Sweet Dilemma: Unveiling the Healthiest Sugar Substitute – Jaggery, Honey, or Stevia?


From years back to the present day, sugar was the king in every kitchen and it hid its deadly danger under its uncontrollable sweetness. While Sugar is often overlooked because of its many ill effects on our health, the need to eat sweet things still exists.

But for me, who adores a great dessert like any other person, cannot give up sugar entirely. Consequently, an essential question appears: which processed sugar replacement is the best option.?

According to studies we find 3 very popular natural sugar substitutes that, apart from being used for sweetening, also enrich your daily intake of nutrients.

These alternatives are jaggery, honey and stevia. However, all promise a sweetness that is without the roller coaster of a guilt trip.

Let’s explore the characteristics of all three to analyze which one is the better choice for your healthy journey.


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Jaggery, popularly called “Gur,” happens to be pure sugarcane juice concentrate and comes as an unrefined sugar name. Jaggery comes loaded with antioxidants and nutrients including calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron and sodium; making it a nutritional treasure far richer than white sugar. Indian Ayurvedic medicine has been recommending jaggery for numerous health benefits for thousands of years.

Jaggery helps in weight loss management due to its slow digestion, providing sustained energy release and increased fullness, effectively reducing our appetite. However, it is still a type of sugar, and consuming too much of it can harm a person’s health.

Jaggery can be used in many ways as an alternative to sugar, including for cooking, baking, flavouring, and sweetening food and drinks. Personally, I like to have it in my morning tea, as jaggery provides me with an energy boost and a delicious caramel flavour.


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Honey, the sweet treasure produced by bees from the nectar of flowers by honeybees. Rich in antioxidants, honey is primarily composed of carbohydrates, mainly fructose and glucose, providing quick energy. Additionally, it contains traces of potassium, calcium, magnesium, and B vitamins.

Loaded with fructose, honey should also be consumed in moderation, but due to its natural benefits, it is a good alternative to refined sugar.

Honey can be used to sweeten drinks, and yogurt and can also be used in baking. Ginger and Honey tea with a spoon of honey is my go-to drink for added immunity. You can also try a natural nut butter smoothie garnished with honey to fulfil your sugar craving.

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Stevia, derived from the leaves of plants, is a unique zero-calorie sweetener. It is 400 times sweeter than sugar but does not contain any significant vitamins and minerals.

It is Ideal for those seeking a calorie-free alternative to sugar as it helps to reduce weight and controls blood sugar. Various options of Stevia are available in the market including power, tablet or liquid form.

Stevia has a bit of a bitter metallic aftertaste, but it can be used as an alternative to refined sugar in most beverages, dessert-like kheer and can also be added to dahi

The Better Sugar Alternative

The best alternative will depend on your fitness goals and preferences, as each one has its own set of pros and cons.

Based on the calorie content, Stevia is the better alternative to sugar for weight management as it will help to reduce the daily calorie intake. It is also a favourable option to control diabetes as it will help to stabilize blood sugar levels.

Jaggery should be a good alternative for people suffering from various nutrient deficiencies. It is my personal favourite as it adds an earthy flavour to my beverages, smoothies & Yogurt.

Honey can be preferred to improve your digestion and due to its richness in antioxidants, it helps in enhancing the skin texture.


As all the above options are a good alternative to refined sugar, due to their natural existence but consuming everything in moderation is the best way to achieve a long-term healthy lifestyle.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is healthier stevia or honey?

Manuka honey is better for you than stevia when you consider its versatility and wider health benefits. Honey does contain more calories and has a higher glycemic index than stevia. But it also contains more vitamins and minerals, has unique antibacterial qualities, and can be used in many more ways

What happens if we eat jaggery daily?

Consuming too much jaggery can lead to weight gain, so it should be eaten in moderation. Jaggery can also cause diarrhoea and abdominal pain if consumed in large amounts.

Is honey healthy to eat daily?

Consuming two tablespoons of honey a day can offer health benefits such as antioxidants, better wound healing, and anti-inflammatory properties. A spoonful of honey (about 21 grams) has the following nutritional content: Energy: 64 kcal. Fructose (a type of carbohydrate): 8.6 grams

What are the benefits of jaggery?

The presence of calcium in jaggery may help in improving bone health. It may purify blood and help in managing diseases like jaundice.