Healthful Hints: My Favorite Healthy Alternative Sweeteners

Since battling with a rough patch of candida, I’ve been working on ways to lower my intake of  unhealthy sweeteners. About a year of recipe development, research, and training of the taste buds, I now opt for sugar sources that are better for my overall health that still allow me to enjoy a sweet treat at the end of each day!

Today we’re talking about what these healthy options are and why they’re better than other options.


Of the various sugar alcohols, xylitol is one of the safest, and tastiest. Make sure you look for the pure form (should be listed on the bottle)

Some recipes that use my favorite sugars:

Nuts & Seeds Toffee Squares

Candy Apple Macaroons

Homemade Chai Concentrate

Oil-free Blueberry Streusel Scones

Buckwheat Berry Binge Bars

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  1. Also Leanne, i found a water enhancer called Stur, they’re made with Stevia, are they any good for Keto?

  2. Hello Leanne!
    I’m so grateful i found you on YouTube. Years prior i did Atkins, it worked for the time i did it but i became bored and without more education on low carb dieting i fell off bad. But knowing low carb dieting works i’m back on the saddle. Only 2 weeks in, I’m educating myself more, really reading labels and buying different products to help me along the way however my old demon is sneaking back into my life, sweets and snacks! I understand from you that Xylitol is a great substitute, got it but should i invest in Xylitol snacks like gums, mints, lollipops? Are store bought sugar free pudding good for me? And i just love having a large iced coffee from Dunkin Donuts so if i just get the iced coffee w/ heavy cream do you think that would be a good idea? So sorry for all the questions but i have a long journey ahead and want to be a success even on a low income budget, any other snack suggestions would help too, i already have sugar free jello in the fridge, thanks so much!

    • Hey, thanks for sharing! Instead of xylitol sweetened candy and store-bought yogurt, perhaps try making fat bombs at home. I have quite a few recipes for fat bombs, like Chocolate Hemp Fat Bomb Men, Vanilla Protein Bark, and 4-Ingredient Cookie Bars. You can also do a quick Google search to find more. If you tolerate dairy, iced coffee with heavy cream is an awesome choice. Do you have my program, Fat Fueled? There’s tons of helpful info in there to get you started on your journey :)

  3. Hi Leanne. Is Stevia and Xylitol ok for children? Lately I have been using honey and raw sugar in my baking but I want to stop using it. I use Stevia in yogurt for myself but I am not sure if my kids can have it.

    • Kids are fine with either. The green/natural stevia is always better than the concentrate, if you can find it at your local health food store!

  4. Hi Leanne – thanks for a great blog and tips!

    What is your experiences with Yacoon syrup? I’ve read that it is a good natural sweetner because it contains a high amount of FOS (fructooligosacharides), which is not supposed to increase blood glucose. Would you recommend this, or would xylitol/stevia etc always be a better choice?

    • Hi Vivian – it depends what you’re goals are and what you’re cooking. FOS is great for your digestion and will assist in building healthy bacteria. I don’t know a lot about yacon syrup, but from what I’ve learned recently, it’s quite comparable to honey from a nutrition standpoint. If you have issues with blood sugar any one of them would be good – yacon, xylitol, or stevia. If you want a low calorie sweetener, xylitol. Hope that helps!

  5. I’m interested in using dates to replace sugars but don’t know where to start. Is a general rule of thumb an equal amount of dates for sugar? So, if a recipe called for 1/4 cup of sugar would you use 1/4 cup of pureed dates? Should you soak them first? What about in recipes that don’t use a lot of moisture to begin with, such as cookies?

    Also, I have seen recipes that use dates or prunes as fat replacers too– can they do this simultaneously with replacing sugar? Thank you so much!

    • I wish I knew the answer to your questions but I kinda play a guessing game myself. Dates are about the only sweetener that I’m not too sure of yet. If it’s a bread or muffin, you can usually replace 1:1 with pureed dates. I let them soak in a bit of water, then drain and puree. If it’s stuff like cookies with very little liquid, you could try date sugar at 1:1. Dates, prunes and apple sauce can be replaced for oil in a recipe. If you’re also gluten free and dairy free it gets a little bit tricky, so I haven’t played around with it too much. Here’s an example of a recipe that I cut out most of the oil and replaced with pumpkin puree: sorry I couldn’t help more!

  6. Love this post Leanne!! I so look forward to watching you every week and the info is fantastic!!! Just wondering where you purchase your green leaf stevia? I have only seen it in white powder or in liquid form. Thanks so much and keep up the great work!!

    • Thanks Mel :) I found the green leaf stevia at Community Natural Foods, in Calgary. You can also buy the stevia plant and pick off the leaves, let them dry out, and grind them.