White sugar is proven to raise your risk of all chronic diseases, but that doesn't mean you have to give up sweet foods to eat smart. "Alternative sweeteners are more popular than ever, and unlike table sugar, they have added health benefits." And most fall lower on the glycemic index, which means they won't spike your blood sugar like white sugar will.
A by-product of sugarcane, "this sweetener is high in minerals, especially magnesium, which is helpful to a healthy metabolism," Turner says. That's a mineral that around two-thirds of us don't get enough of in our diets.
Best uses: This type of molasses tastes bitter on its own, but it will add a rich, smoky sweetness to spicy or savory dishes and baked goods like gingerbread.
Credit: Photograph by Svend Lindbaek