Breaking Down Sugar Alternatives

Have you walked into the health food isle of a grocery store and been overwhelmed by the amount of sweetener options? Well, you are not alone!

From maple syrup, honey, to coconut sugar there is a lot to choose from and it can be overwhelming. The ability to understand the differences between these products from a nutritional level is important in making decisions that align with our overall health and wellness goals. Being an informed consumer means being empowered to make choices that we understand and feel good about.

At LIVA we want our customers to understand the power of dates, and how from both a nutritional and functional standpoint date powder and syrup is the alternative sweetener of choice.

Date syrup and powder are made from solar drying and grinding up dates into a functionally benefiting sweetener. Dates are low on the glycemic index.

What is the glycemic index anyways? It’s a system used to measure the physiological response in blood glucose level after consuming a glucose containing food. Essentially, it's a way to measure how much your blood sugar will rise on a scale of 0-100 after consuming something sweet.

Low glycemic foods have a rating of 55 or less. Medium level foods, have a glycemic index of 56-69, and high glycemic foods have a level of 70-100.

Studies show that dates have a low glycemic index of 42 ± 4. 2

Have you ever experienced a “sugar crash”? This is a phenomenon commonly experienced when consumingfoods with a high glycemic index. Meaning that when you eat dates, or date products like LIVA, you experienceless of a rise and fall in your blood sugar, and being in a steady state results in less ebbs and flow in energy.

Sugar Alternatives - Sweet but not EQUAL 

Now that we understand a bit more about the interactions our body experiences when consuming glucose rich products, let’s explore the difference between common sugar alternatives.

Below you will find a chart of the glycemic indexes of date sugar vs. alternative sweeteners. Notice how the numbers correlate to their glycemic index, and how this relates to how you might feel after consuming these products.


Sugar Alternative

Average Glycemic Index


LIVA Date Powder/Syrup



Coconut Sugar



Maple Syrup







Not all foods are created equally, and nutrient composition, their processing, cooking allow their glycemic index tobe lower on the scale. What makes date powder and syrup unique is its high fiber content. High fibre foods are lower in digestible carbohydrates, which slows the rate of digestion and results in a more gradual rise and fall in blood sugar.

With so many sugar alternative options understanding and breaking down the science behind how our body interacts with the food we consume is important in becoming an educated consumer.

Here at LIVA we are proud to speak about the nutrition behind our products and aim to explore this in further Blog Posts and on our Nutrition Tip Tuesday on social media!

Stay connected with us online for more information!

 Emma Morris - LIVA Foods

This article was developed by Emma BscFN (c), our resident dietetics student.

*Note that this article is intended for informational purpose only and is not intended as medical or direct nutritional advice. Please consult your medical doctor or individual counselling with a registered dietician to determine what is best for your unique needs.



  1. Fiona S. Atkinson, Kaye Foster-Powell, Jennie C. Brand-Miller; International Tables of Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load Values: 2008. Diabetes Care 1 December 2008; 31 (12): 2281–2283.

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