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Nothing tastes better than a sweet treat that satisfies those sugar cravings you’ve had all day. But what if you’re trying to watch your sugar intake, or if your doctor recently told you that you need to cut back on your sugar intake for health reasons? Luckily, that doesn’t mean you have to avoid all of your favorite sweets. With the right calorie-free sweeteners, you can still splurge on your favorite desserts, snacks, and coffee drinks.
Unfortunately, a few popular artificial sweeteners are currently under fire, especially after recent research revealed that some of them may be linked to cancer. According to a 2022 study published in OLP Medicineaspartame (think Equal or Nutrasweet), sucralose (AKA Splenda) and acesulfame-K, are all artificial sweeteners that may increase your risk of cancer. Aspartame and acesulfame-K were specifically linked to a higher risk. While these risks are of course not guaranteed, it can be daunting to have these dangers in mind as you simply try to make healthier choices for yourself.
The good news is that there are many calorie-free sweeteners on the market that contain natural ingredients and are not linked to cancer risk like those mentioned above. Keep reading to find out which products you can buy with peace of mind, and for more healthy eating tips, check out 5 Ways to Stop Sugar Cravings Before They Start, Dietitian Says.
Monk fruit is a vine plant native to China, and is also called luo han guo. Monk Fruit In The Raw is combined with erythritol and maltodextrin, both of which are considered safe. This particular monk fruit extract is useful for cooking and baking because it measures just like regular sugar.
Stevia sweeteners come from a plant called stevia rebaudiana bertoni, also known as the “candy plant”. Unlike some other brands of stevia extract, Stevia In The Raw uses only stevia, with no added flavors or sweeteners. You can buy a box of individual sachets, in a baker’s bag, or even in tablet form.
Another monk fruit sweetener, Lakanto offers a variety of these calorie-free sweeteners to meet your specific needs. Their classic replaces white sugar, but you can also choose from raw cane sugar substitute, brown sugar substitute, or powdered sugar substitute, all made from monk fruit. Similar to Monk Fruit In The Raw, Lakanto’s sweetener is also made with erythritol.
While many brands offer calorie-free sweeteners in packets or sachets, some brands offer liquid drops. They are perfect for mixing into beverages, such as coffee, tea, water, juice, etc. Sweetleaf Stevia Clear is made with stevia and “natural flavors,” and they provide you with the conversion metrics you need if you’re switching from regular sugar to liquid drops.
Another option if you’re looking for a liquid sweetener is NOW Foods Monk Fruit Organic Sweetener. These liquid drops are certified organic and are mainly composed of pure monk fruit extract, as well as 11% cane alcohol. You pay less than $9 and get around 268 servings in each bottle, so it’s hard to beat the value of this one.
Thrive Market sells its own version of a stevia sweetener, and this one comes with 75 individual packets that you can sprinkle on fruit, coffee, or oatmeal. This calorie-free sweetener also contains inulin, which is a form of prebiotic, and silica, which is a mineral compound that the FDA says is perfectly safe to consume.
Truvía is a popular sweetener brand that sells both stevia and monk fruit products. Their stevia leaf packets are affordable at around $17 and they only contain stevia extract, erythritol, and natural flavors.
You can also buy Truvía’s spoonful stevia jar, perfect for leaving on your kitchen counter or in the cupboard next to the rest of your cooking supplies.
Samantha was born and raised in Orlando, Florida and now works as a writer in Brooklyn, NY. Learn more about Samantha
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