Glycemic Index Chart Comparison of 23 Sweeteners

There are many considerations when selecting the right sweetener. All have different pros and cons, and it is important to choose the right one for your need. One of the most important factors is to find a low-glycemic sweetener. Another is to find a low-carb sweetener. Here we’ve compiled a list of 23 sweeteners (artificial, natural, sugar alcohols) and gathered nutritional data on them. We’ve also put them into charts, so that they’re easier to compare. The information we’ve included in the sweetener comparison is the Glycemic Index (GI), the Carbohydrates per Serving and Glycemic Load of the item.

The data has been split into various charts in order to show the information more clearly. Please feel free to skip to the section that you would find most helpful.

All Sweeteners – Graph

 

All Sweeteners – Table

 

Sweetener Name Category GI (Glycemic Index) Carbohydrates (per 25g serving) Glycemic Load (per 25g serving)
Coconut sugar Natural / Caloric Sweetener 54 25 13
Dark Corn Syrup Natural / Caloric Sweetener 90 24 21
Dextrose Natural / Caloric Sweetener 96 25 25
Fructose Natural / Caloric Sweetener 21 25 5
Glucose Natural / Caloric Sweetener 103 25 25
Golden Syrup Natural / Caloric Sweetener 63 21 13
High Fructose Corn Syrup Natural / Caloric Sweetener 73 19 14
Honey Natural / Caloric Sweetener 58 21 12
Isomalt Sugar Alcohols / Polyols 2 25 0
Lactitol Sugar Alcohols / Polyols 3 25 0
Lactose Natural / Caloric Sweetener 46 25 11
Locust Honey Natural / Caloric Sweetener 32 21 6
Maltitol Sugar Alcohols / Polyols 26 25 6
Maple Syrup Natural / Caloric Sweetener 54 18 9
Rice Syrup/Rice Malt Syrup Natural / Caloric Sweetener 98 20 19
Agave Nectar Natural / Caloric Sweetener 15 20 3
Sugar (Sucrose) Natural / Caloric Sweetener 60 25 15
Saccharin Artificial Sweetener 0 22 0
Stevia Natural Sweetener 0 25 0
Tagatose Sugar Alcohols / Polyols 3 25 1
Xylitol Sugar Alcohols / Polyols 7 25 1
Aspartame Artificial Sweetener 0 23 0
Sucralose Artificial Sweetener 0 23 0

Above is the table of data and graph showing the Glycemic Index, Carbs per Serving and Glycemic Load of different sweeteners – for further information on what these mean, please see below. Alternatively, there is a great guide here on the subject.

All values are worked out based on a 25g serving of each sweetener. This chart shows an overall comparison of sweeteners including caloric/natural sweeteners, sugar alcohols and artificial sweeteners (more information here). As you can see, most sweeteners have very similar amounts of carbohydrates per serving, with all having between 20-25g carbohydrates in a 25g serving. However, there are big differences in the Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load of sweeteners. Dextrose, Rice Syrup and Glucose each have a Glycemic Index of above 90, and Glycemic Load of roughly 20. Conversely, the sweeteners on the other end of the scale such as stevia and agave have a Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load of nearly zero. Sweeteners such as honey and maple syrup have a glycemic index somewhere in the middle.

 

Natural Sweeteners – Graph

 

Natural Sweeteners – Table

 

Sweetener Name Category GI (Glycemic Index) Carbohydrates (per 25g serving) Glycemic Load (per 25g serving)
Coconut sugar Natural / Caloric Sweetener 54 25 13
Dark Corn Syrup Natural / Caloric Sweetener 90 24 21
Dextrose Natural / Caloric Sweetener 96 25 25
Fructose Natural / Caloric Sweetener 21 25 5
Glucose Natural / Caloric Sweetener 103 25 25
Golden Syrup Natural / Caloric Sweetener 63 21 13
High Fructose Corn Syrup Natural / Caloric Sweetener 73 19 14
Honey Natural / Caloric Sweetener 58 21 12
Lactose Natural / Caloric Sweetener 46 25 11
Maple Syrup Natural / Caloric Sweetener 54 18 9
Rice Syrup/Rice Malt Syrup Natural / Caloric Sweetener 98 20 19
Agave Nectar Natural / Caloric Sweetener 15 20 3
Sugar (Sucrose) Natural / Caloric Sweetener 60 25 15
Stevia Natural Sweetener 0 25 0

We have further broken down the data into a natural sweetener list. This is to show a comparison of the GI, GL and carbohydrates of natural sweeteners. For Natural Sweeteners, Stevia and Agave both have the lowest GI and GL. Honey, Sugar and Golden Syrup have a fairly average GI, and Glucose and Rice Syrup have much higher GI and GL. Further information on natural sweeteners can be found here.

Liquid Tabletop Sweeteners – Graph

We have lastly split the data to show the differences between different tabletop liquid sweeteners and syrups. This is designed to be helpful for anyone trying to find healthy alternatives to items such as golden syrup and corn syrup. These other sweeteners should be healthy substitutes for when baking, cooking or creating food items.

 

Interested in trying Agave syrup? Find it here!

Agave Syrups

 

Further Information on Glycemic Index, Glycemic Load and Carbs per Serving

The nutrional data included here on sweeteners is Glycemic Index, Carbs per Serving and Glycemic Load. These items mainly relate to how quickly a sweetener will raise your blood sugar levels, which is an important consideration for the benefits of certain sweeteners. The University of Sydney has a searchable database where they publish nutritional information of different foods after testing.

Glycemic Index. The Glycemic Index of a sweetener depends on how quickly a specified amount of the carbohydrates in that sweetener will cause blood sugar to rise. In testing, that specified amount is 50g of carbohydrates. The GI then shows how quickly 50g of carbs from a certain sweetener will cause blood sugar levels to rise. A sweetener that has a higher GI will cause blood sugar levels to rise more quickly than one that has a low GI. Keeping blood sugar levels at a steady, lower level seems has many benefits in terms of health. For further reading on Glycemic Index, see here.

Carbs per serving. Different sweeteners contain different amounts of carbs per serving. A serving of 50g of 2 different sweeteners will have 2 different amounts of carbohydrates. Therefore, simply knowing the GI of an item does not tell you how quickly a serving of that item is going to raise your blood levels, since it might have a lot of, or very little, carbohydrates per serving. To know this, you must multiply the Carbs per Serving by the glycemic Index of the sweetener, which is known as the Glycemic Load.

Glycemic Load. The Glycemic load is calculated by multiplying the GI by the Carbs per Serving and then dividing by 100. The formula then is Glycemic Index * Carbs per Serving / 100. The Glycemic load gives you a more accurate idea of how quickly a serving of a particular item will raise your blood sugar level. More information of Glycemic Load and Carbs per Serving can be found here.