Naturopathic Kitchen: Comparing Natural Sweeteners

Various sweeteners in small bowls and fresh stevia leaves on a wood surface.

Sugar is the most common sweetener out there, but too much sugar can be harmful to both physical and mental health, particularly the processed white sugar that is found in the vast majority of sweet products. 1 Many people are looking for other, more natural options to satisfy their sweet tooth.

The following table provides a brief overview of popular natural sweeteners, where they come from, and their positive and negative attributes. All of these sweeteners can be used in place of sugar to sweeten drinks, dessert recipes, and more.

If you are interested in natural sweeteners but are unsure which to choose or how to integrate them into your diet, speak to a naturopathic doctor. They will help you come up with a health plan that reduces sugar and fits with your individual lifestyle and dietary needs.

Natural Sweeteners Guide

Sweetener
Where Does it Come From?ProsCons

Erythritol

A sugar alcohol that naturally occurs in fruits.
  • Tastes similar to sugar
  • Doesn’t cause a spike in insulin or blood sugar levels and does not impact cholesterol or triglyceride levels. 2 3

  • Has a mild aftertaste
  • Can trigger digestive issues in some people

Xylitol

Naturally occurring sugar alcohol found in plants
  • Pet owners should note that xylitol is toxic to dogs 5

Monk Fruit Extract

Extract taken from the sweetest part of the monk fruit
  • Does not contain any calories or carbs 6
  • Contains antioxidants 7
  • Has an aftertaste
  • Often products that use monk fruit extract combine it with sugar or other sweeteners

Honey

Naturally produced by bees
  • Has a sweet, rich flavor that many people love
  • Contains antioxidants 8
  • Adding honey to your diet can reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke 9
  • High in calories
  • Contains sugar
  • Not suitable for vegans


Stevia

Extract from the plant Stevia rebaudiana
  • Very effective sweetener
  • Contains virtually no calories
  • May help lower blood pressure in those with hypertension 10
  • Some people find the taste too sweet
  • More research need to be conducted, but stevia may negatively impact the gut microbiome 11 12

 

Learn More About Becoming a Naturopathic Doctor

Receive information from the accredited schools of your choice located across North America!

Comments are closed.
Join the Naturopathic Community!

Never miss our latest news, resources, and event invites. Perfect for future students, current students, and professionals in the naturopathic field.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Latest Posts

A person sitting on a couch and holding their stomach.
Scissors, a bundle of wheatgrass, and two shot glasses of wheatgrass juice.
Upcoming Events

September 2022
October 2022
November 2022
No event found!