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Stevia Health Benefits & Safety -- stevia leaf spoonful of stevia


Low-calorie sweeteners and sugar substitutes (also known as artificial sweeteners) are often considered healthier alternatives to sugar, and some are promoted to lower blood sugar and blood pressure, as well as lose weight, but some of these claims are weak, and many of these sugar substitutes can cause side effects. Furthermore, it has been recommended that certain sweeteners (see which ones) should not be used by the general population for weight control or to reduce the risk of cardiovascular and other chronic diseases. Be aware that products that contain sweeteners often contain significant amounts of other sugar-substitutes that labels don't clearly make evident.

The sweeteners fall mainly into three categories: High-intensity sweeteners that have no calories, such as stevia and monk fruit, as well as acesulfame K (Ace-K), aspartame, saccharin, and sucralose (be aware that since such small amounts of high-intensity sweeteners are needed, these are often combined with other, bulkier, sweeteners); Low-calorie sweeteners such as erythritol and xylitol as well as allulose, glycine, inulin, kabocha extract, lucuma, polydextrose, sorbitol, and tagatose; and sugar alternatives such as agave syrup, coconut sugar, date syrup, glycerol, honey, maple syrup, molasses trehalose, and yacon syrup.

Sign in as a member for details about the pros and cons of using each of these substitutes for regular, table sugar, including discussions of brands noted below. Also learn about which sweeteners may be suitable for people with diabetes, and safety concerns — including whether sweeteners might increase the risk of cancer or atrial fibrillation. You'll also see our Top Pick sweeteners for use in cold beverages, hot beverages, for baking, and for people following a low-carb or ketogenic diet.

Brands discussed in the full article include Alcohol-Free Stevia (NuNaturals), Allulose (Splenda), Allulose Zero Calorie Sweetener (Wholesome), BetterStevia (NOW Foods), Birch Xylitol Sweetener (Health Garden), BochaSweet, Great Value Stevia (from Walmart), Inulin Prebiotic Fiber Sweetener (It's Just), Liquid Monk Fruit Sweetener Extract Drops (Lakanto), Lucuma Powder (Terrasoul Superfoods), Lucuma Powder (Zint), Monk Fruit Extract (It's Just), Monk Fruit in the Raw (Cumberland Packing Corp.), Monk Fruit Sweetener (Lakanto), Monk Fruit Sweetener (Llinea), Monk Fruit Sweetener (NuNaturals), Organic Coconut Palm Sugar (BetterBody Foods), Organic Coconut Sugar (Bob's Red Mill), Organic Coconut Sugar (MADHAVA), Organic Coconut Sugar (Terrasoul Superfoods), Organic Stevia (Micro Ingredients), Organic Stevia Extract (Trader Joe's), Pure Birch Xylitol (Morning Pep), PureVia (Pepsico and Whole Earth Sweetener Company), RxSugar (Nutrishus Brands), Simply Stevia (Stevita), Stevia Extract (, Stevia in the Raw (Cumberland Packing Corp.), Sunett (Celanese), (Cumberland Packing), Sweet Additions Stevia (from Aldi stores), Swerve (Whole Earth Sweetener Company), Truvia (Cargill), Volcanic Nectar Blue Agave (Global Goods), and XyloSweet (Xlear), as well as various other products by NOW Foods, NuNaturals, Pyure, Splenda, Stevia Select and SweetLeaf.

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