This will be the quick and easy guide to sweeteners. I am also writing a lengthy article as the more I was looking into this, the more I felt I needed to share. Here is the short version, without much detail at all. Just quick guidelines.
This will be a very short bit of information on which sugars are better and which you should avoid. I am writing an in depth article on sweeteners which will give you all the information on why this is the case.
Sweeteners are in general simply not a healthy food. But there are some that are less bad than others. Either way it is good to minimise and avoid where you can.
White sugar is stripped of it's treacle or molasses and should be avoided as much as possible. It is harder on the body to digest than whole sugars and creates blood sugar spikes which simply are not healthy for you.
These sugars are still not amazing for your body as they still need to be used in moderation. They still cause blood sugar spikes. However, they still retain their nutrients as the molasses or treacle has not been removed.
sucanat, rapadura, panela, jaggery, gula jawa, maple syrup and raw honey.
With sucanat, rapadura, panela, jaggery, gula jawa and maple syrup you can exchange sugar 1-1. With honey you need to half it as honey is much sweeter than the sugars.
The name says it all "artificial". They are chemicals that have no place in your food. They can cause a whole host of problems in the long run when ingested regularly. It's best to just stay away from them altogether.
How to introduce
What you can start with is with strongly flavoured baked goods to introduce. Those that have a lot of cinnamon or so in them. That way it is hardly noticed. I started with the St. Nicolas baking. That has a strong flavoured spice mix in it and that way nobody noticed I had fully exchanged the sugar from white to sucanat. The sucanat actually made it taste even more festive. I only make those baked goods during the St. Nicolas festive time, so it's just once a year anyway. And in that space nobody really noticed. It was good. Have kept doing it for the St. Nicolas and Yule tide baking.
When you have baked goods that aren't strongly flavoured you can start with 3/4 white sugar and 1/4 whole sugar.
After a few weeks change that to half / half.
After another few weeks go for 1/4 white sugar and 3/4 whole sugar. And then after another few weeks don't buy white sugar at all anymore.
This is a slow way of weaning your family over from the tasteless white sugar to the very flavourful whole sugar.
For some baked goods / dishes it is hard to add a lot of flavour. Then you may want to look into using honey that is mild in flavour, but then only use half of the amount you normally use as honey is much much sweeter than sugar is. A good one is acacia honey; it isn't strong in flavour at all, so it does really well in neutral dishes.
How do you feel about replacing white sugar with better sugars?
What do you think you will do?
Will you replace in one go?
Or would you rather phase sugar out bit by bit and use up what you have?
Leave your thoughts in the comments below. I love chatting with you all about it all.
As I'm running a business I will talk about this bit as well.
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