The Best Natural Sweeteners: Healthy Alternatives

| Modified on Aug 11, 2020

Erythritol
Posted by Nancy (New Hope, Pa) on 07/24/2020
0 out of 5 stars

I want to know if erythritol has made anyone feel sick?

Stevia Feedback
Posted by Sheila (Ky) on 01/08/2018

If you are allergic to ragweed it's in the same family as stevia!


Stevia Feedback
Posted by Sheila (Ky) on 01/08/2018
0 out of 5 stars

It is in the ragweed family! So many people are highly allergic to ragweed and react badly to stevia! I suffered for years before I figured out it was the stevia was making me ill!


Stevia Feedback
Posted by Teena (Melbourne Australia) on 12/29/2017 223 posts

I accidentally took some sweetleaf stevia neat, stevia has health benefits and is antifungal. I thought I had researched the brand well before purchasing, and had been adding it to garden herbal teas. Not the best taste but that convinced me it was a rather 'pure' one. As I have the plant which gives sweetness but also slight bitterness at the end. But my plant is very small. So the sweetener drops had run down the lip of the mug and I bought it to my mouth, tasted the sweetener but the mug was too hot so I put it down. I sipped the drink as it cooled, and became aware of an unpleasant sensation, which I can only describe as racing heart, and a panicky type feeling, either genuine or worry re the racing heart.

Sure enough checked the label and there it was, natural flavors, which of course can hide msg, but in my opinion based on my experience definitely hides msg. From now on the only stevia safe to buy is green crumpled leaves that states 100% stevia leaf.

Just for comparison, I have not received the side effects I mentioned when using the fresh leaves from the stevia plant. It is disappointing to see negative reviews for stevia, when it is most likely what "they" have done to it, added etc, that causes the problems. If you have had negative feedback from using any processed stevia product, consider trying it in it's natural form, it does not register as sugar to the body, so it does not spike blood sugar in diabetics.


Stevia Feedback
Posted by Purrrtrice (Pacific Northwest) on 04/03/2016
0 out of 5 stars

I have recently started using Stevia in iced tea (made the old fashioned way with tea bags) and I have been ITCHING like crazy! The timeline indicates that, perhaps, it might be the Stevia. The brand I use says it's GMO Free. However - I see that the ingredients are "Dextrose, Reb A (Stevia Extract) and 'Natural' Flavors. Just wondering if anyone knows if any of these ingredients could cause itching? ("Natural Flavors" sounds sketchy to me)

Stevia Feedback
Posted by Om (Hope, Bc Canada) on 10/05/2014

Laurie --- for sure, they also put the dangerous artificial sweeteners into Stevia.

I purchase Stevia from Real Raw Food who warned about aspartane being added. But they have the pure stevia. Aspartane has recently been given yet another name because of the lawsuits. Chameleon tactics.

I stay away from everything that costs $$$$, mother nature has lots to offer upon investigation. And it works and heals.

Namaste Om


Stevia Feedback
Posted by Laurie (IL) on 10/05/2014
1 out of 5 stars

Warning

I read in the COPD  section of Earth Clinic, I believe, about all or most STEVIA having Maltodextrin added and the dangers of it. I have COPD severely and have to use a powdered steroid that costs me out of my own pocket because I don't have insurance 350.00. I'm suppose to use this 3 times a day but I milk it the best I can and have had a miserable existence for almost two years now. After reading about the maltodextrin I got my stevia out and sure enough! I stopped using it and only use raw honey now in my coffee and I have only had to use the steroid one time since. I breath much much better now and only now have to use my nebulizer twice a day and only a few puffs.. I feel much much better!!! One of the side effects of maltodextrin, I read online, is BREATHING DIFFICULTIES!

Erythritol
Posted by Meredith (Hollywood, Md, Usa) on 06/26/2013

It's classified as a sugar alcohol.


Stevia Feedback
Posted by Kathy (the USA) on 05/08/2013

How distressing... Hope you are on the road to mend... I am reluctant to try anything that has not been around long enough for long-term studies to prove. With the changing of our food supply I don't believe they can be done. Besides that, the FDA does not have the funding nor the facilities for such. My first post on EC was the distress of the FDA truly being the Fool and Deceive Agency.


Stevia Feedback
Posted by Joy (Battleground, Wash) on 05/07/2013
0 out of 5 stars

my spouse loves the stuff but I ate 2 packs friday and 4 on saturday, I normally don't eat it. I took a turn for the worse in my health . [email protected]%$<# First it felt like I was in the ocean and waves were washing in and out DIZZINESS :(

next day felt a little NAUSEA and had to step up on papapa and betafood, last night I got extremely BLOATED and drank some cranberry juice in the middle of the night. Then I felt TINGLING when I went to lay down last two nights and my ears were RINGING.....:() I woke up with a dry mouth and I drink water in the right amounts for my weight and I felt like my BLOOD SUGER was out of balance. I haven't eaten any junk food in at least 4 days. NOTHING. I don't have high or low blood sugar normally.

Since friday I had to increase the dose of my meds to keep my MUSCLE PAIN symptoms from overwhelming me. Last night was monday and woke up with high blood pressure 135/98, dry mouth , panics and had to call 1-800- 759- 0700 prayer line for help. Finally calmed down but didn't get any sleep. Still feel sick today! My blood pressure is normally at 100/70 ish and my heart was racing.

I'm glad this works for some people and helps their symptoms.... Please be careful... I just assumed since spouse loves it for years on end it would be okay. NOT

A website has all these as side effects for STEVIA. I may need to take some baking soda today in water and neutralize this stuff.

Healthy Chewing Gum
Posted by Joy (Battleground, Wash) on 04/06/2013

coconut oil helps regulate blood sugar and since using it my mouth is clear... Whitened teeth , no siliva to floss from between teeth , no more sensitivies and my tongue is a nice healthy shade of purple red..... I brush with it and eat it and put a blob in my mouth before bed.

Find a coconut oil or meat gum and that would be great... Let me know if such a thing is out there


Healthy Chewing Gum
Posted by Bradshad (North Providence, Rhode Island) on 04/06/2013

I there any acceptable gum I can chew once a day while dealing with yeast issues. I was told from ND that is was not candida but I have yeast going on and was wondering how to fix a sweet craving so I figured I could chew a piece of gum from time to time. Any help would be great. Thanks in advance, Brad.

Molasses
Posted by Rashed (Toba Tek Singh, Punjab, Pakistan) on 03/07/2013

Molasses of cane: molasses is a very good substitute of honey with respect to its nutritional benefits.


Xylitol
Posted by Veronica (Edmonton, Queensland) on 03/06/2013
5 out of 5 stars

Hi great site, just want to share what I found out about xylitol. Its a sugar alternative, a wood alcohol. Safe for diabetics, as a very low GI (7) and as sweet as sugar. Can't be used in breadmaking as it won't let yeast grow.

It inhibits growth of Streptococcus pneumoniae as well as attachment of Haemophilus influenzae on the nasopharangeal cells.

So as sugars enhance the growth of bacterias, this won't let them adhere to cells. A simplified explanation.

But even more exciting is its beneficial effects for chronic middle ear infections (esp children), and dental health, yeah amazing!!

6 grams a day for dental health as it inhibits the growth of the bacteria in the mouth that cause caries, which allows the appropriate systems to help with the re enamailizing of the teeth. ( check out other dental sites which sell products like chewing gum and toothpaste - bugger off fluoride! ).

It doesn't get used by the body as an energy source. No known toxicity. It has a laxative effect as sugar alcohols are not fully broken down during digestion.

Can make a saline solution with xylitol ( sea salt, xylotol and water, I made a solution of equal teaspoons of each, and gargled regularly for onset of Strep throat). Nasally administered, reduced ear & sinus complaints by 92%.

Medical trials have been done, check out the site.

Cheers Veronica


Agave
Posted by Sp (Wb, Nj, Usa) on 03/03/2013

Hi Ly, my understanding is that agave syrup is a highly processed sweetener. Personally, I think honey is much safer.


Agave
Posted by Ly (Wilmington, Delaware) on 02/28/2013

Is agave a safe sweetener? If and when my husband and I use any kind of sweetener it is blue agave.

Stevia Feedback
Posted by Lori (La Pine, Or) on 01/24/2013
0 out of 5 stars

Please be careful with stevia. I was consuming it in my teas and daily vitamin drinks, and found I had problems swallowing pills and breathing... Would sit in my recliner and just gasp for breath! This went on for a considerable time before I figured out the cause was the stevia! There can be side effects to anything you consume and we all need to use caution and be a food detective!


Stevia Feedback
Posted by Nightfire (Danville, Illinois, United States) on 11/30/2011

I'm fairly new (as in I have had this site on my speed book marks but hadn't thought to join til now ^^''') but have to say this... Since taking Stevia I have to say that I can't really have regular sugar now. I can taste the difference! and also I can tell and taste the artificial sweeteners in other products now no matter what... Yuck ~. ~. I don't have sweets too often but now I don't have to feel guilty about having my iced cap. In the mornings. Thanx for this site! I don't think I've found one better. I like having REAL ppl with real information who actually have tried these and NOT trying to make a lot of money... In fact with my limited funds I find this site a God send. Peace out and keep it up! XD


Xylitol Feedback
Posted by Sally_oh (Escazu, San Jose, Costa Rica) on 10/02/2011

Xylitol made from corncobs will be GMO xylitol. I avoid all GMO (genetically modified organisms) like the plague.


Xylitol Feedback
Posted by Linda (Alpharetta, Ga) on 09/15/2011

I tried Xylotol several times and I always ended up with diarrhea and tummy ache and so did my family. I also used Xylotol toothpaste hoping it would reduce plaque, since my saliva is very acidic, but it did not make any difference.

I do love stevia. I have been using Stevia now for more than 1 year.


Stevia Feedback
Posted by Francisca (Michelbach-le-bas, Alsace, France) on 08/24/2011

Here in France they now sell a few cookery books using stevia in plant form which is quite weird as I have never seen the plant being sold. I should check in the health food store though.... Maybe they have it and I never saw it. I have just thrown away the white powdered version I sometimes used in my tea as I don't use it anymore anyway. I couldn't read the contents anymore as they faded away but it seemed like it contained 95% stevia, no idea what the rest may have been. I bought it in the health food store. First I had a liquid plastic bit where the drops came out went lose once and all the liquid fell in my tea. I got used to not using anything in my tea and it is ok.


Stevia Feedback
Posted by Doddie (Lawrenceville, Georgia, Usa) on 08/24/2011
1 out of 5 stars

Warning

@Nicole from Portland, you are right. Twice I bought the white Stevia. One from the health food store and one from a grocery market. Both had an after taste like poison! I was at a food co-op, they had a coffee substitute and the greenish brown stevia powder to sample and it was delicious! I read ingredients on the back of the store bought brand, the main ingredient is maltodextrin and (stevia extract) rebiana so the finished product is not stevia.. This stuff is just as bad as other artificial sweeteners (look it up). Read the labels and know what your are buying, the junk is hidden in small print!


Stevia Feedback
Posted by Linda (York County, Maine) on 06/26/2011

Hi Mimi, I too am a huge fan of Stevia and began using it in my coffee more than 5 years ago.... Sometimes I use it on my cereal, too, if it needs some sweetener.... I've never heard anything negative & haven't suffered undesirable effects - I agree w/Jenstamp re: FDA and its motives.... I'm not sure they have our best interests at heart.


Stevia Feedback
Posted by Jenstamp (Scottsdale, Az) on 06/26/2011

I'm a huge user of Stevia in the liquid form and glad you like it It's a derivative from a natural plant and is used in other countries. I have never read anything that suggests a warning. However the FDA is currently researching (although I have very little faith in FDA and their motives).


Stevia Feedback
Posted by Mimi (Apache Junction, Arizona) on 06/26/2011

Hey from Arizona, Does anyone have information about Stevia? I have been using this "natural" sweetner instead of sugar and I wondered if there was something negative about it. It's inexpensive, and not overly sweet, so I'd like some feedback on it. Thanks!!

Xylitol Feedback
Posted by Marla (Atlanta, Georgia, Usa) on 03/17/2011

I've recently tried xylitol after researching it online, and I found that it did require a slight adjustment period for my body. The first day, I was so happy to have found a sweetener that tasted exactly like cane sugar with no aftertaste, zero effective carbs, and was good for my dental health, that I may have overdone it. I probably had 8 packets or so the first day, and that resulted in loose bowels that night (quickly remedied with a pinch of activated charcoal).

Since then, I've had 1-4 packets per day with no intestinal issues and no spikes in blood sugar (I am hypoglycemic and very sensitive to blood sugar spikes and deficits). I'm very happy with this find, as I'm wary of the potential health impact of artificial sweeteners and don't care for the taste of stevia. Now I put 1 packet of xylitol and a bit of blackstrap molasses in my coffee, and it tastes better and is better for me.


Xylitol Feedback
Posted by Diann (Austin, Tx) on 08/26/2010
1 out of 5 stars

Warning

I am a diabetic formerly on insulin - who stopped insulin and now control my diabetes with diet and exercise. When I was on insulin I could use xylitol and not notice it raising my blood sugar. Now however, it raises my blood sugar a LOT. Even toothpaste or gum with xylitol will raise my blood sugar. This makes me sad - but I fear that it may actually do this to other people too - keep an eye out for this if you are a diabetic (off drugs) it take a couple of hours for my blood sugar to go up - but it does and I try to keep away from it now.


Xylitol Feedback
Posted by Barbara (Princeton, Nj) on 08/05/2010

Do some research on agave. When I first started preparing raw food, and treats, I thought agave was the balm.... Not so. There is a lot information out there suggesting agave is not healthy....... Do your research. It does taste great in recipes.... But I do find myself feeling addicted to it as I do with other sugary sweets.. No spikes like sugar, but still craving, which makes me wonder...


Erythritol
Posted by Diana (Grand Junction, Co) on 03/21/2010
0 out of 5 stars

My first experience with Erythritol I tried a test package (1 teaspoon) i liked the taste after a minute i felt the tingle then i remembered reading about that cooling effect and was ok with that. About 3 mins later my mouth was extremely dry i could not produce enough saliva to replace what was gone and also just after that was a very numb sensation which i didn't like at all except maybe if i needed to numb a sore gum or tooth. All in all i am a bit alarmed at the intensity of the experience. I probably should not have tried it neat but still. The next day my tummy hurt too and i normally don't have any trouble with it at all. Am i just weird or has anyone else experienced this too. the only other thing i am sensitive to is alcohol wondering if that might have something to do with it. Would appreciate some feed back if you have some to offer.

Agave
Posted by Tootie (Georgetown, Cayman Islands) on 01/08/2010
5 out of 5 stars

I have no sugar in my house and over 30 years ago I threw out all white sugar when I read many reports of how bad it is for you health.. It is bleached for God's sake. Why would anyone want to put bleach in their bodies? Since turning to honey and maple surup I found I no longer had "spikes" in my blood sugar and fatigue also.

Now another product that I have found that is really good, no spikes, no fatigue and sweetens without much taste, is agave. Agave, a syrup, is made from a certain type of cactus and the South American Indians and Mexicans have been using it for decades. Just a little goes along way. No turning back from it.

EC: Unfortunately, some agave products have been found to contain maple syrup or corn syrup...

Read this October 27th article in the WSJ: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704335904574497622806733800.html


Saccharin Background
Posted by Nsgrace2 (Lorain, Ohio) on 11/26/2009
1 out of 5 stars

Warning

warning on saccharin - A few years ago I decided that I was going to lose weight. I began drinking a lot of coffee and was using saccharin to sweeten my coffee. Then my mom told me about an article she just read in a national tabloid about saccharin being bad for your kidneys. Within a week, I had to go to the doctor because I was so sick I lost 10 pounds in 3 days. Everything I ate tasted like it was spoiled so I did not want to eat. The doctor told me I had a kidney infection so bad that I would have to go the hospital if I had waited any longer to go see him. Since then, I have refrained from using saccharin.


Stevia Feedback
Posted by Nicole (Portland, OR) on 07/23/2009

Please be aware that the only Stevia that is natural and pure is the green leaf Stevia which is also found as a green powder. This looks basically like dried basil leaf or some other green herb. If you are using liquid extracts or white powder or anything refined, processed, possibly synthesized or with additives, the health benefits and safety factor of that is anyone's guess. We should beware of mass-marketed Stevia like that found in Coca Cola (in other countries) as well, as something beautiful and healthy like pure Stevia and health products like vitamins can still be corrupted (and are by many 'well-appearing' companies).

Stevia in it's pure form is sweet and has an 'earthy' taste but it works wonderfully in teas and other things. I recommend mixing it with other flavors such as Carob, Dates, Cinnamon, Berries/Fruits, etc. in raw desserts. It is 'ok' for baking, but in my opinion Honey is a better choice for that. I went off all sugars (except for fruits) for almost a year, solely using herbal Stevia, and on a raw diet...and I learned to use it to my satisfaction and good health.

I just feel that Stevia gets a bad name or may get a bad name because people many people aren't aware that they aren't using the true form of this wonderful plant. I hope that this will clarify that there are major differences between the pure, herbal form of Stevia and the 'Refined' extracts, whether liquid or powder.


Xylitol Feedback
Posted by Steve (West Palm Beach, FL) on 07/13/2009
5 out of 5 stars

Xylitol gave me noteable relief from my sinus issues.

I made a 10 percent Xylitol and distilled water solution (no saline) and ran it through my nasal pulsator and felt relief within an hour. Now on my second day I still feel better and made a nasal spray using an old empty nasal spray device.

Xylitol is a natural sugar our bodies create 10mg per day of the stuff!!! It is 5 bucks at whole foods for a decent size container.

Don't believe me...research it yourself on the web...it is a food not a chemical...the FDA says it is just about completely safe (of course nothing is safe used improperly)...thge bacteria think it is their food (sugar) but it is sugar alcohol so they can't metabolize it and the bacteria wash out of your sinuses.

Many people on the web say the above and I have finally gotten some relief and I think this is a safe method and I encourage all nasal sinus sufferers to check it out.

I wish I had read this (my own) "blog" a year ago.

I tried it all...5 rounds of antibiotics...MMS...GSE...tomatoe tea...Xylitol seems like I finally have a clue how to get better.

Stevia Feedback
Posted by Ann (Santa Rosa, Laguna) on 06/14/2009

There appears to be some controversy over the dangers of consuming stevia in high doses. What is considered as a high dose? Every day I put a dropperful of clear liquid stevia in my tart strawberry smoothie, strong coffee and concentrated lemonade(for liver). Would this be considered as a "high dose"? The recommended dosage on the bottle is about 4-5 drops per serving. I am concerned that a dropperful of liquid stevia might be dangerous. Please give me your thoughts on my excessive consumption.

Xylitol Feedback
Posted by April (Pleasant Grove, Utah) on 06/13/2009

To Bonnie from Sanford, Florida,

Hey there! Sorry to hear about your little ones. I used to work for a company that sold xylitol products. The reason your little ones got so sick is because xylitol is hydrophylic meaning it draws moisture to itself. When xylitol is used in a large amount in a liquid... like syrup or kool-aid it's going to have a laxative effect on almost anyone regardless of age. I do feel that xylitol is still a good choice as a sugar substitute, just remember that simple rule when preparing food with it. NO LARGE AMOUNTS IN A LIQUID. Cookies, brownies, etc.. you should be fine. Plus you're eliminating the spike in blood sugar and making a good choice for your teeth and gums. Hope this helps!


Xylitol Feedback
Posted by Bonnie (Sanford, FLorida) on 06/11/2009
0 out of 5 stars

Well, I have been using xylitol for about a year as my sweetner for coffee and I LOVE it! I decided to make some maple syrup for my children with it and they have been in pain for 3 days now! It is awful stuff for little ones. Their tummies can't handle it. I put the syrup (2cups xylitol and 1 cup water and 1/2 tsp. of maple syrup extract) on their waffles and that was it. I also had to be careful that the dog didn't get any of the dropped food which he loves to eat. It wasn't worth it but I still use it. I also like Agave a whole lot too.

Sugar Vs Corn Syrup
Posted by Ray Greenfield (Hudson, MI) on 03/23/2009

Drinking soda pop can literally kill you. apparently the soda companies have done something to the mixture over the years, that makes this product far worse health wise. make no mistake about it. the intake of sugar (a lot of sugar) certainly damages your immune system, that i'm convinced of. i stopped drinking soda pop shortly after a freak accident. ( the freak accident?) i carelessly left a 24 pack sitting in the truck of my car overnight. the temperature dropped to -5F that night with a wind chill of -25. the next morning expecting a disaster in that trunk,the pop had not froze or exploded out of the cans. as a matter of fact, this so-called healthy soda acted more like a weak grade of antifreeze. i just couldn't get over the fact, that this flavored carbonated water with sugar beverage didn't freeze that night. a short time after that incident i stopped drinking it immediately after finally coming to the realization of was destroyed my once superb health. it took a severe weight gain, chronic fatigue, ever increasing stomach problems and a case of double pneumonia to finally convince me that this stuff was indeed the cause (my consumption of this well marketed poison) i will never touch it again ever. in fact,i won't even drink it "in a dream" I've read all those class-action lawsuits (against those pop companies) and all i can say is this, to those money first lawyers. your suing those soda pop manufacturers for all the wrong reasons???



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