If you really do want to decrease your total sugar intake you could go for a sweetener that really does have less sugar in it. Honey is one option, since it’s about 15% water. It’s also up to 50% fructose, which means you’re getting a lot more sweetness bang-for-the-buck than you get with something like malt syrup. Being predominately fructose, it’s also absorbed a little slower into the blood stream.
Molasses is another option, though it’s not diluted by water like honey is. But it does have an awful lot of organic impurities in it, being a by product of the sugar refining process. By “impurities” I mean mostly cooked bits of cane stalk and such. It’s these impurities that give molasses extra nutrients that other sweetners don’t have. Among them vitamins B6, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Selenium, Magnesium, Potassium, Copper and Manganese (lots of that). The nutrients vary quite a bit depending on which type of molasses you buy. So-called first molasses is the result of the first boiling of mashed sugar cane, and has the highest sucrose content and the least nutrients. Then there’s second molasses, that has more impurities, and third which has still more. Third molasses, called blackstrap molasses is a pretty complicated soup of sucrose, invert sugars, caramelized sugars, and burnt bits if cane stalk. It’s pretty funky tasting stuff, but bakers do use it when they want to put a bit of that rustic edge on their pumkin pie or ginger snap cookies. It’s sold as a health supplement, but I can’t see where it has many advantages over, say, a multivitamin.
Oh, and if you’re wondering where the term blackstrap comes from, it comes from the dutch word “stroop” which means “syrup”.