(see this article on articifial sweeteners)
Xylitol (marketed in the UK as Total Sweet)
Having tested quite a few, I have found the best sweetener to be Xylitol, because it is not only a natural product, but it also tastes and looks almost exactly like sugar. It is made from non-GM corn or tree birch, does not require insulin to metabolise, and has 40% less calories than ordinary sugar. Be sparing when you first start using it though, because it can cause mild gastric upsets and wind if you overeat it! I have been using it for over a year now and don’t suffer these effects any more. In the UK, you can buy Xylitol under the brand name Total Sweet for about £2.69 per 100g pack in Sainsburys and health food shops. You can also get it in bulk from www.naturallygreen.co.uk in the UK, http://www.naturallysweet.com.au/ in Australia, http://www.xylitolusa.com/ in the USA.
However, here are some other sweeteners that are also recommended:
Granulated Erythritol is a naturally-derived sugar substitute that looks and tastes like sugar, yet has almost no calories. It is classified, like Xylitol, as a sugar alcohol and is about 80% as sweet as sugar. It has almost no calories and does not affect blood sugar or insulin levels at all. It also does not cause any digestive problems. It is however about 4 times the price of Xylitol. I use it as an icing sugar substitute because it doesn’t work well in cakes, to reduce the xylitol level.
Stevia is a South American herb used as a natural sweetener for centuries. It has no calories or carbs and is about 25 times sweeter than suger. In it’s crystalline form, it resembles sugar and can be used in cooking as well. I still find it a little bitter at times, but this is obviously personal taste. http://www.stevia.com/
I don’t recommend any aspartame-based sweeteners because of research that shows that they may not be safe for your health. I haven’t touched them in years, despite the fact that they are for the most part the only sweeteners easily available in supermarkets and shops. I think it has something to do with the aspartame lobby ! http://aspartame.mercola.com/