Healthy Sugar Substitutions

Consumption of sugar is on the rise in America, and too much of it can be toxic to our health. According to a Harvard Health Publishing article (2017), excess sugar in your diet can have negative health effects like high blood pressure, inflammation, diabetes, obesity, and fatty liver disease. There are simple and inexpensive ways to reduce sugar in your diet as well as sugar alternatives that are available that are healthier options.

First, the American Heart Association states that women should only have 25g and men 36g of added sugars per day in their diet. These added sugars come from soda, candy, ice cream, sugar in your coffee, pies, cookies, sweetened yogurts, and fruit juices, etc. An easy way to reduce these sugars in your diet is to read labels and check sugar grams. There are free apps, like My FitnessPal, that you can get on your phone or computer that will track your daily food journal and can help you watch your daily sugar intake. Try and limit your daily intake of added sugars to 25g if you are a woman, and 36g if you are a man.

A simple sugar substitution that you can use in your diet is replacing white sugar with maple syrup or honey when you are baking. Lord Stewart who wrote, Eating Between the Lines (2007), explains that you can substitute in 3/4 of a cup of honey or maple syrup for every cup of sugar that the recipe calls for, as well as adding in a ⅛ teaspoon of baking soda and reducing the liquid in the recipe by one quarter. Honey and maple syrup are not processed and both have minerals. Also, honey has the added bonus of antioxidants and vitamins!

Another sugar substitution that has become popular is Stevia, which comes from the leaves of the Stevia plant that grows in South America (Stewart, p.193, 2007). Stevia is very sweet but it has no calories, so it is a popular alternative to sugar in the coffee, in a smoothie, on your morning cereal, or even in baking. Stewart (2007) recommends substituting one teaspoon for every cup of sugar that a recipe calls for. Stevia is relatively inexpensive depending on the brand you purchase, so it is a simple and inexpensive way to reduce sugar in your diet.

Try incorporating some of these sugar eliminating tactics in your day-to-day life and you will well be on your way to lowering added sugar in your diet.


7 Basic Honey Nutrition Facts. (n.d.). Retrieved August 9, 2018, from

American Heart Association. (2018, April 17). Added Sugars. Retrieved August 9, 2018, from

Andrews, J. (2017, October 03). Pure Maple Syrup Nutrition. Retrieved August 9, 2018, from

Harvard Health Publishing. (2017, May). The sweet danger of sugar - Harvard Health. Retrieved

August 9, 2018, from

Stevia: Side Effects, Benefits, and More. (n.d.). Retrieved August 9, 2018, from

Stewart, K.L. (2007). Eating Between the Lines. New York, NY: St. Martin’s Griffin.