Healthy Sugar?


In this past season you probably noticed that “sweet tooth” become extra active. The holiday season is filled with opportunity for sweets of all different kinds. For many the holiday would not be complete without a particular candy or cookie or dessert being present. Now as the new year takes hold many resolve to do a better job of self-discipline in choosing what to eat. Let me suggest you direct your effort to improve the quality and decrease the quantity of sugar you consume this year.

There is no question that sugar has a strong hold on our community. From government data we can find that the average American consumed less than 10 pounds of sugar a year back in 1880. More than 100 years later, the average American consumes about 2 pounds of sugar each week. Not only has the quantity increased more than 10-fold, but this sugar is processed to the point of pure energy with no additional mineral or vitamin content attached to it.

Go back to 1959 and less than one percent of the American population was diabetic. Today more than 30 percent of the American population is identified as pre-diabetic or diabetic. The greatest increase in diabetes is occurring among the young Americans. Those managing diabetes will have more significant medication costs, more doctor visits, and twice as long hospital stays. New medications are coming out promising to control the downward spiral of disease, but the cost of these medicines continues to increase.

There is a better solution. You can choose healthy sugars to replace the pure energy of the white sugar and corn syrup you currently have in the cupboard. As you start this new direction, I encourage you to throw out the white sugar and corn syrup and select healthy sugars that contain minerals and enzymes that will aid digestion and help to keep your health.

These healthy sugars have a variety of flavors. You are familiar with them, but probably have not used them as well as they can be used. So let’s review some of these options:

Whole Fruit – a piece of whole fruit at the end of a meal, or as part of a meal is an excellent way to satisfy the sweet tooth and get vitamins and minerals as well. In a previous article, I spoke on the benefit of an apple each day. Make whole fruit a priority in your meal planning and you will be healthier for it.

Raw Honey – organic raw honey contains enzymes that will help aid digestion and additional nutrients that benefit health. Raw honey will contain active enzymes and unfiltered honey will contain additional bee propolis and pollen that can help reduce some allergies and improve digestion. Less honey will be required in recipes because it tastes sweeter than sugar.

Black Strap molasses – molasses is a by-product of the sugar refining process. Molasses contains all minerals that are removed from refined sugar. Rich in iron, calcium, potassium, and copper, this addition to recipes is always noticed. Often associated with gingerbread flavors, but molasses can also be used in many other recipes.

Maple Syrup – the sap of the maple tree collected in early spring contains minerals and nutrients essential for the new life of the spring leaves. Grade C maple syrup contains the most vitamins and minerals and is the strongest flavor. Grade A maple syrup also contains minerals and is a good substitute for white sugar in any recipe.

Rapadura or Sucanat – these two products are made from sugar cane juice. The juice does not go through the extensive processing required for white sugar. Therefore, there is still some mineral content remaining with these sweet products. There is a slight molasses or caramel flavor that is pleasant to taste.

Make your health a priority in 2024. There will be change that is required. Little changes can make a big difference over time. Changing your sugar choices can be one of those little changes. If you would like to reverse diabetes or prevent diabetes, I can help you start a plan.

Contact me to discuss your health goals for 2024. I can help you reach those health goals with whole food plans customized to your specific needs. You can contact me at, or check out my website at Start this year with a new plan. Foundation to Thrive is a 16 week lifestyle transformation to help you reach your health goals in 2024.