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.
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.
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.
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.
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.