What are the best meal replacement shakes without artificial sweeteners or stevia?

drink wholesome makes the best meal replacement shakes without artificial sweeteners or stevia. They are naturally sweetened with monk fruit. Order samples to see if our meal replacements are right for you. 

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drink wholesome makes the best meal replacement shakes without artificial sweeteners or stevia.

Written by Jack Schrupp & endorsed by Baylee Reller, RDN

What are artificial sweeteners? 

Artificial sweeteners are chemicals added to foods and beverages to make them sweet. They are a common ingredient in meal replacement shakes due to their intense sweetness. Just a tiny bit of artificial sweetener can deliver the same level of sweetness as several tablespoons of sugar. This enables meal replacement manufacturers to cut down on both calories and sugar in their products. The most widely used artificial sweeteners are sucralose and acesulfame potassium.

Are artificial sweeteners bad for you?

Despite their apparent advantages, artificial sweeteners come with their fair share of drawbacks. Firstly, numerous studies have indicated that artificial sweeteners can actually increase cravings for sugary and sweet foods, potentially leading to binge-eating episodes and withdrawal symptoms. Secondly, artificial sweeteners have been associated with a heightened risk of glucose intolerance, which is a precursor to conditions like pre-diabetes and diabetes.

Adding to the list of concerns, research demonstrates that artificial sweeteners are not easily digested by the body, often causing diarrhea or feeding your hungry gut bacteria. As bacteria eat, they release gases that can lead to bloating, flatulence, and stomach pain. Excess intestinal gas can also slow down the transit of food through the colon, causing constipation.

Lastly, regular consumption of artificial sweeteners can alter the composition of your gut microbiota, the community of microorganisms living in your gut. This can trigger widespread inflammation and contribute to the development of metabolic derangements that cause obesity and cardiovascular disease. In light of these findings, it is clear that artificial sweeteners are far from a healthy alternative to sugar.

What is stevia?

If a meal replacement doesn’t have sucralose or another artificial sweetener, chances are it contains stevia. Stevia is an affordable zero-calorie sweetener extracted from the stevia rebaudiana plant. It is more than 100 times sweeter than table sugar and is often touted as a “natural” substitute for artificial sweeteners. As a result, stevia has become a common choice in many meal replacement shakes aimed at health-conscious consumers.

Is stevia bad for you? 

People have reservations about stevia for a few reasons. First of all, the extraction of stevia from the stevia rebaudiana plant involves the use of chemicals like ethanol and methyl alcohol. Some argue that this process makes it no more “natural” than the artificial sweeteners it intends to replace. In fact, a recent class action lawsuit in California led to a $6.1 million settlement, concluding that the company in question had falsely labeled and advertised its stevia sweeteners as natural.

Second, research has revealed that stevia can interfere with communication among bacteria in your gut microbiome. This is a matter of significance because your gut microbiome plays a vital role in your overall health.

Why do we use monk fruit?  

Instead of artificial sweeteners or stevia, we use a natural sweetener called monk fruit. Monk fruit is a melon-like fruit native to Southeast Asia. Its sweetness, approximately 200 times sweeter than sugar, comes from non-caloric compounds called mogrosides.

We opt for monk fruit because it is the most natural sugar substitute available today. It is made simply by removing the seeds and skin, crushing the fruit, and collecting the juice, which is then dried into a powder. 

Because monk fruit sweetener has been commercially available for only a decade, its impact on chronic conditions like obesity and diabetes has not undergone extensive research. Nonetheless, it is important to highlight that monk fruit has been a longstanding staple in Asian cuisine for centuries, recognized as safe even when consumed in large amounts. Furthermore, small randomized trials have shown that monk fruit does have adverse effects on blood sugar or insulin levels.

What are the best meal replacement shakes without artificial sweeteners or stevia?

We make the best meal replacement shakes without artificial sweeteners or stevia using a short list of simple ingredients like monk fruit. You will not find a more naturally sweetened meal replacement. You will also have a hard time finding a better tasting meal replacement. This is because monk fruit, unlike artificial sweeteners and stevia, does not activates bitter taste receptors. Of all the sugar substitutes, it tastes the most like sugar. Order samples to see for yourself.


simple and delicious

“It is so hard to find a meal replacement without artificial sweeteners. There are a bunch of ones with stevia, but I can’t stand the taste. I don’t love monk fruit either, but this one is really good. It’s not too sweet and there’s no aftertaste. 10/10!!!” – Bruce

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This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. drink wholesome is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.


The Ultimate Guide to Meal Replacement Shakes Without Artificial Sweeteners or Stevia: Embracing Monk Fruit Sweetener


In the ever-evolving world of meal replacement shakes, finding the perfect balance between health, taste, and dietary preferences can be a daunting task. For those who seek meal replacement options without artificial sweeteners or stevia, there’s a natural and enticing solution: monk fruit sweetener. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the realm of meal replacement shakes that exclude artificial sweeteners and stevia while highlighting the numerous benefits of monk fruit sweetener.

The Quest for Artificial Sweetener-Free Options

Artificial sweeteners have long been used to enhance the flavor of various food and beverage products, including meal replacement shakes. While they offer the advantage of sweetening without the added calories and carbohydrates of sugar, many individuals are concerned about potential health implications and the often noticeable aftertaste associated with artificial sweeteners.

Monk Fruit Sweetener: A Natural Marvel

Monk fruit sweetener, also known as luo han guo, offers a natural and flavorful solution for those seeking meal replacement options free from artificial sweeteners and stevia. Derived from the monk fruit, a melon-like fruit native to Southeast Asia, this sweetener has gained recognition for its remarkable sweetness without the bitterness often linked to stevia or the artificial notes of other sweeteners.

Benefits of Monk Fruit Sweetener

  1. Natural Sweetness: Monk fruit sweetener is celebrated as one of the most natural sugar substitutes available. It is produced by extracting the juice from the fruit, which is then dried into a fine powder. Essentially, it’s concentrated fruit juice, providing natural sweetness without the need for chemical processing.
  2. No Aftertaste: One of the primary advantages of monk fruit sweetener is its clean and neutral taste profile. Unlike stevia and some artificial sweeteners, which can leave lingering and undesirable aftertastes, monk fruit sweetener is celebrated for its absence of such flavors.
  3. Low-Calorie Option: Monk fruit sweetener is incredibly low in calories, making it a suitable choice for individuals aiming to manage their calorie intake while enjoying a hint of sweetness in their meal replacement shakes.
  4. Natural Origins: Monk fruit has been a staple in Asian cuisine for centuries, with no reported adverse effects, even when consumed in substantial quantities. Its historical use as a natural sweetener lends credibility to its safety and suitability.
  5. No Impact on Blood Sugar: Small randomized trials have suggested that monk fruit sweetener does not appear to have any adverse effects on blood sugar or insulin levels. This makes it an attractive option for individuals with diabetes or those monitoring their glycemic responses.
  6. Prebiotic Properties: Monk fruit sweetener contains natural compounds that can act as prebiotics, supporting the growth of beneficial gut bacteria. A healthy gut microbiome is vital for digestion and overall well-being.

Incorporating Monk Fruit Sweetener into Meal Replacement Shakes

While we won’t provide specific recipes, here are some general guidelines for incorporating monk fruit sweetener into your meal replacement shakes:

  1. Liquid Base: Start with a liquid base, such as water, almond milk, coconut milk, or dairy milk, depending on your dietary preferences.
  2. Protein Source: Choose your preferred protein source, such as whey protein, plant-based protein, or collagen peptides, to provide essential amino acids for muscle maintenance and growth.
  3. Fiber and Nutrients: Add fiber-rich ingredients like oats, flaxseed, or chia seeds for sustained energy and essential nutrients. You can also incorporate leafy greens, fruits, or vegetables for added vitamins and minerals.
  4. Healthy Fats: Include sources of healthy fats like avocado, almond butter, or coconut oil to enhance the creaminess of your shake and provide satiety.
  5. Sweetening with Monk Fruit: Incorporate monk fruit sweetener as needed to achieve the desired level of sweetness. Start with a small amount and adjust to your taste preferences.
  6. Flavor Variations: Customize your shake with additional ingredients like cinnamon, vanilla extract, cocoa powder, or fruits to tailor it to your taste.


Monk fruit sweetener emerges as a promising alternative for those seeking meal replacement shakes without artificial sweeteners or stevia. Its natural sweetness, lack of aftertaste, low-calorie profile, and historical use as a safe sweetener make it an excellent choice for individuals pursuing health-conscious dietary options.

Whether you’re aiming to manage your calorie intake, support a healthy gut microbiome, or simply enjoy a refreshing and satisfying shake, monk fruit sweetener paves the way for a delicious and wholesome journey toward your dietary goals. However, as with any dietary change, it’s advisable to consult with a healthcare provider or nutritionist, especially if you have specific dietary goals or underlying health conditions.

Incorporating monk fruit sweetener into your meal replacement shakes opens a world of naturally sweet and satisfying possibilities while eliminating the need for artificial sweeteners or stevia. Ultimately, monk fruit sweetener adds a touch of natural delight to your meal replacement shakes, offering a flavorful and health-conscious solution for your nutritional needs.