On the Trim Healthy Mama plan, many natural sweeteners are in and artificial sweeteners (along with sugar) are out. This page is here to help you navigate which natural sweeteners work.
What are natural sweeteners?
On plan natural sweeteners are those that don’t cause spikes in blood sugar. They are also those that are derived from plants as opposed to conjured in a laboratory.
Allulose is a monosaccharide and a rare sugar (meaning it occurs in very small quantities in nature). It is found in various fruits such as figs, raisins, and jackfruit and it is present in nutritive sweeteners like maple syrup and molasses. It tastes exactly like sugar, though only 70% as strong, and it registers a zero on the glycemic index.
Chicory root (Cichorium intybus) is grown in northwestern Europe. It is the source of inulin, a water-soluble fiber. Chicory root isn’t usually used alone as a sweetener itself, but is sometimes included in sweetener blends or added to sugar free foods.
Kabocha is a sweetener derived from the kabocha squash (also known as Japanese pumpkin). It is considered a superfood and the resulting sweetener can be used as an equal (1:1) replacement for sugar.
Monk fruit (luo han guo) is created using the juice from the monk fruit which is an Asian melon. The resulting sweetener is an extract that is about 100 to 300 times sweeter than sugar, meaning that very little is necessary when sweetening things.
Monk fruit can be used as a pure extract, but it is most commonly found in sweetener blends.
Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana) is native to western North America and South America. It is often wrongly accused as an artificial sweetener. In reality, stevia is derived from the leaves of the stevia plant, making it a very natural sweetener.
Like monk fruit, stevia is an extract and can be as much as 150 times sweeter than sugar.
Stevia powder can be green or white. The green is made using the entire leaf. White is made from the leaf as well, but the leaf portions are removed, leaving just the sweet content.
The sugar alcohols (aka polyols) erythritol and xylitol are also often dubbed artificial, but that is a misnomer. They are created by fermenting plant sugars (usually from birch or corn).
Both erythritol and xylitol are super high in carbs, but because the body can’t digest them, every last carb from these guys are neutral (don’t count).
Isn’t sugar a plant derived natural sweetener?
Well, kind of. It is heavily processed, so not really considered natural. And it is super high in calories and spikes your blood sugar big time, hence why it is not on plan in large amounts.
That said, a tiny bit of sugar in your diet (including during weight loss) is okay–as long as it stays teeny tiny. Two grams or less in a meal will probably be fine (though you should still keep an eye on your own body and your own blood sugar levels to see how you do–if it harms you, ditch that tiny bit, too).
Some sugars like coconut sugar and honey are easier on blood sugar levels, but they too should only be consumed in small quantities (or not at all if you’re in weight loss mode).
Top Recommended Sweeteners
Below are my favorite on plan sweeteners. These are the ones you’ll see most often in my recipes.
What are artificial sweeteners?
Artificial sweeteners are exactly that–artificial. They are sweeteners that are man-made using chemicals in a laboratory.
Artificial sweeteners, though lacking in calories, still cause spikes in blood sugar which make them unhealthful and inconducive to weight loss.
Some examples of artificial sweeteners are saccharin, sucralose, and aspartame. All artificial sweeteners are off plan.
Need powdered sweetener? Learn how to make your own at home using any granulated sweetener.
Discover how easy it is to make your own colored sweetener–perfect for on plan sprinkles.
Out of your THM sweeteners? Learn how to make copycat versions till your replacements arrive.
Printable Conversions Chart
Below is a chart that lists quite a few of the on plan sweeteners that I recommend. If you’d like, you can print this chart (be sure to set it to print in landscape) so you can keep it handy. If viewing on a mobile device, you may need to turn your device sideways to see the whole chart. When printing, you will probably need to set your printer to print in landscape.
|SUGAR • POWDERED SUGAR • BROWN SUGAR||1 tsp||2 tsp||1 tbsp||1 tbsp + 2 tsp||¼ cup||⅓ cup||½ cup||1 cup|
|allulose||1⅓ tsp||2⅔ tsp||1 tbsp + 1 tsp||2 tbsp + ⅔ tsp||¼ cup + 1 tbsp + 1 tsp||¼ cup + 3 tbsp||¾ cup + 1 tbsp||1⅓ cups|
|Bocha Sweet||1 tsp||2 tsp||1 tbsp||1 tbsp + 2 tsp||¼ cup||⅓ cup||½ cup||1 cup|
|erythritol||1 tsp||2 tsp||1 tbsp||1 tbsp + 2 tsp||¼ cup||⅓ cup||½ cup||1 cup|
|Lakanto Classic||1 tsp||2 tsp||1 tbsp||1 tbsp + 2 tsp||¼ cup||⅓ cup||½ cup||1 cup|
|Pyure Organic Stevia Blend||½ tsp||1 tsp||1½ tsp||1 tsp||2½ tbsp||2½ tbsp + ¼ tsp||¼ cup||½ cup|
|Sukrin:1||1 tsp||2 tsp||1 tbsp||1 tbsp + 2 tsp||¼ cup||⅓ cup||½ cup||1 cup|
|Swerve Granular||1 tsp||2 tsp||1 tbsp||1 tbsp + 2 tsp||¼ cup||⅓ cup||½ cup||1 cup|
|THM Gentle Sweet||½ tsp||¾ tsp||1 tsp||2 tsp||1 tbsp + 1 tsp||2 tbsp||3 tbsp + 1 tsp||6 tbsp|
|THM Super Sweet Blend||¼ tsp||½ tsp||¾ tsp||1 tsp||2 tsp||1 tbsp||1 tbsp + 2 tsp||3 tbsp|
|TJ's Subtle Sweet Stuff||½ tsp||¾ tsp||1 tsp||2 tsp||1 tbsp + 1 tsp||2 tbsp||3 tbsp + 1 tsp||6 tbsp|
|TJ's Strong Sweet Stuff||¼ tsp||½ tsp||¾ tsp||1 tsp||2 tsp||1 tbsp||1 tbsp + 2 tsp||3 tbsp|
|Truvia Naturally Sweet||⅜ tsp||¾ tsp||1¼ tsp||2 tsp||1 tbsp + 2 tsp||2 tbsp + 1 tsp||3½ tbsp||⅓ cup + 1½ tbsp|
|xylitol||1 tsp||2 tsp||1 tbsp||1 tbsp + 2 tsp||¼ cup||⅓ cup||½ cup||1 cup|
LIQUID STEVIA SWEETENERS
|Pyure Liquid Stevia Extract||2 drops||5 drops||8 drops||12 drops||⅛ tsp||¼ tsp||1½ tsp|
|SweetLeaf Sweet Drops||5 drops||10 drops||15 drops||22 drops||½ tsp||¾ tsp||1 tsp||2 tsp|
|Truvia Liquid Sweetener||2 drops||4 drops||6 drops||9 drops||¼ tsp||½ tsp||1 tsp|
|Lakanto Monkfruit Extract||1/64 tsp||⅛ tsp||⅜ tsp||¾ tsp|
|SweetLeaf Stevia Extract||1/16 tsp||⅛ tsp||¼ tsp|
|THM Pure Stevia||1|
|Lakanto Powdered 1:1||1 tsp||2 tsp||1 tbsp||1 tbsp + 2 tsp||¼ cup||⅓ cup||½ cup||1 cup|
|Lakanto Powdered 2:1||½ tsp||1 tsp||1½ tsp||2½ tsp||⅛ cup||⅙ cup||¼ cup||½ cup|
|Swerve Powdered||1 tsp||2 tsp||1 tbsp||1 tbsp + 2 tsp||¼ cup||⅓ cup||½ cup||1 cup|
|Lakanto Golden||1 tsp||2 tsp||1 tbsp||1 tbsp + 2 tsp||¼ cup||⅓ cup||½ cup||1 cup|
|Swerve Brown||1 tsp||2 tsp||1 tbsp||1 tbsp + 2 tsp||¼ cup||⅓ cup||½ cup||1 cup|
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