Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Sweet Alternatives

Can you see it? Do you hear it? It’s everywhere I look around! It’s every sight and every sound! Oh, oh, oh…love is in the air! Yes, folks it’s that time of year—time for romance and sweetness, hugs and sugar. Actually, we’ve got lots more than plain sugar on our store shelves. Here are a few sweet alternatives to sugar that will still make you swoon. SweetLeaf Stevia Sweeteners
  • Stevia is a naturally sweet herb native to Paraguay that has been consumed for centuries
  • Zero calories, zero carbs, zero glycemic index
  • Clean extraction process: just stevia leaves processed with purified water, nothing else
  • SweetLeaf contracts directly with native farmers of several South American countries
Wholesome Sweeteners Organic Raw Honey
  • Processed below 110 degrees Fahrenheit to maintain the raw properties
  • The hives are isolated, deep within organic perimeters
  • Bees forage on wildflowers and, for one brief week every year, organically cultivated coffee blooms
  • Multifloral nectar collected from Fair Trade cooperatives in Quintana Roo and Chiapas, Mexico; maintaining a centuries-old Mayan beekeeping tradition
  • Wholesome Sweeteners works directly with the cooperatives of farmers and beekeepers tending the hives; no middlemen
365 Everyday Value® Organic Maple Syrup
  • Real maple syrup is made by boiling down the sap of maples trees
  • No added colors, flavors or sweeteners
Did you know that maple syrup grades are not related to quality? The grades represent the differences in flavor and color:
  • Grade A Light has a delicate maple flavor, nice over plain yogurt or for sweetening a cup of tea.
  • Grade A Medium has a pronounced, easily discernable maple flavor making it the top choice for pancakes and waffles.
  • Grade A Dark has a robust maple flavor, still great as a table syrup, but also a good choice for cooking and baking.
  • Grade B has a very strong maple flavor with hints of caramel. Because of the strong flavor, this is the best choice for cooking and baking.
While this next product is not exactly a sugar alternative, it is a great alternative to traditionally grown sugar cane: Native Organic Sugar
  • Organic and vegan
  • The cane is cut green, with the leaves still on the stalk, rather than the traditional more destructive slash and burn method.
  • Green harvesting maintains the quality of the sugar while preserving the soil, controlling water consumption and runoff and increasing biodiversity
  • Certified EcoSocial, which audits the organic, as well as social and environmental integrity
Keep in mind, for a healthy lifestyle, we recommend consuming any added sweetener in moderation. However, for a healthy love life, be sweet and pour on the sugar, honey pie! What is your favorite way to sweeten things up?

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Jen Duncan says …

Agave nectar and xylitol all the way! I know everyone's taste buds are different, but for me personally they are completely absent of fake or *after* taste. And with their way low GI numbers I can bake lots of yummy treats and not worry about the weight! A win-win, for sure ;-)

Shelley says …

I love light agave nectar and organic cane sugar! I also use 100% grade-A maple syrup for gluten free pancakes&waffles!

Gillian Wolfenden says …

I have done 17 home exchanges to the USA and Whole Foods is my food store of choice. In fact, I now check the availability of a store before deciding on a location! From Santa Cruz. CA. to Cary, NC. I have Whole Fooded my way around! I was checking the development of UK stores just now and almost screamed when I saw a new one will open in Glasgow soon...... but none close to me. My daughter will have an email from me now telling her of her great good fortune - she lives in Scotland! Please, a store soon in Milton Keynes (one of the top five quickest growing cities in the UK) Thanks, Gillian Wolfenden

melissa says …

i love agave nectar

Melissa says …

I love agave as a sweetner

Alessandra Mission says …

I love this post! :)

Teresa Alexander says …

where can i find grade b organic maple syrup in new jersey sussex county or morris county

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@TERESA - We should have an option at the stores in your area. Products can vary between locations so I would call the location first, however, organic Grade B maple syrup is common and is normally carried in grocery and bulk departments.