Most people are aware that sugar at 100% carbohydrate is off the menu when it comes to the keto diet. For this reason, you’ll be looking for the best sweetener for keto eating while staying within your daily macros.
The keto diet requires that all sugar, including hidden sugars are avoided.
Luckily there are plenty of sugar substitutes that can be used instead.
While technically all substitutes will help you to stay on your keto plan, they are not created equally.
There are some sweeteners that should be avoided altogether as they are not good for your health. These sweeteners are:
- Agarve nectar (2) , which has the highest fructose level of all, at 60%
Keto friendly or not, they aren’t good for you and you should consider not using products that contain them.
Further, there are some sweeteners that although not unhealthy as such are not suited to keto for other reasons.
- Coconut Sugar
- Maple Syrup
These sweeteners are all high in carbs and are no more keto friendly than regular sugar.
So, which sweeteners should you choose for your keto diet, and your health goals?
This sweetener is the best choice you can make to help satisfy your sweet tooth and still keep to the keto diet.
Erythritol is a sugar alcohol with a very similar taste to regular sugar.
It is 80% as sweet as sugar and it can be used on its own or in baking and drinks. It also contains zero net carbs.
It does tend to have a slight cool aftertaste, but in our experience, it works very well as a healthy sweetener for Keto.
Further, Erythritol is a natural product, so there are no nasty ingredients that will do a number on your health.
Stevia is produced from the Stevia Rebaudiana plant so it’s another natural product.
This sweetener also contains almost zero net carbs, and can be used with the keto diet.
There have also been several studies that shows it can help to maintain healthy blood/glucose levels. (3)
However, in comparison to Erythritol, Stevia is much sweeter than sugar.
On average you would need only one teaspoon of powdered stevia for each 200 g of sugar.
Xylitol is another alcohol sugar, and it can be used with the keto diet even though Xylitol does contains a few carbs.
This is due to the nature of Xylitol’s carbs. Unlike the carbs in sugar, they don’t raise blood sugar. Nor do they effect insulin levels, making them keto friendly. (4)
Xylitol can absorb liquid, so if you’re going to use it in baking you’ll need to add more fluid than normal.
The other important point to note is that this sweetener can cause digestive issues in some people.
Monk Fruit Sweetener
This is another natural sweetener that we can recommend. Monk Fruit is the siraitia Grosvenorii plant.
The plant is grown for its fruit, from which the sweetener is extracted.
It’s almost 300 times sweeter than sugar and has been used extensively in Chinese traditional medicine.
The concentration of the extract in most Monk Fruit sweeteners mean that it can be used at about half the suggested amount of sugar in a recipe.
It has no carbohydrates, so keto friendly. If you like the taste, it also works well as a sweetener for hot drinks.
A word of warning about sweeteners and the keto diet
Sweeteners can be a great addition to your keto diet. They can make it possible to create some great keto treats.
Cakes, cookies and puddings can all be made keto friendly by substituting the sugar for a sweetener.
However, if you crave sugar, it may not be a good idea for you to use sweeteners while you’re trying to stay keto.
You will possibly find that the any sweetener you use will trigger your cravings for all sweet foods (5)
It appears that even a similar taste to regular sugar is enough to have you reaching for the candies.
If this is you, consider trying to do without sweeteners altogether. By going cold turkey, your sugar cravings will disappear within a few weeks.
For more information about sugar cravings visit:
Is there a sweetener that is even worse than sugar?
Unfortunately, there is and its called fructose. It is the fructose in some sweeteners that makes them bad for your health.
Fructose is used in may ready meals and soft drinks.
This sweetener is capable of doing you a lot of metabolic damage.
Included in the long list of damage that fructose can do is:
- May lead to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (6)
- Lead to insulin resistance (7)
- Lead to leptin Resistance (8) which in turn can lead to obesity.
- Increase levels of uric acid leading to gout(9)
There have been numerous studies linking fructose to many chronic diseases.
Our advice is to avoid fructose whenever possible.
It’s worth remembering that high fructose corn syrup which, as the name suggests, is also to be avoided.
However, note that the frucose in fruit is not bad for you. This probably isn’t important to you,as most fruit is not allowed on the keto diet, but still good to know.
When following the keto diet, there are often times that you’d like to indulge your sweet tooth from time to time.
A cookie or cake recipe can be altered by changing the type of flour and using a sweetener instead of the usual sugar.
There is nothing wrong with doing this as long as you take care to choose your sweetener wisely.
Further, if you enjoy sweet drinks, sweeteners can make all the difference to your ability to stay on your keto path.
They can be a great addition to a healthy keto diet, and can make it possible to enjoy a greater range of foods too.
Simply remember to avoid the sweeteners mentioned, and avoid all fructose. Choose the healthy sweetener that suits your taste, and enjoy.
Click here for a review of the best sweeteners for keto