Sugar Alternatives – by Tracey Wheeler

Sugar Alternatives - a YogaTalk post on The Yoga Connection, New Zealand's Yoga Guide.

There is one thing as a nutritionist that I am rock solid on, and that is the exclusion of refined sugar.

No one needs it, if offers no nutritional value and has no health benefits. However I do understand that we all need some sweetness in our lives and that’s where alternatives come in. It’s all about knowing which ones suit which purpose and how to use them. Below is a quick guide on some sugar alternatives:

Rice malt syrup

This is a syrup that is derived from brown rice. It is made by exposing the cooked rice to enzymes that break down the starches. When they are broken down the starches turn into sugars. They are then filtered and what is left is the brown rice syrup. This syrup contains three sugars – Maltotriose, Maltose and Glucose.


Dates are a great sugar alternative and very versatile. They contain minerals such as calcium, iron, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, magnesium and zinc. They also contains vitamins such as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, vitamin A and vitamin K. They can be used whole or soaked and made into a paste.


Honey is a sweetener that has antiviral properties and also boosts the immune system. It is high in GO which means it is a quick release sugar and makes its way straight into the blood stream.


This sugar alternative comes from the leaves of the plant. They are ground into a powder and it is also available in a liquid form. It is several times sweeter than sugar and only small amounts are needed. It is Low GI which means it is slow release in its energy form.

Coconut sugar

This is a sugar that comes from the coconut sap. It is dried and comes in a granulated form, similar to regular sugar. But it offers more health benefits than regular with minerals intact including Zinc, Calcium and Potassium. It is a lower GI sugar which slows the release down.


This sugar comes from the Agave plant and is available in liquid form. It is a lower GI which slows its release into the blood stream.

For more nutrition tips and recipes follow Tracey on Instagram @traceynaturally or Facebook/T.A inc

© The Yoga Connection 2016

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