Which Stevia and Monkfruit Brands Are Sugar Free 3 Approved?
If you’re following the Sugar Free 3 nutrition program, you know that only two sugar substitutes are allowed on the plan: stevia and monk fruit. These two sweeteners are allowed in moderation because, unlike other chemical-laden sugar substitutes, they’re derived from natural sources. Stevia comes from a leaf, and monk fruit extract comes from — you guessed it — an actual fruit.
“They are both plant-derived sweeteners that don’t mess with your blood sugar levels,” explains Michele Promaulayko, creator of Sugar Free 3. “They’re also many times sweeter than most other sweeteners — like 200 times sweeter than table sugar! — so a little goes a long way.”
On a daily basis, you can use stevia or monk fruit to sweeten your coffee or tea. Protein powders sweetened with stevia or monk fruit — like Openfit Plant-Based Nutrition Shake — are “Totally Allowed” on the plan. And when your sweet tooth really kicks in, the plan includes added-sugar-free recipes that can be enjoyed as an indulgence.
But some brands of stevia and monk fruit contain ingredients that aren’t allowed on the plan, such as sugar alcohols. So which brands are SF3-approved? Here’s what you need to know.
Which Brands of Stevia and Monk Fruit Are Allowed on Sugar Free 3?
A few widely-available brands have been approved. “Although they have to be processed to go from a leaf to a powder or liquid extract, they are basically as close to pure stevia as you can find unless you grow the plant in your garden and make the extract yourself — which you can do,” Promaulayko says.
These are the approved brands:
- Sweet Leaf (specifically, the Organic Stevia Leaf Extract)
- Trader Joe’s
Products may vary within a brand, however, so even if you’re buying a Sugar Free 3 approved brand, it’s always a good idea to double-check the ingredient list.
You may also find other brands online that contain 100% stevia or monk fruit — like Microingredients Superfoods or It’s Just Monk Fruit Extract — but again, be sure to check the ingredient list for any “sugar AKAs” or fillers.
Which Brands of Stevia and Monk Fruit Should You Avoid on Sugar Free 3?
Avoid any stevia or monk fruit “blends” that combine stevia or monk fruit with non-approved sweeteners like erythritol (a sugar alcohol) or dextrose. “Erythritol is a sugar alcohol — essentially, a lab-made artificial sweetener, so it’s a no-go,” Promaulayko says. “It also can upset some people’s stomachs.”
There are a few other add-ins you’ll want to keep an eye out for, Promaulayko says — like agave (a common sugar AKA) or silica (a synthetic anti-caking agent).