Everybody loves the occasional sweet treat. However, refined sugar is considered by experts to be equally as addictive as a drug, and potentially damaging to your health. Although there are a number of sugar-free sweeteners available on the market today, including those calorie-free, chemical-based sugar substitutes, chances are that these are even worse for your health than sugar. A lot of people seek out artificial sweeteners due to the belief that they'll be able to lose weight faster without having to give up their sweet tooth, but this isn't true. Instead of using these chemical options, why not consider one more of the 6 healthiest alternatives to using sugar available today?

1.) Date Sugar

Date sugar is basically dried dates that have been crushed into a powder. The result is very sweet, which shouldn't be surprising to anyone who has eaten dates in the past. Because it doesn't melt or dissolve, date sugar can't really be used as a direct substitute for sugar in coffee or tea, for example, but it can be a great option for baking.

2.) Stevia

Stevia is another of the 6 healthiest alternatives to using sugar. It is also one of the most popular natural sweeteners available on the market. These sweet leaves have been used for hundreds of years, and they do not affect your blood sugar levels in the slightest, making them ideal for diabetics. What's more, they are completely calorie free.

3.) Raw Honey

Raw honey is an absolutely delicious form of natural sweetness. However, what makes it so special, is that aside from being sweet, it also comes with a number of great health benefits. It is naturally anti-bacterial, helps to improve your immune system, is high in antioxidants, and even promotes digestive health. For those who suffer with blood sugar issues, raw honey helps to balance out chaotic levels, and stabilize blood pressure.

4.) Pure Maple Syrup

Pure maple syrup contains only evaporated sap from the maple tree. This means it's not the kind that you get from your local store in the shape of a bear. If you check the ingredients on these bottles, you'll see it's actually full of flavors, colorings and sweeteners. Pure maple syrup, however, is one of the 6 healthiest alternatives to using sugar, as it provides a great source of zinc and manganese, making it great for immune system function, energy production, and more.

5.) Coconut Sugar

Coconut sugar contains zinc, iron, potassium and calcium, as well as a number of great antioxidants. It also comes packed with a particular kind of fiber known as insulin, which can be used to help slow down glucose absorption. Because of this, coconut sugar does not have a huge impact on blood sugar levels, making it great for diabetics. This option is another great choice for baking, as it won't change the consistency of your final product.

6.) Molasses

Molasses is a thick syrup that is often created when sugar cane is processed in order to make refined sugar. However, unlike refined sugar, molasses have significant health benefits. One serving has about 30% of the daily requirement of iron for pre-menopausal women, alongside calcium, magnesium, vitamin B6 and copper.