While health and wellness seem to have always been a topic of conversation, evolving as new fad diets take rise, it seems now society is coming to a more centered place in terms of diet culture as well as more educated about nutrition in general. Along with this increased education, is the bitter sweet topic of sugar. More and more people are beginning to recognize how taxing sugar truly is on the body. Not only is sugar highly addictive, it is known to cause fatigue, types of cancers, weight gain, and liver damage just to name a few. Yet, the average American consumes around 88 grams per day, although the suggested limit promotes no more than 25 (based on a 2,000 calorie diet). This is the reason so many people are beginning to acknowledge the degrading effects sugar has on the body and wondering what the healthiest sugar replacement is. 

dairy product, milk, sweet
Katie Walsh

All these negative facts about sugar do not mean you can never eat baked goods or sweets again. It suggests being more conscious of how much sugar you are consuming and where it is being derived from. One way to improve the quality of your sugar intake is replace your sugar consumed with healthier alternatives. Common table sugar replacements include but are not limited to mashed bananas, raw honey, and maple syrup. These substitutes can replace the cane sugar in your morning coffee, desserts, beverages, really any recipe. What is the healthiest sugar replacement? While they all offer different benefits, I tend to favor maple syrup.

sweet, honey, honey dipper
Sam Jesner

Maple syrup contains hints of many minerals such as zinc, calcium, and manganese. It is unprocessed, and contains a lower GI (glycemic index) which allows for smoother digestion and less harsh effects on the body than highly processed table sugar. Maple syrup is also said to fight intimation and possibly prevent cancers. While this does not mean we should begin chugging maple syrup, it shows there are sustainable ways we can promote healthy living without depriving ourselves of foods we enjoy.

beer, alcohol, liquor, maple syrup, wine, whisky, tea, syrup
Louise Ferrall

It is the smaller steps we take towards our end goals together that lead to results. So if you are trying to cut back on sugar, I recommend doing it slowly to allow your body to adjust and ease into the change. Any change for the better no matter how small, is still a step in the right direction.