What’s the Difference Between No-Calorie Natural Sweeteners?

Sweeten up your life, without the sugar.

byShea Duncan| PUBLISHED May 21, 2020 5:20 PM
What’s the Difference Between No-Calorie Natural Sweeteners?
A “spoonful of monk fruit” doesn’t have quite the same ring to it as a “spoonful of sugar,” but it’s worth a try!. Unsplash/Sharon McCutcheon

If you need to cut back on sugar, or curb your intake altogether, there are four popular sugar-free sweeteners that are probably on your list to try: sucralose, stevia, monk fruit and erythritol. Here are the differences to help you choose.

Each serving is equivalent to 2 teaspoons of the real stuff.

Sucralose is one of the most common sugar substitutes, as it is 600 times sweeter than table sugar and has no aftertaste. It’s an affordable synthetic compound derived from sugar.

This one has no bitter aftertaste.

Stevia is a favorite of dietitians. Extracted from the Stevia rebaudiana plant, it’s about 300 times sweeter than table sugar. On its own, some users report that stevia can have a bitter aftertaste, so manufacturers are starting to combine it with other sugar-free sweeteners to massage the flavor profile.

This replacement has no fiber, maltodextrin or artificial flavors.

Also known as luo han guo, monk fruit sweetener is fermented from the pulp of the fruit and has about 200 times the sweetness of table sugar. Some people enjoy the fruity taste of monk fruit and the slight aftertaste of using it as a sweetener, but if you don’t, know that it’s often masked in coffee or baked goods.

Can be used in baking, on cereals or in oatmeal—anywhere you use sugar.

Erythritol is a sugar alcohol with just 0.2 calories per gram, compared to 4 calories per gram for real sugar. It’s about 70 percent as sweet as sugar.