I Quit Sugar – Which Sugar Alternative Is Best?

It appears Australians are becoming more and more focused on sugar these days, with a lot of hype around the “I Quit Sugar” campaign, which is leading to people cutting sugar out completely (or at least thinking they are… but I will get to this later!).

So which sugar alternative is best?

I find I get asked time and time again my position on sugar, and just as I always say, when it comes to food and what you put in your mouth, it is completely up to you. I don’t like to push opinions, but rather provide easy to understand information so that you can make informed decisions yourself. So lets do this!

strawberry flavoured stevia and erthyritol mix being used to make some home made frozen yoghurt!, I quit sugar, which sugar alternative is healthiest?, which sugar alternative is best?

Would probably be okay in an “I quit sugar” plan! Although evidently there are still sugars coming from the yoghurt naturally!

On a personal note- I do not add sugar to tea/coffee or anything I would like sweetened. I do however add a stevia/erythritol mix (commercially known as Natvia in Australia). Why? Being a low GI advocate, and also finding this is quite a simple way to cut out unnecessary calories, to me, it just makes sense.

I also select this mix as from my own research, it appears to be safe, coming from a natural source, has been used for years in other countries, and given I do not respond badly to “sugar alcohols” (which erythritol is one of), for me, it works.

As a side note – erythritol has not been found to have as harsh gastro side effects on people as other sugar alcohols.

With this in mind, I always recommend people who find they get an upset stomach from the consumption of these “sugar alcohols” (also found in the form of malitol and sorbitol  – clearly just look out for the “ol” sound at the end of a word!) go easy on their consumption of this, and if necessary, go for a straight stevia substitute (it just has a more molasses flavour which is why I select the other mix).


I quit sugar, which sugar alternative is healthiest?, which sugar replacement is healthiest?, which sugar alternative is best?

I quit sugar – Sugar alternative table

I also find that I already get a little bit of added sugar in my diet through some other foods which I consume for their high fibre or protein provision e.g. super high fibre muesli bars or high protein greek yoghurts. To me, if the glycemic load of the end product is still low (which they are in the cases of the products I select), then the teaspoon or so of sugar the manufacturer puts in there to ensure consumers find their products palatable are not the end of the world to me (and as I say, I am not adding it in other places unnecessarily).

Low glycemic load foods/meals/snacks do not result in that spike in your blood sugar levels, and therefore the corresponding large hit of insulin release. It is this circulating insulin that we don’t want too much of, and which can have a negative effect on inflammation inside our bodies, and which promotes fat storage. Summary in short- select low glycemic load foods 🙂

which sugar alternative is healthiest?, which sugar alternative is best?, I quit sugar, glycemic index of sugar

glycemic index graph

I have sourced a couple of easy to understand tables for you to gage the differences between the different sugars and sugar substitutes, so that you can make your own mind up about what you think is best.

I quit sugar, which sugar alternative is healthiest?

Which sugar alternative is best?

GI and cals sugar substitutes, which sugar alternative is best?, I quit sugar

Which sugar alternative is best?


I quit sugar – comparison of which sugar alternative is best.

So there you have it, definitely up to you to make your own decisions. One teaspoon of added sugar in an otherwise whole foods based clean diet is not going to be the make or break of your health or weight management. Having said that, you may find like me, that making some simple switches will be just another step in the right direction of looking after your insides, and feeling great both mentally and physically.

If you are interested in more information on glycemic load and inflammation inside your body, I recommend you have a look at my published book, it goes into a lot more depth on these topics!

For now,

The travelling dietitian x

About The Author

Kara Landau aka "Travelling Dietitian" is an Australian Accredited Practicing Dietitian based in New York City. She is a world explorer, healthy foodie, social butterfly, and barre class lover. When she isn't trying new cuisines, researching new product innovations in the health food space, or speaking to the media on behalf of her food industry clients, she can be found quietly conjuring up her next idea in how to make this world a healthier and better place.

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