Your Guide to the Benefits of Natural Sweeteners


Natural Sweeteners

In our journey for healthier alternatives to refined and added sugar, natural sweeteners have gained popularity all over the world. Because of the demand and lifestyle changes in America, the natural sweeteners market size is estimated to go from 2.8 billion in 2020 to 3.8 billion in 2025.

Natural sweeteners come from various plants and fruits while offering a sweet taste you can add to food. Whether you want to reduce your sugar intake or simply seek healthier alternatives, this guide from 3Natives will introduce you to a range of natural sweeteners and their benefits.


What are Natural Sweeteners?

Natural sweeteners are substances that come from plants, fruits, or other natural sources that provide sweetness to foods and beverages. They are often used as healthier alternatives to refined sugar or artificial sweeteners.


What are the Main Health Benefits?

Natural sweeteners and natural sugars offer several benefits compared to traditional refined sugars:


Reduced Calorie Content

Natural sweeteners often have fewer calories than refined sugars. With that being said, just because something has fewer calories in comparison, it doesn’t automatically make it healthier.

Lower Glycemic Index

Having a glycemic index (GI) score of 1 to 55 means that the GI is low. Many natural sweeteners have a lower glycemic index than refined sugars, such as maple syrup, honey, agave, and stevia. The glycemic index measures how quickly carbohydrate-containing foods raise blood sugar levels. Many natural sweeteners have lower GI values, which means they cause a slower and steadier rise in blood sugar levels compared to refined sugars.

General Health Benefits

Because they come from natural food items, some natural sweeteners have more specific health benefits. These will be discussed below when we go over the different sweetener options.

Reduced Impact on Blood Sugar

For individuals with diabetes or those seeking to manage blood sugar levels, natural sweeteners can have less effect on blood sugar levels than other sweeteners. This can help prevent blood sugar spikes and crashes, making them suitable choices for people with diabetes or those following a low-glycemic or ketogenic diet.

Less Processed

Natural sweeteners are usually less processed compared to table sugar and refined sugar. They come from natural sources such as plants, fruits, or sap. Natural options can reduce your chances of certain illnesses in the future, as too much refined sugar can increase your chances of developing heart disease, type 2 diabetes, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and put you at higher risk for other conditions.

Variety of Flavors

Natural sweeteners offer a wide range of flavors, allowing for a greater range of taste profiles. Having variety can add excitement to recipes and offer different flavor options for your favorite foods.


Types of Natural Sweeteners

There are several different natural sweeteners you can use instead of refined sugars.


Raw Honey

Raw honey is a timeless and universal sweetener, and it is a delicious and nutritious alternative to processed sugar. Its rich taste and sticky texture make it an excellent addition to teas, desserts, and baked goods.

Honey contains antioxidants, enzymes, and minerals that can support your overall health. However, it is important to note that honey should not be given to children under the age of one due to the risk of botulism.

Benefits of honey:

  • Natural source of energy.
  • Antioxidant properties.
  • Contains antibacterial properties.

Agave Nectar

Agave nectar is a natural sweetener derived from the agave plant, primarily found in Mexico. It is commonly used as a substitute for sugar and honey due to its mild, sweet flavor. Agave nectar has a low glycemic index, meaning it has a minimal impact on blood sugar levels, making it a good option for individuals with diabetes or those seeking to manage their blood sugar.


  • Low glycemic index, leading to a slower rise in blood sugar levels.
  • Sweeter than sugar, so smaller quantities are needed.
  • Can be used as a vegan alternative to honey.
  • Contains small amounts of vitamins and minerals, including potassium and calcium.

Maple Syrup

Maple syrup has a delightful, sweet flavor and a distinctive aroma. It comes from the sap of maple trees. This natural sweetener is a great alternative to traditional pancake syrup and can be used in baking, marinades, and dressings. Maple syrup is an excellent source of manganese and contains various antioxidants that contribute to its potential health benefits.


  • Provides essential minerals like manganese and zinc.
  • Contains antioxidants.
  • Offers anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Provides a more balanced glycemic response compared to refined sugar.

Coconut Sugar

Coconut sugar comes from the sap of coconut palm trees. It has a caramel-like flavor and can be used as a one-to-one replacement for granulated sugar in recipes. Coconut sugar also contains small amounts of vitamins and minerals, including iron, zinc, and potassium.


  • Low glycemic index, causing a slower rise in blood sugar levels.
  • Contains minerals and antioxidants.
  • Provides a natural sweetness with a unique flavor profile.
  • Sustainable and environmentally friendly.


Stevia is a plant native to South America and it can be used to produce a natural sweetener that has zero calories and a high sweetness level. Stevia extract is a popular sugar substitute and is available in both powdered and liquid forms. It can be used in beverages, baking, and cooking, giving you a sweetness that is sweeter than sugar without the calories or blood sugar spikes.


  • Zero calories.
  • Does not raise blood sugar levels.
  • Suitable for individuals with diabetes or those looking to reduce calorie intake.
  • May have potential health benefits, such as blood pressure and blood sugar control.

Monk Fruit Extract

Monk fruit sweetener is derived from the small green fruit native to Southeast Asia. It provides natural sweetness without the calories or impact on blood sugar levels. Monk fruit sweetener is available as a liquid or powdered sweetener and is commonly used in beverages, desserts, and sauces.


  • Zero calories.
  • Does not raise blood sugar levels.
  • Can be heat-stable, making it suitable for cooking and baking.
  • Contains antioxidants that may have anti-inflammatory properties.


Check Out Your Delicious Options at 3Natives

Natural sweeteners offer a range of delicious alternatives to different types of sugar, providing sweetness along with potential health benefits. It’s a way to prevent you from eating high amounts of sugar and artificially sweetened foods. At 3Natives, we have several delicious menu items that are naturally sweetened.

All of our bowls and smoothies are made with real fruit that provides a sweet flavor. We also add honey to many of our acai bowls for added sweetness and benefits. Check out our full menu to see what else we have!

Whether you want an acai bowl, a smoothie, or a fresh salad, we have something for everybody. Stop in at your local 3Natives in Florida or Oklahoma and enjoy delicious and nutritious dishes.