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10 Sources of good sugar

Michelle Maffei is a freelance copywriter covering a variety of topics both online and in print, from parenting to beauty and more. Combining her two favorite loves, writing and motherhood, she has found joy in even the most challenging ...

Non-diet foods with sweet benefits

With 25.8 million US children and adults with diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), watching your sugar intake means more than curbing your candy habit. So what do you do when you have a hankering for something sweet? Whether you're living with diabetes or changing your diet to help prevent diabetes, learning about how to reach for "good sugar" is a healthy choice. From honey to agave nectar, get the skinny on these 10 sources of good sugar.

Woman eating apple

1Apples

Apples have a low glycemic index number based on glucose, which measures how fast a food is likely to cause your blood sugar levels to rise. Crunching on one of these before bed or during mild activity will keep your blood sugar from dropping.

2Honey

Honey is sweeter than refined sugar, which means you may need less to sweeten your food. However, be aware that honey still contains a significant amount of sugar and should be used in moderation.

Think you know honey? Test your knowledge with honey trivia >>

3Bananas

This on-the-go fruit is a good source of fiber, potassium, and vitamin C, and has a medium range on the glycemic index. For those who follow the glycemic index, you'll have to estimate your glucose intake, since bananas can vary widely in size.

4Agave nectar

Also known as the source of tequila, the agave plant provides a natural source of sugar, and is a great alternative to artificial sweeteners.

Learn the health benefits of agave nectar >>

5Pineapples

Fresh, frozen or canned fruits with no added sugars are the best good sources of sugar. When you crave something sweet, try a small serving of juicy pineapple, which packs a lot of sugar in small amounts.

6Carrots

Boiled or fresh, carrots pack a lot of satisfying crunch, along with good sugar.

7Beets

Canned beets are easy to prepare and can help you maintain your blood sugar while satisfying your need for good sugar.

Discover ways to choose healthier food options for every meal >>

8Yogurt

Even though plain yogurt contains some sugar, the healthy benefits of this calcium- and probiotic-rich food make it a good source of sugar.

9Prunes

Another fruit with a low glycemic index, prunes are a great source of antioxidants as well as potassium, giving this chewy snack its "super fruit" nickname.

10Whole wheat bread

Carbohydrates plays an active role in your blood sugar levels, so counting carbs as well as sugars is important. Opt for stone-ground whole wheat bread over its more-processed fine-ground wheat or white bread cousin.

"We've seen that diabetes has been on the rise for quite a while, but the new data from the CDC is a real wake-up call," says Robert R. Henry, MD, president, Medicine & Science, American Diabetes Association, in a recent press release. "One in four Americans living with diabetes is still undiagnosed, highlighting how essential it is for Americans to know if they are at risk and take action, if needed." So even if you haven't been diagnosed with diabetes, you don't have to eat diet food to prevent development of this disease; simply managing your glucose intake, exercising and reaching for good sources of sugar can help stack the numbers in your favor -- and it's never too late to start!

More reasons to avoid sugar

Why you need to get off the sugar
Natural sweeteners are a better choice

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