Sugars & Substitutes 1: The Quick Guide

17 September 2014


At Commonsense Organics we have a wide range of sugars and other natural sweeteners (sugar substitutes).

We stock such a great variety of sugar and sugar substitutes that we put together a guide to explain the differences between products. Some products are the sweetest of sugars - perfect for sweetest tooth, and some substitutes are suitable for diabetics and people on sugar-free diets.

If you are looking for a low sugar product when you are browsing the online store- use our filter system to search for products that contain "low sugar".

Where a serious health condition exists you should always check with your health professional before trying any new product.



Oh sugar, mmm honey honey...

There are several varieties of organic and fair trade cane-sugar products available, which can suit different cooking and baking requirements. The less refined the sugar is, the more molasses will be present, providing a richer taste, darker appearance and a higher nutritional content.

We stock bulk organic fair trade un-bleached cane sugar, coconut sugar, and darker sugars such as demerara. We also have honey, molasses, maple syrup and palm sugar, rice syrup, agave, xylitol and more - best to check our selection because the list is quite long!

For more information see our Sugars and Substitutes 2: The Big Guide.


We stock sugar “substitutes” or “sweeteners” that are suitable for diabetics and people wanting to reduce their sugar intake.

For many people it is important to limit or avoid certain sugars in order to control blood glucose levels, or prevent the exacerbation of other health problems.

If you want to reduce a candida albicans overgrowth in the body- often choosing to restrict the intake of all sugars for a period of time can help. Natural sugar alternatives may be used instead of sugar.

Reminder! when a serious health condition exists- you should check with your health professional before using these products.



Stevia can be used as an unrefined green powder, a refined white crystalline powder or liquid drops. It has no impact on blood glucose or candida albicans, making it an ideal sugar alternative. The Stevia plant is over 300 times sweeter than sugar.


Xylitol is a sweetener which is usually produced from corn, has the same sweetness as sugar and a glycaemic index (GI) of 7. Suitable for diabetics and those on a candida diet. Xylitol appears to be of benefit to the teeth as it inhibits plaque formation. It  has also been shown to help control oral candida infections. Be careful though- excessive consumption may have a laxative effect.


Erythritol is often blended with stevia, and is a sugar alcohol that occurs naturally in some fruits and fermented foods. It is produced from glucose fermentation by a yeast organism. Erythitol is 70% as sweet as sugar and does not affect blood glucose levels or contribute to tooth decay. It is absorbed by the body and excreted via urine, so  it is less likely to have gastric side effects.

Agave nectar (or syrup)

Agave nectar (or syrup) is sweeter and less viscous than honey, and a good vegan alternative. It is a high fructose sweetener derived from the Mexican or South African agave cactus. It has a GI of 14, making it acceptable for diabetics in small amounts only. Available in light and dark varieties.


You can read our full guide to sugars & substitutes here.

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