Planning to ditch white sugar this year: try these natural sugar options instead!

Natural sugar options

Happy new year everyone! 

I am sure most of us are busy during this time making new year resolutions. And like every year, “health” is a prime priority for most of us. We all want to include healthy lifestyle practices (healthy eating and regular exercise) as a part of our lifestyle.  

Along with other important things, ditching the white sugar may be a priority in the year 2023 for many of us.

 We all know that excessive sugar consumption is harmful to our health. Now, scientific studies have confirmed the same fact. As per recent research, increased sugar intake is not only a leading cause of obesity but also increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.  

Although eating a small amount of sugar is perfectly fine, however we should limit excessive sugar consumption to reduce the risk of gaining excessive weight and developing various lifestyle diseases like heart disease and diabetes.   

Apart from limiting white and refined sugar intake, we can use and replace refined sugar with natural sugar sources. natural sources of sugar are way healthier than refined sugar in many aspects. Natural sugar sources are low in calories and high in nutrients.   

In this post, I am sharing some amazing natural substitutes for white or refined sugar. Read the post to know more.  

Planning to ditch white sugar this year : try any of these natural sugar option instead! 

Natural sugar option



Dates are one of the excellent natural substitutes for white or refined sugar. Dates contain various essential nutrients and are a good source of fiber and antioxidants. Dates can be easily used in various baking recipes instead of white sugar. For using dates in baking recipes, soak the dates in warm water for 15-20 minutes and then grind them in a grinder by adding little water and making a smooth and rich paste. we can replace 1 cup of white sugar with 1 cup of date paste in our favorite cake and cookies recipes and can make our dessert recipes a lot healthier. 

Raw Honey   


Raw and unfiltered honey is one of the best natural substitutes for refined sugar. Honey has an impressive nutritional profile and contains various essential nutrients, such as iron, zinc and potassium. Honey also has excellent antioxidant properties and reduces the damage caused by oxidizing agents and boosts your body’s natural defense.   

 As a bonus, honey contains pollen which can help a lot in reducing allergic symptoms in sensitive people. Make sure to buy raw, unfiltered, organic honey from a reputed brand to get the amazing benefits honey offers. we can use honey as a natural sweetener in many recipes like cereal, smoothies and tea.   

Coconut sugar  

coconut sugar
Coconut sugar

Coconut sugar is made from the sap of the coconut pam tree. It has a lower glycemic index than refined sugar. It is also low in calories and high in nutrients. Coconut sugar also contains a soluble fiber named “Inulin” which may slow glucose absorption and prevent sugar spikes in diabetic patients. we can easily replace refined sugar with coconut sugar in many cooking and baking recipes.   



Jaggery or jaggery powder is another popular natural sugar substitute in the Indian subcontinent and Africa. Jaggery is made from cane sugar or palm and is a much healthier option than refined or white sugar. It comes in light brown to dark brown color. The darker jaggery is high in nutrition than the light brown jaggery.   

 Jaggery is also a good source of iron, zinc, vitamin B 12 and other minerals like copper and phosphorus. It is believed that jaggery offers various health benefits like it supports healthy digestion, prevents anemia and improves immune function. Jaggery is versatile in nature and can be used easily in various sweet and sour dishes instead of white sugar.   

Maple syrup  

maple syrup
Maple syrup

Maple syrup is the next great natural substitute for white or refined sugar. Maple syrup is native to North America and made from the sap of the Maple tree. It is classified into two categories, Grade A and Grade B. Grade B is a darker variety and considered a better option than the light brown variety. Dark brown maple syrup is high in nutrition and can be used in various baking dishes instead of white or refined sugar. When buying a Mapel syrup, it is important to read the label carefully and buy real Mapel syrup. Some Mapel syrups are only maple-floured syrup, they can be loaded with high sugar content and may be as unhealthy as white or refined sugar.   

Fruit puree (like apple sauce and banana puree)  

fruit puree
Fruit puree

Fruit is an excellent source of natural sugar. They are high in nutrition and offer many health benefits. Fruit puree like banana puree and apple sauce can be easily used in various baking recipes instead of white sugar. fruit purees like Banana puree taste great with oatmeal and also be used as a natural sweetener for yoghurt. However, it is important to use fruit purees after matching flavors in baking recipes. Otherwise, it will alter the taste and texture of original recipes.   


Though all these natural substitutes for white sugar are healthier than refined or white sugar and may be a good way to cut back your white or refined sugar intake, it does not mean that we can use them excessively. Keep in mind that they are still high in calories and may increase the risk of gaining extra weight. To be on the safe side, we should use these natural sugar substitutes in moderation.   

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  • freemindtree

    Awesome Surbhi I really want to leave sugar. Will try these substitutes to add in sweet dishes instead of regular sugar. Should we add more amount of jaggery than sugar to yield same amount of sweetness or not? do let me know.

  • alpanadeo

    I have never tried coconut sugar. I have tried all the other options. Does it taste like palm sugar? I recently made milk shake with jaggery and tasted yummy…

  • Gleefulblogger

    There is lot of discussion over sugar substitutes on social media these days, glad to have read something that I can relate to and understand well. I like to add jaggery powder instead of sugar.

  • Monidipa Dutta

    I really enjoyed reading your post about natural sugar substitutes. It’s a great reminder of the health risks associated with excessive sugar consumption and the benefits of opting for natural alternatives like dates, raw honey, coconut sugar, jaggery, maple syrup, and fruit puree. Your explanations and suggestions are helpful and informative. Thank you for sharing this valuable information!

  • Cindy DSilva

    We have begun using jaggery in many things these days. Also, when I make lassi, I just put curd, mango and mint for the kids. I avoid sugar at all costs. But I only use sugar in my oats because I cannot have it otherwise.

  • Neha Sharma

    My husband has diabetes so we had to find a healthy alternative to sugar. We really like using jaggery and coconut sugar, they give a nice taste & thickness to our tea & coffee and certain sweets.

  • Samata

    I finally ditched white sugar almost 2 years now and now on coconut and jaggery sugar and trust me it tastes equally good to me like white sugar and I can see the change in me in some aspects . Its best to quit white sugar.

  • MeenalSonal

    Bang on post when I am looking for options for replacing white sugar. In many forms we do consume white sugar but we should refrain from using. Shall go with brown jaggery sugar to start with, not sure how honey would taste in replacement of sugar. Very explanatory and informative post Surbhi.

  • Shilpa Garg

    I have been thinking of ditching the white sugar. It’s wonderful to know that honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar, and stevia, provide healthier alternatives without compromising on taste.

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