Like a sucrose/glucose/fructose/lactose free diet? Stevia? Sucralose?
I believe she told me she was on a glucose diet
I would find out first why she is doing this. Some people do it to get away from the sweet tooth, vegans do it because commercially processed sugar is filtered through charred animal bones, some do it to lower their processed carbs and some do it for specific health reasons. Too many options to list, but it could vary from honey, evaporated cane sugar, dried dates, molasses, maple syrup to the ones POLC mentioned and many more. It just depends on her reason for giving it up.
There are a lot of alternatives to processed white sugar, but most of them are loaded with sugars. Stevia, sucralose (Splenda and other products) and Aspartame (Nutra Sweet etc.) are non sugars. I have little experience of any of them, though I've grown Stevia (it's very tender); I've heard that people have had considerable success baking with sucralose, but any of these substances will take some getting used to. Some have raised health questions about aspartame.
Thank you so much- she just has a big sweet tooth and craving tons of sweet stuff! she's trying to lose some weight, even though I told her there are other alternatives :)
Mark Sisson has some interesting theories, based in science, as to why we crave sugar. This article might be a helpful read for your friend: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/8-reasons-why-you-act-against-your-own-better-judgment/#axzz3nq616FHS I note that if your friend is trying to lose weight, she might find this way of eating works for her. I speak from experience. :-)
I think the trick to adapting to a sugar free diet is elimination, at least in the beginning. First, she should avoid processed food like the plague; it's loaded with hidden sugars. There is some research that suggests that continuing to use artificial sweeteners keeps you craving the sweet taste. So I would go in the opposite direction, and use fruit or maybe a very bittersweet (70+%) dark chocolate for dessert. Or even get accustomed to sharp cheese (which I love with sliced apple). I've found for myself that you can completely reset your sweet tooth if you do this for a while. Explore what other tastes she loves besides sweet. If she can eat in a way that's satisfying, she'll have much less of a need for sugar. Also, you know how after a really good meal, you really want something sweet? I've found it helpful if I just go brush my teeth. The minty taste makes me feel that I've finished eating, and prevents me from snacking or going for dessert.
Like others have said, it depends on why she's giving it up. We frequently use raw honey or agave as sweetners in our kitchen.
If she's on a sugar free diet, then keep her healthy by not using sugar. There's no reason to replace sugar with 'something else' in order to remain healthy. Focus on a zillion other delicious things!
If she's just craving sweetness, then some dried or fresh fruit should do the trick.
Are you talking about eliminating added sugars? Can she have fruit? What are the reasons for her sugar-free diet? This kind of information will help us make informed suggestions.
She's craving sweets because her body is physically/psychologically addicted to sugar. If she is really serious about losing weight, I recommend a temporary sugar cleanse (7 - 12 days). Since I eat so much sugar for my job, I do a sugar detox at least once a year and it REALLY helps reset. I then reintroduce sugar in limited quantities through healthy avenues, like whole fruits and whole grains. There's no point in doing a sugar free diet if you're going to fool yourself. I would suggest she just bite the bullet and do the deed.