The gentlebirth.org website is provided courtesy of
Ronnie Falcao, LM MS, a homebirth midwife in Mountain View, CA


Healthy Alternative Sweeteners for Pregnancy

Every Family Deserves a Midwife - Support Midwifery!
Campaign for the passage of California AB1306
Enables equal partnerships between nurse-midwives and obstetricians

Special page for California physicians and birth practitioners to join in support


All About Sweeteners from Chris Kresser

FDA Approval

From Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes—2010 [American Diabetes Association] - "The FDA has approved five nonnutritive sweeteners for use in the U.S.: acesulfame potassium, aspartame, neotame, saccharin, and sucralose. Before being allowed on the market, all underwent rigorous scrutiny and were shown to be safe when consumed by the public, including people with diabetes and women during pregnancy. Reduced calorie sweeteners approved by the FDA include sugar alcohols (polyols) such as erythritol, isomalt, lactitol, maltitol, mannitol, sorbitol, xylitol, tagatose, and hydrogenated starch hydrolysates. The use of sugar alcohols appears to be safe; however, they may cause diarrhea, especially in children. Stevia (Rebaudioside A) has been designated by the FDA as being generally recognized as safe (GRAS). "

Personally, I get very nervous about the artificial sweeteners, which the above just calls "nonnutritive sweeteners", so I don't recommend anything here with artificial sweeteners.  Instead, most of these treats have sugar alcohols or some amazing other sweeteners.  I don't know exactly how the sugar alcohols work, but they don't raise glucose levels.  Some of the sugar alcohols can cause loose bowels; this effect can be moderated by gradually increasing your intake over a few days, or perhaps it's a welcome side-effect for some pregnant mamas!


What refined Stevia preparations have been evaluated by FDA to be used as a sweetener?

What refined Stevia preparations have been evaluated by FDA to be used as a sweetener? [8/15 from fda.gov] - FDA has not objected to the use of these highly refined Stevia preparations in food products.

Stevia: FDA Approves Stevia as a Safe Food Additive [12/19/08 from healthy.net] -

SweetLeaf - SweetLeaf Stevia Sweetener was the first stevia product to achieve GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) designation in 2008.

FDA Approves Two New Stevia-Based Sweeteners [1/10/09] from Dr. Mercola

Stevia and Pregnancy and Safety of Stevia During Pregnancy from livestrong.com


Sugar Alcohols: There is a group of sweeteners called Sugar Alcohols that are commonly used in reduced calorie foods.  Because they are incompletely absorbed and metabolized by the body, they have a lesser impact on blood glucose than table sugar.  Examples of sugar alcohols include sorbitol, xylitol, maltitol, lactitol, erythritol, isomalt, mannitol and hydrogenated starch hydrolysates.  When eating a food containing these sweeteners, you should count ½ of the sugar alcohol content as a carbohydrate.  Side effects of sugar alcohols include gastrointestinal (GI) pain, cramping, gas and/or diarrhea.  Limit your daily intake to less than 10 grams of sugar alcohol. [from Artificial Sweeteners during Pregnancy at a local OB web site.]

Other Healthy Alternative Sweeteners

I haven't yet been able to find information about safety during pregnancy, so check with your practitioner about these first:

LAKANTO®  is a mixture of the high-purity Monk Fruit extract (Luohan Guo) and Erythritol.  It's a delicious natural zero calorie, zero glycemic sweetener with the sumptuous rich taste of sugar. - they offer a free Celebrity Chef Cookbook

If you're a baker and trying to find a good low-carb sugar substitute, I recommend Just Like Sugar.

This Web page is referenced from other pages containing related information about Gestational Diabetes


SEARCH gentlebirth.org

Main Index Page of the Midwife Archives

Main page of gentlebirth.org         Mirror site

Please e-mail feedback about errors of fact, spelling, grammar or semantics. Thank you.

Permission to link to this page is hereby granted.
About the Midwife Archives / Midwife Archives Disclaimer