Sugar Substitutes

I stopped having sugar in any form about three years ago other than the very occasional ice cream. Sugar has crept into our cuisine with frightening regularity from our daily cup of tea and coffee to cookies, biscuits, cakes, pastries etc. A tea spoon of sugar is about 10 gms of carbohydrates and its not uncommon to add two or even three spoons to your coffee. If you can therefore, it I would strongly advocate giving up having sugar altogether. I recently had a cup of black coffee which had sugar in it and found it undrinkable. For those who still crave the sweet taste here are a few sugar substitutes out there to consider

Stevia is made from the plant stevia. Stevia has no calories and is a lot sweeter than regular sugar. Stevia was initially banned by the FDA as possibly carcinogenic but was subsequently approved. It is said to pose risks to people with low blood pressure.

Lakanto contains the ingredient Erythtitol which is a naturally occurring sugar, often found in grapes and pears. The sweet taste comes from Luo Han Guo which is a chinese fruit. Erythritol is said to absorb better in the body with most of it passing out of your system without being digested.

Agave is made from a cactus and tastes similar to honey. It has less fructose than table sugar but over time can increase insulin sensitivity. Due to its low glycemic index it does not spike the blood sugar in your body.

For those who are looking for the taste of sugar I would stick to honey, dates and coconut nectar. However, once again, if you can, give up sugar completely as the jury is still out on the long term benefits of sugar substitutes.


Ritesh is a born again health enthusiast and holds a Certificate in Physiology from Harvard Medical School and a Certificate in Nutrition from Tufts University.