35 Healthier Ways to Sweeten Coffee (Refined-sugar Free)

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Last Updated on August 16, 2023

There are tons of popular coffee drinks, but they often contain unhealthy amounts of sugar. If you are looking for healthier ways to sweeten coffee, we’ve got you covered. So, lay aside the flavored syrups and let’s get started!

healthier ways to sweeten coffee

Healthier Ways to Sweeten Coffee

Are you looking for healthier ways to sweeten coffee than adding white sugar? White table sugar may add a sweet flavor to your morning cup of joe, but it also comes with an increased risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Plus, it may spike your blood sugar levels.

Studies show that drinking coffee leads to longevity! So, add to that healther ways to make it taste sweet and you have a delicious way to enjoy your morning brew.

Natural Sweeteners for Coffee

Instead of adding regular sugar to your coffee drinks, try adding a natural sweetener instead. You can add the sweetener as-is or use a healthy simple syrup. Here are some of the best healthy alternatives that will improve the taste of your coffee.

These sweeteners will also work to flavor different types of tea.


Raw honey is a great way to sweeten your morning coffee. It’s antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory. However, a little bit goes a long way, so add a small amount to start. You can always add more if your coffee isn’t sweet enough. Try adding buckwheat honey or manuka honey to add some great health benefits!

You might enjoy learning about 20 incredible health benefits of wildflower honey.

honey for coffee

Maple Syrup

Pure maple syrup is another excellent sugar substitute that will delight your sweet tooth. There are a lot of health benefits of maple syrup! Did you know it’s considered a low fat food. It also has lots of essential minerals.


Stevia is an alternative sweetener that comes from the stevia plant. It will help to prevent you from gaining weight or spiking your blood sugar. Plus, it has zero calories.

The only caveat to stevia is it’s a ragweed allergy food, so during ragweed season, you may need to avoid using it.

Coconut Sugar

Another natural sweetener you can consider, especially if you adore coconut milk, it coconut sugar. It’s sure to satisfy your taste buds. Be careful though. Coconut sugar is high in fructose.

coconut sugar

Coconut Nectar

Have you considered adding coconut nectar to your black coffee? It’s full of nutrients like potassium, zinc, vitamin B, and vitamin C. It also has a lower glycemic index meaning that coconut nectar won’t cause your blood sugar levels to spike.

Date Sugar

Another natural alternative to consider is date sugar. It’s made from dates and is an excellent source of minerals and vitamins. It also has a relatively low glycemic index score.

Date Paste

If you’re looking to replace your teaspoon of sugar, a great option is date paste. It’s full of flavor that will improve the taste of coffee. And it’s high in antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.


Another natural product to consider is jaggery. It’s unrefined sugar that has not been spun so it still contains nutritious molasses in it. It’s usually made with sugar cane, but some countries use date palms to make jaggery instead.



Agave comes in a variety of forms such as agave nectar, agave syrup, and agave powder. It’s used to sweeten foods like coffee and baked goods. While it does have a lower glycemic index number which helps to prevent sugar spikes, although it also has a high level of fructose.

Sorghum Molasses

Another healthy sugar alternative is sorghum molasses. It’s molasses that’s made from sorghum which is a type of grass with a high sugar content.


Try adding allulose to your cups of coffee. It’s a natural sugar that’s found in plants such as figs, raisins, wheat, molasses, and maple syrup. It normally comes in minuscule amounts, so scientists have developed a process to produce allulose commercially. It’s considered safe by the FDA.

The good news is that Allulose is a low-calorie sweetener that doesn’t cause tooth decay. Nor does it affect insulin. Allulose can be expensive and may cause digestive issues if you consume a lot of it.

Beet Sugar

Beet sugar comes from the sugar beet plant which is related to the beetroot plant. It’s similar in many respects to cane sugar, except doesn’t require bone char to make it turn white.

Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

Improve the flavor of your coffee by adding some unsweetened cocoa powder to it. The powder is a natural anti-inflammatory substance that will improve your mood and immune system. While unsweetened cocoa powder doesn’t add much sweetness to your coffee, it does add a decadent flavor.

cocoa powder and choclate

Healthier Ways to Sweeten Coffee

The list just keeps going! I bet you didn’t know there were so many healthier ways to sweeten coffee?

Carob Powder

If you’re avoiding chocolate, try adding carob powder instead. It’s low in fat, low in sodium, and high in fiber. Carob powder is made from the dried and roasted carob tree pods and is a delicious natural sweetener to add to your coffee.

Monk Fruit

The monk fruit extract is an excellent choice if you’re watching your calorie intake. It’s extremely sweet, keto-friendly, and a zero-calorie sweetener. It’s one of the best sugar alternatives if you’re looking to lose weight.


There are many different ways you can add flavor to your coffee without extra calories. One of these ways is to add cinnamon. Cinnamon not only will add flavor to your morning cup of joe, but it also has numerous health benefits.

It may help to reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, reduce your blood sugar, and improve your immune system. It may even give you a faster metabolism making it easier to lose weight.


Another good alternative that will hit your taste buds in the right place is erythritol. It’s a sugar alcohol that comes from the carbohydrates of plants. It is chemically altered but won’t cause problems in your digestion.

natural sweeteners for coffee


If you love big and bold flavors, add blackstrap molasses to your coffee. It’s the juice from sugar cane that has been boiled down. It’s a healthy alternative to white sugar and may have antioxidant properties.

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Chicory Root Syrup

Chicory coffee has become a popular trend for the health benefits. Coffee drinkers might enjoy trying chicory root syrup in their coffee. Chicory root syrup is an excellent way to add sweetness without risking blood sugar spikes. Plus, it has a large amount of healthy probiotic fiber for your gut.

Using Extracts to Sweeten Coffee

Sometimes just a simple natural extract like vanilla or almond will do the trick to add a touch of sweetness and hints of flavor. This is a much healthier way to sweeten coffee.

Hazelnut Extract

Exchange your spoonfuls of sugar in your morning cup of coffee with a few drops of hazelnut extract. It will add a sweet nutty flavor to your drink. Be careful as half a teaspoon is enough extract to add flavor to ten cups of coffee.

Almond Extract

If you’ve been adding too much sugar to your coffee, why not switch to almond extract? The extract will add a warm and nutty flavor to your coffee without any extra sugar. Remember to start with a couple of drops as almond extract has a strong flavor.

Vanilla Extract

Reduce your sugar intake by picking up pure vanilla extract at your local grocery store. It adds flavor without adding any extra sugar to your morning beverage. Be sure to read the label as some brands do add sugar to their extract.

vanilla extract

Peppermint Extract

Peppermint extract is a good alternative to adding table sugar to your coffee as well. And if you love peppermint lattes, try adding both peppermint extract and plant-based milk such as almond milk to your coffee. You’ll get the flavor without any added sugar!

Yacon Syrup

Have you coffee lovers considered substituting yacon syrup for white sugar in your coffee? Yacon syrup comes from the root vegetable yacon, which is a starchy tuber. It may improve diabetes along with kidney and digestive disorders.

Mesquite Powder

If you’re looking for healthy sugar alternatives, consider giving mesquite powder a try. It’s made from mesquite bean pods, has a low glycemic index, and is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals. It may even have anti-fungal properties as well.

Orange Zest

Try orange zest in your morning coffee this week. Orange zest is the colorful part of the orange peel and adds the flavor of orange without the acid.


Xylitol has fewer calories and carbs than sugar and will prevent you from developing cavities. It’s considered safe by the FDA, but if you eat too much of it you may experience some digestive issues.

Flavored Coffee Beans

The best way to add flavor to your coffee is by using artificially and naturally flavored coffee beans. They improve the taste of your coffee without needing to add any sugar to it. Drinking coffee made with flavored coffee beans is a healthy way to prevent weight gain.

Coconut Cream

Another great way to improve the taste of your coffee is to add coconut cream. Your taste buds will thank you for the creamy and flavorful cup of coffee. Coconut cream is similar to coconut milk, but it has less water and more coconut in it.

Grass-fed Butter

The next time you’re making coffee, add grass-fed butter to it. The butter will help you feel full without needing to add any extra sugar. Plus, it gives coffee a rich and creamy flavor.

Dark Chocolate

Try dropping a square of dark chocolate into your coffee. Dark chocolate doesn’t have much sugar, and it will melt in your coffee adding a creamy texture and rich flavor.

Banana Puree

The healthiest way to eliminate refined sugar and artificial sweeteners is to substitute banana puree. The flavor of the bananas blends well with the flavor of coffee, and it’s a great way to start the morning.

Protein Powder

Adding protein powder to your coffee not only adds flavor to your cup, but it can also act as a sugar substitute allowing you to reduce the amount of sugar and calories you consume. You will need to keep an eye on your protein powder as some brands may have additional caffeine in the powder.

Warm Spices

If you’re wanting to improve the coffee taste without adding a large amount of sugar, think about using warm spices. The spices have a natural sweetness and warm flavor without any added sugar.

Just remember to start small as it’s easier to add more spice than to remove spice from your cup of coffee.

Sea Salt

Another unique approach to improving the taste of your coffee is to add a pinch of sea salt. The salt increases the natural sweet taste and neutralizes the bitterness in coffee. It can also help make coffee more alkaline.

How To Sweeten Coffee With Natural Sweeteners

The best way to sweeten coffee with natural sweeteners is to add a small amount of the sweetener to your coffee initially and add more if needed. Some alternative sweeteners are much sweeter than table sugar so you can’t substitute on a one-to-one ratio.

Unrefined Sugar Vs. Refined Sugar

Unrefined sugar comes from sugar cane, but it’s only refined enough to remove the impurities from the sugar. Also, no centrifugation, or spinning, is done to remove the molasses. Typically, unrefined sugar is made in small batches.

Refined sugar also comes from sugar cane, but it’s highly processed and all the impurities are removed. During this process, the sugar is spun to remove the molasses.

unrefined vs refined sugar

What to Look for in a Healthy Sweetener

When you’re looking for a healthy sweetener to use in your coffee, you will want to consider the glycemic index, calorie count, health benefits, and the taste.

Glycemic Index (GI)

The glycemic index is a rating system for foods that contain carbohydrates. The index tells you how fast the food will affect your blood sugar level. A food with a high glycemic number will quickly spike your blood sugar level, while a low glycemic food will break down slower in your digestive system and slowly raise your blood sugar level.

Calorie Count

Different sweeteners have different calorie counts per serving. So, if you’re looking to reduce weight gain or ensure you’re not eating empty calories, you will want to look for a sweetener without extra calories.

Health Benefits

As you’re looking for a healthier ways to sweeten your coffee, consider the benefits. The best healthy alternatives are full of minerals and vitamins. They will improve your health and boost your mood.


Make sure you like the taste of the sweetener you choose. If you don’t like the taste of a popular sweetener, then you’re not going to use it and will end up using refined sugar instead. So choose a healthy sweetener that has a heavenly taste that you both enjoy and look forward to drinking.

Healthy Coffee Add-Ins

There are many other healthy coffee add-ins that you can use to improve the flavor of your coffee. Here’s a list of some of the add-ins you can consider.

  • MCT Oil
  • Coconut Oil (opt for cold-pressed coconut oil for coffee)
  • Grass-fed Butter
  • Ghee
  • Collagen Powder
  • Protein Powder
  • Ceylon Cinnamon
  • Turmeric
  • Maca
  • Lion’s Mane Mushroom (Yes! You heard that right. Mushroom coffee is a popular beverage due to the amazing health benefits.)
  • Cardamom
  • Ashwagandha Powder

Healthy Ways To Sweeten Iced Coffee

Are you wanting to enjoy a sweetened iced coffee this summer? Then consider substituting honey for sugar. It’s a great option that will add a sweet flavor to your beverage. You can also add a few drops of extract to the drink or the zest of an orange.

Another option is to use powdered allulose. The sweetener is made to dissolve in liquid and adds a yummy flavor.

What is the Best Sweetener to Use for Weight Loss?

Monk fruit sweeteners have zero calories, no side effects, and are made from the monk fruit plant. It’s an excellent choice to prevent weight gain or promote weight loss.

Final Summary

If you are looking for healthy ways to sweeten your cup of coffee without adding refined white sugar then you should consider adding natural or artificial sweeteners to your beverage.  Many of the sweeteners will improve your energy levels, add flavor, and are full of numerous health benefits.

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