Those of you already familiar with the Wheat Belly lifestyle know that we can recreate cookies, muffins, cakes, and other goodies using safe sweeteners with little to no downside. There are so many sweeteners out there–which should you choose? Here is my list of 5 safe natural sweeteners:

  1. STEVIAStevia

Stevia is the natural sweetener from the stevia plant. Look for pure liquid stevia, pure powdered stevia, or powdered stevia with inulin; avoid stevia with maltodextrin, since maltodextrin is a form of sugar. My favorite is pure powdered stevia; though pricey, it is so concentrated that a tiny amount goes a long way and a container will last a while.



Also known as luo-han-guo, monk fruit is a rising star in the world of benign sweeteners. A growing number of people like this sweetener due to its clean, sweet taste without the aftertaste some people perceive with stevia. It may be tricky to find but is becoming increasingly available. Wheat-Free Market’s Virtue Sweetener combines monk fruit and erythritol in a proportion that makes it four times sweeter than sugar.


Erythritol is a natural sweetener found in fruit that has approximately 70 percent of the sweetness of sugar. Taking into account your increasing sensitivity to sweetness, you can use erythritol, spoonful for spoonful, just as you would sugar. It is especially useful combined with monk fruit or stevia.


Xylitol is the most sugar-like of our choice of sweeteners and can be useful for glazing and streusel effects in baking. We use xylitol only in limited quantities, however, because it has a modest capacity to raise blood sugar. Dog owners should know that xylitol can be toxic to dogs.


Inulin is a fiber with a light sweetness that is best used in combination with other sweeteners. It also acts as a prebiotic fiber that can, unlike other forms of such fibers, be resistant to heating and not degrade to sugars.


For convenience, or to minimize the undesirable aftertaste that some people experience with some of these sweeteners, especially stevia, combinations of our natural sweeteners can work well, e.g. monk fruit or stevia + erythritol. You can purchase sweetener mixtures such as Wheat-Free Market’s Virtue sweetener, the most economical of sweetener mixes, as well as Truvia, Lakanto, and Swerve.

Bonus: 4 Sweeteners to Use Sparingly or Avoid All Together

Beyond avoiding grain-sourced high-fructose corn syrup as a source of fructose, it is also important to avoid other sources of fructose and other sugars. Many of these are often promoted as “healthy” sweeteners, but you know better: use them sparingly or avoid them all together:

AGAVE NECTAR (90% fructose— the worst of all) – COCONUT SUGAR – HONEY and MAPLE SYRUP–all too rich in fructose. Remember: fructose is a metabolic disrupter with effects such as increased insulin resistance, expansion of visceral fat, rise in triglycerides, and fructation (irreversible modification of proteins in the body that is 10-fold worse than glycation from glucose).

Yours in grainless health,

Dr. William Davis

PS: Living a grain-free life still means enjoying delicious and affordable foods. I have some great recipes to share with you from our friends at Wheat-Free Market.