Sweet swaps for the ultimate sugar cheat sheet

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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

Can't kick the sugar? The sweet ingredient can wreak havoc on any waistline, and it can be a downer for energy levels. But don't sweat it, you don't have to make a clean break with sugar to be healthy.

Nutritionist and Fitness Director at TriVita Wellness Center Jolene Goring shared some tips for sweet swaps. These simple trades taste great and might even boost energy levels.

Regular sugar is so highly processed that it causes blood sugar spikes and lows within hours after eating it. This sets you up for cravings and energy slumps, Goring says.

Goring also says that artificial sweeteners are no better. They are chemical formulations that trick your body into thinking that it is eating something sweet, which kicks your body into fat storage mode.

These simple swaps in cooking and baking can keep your sugar intake down and your energy up:

Coconut sugar: Used in South-east Asia, this type of sugar is full of vitamins and minerals for a healthier option.

Stevia: Traditionally used in South America to stabilize blood sugar levels.

Honey: Use raw honey to maximize the immune boosting effects.

Maple syrup: Use pure syrup to boost your antioxidants

Agave nectar: The Aztecs used this thousands of years ago!

Dates: Extra fiber and a caramel sweet taste make these a delicious option.

Applesauce: Make sure to buy the unsweetened kind, or make your own!

Vanilla: This flavor adds natural sweetness to any dish.

Cinnamon: Sprinkle this on any sweet treat to minimize the impact that it has on your blood sugar. This means less cravings and more energy!

For more nutrition and lifestyle tips, catch up with Goring and other lifestyle experts at TriVita Wellness Center.