We live in a sugar-obsessed society, and this is a problem because refined white sugar is extremely bad for you. I think we’ve all heard that we should stop eating sweets, or rather, that we should just cut out sweets from our diet all-together.

However, the latter is nearly impossible. The great thing, is that we have the choice to be smart about the types of sweets, and the amounts of them that we do put into our bodies. Here’s the good news: there are certain natural sugar sources that are here to save the day.

1. Pure Maple Syrup

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Photo courtesy of @vincentcross on Instagram

Real maple syrup is honestly the best natural sweetener EVER. I use it to sweeten coffee and plain greek yogurt, I bake with it frequently, and I pour it all over pancakes, waffles, and french toast. It’s really SO versatile! The darker the syrup, the more delicious the flavor, and the better it is for you. BOOM. Luckily, maple syrup is full of antioxidants, 24 of them to be exact. It contains magical anti-inflammatory qualities, which can be beneficial to your skin.

2. Maple Sugar


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Maple sugar is made directly from pure maple syrup, so it packs all the same properties and benefits. This is a great substitute for refined white sugar and brown sugar as well. It holds an intense delicious maple flavor, that creates enhanced flavor in baked goods. Fortunately, it can be used one to one to white sugar, so it’s your new baking essential for sure.

3. Honey


Photo courtesy of @beachgirlbakes on Instagram

Like maple syrup, honey has a lot of health benefits, and you can do a lot with it too. It tastes good in coffee and tea, in smoothies, on toast, and in baked goods. Studies have shown that honey can improve athletic performance, perhaps because it contains vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties? Honey can even potentially help with weight-loss, because it helps digest the fat stored in your body.

4. Date Sugar


Photo courtesy of @cook_it_up_paleo on Instagram

Date sugar is simply died dates pulverized into powder. It contains less calories than white sugar, and it may even be a bit sweeter. It is definitely a good alternative for baking. Additionally, date sugar won the contest for the sweetener with the best antioxidant power.

5. Coconut Sugar


Photo courtesy of @janebpaleo on Instagram

Overall, coconut sugar is better for you than white sugar. It has a lower glycemic index, and it contains some nutrients because it comes from the palm of a coconut. I often bake with coconut sugar because it’s supposedly natural, and also because it has a 1:1 ratio to regular white sugar. However it is still a type of sugar, and sugar will always have a bad rap.