Want to learn more about brown sugar substitutes?
Sugar is often the sweet trigger for most of our high-calorie and excessively sweet diets. While cutting out sugars and sweeteners completely is one way to cut calories and live a more natural and healthy lifestyle, for many individuals, this isn’t feasible.
This is where sugar substitutes come into play. With the right selection of brown sugar substitutes, you’ll be able to replicate the same sweet taste you’ve grown to love without loading up on the unhealthy side effects of excessive sugar use.
10 Brown Sugar Substitutes
The best sugar substitutes for brown sugar depend on what you’re using these substitutes for, as well as your tolerance for the difference in taste. Read on for 10 sugar substitutes to consider when replacing brown sugar.
1. Acesulfame Potassium
This artificial sweetener is an effective brown sugar substitute. As it doesn’t raise one’s blood sugar or accelerate tooth decay, this brown sugar alternative is one of the most effective substitutes.
With virtually zero calories, these sweetener makes it easy to avoid contributing to additional health issues.
To make sure your consumption of this sugar substitute is as healthy as possible, be sure to stay within the FDA’s daily amount.
You can use this sweetener as you normally would use brown sugar. Whether you’re adding it to your coffee or using it for baking purposes, this Ace-K sugar solution is quite effective.
Before using this sugar substitute for the first time, take note of the fact that this sweetener is 200 times sweeter when compared to regular sugar. As it doesn’t have the same volume or bulk as brown sugar, you can easily go overboard when adding it to your recipes, so be sure to make the appropriate modifications when using it as a substitute in recipes.
2. Agave Nectar
Want a more holistic sweetener? Start using agave nectar.
As one of the most popular brown sugar substitutes, agave nectar is a healthier alternative that is rather lower in the glycemic index. Furthermore, this sweetener doesn’t cause blood sugar spikes, making it the preferable alternative for individuals that must watch their sugar intake for medical reasons.
However, when using agave nectar, keep in mind that it does contain higher amounts of fructose. While agave is a healthy sweetener, this fructose can cause weight gain. When consumed excessively, this agave can also lead to insulin resistance. For this reason, many experts recommend that diabetics stay away from agave.
Since agave tastes sweeter than brown sugar, it works well in almost any cooking situation. As it tastes like honey, most people find it lacks any of the bitter aftertastes that most other sugar substitutes have.
3. Coconut Sugar
Coconut sugar is a natural sweetener that is unrefined and provides users with a healthy dose of minerals, and vitamins. As it doesn’t cause fluctuations in one’s blood sugar, many diabetics use it as a brown sugar alternative. However, it’s important for any diabetic to consult with their doctor before they add it to their diets.
As coconut sugar is quite similar to its more popular counterparts, it is often used as a 1:1 replacement for brown or white sugar. This makes it easier to switch out brown sugar in recipes for coconut sugar. However, many users point out that this sugar can be particularly coarse.
For years, many people have turned to honey as a healthy alternative to sugar. According to doctors, the fructose content in raw honey is lower than the content in agave. Moreover, honey is one of nature’s only all-natural sweeteners with powerful health benefits.
When you add honey to your diet, you’ll be able to take advantage of its anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and heart-healthy effects. Keep in mind that when you’re eating honey, it does break down into fructose and glucose, as is the case with other sugars. As a result, you pose similar health risks when consuming honey.
Want to use honey on a regular basis? Try this condiment on baked goods, in smoothies, as part of marinades, and in other creative ways when sweetening your meals. To gain the most health benefits, be sure that you’re using raw honey.
5. Monk Fruit Extracts
While many people have never heard of this sweetener, it is a healthier alternative to brown sugar. As monk fruit extracts are up to 200 times sweeter than regular sugar, you’ll be able to use much less than you would otherwise.
May individuals choose this extract as a sweetener so they can cut calories.
Keep in mind that these extracts are commercially processed to an extent and often contain other sweeteners. When using this sweetener, make sure you are consuming the healthiest version by reading the label and checking the ingredients.
Not sure how to use brown sugar substitutes like monk fruit extracts?
Consider using it as an addition to tea, coffee, and the like. Be sure to taste this extract first to determine if you find that it has an unpleasant aftertaste. As some people note that this sugar alternative has a specific taste to it, some avoid adding it into certain recipes when baking and cooking.
6. Date Paste
Just as some people eat dates as a dessert, others use date paste as a natural sweetener.
As far as brown sugar substitutes go, date paste works as an effective sugar alternative. Whether you DIY your own date paste or purchase it from your favorite holistic store, you’ll find that this sugar alternative is sweet, healthy, and low in calories.
Dates are an excellent additive in everything from sauces and marinades to salads and smoothies. As you get used to using date paste, you’ll learn that it is sweeter than sugar. As such, be sure that you’re using an appropriate amount as a sugar replacement in recipes.
Want to make this all-natural sweetener yourself?
With four cups of water and 12 oz. of dates, you can easily make your own. After letting the dates soak in hot water, drain most of the water, reserving 1 ½ cups to add to the blender with the soaked dates. After blending, you’ll have your own date paste.
7. Stevia Extracts
Want a non-caloric plant extract as one of your go-to brown sugar substitutes? Then stevia extracts are the solution for you. This sweetener won’t lead to weight gain and is safe for diabetics to consume.
While stevia extracts are indeed healthy, they are also particularly sweet, so you don’t need as much of it as you would when using regular sugar.
As you learn how to use stevia in your favorite meals, keep in mind that it has a bit of an aftertaste after the refining process. For this reason, some people avoid using it in tea or coffee. However, you can use stevia extracts in various forms like liquid and powder, so you may need to experiment a bit to find which form you enjoy the most.
Sucralose or Splenda is an artificial sweetener that many people use as a substitute for white and brown sugar.
As a sweetener that is 600 times sweeter, this low-calorie solution is often a favorite among diabetics and dieters.
While there are a wide variety of Splenda products on the market, you’ll find that there are specific forms better suited to how you intend to use this sweetener. Whether you’re baking with or adding this sweetener to your coffee, there is a perfect format that will work best for you as a sugar alternative.
When using this sweetener, be sure to monitor how much you are using. As sucralose is significantly sweeter than regular sugars, you only need small amounts when using this sweetener.
Xylitol is a sugar alcohol that is anywhere from 25%-100% as sweet as typical sugars.
According to the FDA, sugar alcohols are lower in calories and don’t increase blood glucose or promote tooth decay. However, these alcohols do have an effect on one’s blood sugar levels, so diabetics must be careful when using these sugar alcohols.
Additionally, experts point out that xylitol has effects similar to laxatives when consumed in large amounts.
Since xylitol comes in a granulated form, some find it easier to use as a replacement for beverages or in baking and cooking. Experts say this alternative works best for recipes and the like that don’t require the breakdown of sugars in liquid form since it doesn’t caramelize.
This age old sugar substitute is a healthy solution for sweetening.
As a byproduct of the process used to make sugar, molasses are often thought of as healthier. Molasses range in type from light molasses and dark molasses to the black strap kind and the sulfured, and un-suffered variety.
In comparison to brown sugar, molasses contains minerals and vitamins like potassium, iron, copper, vitamin B6, selenium, calcium, manganese, and magnesium.
In addition to this nutritional content, molasses has proven to be effective in stabilizing blood sugar and lowering insulin levels.
Final Thoughts on Brown Sugar Substitutes
If you’d like to cut back on brown sugar, consider these natural alternatives. Whether you like the powdered form or liquid sweeteners, these options allow you the freedom to sweeten your food as naturally as possible.
With their own share of benefits, these brown sugar substitutes make for an excellent option when replacing brown sugar. Keep this information in mind as you determine the proper replacement for brown sugar in your diet.