What Are The Best Sweeteners To Use On A Low Sugar Diet?

As you may already know, one of the recommendations in my acne treatment “plan” is to cut simple carbohydrates and sugars from your diet. But I’m finding there is some confusion as to what “sugars” actually means. So let’s look at the main sugars that are best for you to avoid, and some of the sugars that you can add into your diet so that you’re still getting that sweet taste.

Before we begin, a reminder to practice moderation. The sugars I’m listing here are the better ones to consume while you’re trying to lower those sugar spikes in your body. However, it doesn’t mean that I’m advising you to go crazy with your consumption of these sugars now. Remember – everything in moderation. Especially considering while these “better sugars” are low in GL and GI, some are still quite high in fructose content.

Sugars to add in


stevia leaves, natural sweetener

Stevia won’t affect your blood sugar at all. Try to buy the dried green leaf stevia if you can find it, or grow it in your garden. Green leaf stevia is the most natural and tastes the best. I don’t like the taste of the liquid stevia so much. Anyway, how do they make that liquid out of the leaves?????

If you are using stevia in your diet, please mix it up with other sugars. This article explains why – Why I Quit Stevia. And please note, after reading this article I still feel that green leaf stevia is great to consume in moderation.

Yacon Syrup

Yacon Syrup - natural sweetener

I have no idea why yacon syrup isn’t more popular than it is because yacon grows just about everywhere and it’s amazing. The AWESOME thing about yacon syrup is that it will help to balance your blood sugar. So you can make a raw dessert with yacon syrup and know while you’re eating it that your blood sugar is balancing itself out. That’s the best ever. The downside is yacon syrup is super expensive and usually you need a lot of it to make anything taste sweet enough.

Coconut Palm Sugar

Coconut palm sugar - natural sweetener

When I was in Bali earlier this year coconut palm sugar was everywhere. This sugar is great because it has a low GL and GI and is packed full of beneficial nutrients. It does however have a high fructose content so please consume in moderation.

Sugars to avoid

The main sugar that you want to cut out is the most obvious – cane sugar. That includes cane in all of its forms, white, brown and raw.

Also please avoid all synthetic sugar substitutes, some are actually potentially quite dangerous. Stay well away from aspartame.

Milk! Ahh yes this is a surprising one. Milk contains lactose sugars which are actually quite high on the Glycemic Load (GL) scale. If you are following a low sugar diet it is better to switch to nut and seed milks.

While honey contains a lot of beautiful healing nutrients, it’s actually very high in sugar content. It’s better to limit or avoid honey at least temporarily.

Some fruits are really high in sugar content. Straight watermelon juice for example is like drinking sugar water. The best fruits to consume are low GL and GI fruits. Here is a listing of some of the best and worst fruits to consume when following a low sugar diet – The Best Low Carb Fruits (and the Worst)

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  • Nancy October 6, 2013, 12:26 am

    Hello Fran, is argave syrup ok to use?

    • Fran October 6, 2013, 2:25 pm

      Hi Nancy, agave syrup (if in its pure form – sometimes they’re cut with corn syrup), does have a low glycemic index and low glycemic load. Despite all of the controversy about it in the raw food community, I still feel that it’s okay in moderation. Just remember that it’s very high in fructose.

  • marie September 10, 2013, 7:23 am

    wow fran, a whole other blog! You must be one busy girl. But thank you for doing all this and helping so many of us.
    Ah sugar! In the heat of the summer here in the tropics on my organic farm, my body cries out for fruit! Not only that but we make fresh cane sugar. I mean FRESH! we go up to the second terrace machete off a couple stalks of cane and put it through the juicer…. seriously the MOST delicious thing mother earth ever created. Are you suggesting I shouldn’t partake in this? I have been mixing coconut water (which I also machete open…more freshness : ) and sugarcane juice together…. haha when I drink it I feel life enter my body. But perhaps I’m actually doing myself a disservice. And how do I know if sugar is something I should be staying away from. Not trying to should on myself, but I am curious.
    Ok my dear well thank you again.

    • Fran September 11, 2013, 12:16 am

      Marie, if you love it and it makes your soul feel alive, keep eating it 🙂

      Just remember, everything in moderation!