufacturing course of, chemical characterization, and sensory properties. –

[16] ZACHAROVÁ, M. et al. Chicory syrup as a substitution of sugar in effective pastry. –

[17] Grades –

[18] Scientific Opinion on the security of steviol glycosides for the proposed makes use of as a meals additive | EFSA. –

[19] Sugars and dental caries. –

[20] Xylitol Makes use of, Advantages & Dosage – Natural Database. –

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