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Sugar, Sweeteners & Alternatives

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There is a great range of sugar, sweeteners and sugar alternatives available for anyone who has got a sweet tooth.

Traditional, refined, white sugar is relatively high in calories, which in turn, can lead to weight gain.

And as many of us already know, eating too much sugar can also cause tooth decay.

It is therefore important to ensure that you avoid eating or drinking too much sugar in your diet.

The UK’s recommendation is that sugar should not make up more than 5% of your daily calorie allowance.

What alternatives are there to sugar?

If you are looking to cut down on your calories or just reduce your sugar intake, there are plenty of alternatives available which will taste just as sweet, if not sweeter!

Lots of these are also naturally occurring substances.

Here are some of our favourite sugar substitutes:

Natural xylitol

Total Sweet 100% Natural Xylitol Sugar Alternative is a low calorie sugar alternative made from sustainable European birch and beech wood.

These xylitol sachets have 40% less calories than sugar. And unlike sugar, xylitol actually has dental benefits rather than being harmful to teeth.

In fact, xylitol is used in many chewing gums, toothpastes, mints and mouthwashes because it can help to create an alkaline environment in the mouth which can help to reduce plaque build-up and prevent cavities.

Xylitol is a very easy swap for sugar as it is so similar. You can directly swap the same quantity into baking recipes, or use it to sweeten hot drinks, cereal or fruit.

Agave nectar

This naturally occurring sweetener is extracted from certain species of the agave plant and has a similar consistency to honey, although it is slightly thinner and less sticky.

The Groovy Food Company Premium Agave Nectar Light & Mild is 100% organic and is naturally fat free.

It also has a 76% fructose level. This slow-releasing carbohydrate means that the body doesn’t need to produce vast amounts of insulin in order to break it down.

Agave nectar comes in a liquid form and is easily dissolved, which makes agave syrup perfect for adding to smoothies and cocktails.

You can also swap it for honey or maple syrup on pancakes and desserts.

The Groovy Food Company offers both light agave nectar and dark agave nectar, with the dark and rich flavour being similar to maple syrup.


Holland & Barrett Glucose with Vitamin C is easily absorbed into the body and therefore a quick source of energy and nourishment.

This natural sugar alternative can be used as a replacement for white sugar in tea and coffee, or sprinkled over cereal and oats to add a sweet kick to your breakfast.


Fructose is a naturally occurring sugar which comes from fruits, honey and vegetables, and is thought to be one and a half times sweeter than white sugar.

This means that less of it is needed to achieve the same sweetness and therefore less calories will be consumed.

Holland & Barrett Fruit Sugar Pure Fructose is an alternative to sugar, which can be used in cooking, or in drinks and desserts directly in place of ordinary sugar.


This sugar substitute comes from the leaves of the stevia plant.

Nature’s Garden Stevia has no calories, sugar or preservatives and is suitable for both vegetarians and vegans.

Add to your overnight oats, creamy puddings and homemade salad dressings.

When you are next baking, you could try replacing half of the sugar with stevia for a healthier bake.


Inulin syrup is an alternative to honey which is packed with fibre.

Holland & Barrett Troo Pure Inulin Syrup is absolutely packed with fibre - in fact just one portion contains at least 25% of your recommended daily fibre requirement.

Fibre is an important component in our diets as it can help to support a healthy digestive system, and can help to prevent constipation and bloating.

Fibre also helps to keep us feeling fuller for longer so you will be less likely to reach for extra snacks in between meals.

You can use inulin just as you would honey. Drizzle over pancakes with Greek yogurt and fresh berries for a sweet brunch or mix into yogurt, cereal or oats.

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