Just the other day we published a study on our Facebook Page showing how detrimental sugar can be to overall health.

Here’s the not-so-sweet taste:

New research spotlights the role that added sugar in kids’ diets plays in the development of metabolic syndrome, a group of conditions that can result in diabetes and heart disease. The study tracked 43 black and Hispanic youths who presented signs of metabolic syndrome.

But don’t fret, there are natural alternatives to sugar that will satisfy any sweet tooth, and keep your heart healthy and your cholesterol low:

Baking

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This great visual from Pinterest shows you some of the exact alternatives, as well as the exact measurements to use when substituting these for sugar in baking and cooking.

Date Syrup

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This is one of the easiest recipes I have made I think. It is also one I make on a regular basis. Dates are a fantastic natural sweetener but obviously in their normal whole form, you can’t add them to everything. Turn them into a liquid however, and you have a mild tasting, totally natural and raw sweetener. I like to substitute date syrup in everything from baking to in a green smoothie or even in my cup of tea or hot chocolate. 

Stevia

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Stevia has no calories, and it is 200 times sweeter than sugar in the same concentration. Other studies suggest stevia might have extrahealth benefits.

“Available research is promising for the use of stevia in hypertension,” said Catherine Ulbricht, senior pharmacist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and co-founder of Natural Standard Research Collaboration, which reviews evidence on herbs and supplements. Ulbricht said Natural Standard gave stevia a “grade B for efficacy” in lowering blood pressure. Other studies suggest stevia could benefit people with Type 2 diabetes, but Ulbricht says more research is needed.

More Baking

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Here’s another great resource for baking!

No mater how you’re working to improve heart health, lower cholesterol or get blood pressure numbers back to normal, toss out all sugar. Seriously. We have an addiction to sugar…

…because it’s amazing.

BUT, it is killing you. Try the above substitutes and your heart, and body, will thank you.