10 Best Sugar Substitutes for People With Type 2 Diabetes in 2024 – Expert Picks

10 Best Sugar Substitutes for People With Type 2 Diabetes in 2024 – Expert Picks

Managing blood sugar levels is a constant balancing act. One way to keep these levels steady is to reduce the consumption of added sugars, which can be challenging due to our natural preference for sweet flavors. But as we all know, it is never that simple. I am perfectly aware of it, since I invested months into researching this subject.

Sugar substitutes are alternatives to regular table sugar, offering a sweet taste without the calories or carbohydrates that can spike blood sugar levels. They come in different forms and are derived from various sources, such as natural or artificial ingredients.

Feel free to explore these brand’s profiles, where you can discover similar products that could pique your interest:

Pyure Organic logo
Health Garden Logo
ALL - Natural Sweeteners
100% Natural
Keto Friendly
Keto Friendly
Zero Calorie
Pyure Organic logo
Keto Friendly
Health Garden Logo
ALL - Natural Sweeteners
100% Natural
Keto Friendly
Zero Calorie

When choosing a sugar substitute for type 2 diabetes, it’s crucial to look for options that have a low glycemic index (GI), which means they won’t cause a rapid increase in blood sugar levels.

Today, I would like to provide you with my picks of the best sugar substitutes for people with type 2 diabetes.

My Top Picks:

  1. Best Overall: Pyure Organic Stevia Packets
  2. Best for Baking: NOW Foods Organic Monk Fruit
  3. Best for Beverages: Swanson Green Leaf Stevia Extract
  4. Best for Weight Management: Health Garden Monk Fruit Sweetener
  5. Best Tasting: Health Garden Coconut Sugar
  6. Best Low-Calorie Option: Swanson 100% Pure Non-GMO
  7. Best for Keto Diets: Lakanto Liquid Monk Fruit Extract Drops
  8. Best for Vegan Diets: Health Garden Stevia Sweetener Powder
  9. Best for Low-Carb Diets: Health Garden Birch Xylitol Sweetener
  10. Best Honey Alternative: Swanson 100% Pure Trehalose

1. Pyure Organic Stevia Packets

Pyure Organic Stevia Packets

Customer Satisfaction: 82%

Pyure Organic Stevia Packets as a sugar substitute for my morning coffee, and I was very impressed with the taste. Unlike other stevia-based sweeteners I’ve tried before, this one had no bitterness or lingering aftertaste.

In fact, I could barely tell that I wasn’t using regular sugar. Another feature I appreciated was how easily it dissolved in both hot and cold drinks. I’ve noticed that some sugar substitutes don’t mix very well, but Pyure blended seamlessly into my beverages.

Since I like to switch between hot coffee and iced tea throughout the day, this was a key selling point for me. One minor downside I noticed was the slightly higher price compared to other sugar substitute brands. Considering the great taste and high-quality ingredients used in Pyure, I feel like it’s worth the extra cost.

Plus, the fact that it’s organic and non-GMO gives me confidence in the product. I must say that this one is my top choice, and I am using it to this day.

What I liked
  • No bitterness or aftertaste
  • Dissolves easily in hot or cold beverages
  • Organic and non-GMO
What I didn't like
  • Slightly more expensive than other brands
  • May cause a bitter taste if used in excess

2. NOW Foods Organic Monk Fruit With Erythritol Powder

NOW Foods Organic Monk Fruit With Erythritol Powder

Customer Satisfaction: 74%

I tested NOW Foods Organic Monk Fruit with Erythritol Powder to sweeten my tea and was pleasantly surprised by its taste. The sweetness was just right without any bitterness, unlike other high-intensity sweeteners I’ve tried before.

I appreciate that it has zero net carbs and zero calories, perfect for my low sugar diet. It’s essential to note that this product is a mix of monk fruit and erythritol, not pure monk fruit extract. I was relieved to see that it’s certified organic.

Another slight drawback is the texture – it’s not a fine powder as I initially expected, but it is more of fine granules. Though not a dealbreaker for me, it might not work for some recipes that require powdered sugar. While I thoroughly enjoyed using this product, I noticed I went through it rather quickly.

It might be wise to keep a backup stash for those who frequently use sugar substitutes in their daily routine. Overall, I would recommend NOW Foods Organic Monk Fruit with Erythritol Powder to fellow diabetics and those looking for a tasty, keto-friendly sugar alternative.

What I liked
  • 1-to-1 sugar replacement
  • Delicious sweet taste without bitterness
  • Keto-friendly and zero calories
What I didn't like
  • Not pure monk fruit extract
  • May run out quickly

In 2017–2018, the average intake of added sugars was 17 teaspoons for adults aged 20 and older. – CDC, Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020–2025

3. Swanson Green Leaf Stevia Extract

Swanson Green Leaf Stevia Extract

Customer Satisfaction: 73%

I was impressed with Swanson Green Leaf Stevia Extract’s sweetness. With 90 mg in each convenient, travel-friendly packet, I found it easy to use on the go, making a delightful, calorie-free addition to my coffee, tea, and breakfast cereals.

As someone who prefers plant-based products, I appreciate that this sugar substitute is derived from the leaves of the stevia plant. Additionally, knowing it’s Vegan, Vegetarian, and Non-GMO gives me peace of mind when choosing this product for my daily sweetening needs.

Another potential drawback is that some users may find this Stevia extract to have a mild aftertaste, although I didn’t find it too bothersome. Finally, the sweetener may cause digestive issues for some individuals, as noted in a few reviews.

What I liked
  • Plant-based and calorie-free
  • Vegan, Vegetarian, and Non-GMO
  • Ideal for coffee, tea, and cereals
What I didn't like
  • Contains maltodextrin
  • Some users report a mild aftertaste

4. Health Garden Monk Fruit Sweetener, Classic

Health Garden Monk Fruit Sweetener, Classic

Customer Satisfaction: 76%

Health Garden’s Classic Monk Fruit Sweetener was my choice for a long time, before i found the one i use now. I find it perfect for cooking and baking as it easily dissolves and doesn’t leave any bitter aftertaste. I appreciate the zero glycemic response it offers, which allows me to manage my blood sugar while enjoying sweetened dishes.

It is 100% all-natural, gluten-free, kosher, and keto-friendly. It doesn’t contain any harmful additives, artificial chemicals, or genetically modified ingredients, which is essential for maintaining my overall health.

The individual packets are also incredibly convenient and ensure the perfect sweetening amount for my coffee or tea, even when I’m on the go. On the downside, this particular sugar substitute is often pricier than its competitors.

I also noticed that the Classic version may not taste as good as the golden version for some people. It’s also worth mentioning that this one might not be as sweet as other substitutes like stevia, so you might need to adjust the amount you use accordingly.

What I liked
  • Great for cooking and baking
  • Zero glycemic response
  • 100% all-natural and keto-friendly
What I didn't like
  • On the pricier side
  • Not as sweet as some other sugar substitutes

5. HEALTH GARDEN Garden Coconut Sugar

HEALTH GARDEN Garden Coconut Sugar

Customer Satisfaction: 75%

I am genuinely impressed by how well Health Garden Coconut Sugar works as a sugar substitute in my cooking and baking. Due to its rich, golden color and caramel flavor, I have found this coconut sugar to be a fantastic alternative to regular brown sugar, giving my recipes a delightful taste.

It’s crucial to have a sugar substitute with a low glycemic index. I am happy to say that coconut sugar fits the bill, as it only contains about 78% sucrose, glucose, and fructose, making it safe for diabetics when consumed in moderation.

The remaining components include essential nutrients like zinc and iron, antioxidants, and dietary fibers. It’s also compatible with keto, low-carb, and gluten-free diets, making it even more versatile. As far as quality is concerned, Health Garden Coconut Sugar is a really good option.

It is delicious, gluten-free, kosher, and free from harmful additives, artificial chemicals, or genetically modified ingredients. This is incredibly important to me, as I like to know that what I’m putting into my body is all-natural and nourishing.

What I liked
  • Great for cooking and baking
  • Low glycemic index
  • 100% all natural and organic
What I didn't like
  • Packets can get crushed easily
  • Texture may be harder than regular sugar

6. Swanson 100% Pure Non-GMO Xylitol Granules

Swanson 100% Pure Non-GMO Xylitol Granules

Customer Satisfaction: 55%

Some years ago, i tried Swanson’s 100% Pure Non-GMO Xylitol Granules and I must say I enjoyed it quite a while. It’s crucial to me that I find ways to enjoy sweet treats without negatively impacting my blood sugar levels.

This xylitol product melts just like sugar and doesn’t leave a weird aftertaste like some other sugar substitutes. One aspect of these granules that I’ve noticed is the need for precision when measuring them for use in a recipe.

If you use too little or too much, the final product won’t turn out right. I find it helpful to keep a set of measuring spoons nearby to accurately measure the xylitol as needed. It doesn’t dissolve as quickly as table sugar, which means it may need to be stirred or whisked for a bit longer if you are using it in a beverage or certain recipes.

This hasn’t been much of a concern for me, but it’s something to consider when making your purchase. Another minor downside is that the granules have a shelf life of 2 years, which seems short for a dry ingredient. I suggest keeping this in mind when deciding how much to purchase at once.

What I liked
  • Can be used in almost any recipe
  • Contains 40% fewer calories than table sugar
  • Non-GMO sweetener
What I didn't like
  • Granules may take longer to dissolve
  • Only a 2 year shelf life for a dry ingredient

Used in moderation, artificial sweeteners can be safe for people with diabetes, and they can be used to reduce both your calorie and carbohydrate intake,” – Diabetes Educator Sue Cotey, RN, CDCES.

7. Lakanto Liquid Monk Fruit Extract Drops

Lakanto Liquid Monk Fruit Extract Drops

Customer Satisfaction: 71%

The fact that Lakanto Liquid Monk Fruit Extract Dropsmatch the sweetness of sugar, without the added calories, made this a great choice for my morning coffee and smoothies. The compatibility with a diabetic diet was a huge selling point for me. The variety of flavors made it exciting to try in different beverages, including tea, coffee, and water.

I found the liquid form to be convenient for on-the-go use and appreciated that it catered to various lifestyle diets, such as keto, paleo, and vegan. The ingredients were all-natural, making it an even healthier option. I realized that for those sensitive to erythritol and sugar alcohols, this might not be the best fit.

The price might be a bit higher compared to other sweeteners, but I found it worth the investment for the quality and taste. It did take some trial and error to find the perfect amount of sweetness, but that’s typical of most sweeteners.

What I liked
  • Matches the sweetness of sugar
  • Compatible with various diets
  • Comes in a variety of flavors
What I didn't like
  • Not for those sensitive to sugar alcohols
  • May require effort to find the perfect amount

8. Health Garden Stevia Sweetener Powder

Health Garden Stevia Sweetener Powder

Customer Satisfaction: 62%

Health Garden Stevia Sweetener Powder mixes well with hot drinks and gives just the right amount of sweetness without any calories or impact on my blood sugar levels. The blend of high-quality stevia and erythritol ensures that this sugar substitute is all-natural, kosher, gluten-free, and non-GMO.

I appreciate that this powder does not contain any harmful additives or artificial chemicals. I always make sure to choose products that are safe for my health and help me maintain my blood sugar levels. One downside I encountered is that the stevia in this powder might leave a slightly bitter aftertaste for some people.

I found that after a few days, my taste buds adjusted to it and I no longer notice the bitterness.  The individual packets included might be too small for those with a stronger sweet tooth, so keep in mind that you might need to use more than one packet per beverage.

Lastly, this powder is best suited for beverages and not recommended for baking or cooking.

What I liked
  • Natural blend of stevia and erythritol
  • Dissolves easily in beverages
  • Safe for diabetics, keto, and low-carb diets
What I didn't like
  • Might have a slightly bitter aftertaste
  • Not suited for baking or cooking


9. Health Garden Birch Xylitol Sweetener

Health Garden Birch Xylitol Sweetener

Customer Satisfaction: 78%

My friend consume Health Garden Birch Xylitol Sweetener on a daily basis. She told me all about it, and i was fortunate to test it a couple of times. In addition to being a great sugar alternative, xylitol also has added benefits like promoting dental health, which is another win in my book.

When using Health Garden Birch Xylitol Sweetener, I didn’t experience any raise in blood sugar or insulin levels, making it ideal for people with type 2 diabetes. I also appreciate that this product is all-natural, gluten-free, and non-GMO. It’s nice to find a sugar substitute that doesn’t contain any corn ingredients or corn by-products.

Aminor downside is the minty aftertaste some users may experience after consuming the product. It is important to note that xylitol can be highly toxic to dogs, so it’s crucial to keep it out of reach if you have pets in your home.

What I liked
  • Made from birch trees
  • Low glycemic index
  • Fights plaque and benefits dental health
What I didn't like
  • Slightly expensive
  • Dangerous for dogs if ingested

10. Swanson 100% Pure Trehalose

Swanson 100% Pure Trehalose

Customer Satisfaction: 65%

My experience with Swanson’s 100% Pure Trehalose has been a mixed bag, but overall, I believe it’s a good option for certain uses. Firstly, the texture and solubility of Swanson’s Trehalose were impressive. It dissolved easily in both hot and cold beverages, which was a pleasant surprise.

I experimented with it in various recipes, and it worked well in most cases, although the sweetness level was something I had to adjust to. It’s not as sweet as traditional sweeteners, which can be a pro or a con depending on your taste preference. I did notice that it altered the flavor profile of some of my dishes.

While it didn’t necessarily detract from the overall taste, it was different from what I was used to with regular sweeteners.  This isn’t necessarily a negative point, but something to be aware of if you’re considering making the switch.

On the plus side, I appreciated that it’s a natural option, which aligns with my preference for less processed foods.

What I liked
  • Dissolves easily
  • Versatile in recipes
  • No aftertaste
What I didn't like
  • Less sweet than sugar
  • May alter flavor slightly

“The overall consensus is that the artificial sweeteners approved for use in the U.S. are safe when used in reasonable quantities.” – Sarah Olszewski, Dietitian, owner of Sarah Lynn Nutrition

Buying Guide

Buying Guide - Best Sugar Substitutes for People With Type 2 Diabetes

I understand the importance of selecting the right sugar substitute to manage blood sugar levels. Here are some essential features to look for when choosing the best sugar substitute for your dietary needs.

Glycemic Index (GI)

The Glycemic index measures how quickly a food raises blood sugar levels. For managing blood sugar, especially in conditions like diabetes, choosing a sugar substitute with a low GI is vital. Low-GI sweeteners minimize blood sugar spikes, providing a more stable energy release.

  • Suitable Options: Stevia and erythritol are excellent choices. They have minimal impact on blood sugar levels, making them suitable for those monitoring their glucose intake.

Caloric Content

If you’re watching your weight or aiming to maintain a healthy weight, the caloric content of sugar substitutes is a significant factor. Opt for zero or low-calorie options to avoid unnecessary calorie intake.

  • Suitable Options: Erythritol and stevia are both low in calories, making them ideal for weight-conscious diets.

Natural vs. Artificial Substitutes

Natural vs. Artificial Substitutes for sugar

The choice between natural and artificial sweeteners often depends on personal health preferences or dietary restrictions. Some individuals may be sensitive to artificial sweeteners or prefer natural options for holistic health reasons.

  • Suitable Options: Natural substitutes like stevia and monk fruit extract are popular for their minimal processing, while artificial sweeteners like aspartame and sucralose are widely used for their intense sweetness and stability in cooking.Taking a look at saccharin is also a solid option.

Flavor Profile

The taste of sugar substitutes varies significantly, and it’s essential to find one that suits your palate. Some can be much sweeter than regular sugar, requiring adjustments in recipes.

  • Suitable Options: For example, stevia is significantly sweeter than sugar. Start with small quantities and adjust to taste to avoid overpowering sweetness. You can combine different sweeteners like saccharin and sucralose to get the flavor you want.

Price Considerations

Sugar substitutes vary in price. Factors influencing cost include brand reputation, product quality, and packaging size.

  • Balancing Cost and Quality: It’s important to find a sugar substitute that not only fits your budget but also meets your quality expectations. Sometimes, investing a bit more can lead to a better taste and overall experience.

Navigating Different Brands

best sugar alternatives

When looking for the best sugar alternatives, the variety of brands available can be overwhelming. Each brand offers unique features and formulations, making it crucial to understand how to navigate these differences to find the right fit for your needs. Here’s a guide to help you through this process:

  • Brand Reputation and Reviews: Start by researching the reputation of various brands. Look for customer reviews and ratings, which can provide real-world insights into the product’s performance and taste. Established brands with positive reviews are often a safer bet.
  • Ingredient Transparency: Check the ingredient list for each brand. A good brand is transparent about its ingredients, ensuring you know exactly what you’re consuming. This is particularly important for those with dietary restrictions or allergies.
  • Variety of Options: Some brands offer a range of products catering to different needs. For instance, you might find organic, non-GMO, or specifically formulated products for baking. Choose a brand that aligns with your specific requirements.
  • Certifications and Standards: Look for brands that adhere to food safety standards and have relevant certifications (like USDA Organic, Non-GMO Project Verified). These certifications can be a testament to the quality and purity of the sugar alternatives.

By taking all these factors in consideration, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your health goals, dietary needs, and personal preferences. It’s worth investing time to research and experiment with different options to find the perfect sugar substitute for Type 2 Diabetes management or general health maintenance.


What sugar is best for type 2 diabetes?

For Type 2 diabetics, low-glycemic sweeteners like stevia and erythritol are better options as they have a minimal impact on blood sugar levels.

Can Type 2 diabetics eat sugar substitutes?

Yes, Type 2 diabetics can consume sugar substitutes, especially those that are low in calories and have a low glycemic index, such as stevia, sucralose, and aspartame.

What sweets are OK for type 2 diabetes?

Sweets made with low-glycemic sweeteners like stevia or erythritol are generally okay for Type 2 diabetics. It’s also advisable to choose sweets with minimal added sugars and those rich in fiber.

Is honey OK for diabetics?

Honey, while natural, still affects blood sugar levels and should be used cautiously by diabetics. It’s slightly better than regular sugar due to its antioxidant properties but should be consumed in moderation. It is a much better option than, let us say, agave nectar.

Closing Thoughts

In the end, my research to find the best sugar substitutes has led me to these fantastic options, each with its benefits and drawbacks.

By using these sweeteners in moderation and tailoring them to your preferences and dietary requirements, it’s possible to enjoy the sweetness without compromising blood sugar control.

Remember, monitoring sugar intake and making informed decisions is the key to managing type 2 diabetes.

Most Recent

Related Posts