Wednesday, March 9, 2016

3 Sugar Substitutes Taking The Front Row

People like to eat sweets because they provide  a sense of serotonin release. Natural plant-based sugar sweeteners are becoming more in demand, especially for those with a sweet tooth, but who want to limit/restrict their intake of granulated sugar. While this is not a complete list of natural sugar alternatives, these are most popular sugar substitutes in the market according to statistics.

1. Monk Fruit:

It has the consistency of sugar  but it's fruity taste is 300 times sweeter than sugar. Monk fruit is indigenous to southern China and northern Thailand. The extract comes from a fruit that looks like a melon but is technically a gourd. The name comes from the fact that monks initially harvested it 800 years ago. In 2010, it was given FDA approval as "Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS)."

2. Stevia Leaf:

Given the 2008 approval as GRAS by the FDA, Stevia has become one of the go-tos at health food stores. This calorie-free, natural sweetener has been used for medicinal purposes for many centuries. The plant has also been bred for its strong, sweet flavor and used as a sweetener. Stevia is often confused with Truviawhich is a blend of compounds, one of which is extracted from stevia leaves. Stevia is 30 times sweeter than sugar and studies have shown that it may help lower blood pressure (Ulbricht et al. 2010).

3. Erythritol:

Erythritol is a sugar alcohol found in some fruits and most used in chewing gums and sugar-free cookies. It has the same texture as sugar with just 0.2 calories per gram. With only 6% of the calories of sugar, it still has 70% of the sweetness of regular sugar. Our bodies don't break erythritol because of its unique chemical structure, and it goes mostly unchanged through our system without causing stomach upset (Medlicker, 2015).

Do you use natural sweeteners in your baking? Which ones do you normally use and why?


  1. I am all about honey and cinnamon to try and get my sweet tooth "fix." :)

    1. That's a great way too! Have you ever tried agave nectar?