A spoonful of added sugar may sound delicious in your morning coffee, but there are healthier ways to get your buzz.
We all know it, but it’s worth repeating: Sugar can be very bad for you. In excess, sugar increases your risk of type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, and heart disease. It adds empty calories to your diet and promotes weight gain.
Fortunately, there’s a better way to add sweetness to your morning cup of joe.
What is the healthiest sweetener for your coffee? Natural sweeteners like monk fruit, honey, and Stevia are healthier for your coffee than plain sugar.
These sugar substitutes are easy on the taste buds, too, as delicious options for how to sweeten coffee without sugar.
1. Monk Fruit
Super sweet monk fruit extract is a natural sugar alternative for coffee lovers who love sweet coffee. Plus, it’s keto-friendly (if that’s your thing)!
The extract is up to 200 times sweeter than regular table sugar, so you need very little to make a big impact.
To make it, manufacturers remove the seeds and skin and mash the remaining fleshy parts, or mogrosides, from the fruit. The resulting extract is where the sweetness comes from — with none of the calories.
Monk fruit has zero calories and zero fat. It’s easier on the gut than white sugar and artificial coffee sweeteners. This delicious sugar substitute is a perfect addition to your low-acid coffee habit if you’re seeking a gentler morning cup.
Cinnamon adds more flavor than sweetness to your coffee, but if you like a little spice, it can be just what you need to kick your sugar habit.
Consuming cinnamon may offer promising health benefits like:
- Lower cholesterol
- Reduced blood sugar
- Improved heart health
- Immune system boost
- Faster metabolism
If you’re a fan of spiced coffee, try Golden Ratio’s Spiced Cookie Gold Coffee. Cinnamon, cloves, and vanilla come together in a blend that tastes like the perfect treat.
Honey in coffee offers health benefits beyond those you’ll find in black coffee. How’s that for a power-packed morning cup?
The superfood is an antioxidant, an antimicrobial, and an anti-inflammatory. Honey can help you manage a variety of conditions and speed up wound healing. It’s gentle on your gut and provides a nutrient boost of potassium and magnesium.
Keep your honey dose to a little squeeze, though. You don’t want to overpower the taste of your coffee and add unnecessary calories to your healthy coffee. There are more calories in a single serving of honey than white or brown sugar, but they come from a more nutritious source.
Pro tip:If you love Golden Ratio coffee or tea as an alternative to traditional black coffee, honey pairs well with cinnamon and a spritz of lemon.
Stevia may resemble other artificial sweeteners out there, but it’s actually a natural sugar substitute.
Stevia comes from the stevia plant. A round of chemical processing turns it into what you see on store shelves in packet form.
What are the benefits of using Stevia?The benefits of using Stevia include a reduced risk of blood sugar spikes and weight gain.
Stevia is zero-calorie, making it a preferred coffee sweetener for coffee drinkers seeking to cut out empty calories.
5. Maple Syrup
Looking for a healthy, sugar-free option that might already be in your kitchen? Try a drizzle of maple syrup.
Despite the calorie boost, maple syrup also comes with a few health benefits over regular table sugar. Dark-colored maple syrup, in particular, has been linked to promising anti-cancer effects and antioxidant properties.
Just drizzle in moderation to avoid turning your morning cup of coffee (or coffee alternative) into a dessert beverage.
Agave syrup or agave nectar is a popular sweetener from Mexico used in everything from baked goods to your brewed coffee. The caramel aftertaste is a good option for those seeking to move away from the bitterness of some coffees and coffee acidity.
With a low glycemic index, agave is better than table sugar to avoid insulin spikes. If you’re sensitive to fructose, though, use agave in moderation. Although it comes from natural sources, the nectar has more fructose than even high fructose corn syrup.
7. Coconut Sugar
If you’re already a fan of coconut oil and coconut milk in your cooking, coconut sugar may feel like a natural add-on to your coffee routine. You’ll want to use coconut sugar in moderation, though. It’s high in fructose, despite coming from natural sources.
Depending on the brand, you’ll also get a slight coconut aftertaste from this one. If that sounds ideal, sprinkle away!
Erythritol is a sugar alcohol like other polyols extracted from the carbohydrates of plants. Much like Stevia, erythritol must be chemically altered to become the zero-calorie sweetener preferred by many diabetics and those seeking to lose weight.
It’s also the preferred sweetener over xylitol, which has been linked to some gut issues when consumed in excess. If you’re already seeking low-acid coffee for your tummy’s sake, avoid sweeteners that can mess with your digestion.
9. Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
The key here is to reach for unsweetened cocoa powder if you’re seeking sugar alternatives. It won’t add too much sweetness, but the flavor profile might just be enough to trick you into thinking you’re indulging in something special.
Cocoa powder is also a natural anti-inflammatory, can enhance your mood, and offers an immune system boost.
If you put protein powder in your coffee, you may already have some of that cocoa flavor in your cup of joe.
Thick, syrupy molasses is a good option for coffee drinkers who like big, bold flavors like dark coffee or mocha. It’s earthy and a little bitter, though, so molasses is not ideal if you’re seeking a smoother-tasting cup.
Molasses itself is a byproduct of either sugar beets or sugar cane. In the refining process, the juice is extracted from the sugars and boiled down into the liquid we know as molasses, a healthier alternative to refined sugar.
Dark or bootstrap molasses have the highest levels of antioxidant activity.
11. Vanilla Extract
Many coffee drinkers already like vanilla flavors in their coffee or latte, even seeking out coffee beans with that vanilla essence. Adding a drop or two of vanilla extract adds quite a bit of flavor without the bump in sugar.
Precaution: Read labels carefully if you want to add vanilla to your pantry. Some brands contain added sugars that defeat the purpose of avoiding unhealthy coffee sweeteners like processed sugar. Avoid vanilla syrups altogether.
12. Plant-Based Milk
If you’re looking to sweeten your coffee taste more subtly, plant-based milks like almond milk can do that without the need to reach for a sugar substitute. The flavor profile you’ll get is nuttier, without the natural sugar of other coffee sweeteners and creamer.
Like a hint of vanilla in your coffee? Try flavored plant-based milk. This “sweetener” is the perfect additive for a cold brew, too.
Whether you’re a fan of black coffee or a sweeter cup, you deserve a healthy cup of coffee that you can feel good about drinking.
Golden Ratio’s low-acid coffee offers a gentler experience to start off your morning. Try the Original Gold Coffee , the perfect base for your coffee tastes.
- The sweet danger of added sugars
- Cinnamon and health
- Honey and Health: A Review of Recent Clinical Research
- Effect of dark-colored maple syrup on cell proliferation of human gastrointestinal cancer cell
- Erythritol as sweetener—wherefrom and whereto?
- Health benefits of cocoa
- Total antioxidant content of alternatives to refined sugar