Sugar alternatives Stevia, Xylitol and Erythritol are healthier alternatives to sugar for multiple reasons including not affecting blood sugar as much and being low-calorie and low-carb, making them suitable for diabetics. Read on to understand more about these three types of sugar alternatives.

Stevia is a natural sweetener that comes from the leaves of Stevia rebaudiana (picture above). It contains zero calories and has been used for hundreds of years for its sweet taste and lowering effect on blood sugar levels.2

When you eat regular sugar your body responds by producing a lot of the hormone insulin to lower the amount of glucose in your blood. When your glucose levels are high too often and for too long your insulin balance gets upset. Unlike sugar, stevia doesn’t cause a blood sugar spike.1

Xylitol is a natural sugar alcohol found in plants, mainly derived from birch trees. Xylitol helps in glycemic and obesity control not spiking your blood sugar or insulin levels, thus helping reduce the risk of diabetes.3 It also helps prevent tooth decay by reducing bacteria in the mouth4 and can reduce constipation and other body illnesses.3

Erythritol is also a sugar alcohol like xylitol, the difference is that xylitol contains some calories, whereas erythritol contains zero calories. Erythritol is 60% to 80% as sweet as sugar and it occurs naturally in a variety of foods such as pears, peaches, soy sauce and watermelon. Manufacturers also make it by fermenting corn.5.Erythritol does not affect blood sugar or insulin secretion as it does not provide carbohydrates, sugar or calories. It does not promote tooth decay 6.   


  1. Jasperalblas (2021) Stevia.
  2. Goyal S. K. (2019) Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana) a bio-sweetener: a review. International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, 61(1), pp1-10.
  3. Benahmed A. G et al. (2020) Health benefits of xylitol. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol, 104(17), pp7225-7238.
  4. Janakiram, C. et al. (2017) Xylitol in preventing dental caries: A systematic review and meta-analyses. Journal of Natural Science, Biology and Medicine, 8(1), pp16-21
  5. Axe. J (2022) Xylitol Benefits vs. Dangers for This Popular Sugar Substitute. Dr Axe.
  6. Sollid. K (2019) What is Erythritol? Foodinsight.
  7. Healthline (2019) Erythritol.