Stevia vs. Sucralose on Keto: Which Is Healthier?

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 04/17/2024

Stevia vs. sucralose—are they keto-friendly, and which one is healthier? 

Both stevia and sucralose are calorie-free sweeteners used in a wide range of low-calorie or sugar-free products. 

Learn why it’s best to avoid sucralose and discover some of the best keto-approved natural sweeteners. 

Artificial sweeteners on a wooden table

What is stevia?

Stevia is a natural sweetener derived from the leaves of the Stevia rebaudiana plant. It’s 200 times sweeter than table sugar but contains virtually no calories and zero carbs. 

Because of stevia’s intense sweet taste, it’s a popular sugar alternative for individuals following a low-carb diet and those with diabetes or insulin resistance. 

However, it’s important to avoid commercial stevia products that contain maltodextrin as a bulking agent and instead opt for pure stevia extracts.  

Maltodextrin is one of the worst food ingredients as it causes blood sugar spikes and weight gain, making it an unsuitable option for keto dieters and those with diabetes. 

Watch the video below to discover the worst artificial sweeteners for weight loss. 

The Worst Sugar Alcohol (Artificial Sweeteners) for Weight Loss

What is sucralose?

Sucralose is classified as an artificial sweetener. It’s a main component in Splenda, a widely used sugar substitute. 

Sucralose is manufactured by chemically replacing three chlorine atoms for three hydroxyl groups on a sugar molecule. This process creates a zero-calorie sweetener that is more than 600 times sweeter than regular sugar

Stevia in a wooden bowl

Sucralose vs. Stevia  

Although both sucralose and stevia contain zero calories or carbs, they have distinct differences in terms of nutrition, taste, potential health risk, and suitability for keto. 

Here are some key differences between stevia and sucralose.


Both sugar substitutes are classified as non-nutritive sweeteners, meaning they provide sweetness without nutritional value.

Because they are carbohydrate-free, stevia and sucralose have a glycemic index of zero, indicating that they don’t impact blood sugar or insulin levels.

In contrast to artificially manufactured sucralose, stevia is a natural product and contains steviol glycosides, a group of organic compounds with health-promoting properties.

Research published in Nutrients confirms the potential health benefits of stevia and summarizes,” Stevia leaves appear to have a broad range of biological benefits such as antidiabetic, antihypertensive, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory activities.“


Both stevia and sucralose are intensely sweet but have slightly different flavor profiles.

Many who taste stevia for the first time describe it as having a slightly bitter and licorice-like aftertaste. In contrast, sucralose has a strong sugar-like taste without any bitterness.

Because of its neutral taste, sucralose is found in many sugar-free products as it doesn’t significantly change the flavor profile of the foods and beverages it has been added to.    

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Potential health effects

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a report stating that both stevia and sucralose are considered generally recognized as safe (GRAS). 

However, independent research has revealed potential concerns about the use of sucralose. 

Evidence published in the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health found that sucralose ingestion stimulates certain taste receptors, which has been linked to metabolic changes and weight gain. 

The same study also suggested that sucralose can form toxic organochlorines when heated, may disrupt the intestinal microflora, and has the potential to interfere with the detoxification of certain drugs. 

In contrast, evidence published in Nutrition Today highlights that stevia use isn’t associated with adverse health effects and has been considered safe in more than 200 studies.  

However, it’s important to note that stevia can cause gastrointestinal issues such as bloating and abdominal pain in individuals with sensitive intestinal tracts. 


Sucralose is a common tabletop sweetener frequently used in sugar-free foods and beverages such as soft drinks, diet sodas, baked goods, candies, desserts, sauces, condiments, and dairy products.

In addition, sucralose is added to certain liquid and chewable medications to enhance their flavor and palatability.

Although stevia isn’t as widely used as other sugar alternatives, food manufacturers are releasing increasingly more stevia-sweetened beverages, desserts, bakery items, and chocolate. 

Because stevia doesn’t contain carbs and is less likely to cause side effects than other sugar substitutes, it’s a popular choice for those following a nutritious low-carb diet like Healthy Keto®

Monk fruit

Best keto-friendly sweeteners

Because stevia is carb-free and has potential health benefits, it’s keto-friendly and a better choice than artificial sweeteners such as sucralose or aspartame. 

In addition to pure stevia without added maltodextrin, there are several other natural keto sweeteners that help satisfy sugar cravings on a low-carb diet.  

Here are three other keto-approved sweeteners.

1. Monk fruit 

Monk fruit is a popular sugar substitute that's carb-free and contains no calories.  

Monk fruit is significantly sweeter than regular sugar but won’t impact blood glucose or insulin levels. As a result, it’s an ideal sweetener for individuals following keto and those who want to promote a healthy body weight.

2. Erythritol 

Erythritol is a type of sugar alcohol with a similar chemical composition to sugar. However, compared to sugar, erythritol isn’t absorbed into the body and won’t raise blood sugar levels, making it an excellent keto-friendly option. 

Unlike many other sugar alcohols, erythritol has no bitter aftertaste and is often used in keto-friendly dessert recipes. 

3. Xylitol

Xylitol is a natural sugar alternative derived from birch tree bark. 

It offers a similar sweetness to sugar but contains considerably fewer calories and carbohydrates. 

Although xylitol is considered keto-friendly, it’s important to remember that it does contain some carbs and should be added to your daily net carb count.  

Sugar alternative

Key takeaways

Stevia vs. sucralose on keto—which one is healthier? 

Pure stevia is a keto-friendly natural sugar alternative linked to various health benefits due to its potential anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antidiabetic properties.  

In contrast, sucralose is an artificial sweetener connected to potential side effects, including weight gain, impaired detoxification processes, and an imbalance of beneficial gut bacteria.   


1. Is stevia better for you than sucralose?

Yes, stevia is considered a better choice than sucralose. Stevia is a natural sweetener derived from the stevia plant and has been linked to various potential health benefits.

In contrast, sucralose is a zero-calorie artificial sweetener that may increase the risk of weight gain, poor detoxification processes, and an imbalanced intestinal microflora.

2. Can sucralose raise your blood sugar?

Sucralose is a zero-carb sweetener and won’t directly raise blood sugar levels. 

However, there is evidence that sucralose may stimulate certain taste receptors that trigger metabolic changes linked to increased blood sugar and insulin levels. 

3. What is the safest sweetener to use?

Pure stevia without added maltodextrin and monk fruit extract are two natural zero-carb sweeteners that won’t raise blood sugar levels, which helps promote metabolic balance and a healthy body weight. 

4. Is there a downside to stevia?

The use of stevia is considered safe, and most people can consume stevia-sweetened food and beverages without side effects.

However, individuals with a sensitive digestive tract may experience gastrointestinal issues such as bloating, gas, and abdominal pain when consuming stevia in high concentrations.  

5. Is sucralose keto-friendly?

No, sucralose isn’t considered keto-friendly.

Sucralose has been found to impact detoxification and can disrupt the intestinal microflora. It also can stimulate certain taste receptors that may trigger blood sugar and insulin spikes, making it an unsuitable choice for keto. 

6. Can Splenda break my fast?

Yes, Splenda may break your fast as it contains sucralose, which has been found to elevate blood sugar and insulin levels in certain individuals. 

Although not fully understood, it’s believed that sucralose can trigger hormonal changes that stimulate the production of glucose in the liver. This can raise blood sugar levels, thereby breaking a fast. 

7. Does stevia break a fast?

Stevia doesn’t break a fast as it’s a zero-carb sweetener that won’t impact blood sugar levels and doesn’t interfere with metabolic processes associated with fasting. 






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