The Best Natural Sweeteners: Healthy Alternatives

| Modified on Aug 11, 2020

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


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!

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 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.

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

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 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.

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 Azna (U.S.A.) on 08/10/2020

Several years ago, I was using pure agave as a sweetener in my smoothies. I started getting pain in my liver area. I became alarmed.

Around that time, I received an email from Dr. Mercola which featured agave, among other topics of discussion. I am on his email subscription list. In that article, Dr. Mercola said that agave can cause liver failure because it causes the same reaction in the body as high fructose corn syrup. I stopped using agave after that. My liver pain started decreasing. I am still trying to find a sweetener which is anti-candida and which is good for diabetics to use, although I am not diabetic or have hyperglycemia at present. I may be pre-diabetic.

I use maple syrup but am wondering if it is good for me. I do not use honey because I am a vegan.

I also have tried an organic, liquid, monk fruit extract but it has an aftertaste and I want something I can use to sweeten my tea without having to use a ton of sweetener. With the monk fruit extract, my tea did not taste sweet even after using a ton of drops in one cup, and it is not inexpensive, either.

I had read years ago about a diabetic-friendly sweetener that starts with the letter "m" but I cannot recall what it was. It is not maltodextrin or d'mannose. It was supposed to be the best sweetener for diabetics. However, even then it was not inexpensive. I wish I could recall the name of this particular sweetener. I have also tried coconut sugar, coconut nectar, etc. I love coconut nectar but again, it is not that sweet. It is not as sweet as maple syrup.

I read that maple syrup is a healthy sweetener but I tend to use 4 tablespoons or 5 tablespoons in my banana-sesame smoothie and I am worried that it might be contributing to tingling, numbness, and capillary damage in the tips of my fingers and in the bottom of my feet. I have tried stevia but did not care for the aftertaste or the fact that it is processed.

Green leaf stevia did not sweeten my beverages at all. I have also tried brown rice syrup, molasses, etc. I am still looking for that perfect sweetener. I may not find it, but I will continue trying. I have tried date sugar and dates also. I am thinking of buying organic fruit powders to sweeten my beverages but they are expensive and I am not sure that they will sweeten my beverages as sweet as I want them to be.

Xylitol Feedback
Posted by Cindy (Illinois, Usa) on 08/11/2020 343 posts

Re sweetener with an "m" - could you be talking about monk fruit?

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


@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 Christine (Virginia Beach, USA) on 04/20/2008

Regarding saccarhin and stevia: Saccarhin is a known carcinogin and ought not be in the American food supply. See:

In addition, stevia possesses medicinal properties that have been known and used for centuries by South American Indians to help lower blood sugar, high blood pressure, and is a cardiotonic. Modern medical research has confirmed their views.

In addition, research has demonstrated that stevia is an antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal agent. See:

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!

Saccharin Background
Posted by Pamela (Coloma, MI) on 05/24/2007
5 out of 5 stars

This maybe of interest to everyone as Stevia is from a plant. So is Saccharin, or Tolu Balsam Tree.

Saccharin Discovery

sweetness was accidentally discovered by Ira Remsen, a professor at Johns Hopkins University, and Constantine Fahlberg, a research fellow working in Remsen's lab. In 1879, while working with coal tar derivatives (toluene), Remsen discovered saccharin's sweetness at dinner after not thoroughly washing his hands, as did Fahlberg during lunch. Remsen and Fahlberg jointly published their discovery in 1880.[2] However, in 1884, Fahlberg went on to patent and mass-produce saccharin without ever mentioning Remsen. Fahlberg grew wealthy, while Remsen merely grew irate.[3] On the matter, Remsen commented, "Fahlberg is a scoundrel. It nauseates me to hear my name mentioned in the same breath with him". Saccharin was an important discovery, especially for diabetics. Saccharin goes directly through the human digestive system without being digested. It does not affect blood insulin levels, and has effectively no food energy.

The name toluene was derived from the older name toluol that refers to tolu balsam, an aromatic extract from the tropical American tree Myroxylon balsamum, from which it was first isolated. It was originally named by Jöns Jakob Berzelius.

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 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 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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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!!

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 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.

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.

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

It's classified as a sugar alcohol.

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:

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 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.

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