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The scoop: The powdered extract of the South American stevia plant is a zero-calorie sugar substitute that's 100 percent natural. While it's 200 to 300 times sweeter than sugar, stevia doesn't cause a spike in blood glucose levels—sparing you the crash that follows a spoonful of the white stuff.
How to enjoy it: Some brands have a licorice aftertaste, so experiment until you find one you like. When baking, replace all but ¼ cup sugar in the recipe; for each ½ cup sugar removed, use 3½ Tbsp. stevia. To add a sweet finish to muffins, dust the tops with 1 Tbsp. stevia, 1 Tbsp. cornstarch, and 1 tsp. ground cinnamon.