Have Your Cake & Eat It Too: 6 High Vibe Healthy Sugar Subs

Remember in the ’90s when fat was considered the devil? Then it was carbs, and for a hot minute, kale? (Don’t worry, the kale rumor was promptly disproved.) Well, since the publication of this NY Times article, sugar — you know, that thing that makes you feel really really happy when you eat it, keeps you coming back, and comprises nearly 99.9% of the standard American “holiday diet”? — is the new evil. Which, in some instances (think: refined sugar and high fructose corn syrup), is completely warranted. In others however, it’s a bit of a stretch. And since the best part about the holidays is dessert (obviously), we've rounded up a list of our absolute faves.

Pic via  Pinterest

Pic via Pinterest

Have Your Cake And Eat It Too: 6 Healthy Sugar Subs

1. Dates

Our most loved healthy sugar sub as we like to opt for whole foods, first. While dates are certainly not the cutest — they closely resemble a raisin on steroids — they’re incredibly sweet, low GI, insanely versatile and loaded with vitamins and minerals. Look for dates without any added sugars or preservatives (food manufacturers like to sneak them in). Although there are tons of different types, Medjool is our favorite.

How to use:

Banana bread muffins, smoothies, shakes, and raw vegan coconut caramel date bars.

2. Monk Fruit Extract

Nicknamed the “longevity fruit” due to its high antioxidant levels and anti-cancer properties, Monk fruit extract, Lo Han Guo, or monk fruit sweetener, as it’s commonly referred to, has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine to help with respiratory ailments, infections, inflammation, constipation, fatigue and clear heat from the body. Unlike carbohydrates or typical sugars that cause major insulin spikes and crashes, monk fruit extract has zero effect on blood sugar making it great for diabetics. While some manufacturers mix monk fruit extract with other natural sweeteners like inulin or erythritol to reduce sweetness levels and provide a better 1-to-1 sub for traditional table sugar, we prefer monk fruit extract alone. This is the kind we use and love. Monk fruit sweetener straight from the source, no weird additives or weird aftertaste.

How to use:

Make carrot cake because adding veggies to cake hints at aspirational adulthood (that or insanity, though we prefer the former), and this one is really really good.

3. Stevia

Another great option for diabetics as stevia has zero calories and zero affect on blood sugar. Be warned. Stevia is a LOT sweeter than standard table sugar so use it sparingly. Also, read the ingredient list when it comes to purchasing. A number of popular brands (i.e. Truvia) are actually “stevia-based sugar substitutes”, aka stevia imposters, aka not actually healthy. (The Truvia ingredient list reads: erythritol, rebiana, and natural flavors.) Instead look for brands like Omica that only contain pure stevia.

How to use:

Coffee, tea, smoothies, any type of liquid bevvy, or, in this high vibe chia pudding.

4. Manuka Honey

Native to New Zealand’s North Island, manuka honey is 100 times stronger than other honeys when it comes to healing and fighting infection. It’s anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties fight bacteria that cause colds and reduce fever like symptoms. As a natural antiseptic, it is used topically to heal wounds and burns. When ingested, manuka honey aids in bloating, acid reflux, indigestion, stomach ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, and other digestive ailments. Source 100% raw premium manuka honey UMF 16+ for its maximum healing benefits. Consume 1 teaspoon per day to boost immunity.

How to use:

Keep away colds, make immune boosting soul shots. Or; use it on your face. (It’s incredible for the skin.)

5. Raw Coconut Nectar

Coconut nectar is the sap from coconut palms. Like raw honey, raw coconut nectar is usually minimally processed and has a low GI score. Raw coconut nectar also contains high amounts of living enzymes and is one of our favorite ways to sweeten raw desserts and chocolate.

How to use:

In acai bowls that feel and taste like paradise.

6. Maple Syrup

Although maple syrup isn’t low GI, it does contain high amounts of calcium, magnesium, and zinc, making it a much better option than many other sweeteners. Look for 100% pure organic maple syrup, not a maple syrup imposter (Aunt Jemima, we’re looking at you).

How to use:

Make these guilt-free Peanut Butter Cookies. Like now. They’re other-worldly. PB not your thing? Click here. (You’re welcome.)

What’s your current relationship with sugar? (Clearly, we’re committed to making it work it.) Start the conversation in the comment section below. We read and respond to every single one.

Forever love, <3 us.

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