Good natural sugar substitute?


I have been thinking of doing this for awhile, but just keep procrastinating. I would like to find a good, natural sugar substitute to use in things like tea or protein shakes.

I have heard that Stevia is good. Just recently heard about Agave.

What do you use and like?



I use Agave Nectar. It is very sweet so you just use a very little bit. I really like it. It isn’t cheap but goes a very long way. The person who sold it to me (at the farmer’s market) told me that it tasted like honey but much lighter. I actually haven’t been able to detect any flavor other than sweet.


There was an article in my local paper written by a regular physician/columnist. The inquirer had severe physical symptoms attributed to artificial sweetners, namely aspertame. Surprised by this, I did a search on the internet, for I frequently use beverages sweetened with Splenda, and was quite alarmed to find so many health problems from these. Maybe they doesn’t affect most people, but it gave me cause to keep watch.

I’m not familiar with the two names you speak about. Are these natural ones similar to sweeteners like honey?


Fructose can be purchased at natural food stores in bulk or in packets. Fructose is sugar from fruit, it’s low glycemic and natural.


Artificial sweeteners are dangerous chemicals! Most people aren’t aware of it. It makes me especially mad that Splenda markets as “made from sugar so it tastes like sugar” implying that it’s no more harmful that regular sugar. If you google Splenda (which I would do but don’t have time right now) you can find references to it’s chemical make up…which I believe is one molecule away from antifreeze or something just as scary.

I don’t really know anything about Agave syrup yet. I believe it is made from the same cactus that they make tequila from though.

As for Stevia, it is a plant extract that is many times sweeter than sugar and calorie free (bonus!).



My Dh uses Stevia…loves it and swears by it…I personally find it too sweet (is there such a thing:D ) and i prefer cane sugar (the one that comes in the brown packet).


I have heard that Stevia can really vary in quality, with the less quality ones tasting bitter. What brand does he use?

If you find it too sweet, maybe you are still using too much? I have heard that a “drop’ll do ya”, lol.



My MIL who is allergic to sugar, uses agave nectar and loves it! :slight_smile:


Sucralose (Splenda) is chemically close to some pesticides. That does not mean that sucralose is toxic or dangerous to use. The chemical does not metabolize the same way. If you doubt that, try using Splenda as a mosquito killer.

The majority (and I say majority only because I didn’t look at every single link) of the critical links found by Googling “Splenda” are holistic (read non-scientific) websites that for some reason don’t like to have chemicals in foods, ignoring the basic fact that all food is is a group of chemicals.

There are studies that show that sucralose can affect the thymus gland. However, the needed dosage is so much larger than anyone would injest that it is basically a non-threat.




Stevia sometimes has a hint of licorice flavor to it.



I have been using Stevia for a few years now. I get it in bulk at a natural foods store. It is expensive however. But like someone has said, a little goes a long way. As far as the licorice flavor, I find it more pronounced in hot things . So for my coffee, I use raw organic sugar. For ice tea, the stevia is great and mixes easily.


My wife went through a bout of illness that we finally diagnosed as and overgrowth of Candida Albican. She went on a fairly strict NO sugar diet, and did a cleansing regime to kill off the over growth.

That was 2 years ago, and she started using Stevia then. I have used it some, but I rarely eat anything that needs sweetening, but I will say I found the product excellant.

It is sensitive to heat a bit, so don’t store it near or above the stove. It is also POWERFULLY sweet, with what is often considered a “pinch” in cooking circles being sufficient to sweeten most anything…



You know - Bee juice?.. been around about 6 Gazillion years before chemists even existed?

Why ixnay sugar? It’s a natural source of sweetness - plant derivative… been around as long as honey?? Only in the last 200 or so years it’s been refined and “processed”… go for natural “cane” sugar or un-refined.


Andrew Weil, doc who is a leader in natural foods, alternative medicine for many years, has column in prevention, and a monthly newsletter and e-letter, says stevia and tagatose for diabetics who can’t use sugar (never heard of tagatose). He condemns artificial sweeteners, including splenda and sugar alcohols. I am diabetic and have learned over a year of painful experimentation that regardless of what they say on the label, sugar alchohols and splenda do raise blood sugar, and do a number on my digestive system. IBS which had not troubled me in years, resurrected when I introduced sugar substitutes. I would not even consider artificials since I have had bad reactions to them, migraine and digestive, for years. Currently I simply do not use sweeteners at all. I don’t bake so it is not really a problem, and don’t care for sweetened drinks anyhow.


puzzleanne…sorry but what is a sugar alcohol?


Malatol and a few other none sugar sweeteners you will find in candies and sugar free gums specifically. They are notorious for intestinal upset.

Most white and brown sugar you purchase at the market today are made from either sugar beets or sugar cane so someone who is allergic to sugar is more likely to be allergic to the specific plant it is made from. I went to high school in sugar beet country and my dad was one of the few year round sugar beet plant workers and like Tim (?) said, sugar is a natural product and if used in moderation is not bad for you.

Stevia and Agave btw are not non-caloric. I know for sure that stevia has the same caloric count ounce per ounce as table sugar just that it has a tongue feel of being extremely sweet so the amount you use to get the same feel of sweetness is so little that you end up with virtually no calories. I have tried stevia and didn’t find it all that great but my husband says I have an extreme sweet tooth - oh, and I was afraid of getting too much and ending up with a licorice flavor which I truly don’t like!

Brenda V.


xylitol, manitol, sorbitol, they all end in -tol, and they are in products like sugar free gum and candy, or on diet bars and shakes, that are labeled lo-carb or sugar free, example are Atkins bars and shakes, according to labels they don’t raise blood sugar and should be subtracted from total carbs to give net carbs, so those products are labelled zero or lo-carb. however, like many diabetics, I have found they not only cause annoying intenstinal symptoms, but do raise blood sugar.


thank you.

sugar beet factories…oh those are stinky…went to college in a town that had one…WOW!


Perhaps a study can be taken by those that use Splenda and those that use “natural” sweeteners like Stevia? Let’s see who gets cancer and who gets what. If there was scientific proof Splenda is so bad for you I wouldn’t take it, right now I use Splenda over Stevia. For one thing It’s easier on my budget than Stevia. And how do you know Stevia is so safe?? Just because it’s natural? A lot of natural products/herbs/plants taken excessively or combined with the wrong product can harm or even kill you.


I think you should research just what you are consuming when you are eating /using Splenda…just a friendly bit of advice

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