Stevia in comparison

to other sweeteners

Stevia vs. other Sweeteners

Stevia is an all-natural sugar substitute, unlike many other sweeteners on the market which are artificial. It is made from the Stevia plant and is 200-400 times sweeter than sugar. It is pH stable, heat stable and water-soluble. It has no calories and a glycemic index of 0.

Sugar, also a natural sweetener, contains 12 calories per teaspoon and has a Glycemic Index of 100. Sugar is readily available throughout the world. However, it causes cavities and is a leading cause of obesity and diabetes.

Aspartame is an artificial sweetener, that is 160 to 220 times sweeter than sugar. Although it is non-caloric and does not impact glycemic index. It does not promote tooth decay. It is not heat stable. It is a dangerous substance for phenylketonurics. While it is approved for use in the United States and many other places in the world, there are concerns about its safety.

Saccharin is yet another artificial sweetener, which is 200 to 800 times sweeter than sugar. It is water-soluble,  has no calories and no glycemic index. It does not promote tooth decay. Saccharin contains a metallic aftertaste. It is banned in Canada, but is still widely available in the United States. 

Cyclamate is another artificial sweetener which is only about 30 times the sweetness of sugar. It has many of the positive effects of artificial sweeteners, such as no calories, no glycemic index and does not promote tooth decay. However, it has been banned for use in the United States and the United Kingdom due to health concerns. It is still being used today in Canada and some other parts of the world.

Splenda is also known as sucralose and is another artificial sweetener. It is 500-600 times sweeter than sugar. It is non-caloric and has no impact on glycemic index. It is simply table sugar which has been modified so it cannot be absorbed by the digestive system, Splenda does not promote tooth decay. Splenda is heat resistant and has a good taste. There are no health concerns with the use of Splenda. Its use in food is widely accepted in the United States and beyond.

There are a variety of sugar alcohols which exist for sweetening different products, They include erythritol, maltitol, lactitol, sorbitol, mannitol and xylitol. They have between 40 and 90% of the sweetness of sugar. They have no glycemic index, negligible calories and do not promote tooth decay. Most of them also cause a laxative effect, especially if consumption is high. They are all deemed GRAS approved by the FDA. Erythitol is usually considered the best sugar alcohol available.

Use the handy chart below to decide what the best sweetener is for your personal health or weight loss goals:

Product

Natural?

Sweeter than Sugar?

Calories

Glycemic Index

Promotes Tooth Decay?

Availability

Stevia

Yes

200 to 400 times

0

0

No

GRAS

Limited in US and EU

Sugar

Yes

NA

12 per teaspoon

100

Yes

Readily available

Aspartame

No

160-220 times

0

0

No

US availability

Saccharine

No

200-800

0

0

No

Banned in Canada

Splenda or Sucralose

No

500-600

0

0

No

Widely available

Various sugar alcohols

Yes

40% to 90% of sugar’s sweetness

0

0

No

GRAS