The Best Stevia For Value, Granular, and More

Sweeten up your recipes and beverage with this sugar substitute.

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Though its popularity has certainly increased in the last few decades, the stevia plant has actually been used as a sweetener for centuries (1). Containing so few calories and carbohydrates that it is often considered “no-calorie,” stevia is a very popular natural sweetener, commonly used as a sugar substitute. It can be a great option for folks looking to cut down on added sugars in their diet or decrease their caloric intake. Though some caution that more research is needed to determine if stevia has any long-term effects, it has been used in Japan since the 1970s. High-purity steviol glycosides are generally recognized as safe by the FDA (2).

The most common forms of stevia on the market today are in granular or liquid form, and there are many options out there. When comparing different stevia offerings, it’s important to consider how you intend to use it – in beverages alone or food. You’ll also want to take a close look at the ingredients listed — some companies will bolster their stevia products with other ingredients.

Best Stevia

Editor’s note: The content on BarBend is meant to be informative in nature, but it should not be taken as medical advice. The opinions and articles on this site are not intended to diagnose, prevent, and/or treat health problems. It’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor before beginning a new fitness, nutritional, and/or supplement routine. Individual needs for vitamins and minerals will vary.

NOW Foods BetterStevia Liquid

Now Foods provides liquid stevia, which can be valuable for anyone looking to mix stevia in a beverage or batter. This particular product is free of dairy, egg, nuts, and soy. Additionally, it is kosher, non-GMO, and contains no gluten. Those who follow vegan or vegetarian diets can rest assured as this liquid is compatible with them.

NOW Foods BetterStevia Liquid

Each serving size is four drops, and each bottle contains 1,823 servings. From a cost perspective, that means each serving only costs a single cent.

NOW Foods BetterStevia Liquid
NOW Foods BetterStevia Liquid
NOW Foods BetterStevia Liquid

NOW Foods offers a very simple and competitively-priced liquid stevia. Made from organic stevia leaf extract by a popular brand, this is a very solid sweetener. 

Who Should Buy NOW Foods BetterStevia Liquid

  • Those who want to sweeten their food, beverages, batters, and more with a liquid instead of a powder.
  • Anyone working on a budget.

Who Shouldn’t Buy NOW Foods BetterStevia Liquid

  • People who want to carry stevia with them during travel (stevia packets may serve this better).
  • Folks who don’t want alcohol in their stevia (this product is 11 percent alcohol).

NOW Foods is on a different level with its liquid stevia that sets it apart from the field when it comes to the price per serving.

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SweetLeaf Sweet Drops

These stevia drops are organic, and the ingredient list is short and without excess. It’s purified water, stevia leaf extract, and natural flavors — that’s it. It has a useful measurement label available that translates how many of these sweet drops equate to the amount of sugar one might need for a recipe. For example, one teaspoon of sugar is equivalent to five of these sweet drops.

SweetLeaf Sweet Drops

SweetLeaf’s product is non-GMO verified, keto-friendly, and certified paleo. There are 16 flavors offered, including vanilla and cinnamon. Each bottle contains 576 five-drop servings.

Sweetleaf Sweet Drops Stevia
Sweetleaf Sweet Drops Stevia
Sweetleaf Sweet Drops Stevia

Bottled in a small glass vial with a dropper, at first glance, Sweet Drops look a bit like any number of herbal extracts you may find at a wellness store. Made with organic stevia leaf extract and natural flavors, this no-carb sweetener is available in a variety of flavors. 

Who Should Buy SweetLeaf Sweet Drops

  • Those looking for flavored stevia.
  • Anyone who follows a keto or paleo diet.

Who Shouldn’t Buy SweetLeaf Sweet Drops

  • Folks who want granulated stevia.
  • People who prefer having stevia packets for ease of travel.

Having over a dozen and a half flavors to choose from is unlike many other stevia options. The price point is also pretty attractive at just slightly over two cents per serving.

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Pyure Organic Stevia Sweetener Blend

This granular all-purpose stevia is USDA organic and non-GMO certified. Pyure’s stevia equates to half of whatever the amount of sugar need is. For example, one cup of this stevia would be the functional equivalent of two cups of sugar. This stevia is gluten-free and available in one or two-pound pouches.

Pyure Organic Stevia Sweetener Blend

Pyure Organic Granular Stevia
Pyure Organic Granular Stevia
Pyure Organic Granular Stevia

A granulated sugar substitute, Pyure offers a sweetener is designed to replace sugar in both your drinks and in your cooking and baking. Made with erythritol and stevia, this product is designed to have a very similar texture and taste to sugar. 

Who Should Buy Pyure Organic Stevia Sweetener Blend>

  • Those who value granulated stevia.
  • Anyone who prefers to buy stevia in bulk.

Who Shouldn’t Buy Pyure Organic Stevia Sweetener Blend

  • Those who want granulated stevia in individual serving packets.
  • Those who would prefer to avoid erythritol.

This stevia is made with erythritol — sugar alcohol — which may cause discomfort with people who have easily upset stomachs. If you plan to use large quantities of stevia at a time (for cooking or baking), it might be beneficial to note how much sugar alcohol would end up in each portion.

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SweetLeaf Natural Stevia Sweetener

This sugar substitute is free of artificial ingredients, doesn’t leave an aftertaste, and lacks bitterness. It is a non-GMO project verified, non-glycemic response stevia made with inulin soluble fiber. It is kosher as well as gluten-free.

SweetLeaf Natural Stevia Sweetener

Compared to the rest of the market, this is a bit pricier per serving at 10 cents per packet. However, they are packets which means they are easy to take on the go. This product is fit for anyone who has diabetes.

SweetLeaf Stevia Packets
SweetLeaf Stevia Packets
SweetLeaf Stevia Packets

SweetLeaf Stevia packets are made with inulin, a soluble fiber found in plants - chicory root in this case. These diner style sweetener packets contain no calories and virtually no carbs, with the inulin providing less than a gram of dietary fiber.

Who Should Buy SweetLeaf Natural Stevia Sweetener

  • Anyone who has diabetes.
  • Folks who want their stevia in individual packets.

Who Shouldn’t Buy SweetLeaf Natural Stevia Sweetener

  • Those who want to stay on the more affordable end of the stevia market.
  • People who prefer liquid stevia.

Overall, this is a great choice for anyone who wants their stevia servings measured in individual packets. That is a convenience that may be worth the additional cost per serving compared to other competitors, non-packeted options.

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Stevia in the Raw Sweetener With Dextrose

Stevia is the Raw is likely to attract the customers who want granular stevia in packets at a low cost to buy in bulk. This stevia is made of dextrose, a simple sugar made from corn — it is chemically identical to glucose.

Stevia in the Raw Sweetener With Dextrose

Stevia in the Raw 800-count, 1,200-count, and 2,500-count boxes of their stevia packets, making the latter cost just three cents per packet. Compared to the rest of the competitive market, this product has one of the shortest ingredient lists: dextrose, stevia leaf extract.

Stevia in the Raw Sweetener With Dextrose
Stevia in the Raw Sweetener With Dextrose
Stevia in the Raw Sweetener With Dextrose

This is a natural sweetener made of dextrose, a corn-based simple sugar, and stevia. These packets are priced pretty competitively, making them a solid investment if you’re a regular stevia user.

Who Should Buy Stevia in the Raw Sweetener With Dextrose

  • Those who want to buy stevia packets in bulk.
  • Folks who prefer stevia made with dextrose rather than sugar alcohol.

Who Shouldn’t Buy Stevia in the Raw Sweetener With Dextrose

  • Anyone who wants non-glycemic stevia.
  • People who prefer liquid stevia.

If you are on the market for stevia with dextrose and want to buy in bulk, then Stevia in the Raw is a perfect match.

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How We Decided Our Picks

If you’re looking to cut calories but keep your sweet tooth happy, replacing sugar with natural sweeteners may be worth investigating. Stevia is a natural sweetener derived from the stevia plant — but not all stevia products are created equally. When comparing different stevia products, it’s important to keep an eye out for a few key differences. 

Liquid vs. Solid

Liquid stevia dissolves in drinks more quickly and easily than granular stevia, which may make it a better option for folks simply looking to sweeten liquids. However, for those looking to replace the ritualistic stirring of sugar into their coffee, granulated stevia should get the job done. 

Baking

As a disclaimer, replacing sugar in your baking is not a straightforward task. Because stevia is around 200 times sweeter than sugar, you’ll need to use much less of any granular stevia while you’re whipping up a sugar-free option for the bake sale. As it stands to reason, using less sweetener by volume will impact the size and shape of what you’re creating. Fortunately, there are a lot of resources out there for stevia-friendly baking recipes.

Additional Ingredients

In part, because stevia is so, so much sweeter than sugar, granular stevia options virtually all contain a secondary ingredient to help balance out stevia’s sweetness and to add texture and volume. In most cases, it’s a different natural sweetener that’s less naturally sweet (and sometimes less well-known). Take a look at the packaging to make sure this second ingredient fits in with your diet.

Stevia
Image via Shutterstock/HandmadePictures

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What to Consider Before Buying

Cutting out added sugar is not an easy task. Many folks will take a sip of a stevia-sweetened cup of coffee and taste an intense aftertaste. Try sticking with it for at least a week to let your taste buds adjust to their new normal. When deciding between liquid stevia and granular stevia, think about how and when you intend to use it. If it’s solely for sweetening drinks at home, the liquid may suit your needs. If you’re going to be taking a stash of it to your office, stevia packets may prove more convenient.

Finally, if you’re working toward incorporating lower-calorie sweeteners into your diet and experience any gastrointestinal discomfort, you should consult with a medical professional. Stevia is a natural sweetener that may be a great option for folks looking to cut down their caloric intake and possibly drop a few pounds. Check the labeling to make sure you know exactly what you’re getting.

References

  1. Goyal SK, Samsher, Goyal RK. Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana) a bio-sweetener: a review. International journal of food sciences and nutrition. 2010;61(1):1-10.
  2. Office of the Commissioner. Has Stevia been approved by FDA? U.S. Food and Drug Administration. https://www.fda.gov/about-fda/fda-basics/has-stevia-been-approved-fda-be-used-sweetener. Published 2018.
  3. GRAS Notices. Fda.gov. https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/fdcc/?set=GRASNotices&id=789. Published 2019. ‌
  4. Storey D, Lee A, Bornet F, Brouns F. Gastrointestinal tolerance of erythritol and xylitol ingested in a liquid. European journal of clinical nutrition. 2007;61(3):349-354.