I know I should steer clear of Splenda, but I’ve never developed a taste for natural calorie-free sweeteners—stevia is so bitter! Is there anything else you recommend?

Yes! I suggest trying the natural zero-calorie sweetener monk fruit (also called lo han). This Asian fruit doesn’t contain the compound that makes stevia taste bitter. Instead, it gets its sweetness from an antioxidant called mogroside V that’s up to 300 times sweeter than sugar. What’s more, monk fruit is so versatile and heat-stable that health-food and drink manufacturers like Kashi, Bear Naked, Vitalicious and So Delicious are now using it in their products.

While you can find monk fruit-based sweeteners in stores, you’ll want to read the labels carefully. Many consumer brands, like Nectresse and Monk Fruit in the Raw, bulk up the monk fruit extract with erythritol, sucralose and dextrose—artificial sweeteners that have been linked to digestive issues and weight gain.

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