Addicted to sugar but looking to cut down? We asked holistic health coach Kezia Hall to pick out five healthy and natural alternatives

Unless you have had your head stuck under a rock over the past six months you will have heard a lot of chat about refined sugar and the harm it can have on your health.

There have been loads of great documentaries about the subject as well as various celebs ditching the sweet stuff in order to feel a whole lot healthier.

As a health coach I am not one for health fads in any shape or form but I can not deny the fact that every one I have worked with tends to feel a whole lot better when they reduce or remove refined sugars.

But first what the heck do we mean by refined sugars? Basically put, it is the process by which raw cane sugar is bleached and striped of its natural goodness and reformed into what we now call table sugar.  I won’t go into depth about the negative impact it has on your body but if you are want to find out what the problem with sugar is – then just click here.

So what can you have instead? Should you just live a life lacking all things sweet?

Of course not!

Diving into a slice of cake or a wee biscuit with your cup of tea is one of life’s little joys. I may be a health coach but I love cake and there is no way I am doing without cake.

Thankfully there are some great alternatives.

So here are top 5 natural alternatives to sugar and why they could do your body GOOD:

1. Raw Honey

Picture: Flickr

Picture: Flickr

This is not your standard value jar of honey from the supermarket, it is honey that has not been heated and boiled up meaning it has all of its delightful enzymes and minerals still active and ready to do you good. They even use high quality honey in hospitals to help treat wounds as it is that effective at healing and nourishing the body!
Supermarkets do sell raw honey, just be sure to look out for words like ’raw, unrefined, cold-pressed’ on the label to ensure you are getting a massive nutritional punch from your honey.

2.Coconut Sugar 

This has been a recent discovery for me but I love it.  It is great in my cocoa/hot chocolate and I have used it in chocolate pudding to great success. It has quite a rich, molasses-like taste and has a lower glycemic index than honey and contains lots of nutrients like zinc, calcium and other minerals that will do your body good.

3.Maple Syrup

Picture: Flickr

Picture: Flickr

I love this stuff. Yes it is very sweet but it is 100 per cent natural and from trees so as long as you don’t drink gallons of the stuff  then I reckon it can be a healthier addition to pancakes and bacon.

 
4.Vegetables & Fruit 

These are a favourite of mine when baking (I am healthy cake baking fiend). I often use ripe bananas, cooked apples, carrots, beetroot, butternut squash or parsnips even to give a naturally sweet taste in food. I use them in smoothies, cookies, cakes, puddings and more.  My top fruit and veg for natural sweetness are:

• Bananas
• Butternut squash
• Cooked apples ( apple crumble anyone??)

5.Medjool dates
Picture: Flickr

Picture: Flickr

If you have yet to try a medjool date then my goodness that is your task for today! They are natural bites of fudgy sweet goodness that won’t make your blood sugar rocket. They taste great in smoothies or better yet, dipped in peanut or almond butter – don’t blame me if you get addicted. They are available at most supermarkets too.
So, as I say to my clients and readers, don’t get deprived – get wise to all the natural goodness out there! Just swap in some healthy alternatives and if you really feel like you have a serious addiction to sugar (it will be showing in your belly fat, skin, how hungry you get and mood) then you can find more advice here.Otherwise grab a medjool date and enjoy nature’s array of sweeties!!

• Kezia Hall is a holistic health coach and creator of the Green Smoothie Challenge over at Super Naturally Healthy . 

About The Author

Kezia Hall

Kezia Hall is a holistic health coach and creator of the Green Smoothie Challenge over at Super Naturally Healthy . Through healing her own body she now loves to help others do the same. She is also LOVES cake …and has a slight addiction to eating onions cooked in coconut oil!

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