Swap It! Lower your Sugar Intake with Healthy Alternatives

Thursday, May 13 2021 4:10 PM
By Ellen Healy

Alrighty, folks. The holiday season is over. What does that mean? It means we have no excuse! It means we have the opportunity to lower our sugar intake with fewer temptations around.

Without Grandma asking you to try her new batch of freshly baked Christmas cookies, without those holiday parties and dessert trays calling your name, without those ever-tempting chocolates going on sale after Valentine’s Day, it should be easy to resist the sugary urge and surge, right? Well, not exactly.

Sure, the convenience of having sweet treats right in front of your face is less likely to occur, but the cravings are still there well after the holiday season…


Refined sugar is sugar that’s been processed. Unlike natural sugars we find in milk and fresh fruits, processed sugars are additives that have serious consequences over time, such as heart disease, obesity, and type 2 Diabetes.

In today’s world, it would seem as though sugar makes the world go round. It’s in almost everything, and the average person consumes about 77 grams of refined sugar per day, equaling about 19 teaspoons or 306 calories, according to Healthline. We LOVE refined sugar. And who can blame us? We add it to our coffee and reward ourselves with it after a hard day’s work. We dive into Chunky Monkey when we’ve been broken up with, we break out the Oreos when we’re hanging out with friends, and we stuff our faces with cake when we celebrate a birthday or promotion.

So, how do we help ourselves move away from refined sugar?

The answer is simple… Get creative in the kitchen and make some healthy swaps! Swap refined sugar for natural sugar instead, and stick to your fitness goals.sugar swapping

Healthy Swaps for Refined Sugar - Swap This for That and Feel Good About You! 

Make your favorite muffins, cakes, brownies, and other baked goods with the following substitutes:

  •  Unsweetened applesauce instead of white cane sugar
  • Yogurt instead of whipped cream
  • Stevia to sweeten your coffee or tea
  • Bananas in baking instead of sugar
  • Agave syrup or raw honey to taste
  • Molasses instead of brown sugar
  • Carbonated water instead of soda
  • Fresh fruit instead of sweetened dried fruit
  • Vanilla extract instead of artificial flavoring or sweeteners

Armed with these clever and almost-identical-to-taste swaps, you can make something that tastes pretty dang good – something that’ll fool your own tastebuds!

It's worth a mention... 

As the saying does go... too much of anything can be a bad thing. Although natural sugar is the better alternative with better nutritional value and similar taste, you should limit this intake as well. Don’t go crazy y’all!

Sweet Treats with ZERO Refined Sugar

Because cutting out sugar altogether can lead to a crazy sugar binge, here are some sweet treats that have ZERO refined sugar. The following treats are made from natural sugars that are sure to satisfy your sweet tooth, helping you stay on the healthy track.

  • Oatmeal Banana Cookies

    Oatmeal Banana cookiesMash overripe bananas, add some oatmeal, scoop spoonfuls onto a greased baking sheet, and pop them in the oven at 350 degrees for fifteen minutes. Voila! Some guilt-free cookies.
  • Protein Balls

    Protein powder, peanut butter, a bit of molasses or agave syrup, and maybe some cocoa powder if you’re feeling fancy… Have a post-workout snack that tastes great AND helps you make gains.
  • Fro-Yo Instead of Ice Cream

    Mix unsweetened yogurt, or plain Greek yogurt, with fresh strawberries and/or a splash of honey. Freeze it. Later, enjoy some healthy non-ice cream that tastes just as good.
  • Cinnamon Roll Oatmeal

    A warm bowl of ooey-gooey oatmeal with cinnamon and vanilla extract. Top it with nuts and nature’s candy – some dates. Noms. Serious noms.
  • Chia Seed Pudding

    Almond milk, some Greek yogurt, vanilla extract, and chia seeds. Mix it up at night, put it in the fridge, and discover some delicious pretty pudding in the morning.

Whip up these goodies and make the swaps! You’ll feel better physically and mentally

Don’t eliminate all sugar from your life. Substitute and swap for natural and unprocessed!

Because who wants to live in a world without a little sweetness?


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