There are twelve sweeteners approved for use in New Zealand. A sugar alternative or “artificial sweetener” does have a sweetness many times that of sugar, but with fewer kilojoules. This means you can have your cake, and eat it too!
There are a huge number of sugar substitutes/alternatives on the market in NZ and can be used in many keto or gluten free recipes, we love to share the different types of sugar alternatives on the market with our Nourish and Thrive tribe.
Organic Coconut Sugar
Coconut sugar is crystallized nectar of the coconut palm tree’s flowers. It has a beautiful flavour and is low GI. It contains a range of vitamins and minerals. This is a delicious alternative to brown sugar. It contains slightly less fructose than table sugar aka sucrose.
Coconut sugar has a caramel flavour, and makes a great kitchen staple.
Honey is a favourite natural sweetener at Nourish & Thrive, mainly because we love the taste in gluten free muffins or keto muffins. Honey nutritionally contains small amounts of vitamins, the famous and popular Manuka honey does have antibacterial properties as well.
The sugars in honey are slightly different depending on the variety of honey, as does the glycemic index which can range from 45-60, making it low to medium GI. The fructose content ranges from 30-40%. Our delicious wildflower honey has a beautiful taste to it, the perfect sugar alternative for the foodie in NZ.
Maple Syrup is produced from certain species of maple trees. In cold climates, these trees store starch in their trunks and roots before the winter; the starch is then converted to sugar that rises in the sap in the spring. The sap is processed by heating to evaporate much of the water, leaving the concentrated syrup – the maple syrup we love to use!
Maple syrup is a source of manganese – a mineral we need in small amounts bone formation, skin health and blood sugar control. It also provides a source of zinc as well as small amounts of potassium, calcium and magnesium.
This fantastic new addition to the sugar substitute market Xylitol is a 100 % natural sweetener that looks and tastes like sugar. It is naturally present in small amounts in various fruits and vegetables. Our Xylitol is derived from non GMO corn.
Erythritol is a sugar alcohol, it has been a sugar substitute for years in NZ – especially ideal for those following a low carb or ketogenic diet due to the fact it has almost zero carbohydrates.
Erythritol has a good flavour comparable to sugar but with a slight cooling effect. There is little or no aftertaste. It has 65% of the sweetness of sugar so its the perfect choice when watching your sugar intake.
Are artificial sweeteners better than sugar?
Sweeteners such as honey, brown rice syrup, maple syrup and coconut sugar are often touted as being better for your health than regular sugar. However, they contain the same number of kilojoules as sugar and their small amounts of additional nutrients have no extra health benefits.
What is the best natural substitute for sugar?
The best natural sweetener is very much a personal choice. We like honey, brown rice syrup, maple syrup and coconut sugar for health benefits than regular sugar. However, they still contain kilojoules as sugar and offer a more natural alternative to traditional white sugar.
What is the healthiest sugar substitute?