Some people find it difficult to reduce sugar intake on the keto diet.
But don’t worry there are many keto-friendly sweeteners you can eat while following this diet.
On the keto diet, you should refrain from eating foods that contain large amounts of carbohydrates, starches, sweets, and processed snacks.
This is necessary to reach a metabolic state called ketosis, which leads to the initiation of fat burning in the body instead of carbohydrates for energy production.
So what are keto-friendly sweeteners? You’ll get the answer through this article where you’ll learn about the 5 best keto-friendly sweeteners that you can eat when following a low-carb diet in general or when following a keto diet in particular, along with 5 other sweeteners that you should avoid.
The 5 best keto-friendly sweeteners for a low-carb diet
* The top 3 keto-friendly sweeteners come first
1. Stevia – is best keto-friendly sweeteners
Stevia is a natural sweetener that comes from the Stevia rebaudiana plant.
It contains almost zero to few calories and carbohydrates, unlike regular sugar.
Some studies in animals and humans have also shown that stevia may help lower blood sugar levels.
Stevia is available in powder and liquid form. It is a suitable substitute for sugar that you can use to sweeten drinks and make keto-friendly desserts.
You will notice that stevia sugar is less than regular sugar in different recipes, and yet it achieves the same flavour because it is sweeter than regular sugar.
For every cup (200 grams) of sugar, you can substitute only 1 teaspoon (4 grams) of stevia powder.
Stevia’s sweetness: About 200-350 times sweeter than table sugar.
* Benefits of using stevia – keto-friendly sweeteners
Stevia is a natural sweetener free of calories, as it helps in losing weight while fully enjoying the local taste of foods and drinks, and does not affect the level of glucose in the blood, and it is useful in cases of patients with diabetes.
* Side effects of using stevia – keto-friendly sweeteners
Stevia is a safe substitute for sugar, but it should be noted that some studies have warned against its frequent use because it can affect the kidneys, the reproductive system and the heart, and it may cause some problems with digestion such as bloating and diarrhoea.
It can also cause low blood pressure, so it must be taken carefully with blood-sugar-lowering medications.
2. Erythritol – is keto-friendly sweeteners
Erythritol is found naturally in fruits, vegetables, and fermented foods. It is an alcoholic sugar that does not affect blood glucose and does not contain calories.
Erythritol is among the best keto-friendly sweeteners that can replace sugar in a variety of recipes.
The sweetness of erythritol: About 80% the same as regular sugar.
* Benefits of using erythritol – keto-friendly sweeteners
Regardless of its low calorie and carbohydrate content, it is safe to use for diabetics, as it does not affect blood sugar or insulin levels. It also promotes dental health and aids in weight loss.
* Side effects of using erythritol – keto-friendly sweeteners
Taking erythritol sugar, although it is considered very safe, does not mean that it does not have some negative effects, as it can cause some digestive health problems. Also, it may cause bloating, gas and diarrhoea in some people.
3. Monk fruit
Monk fruit is a natural sweetener free of calories. Also known as Luo Han Guo, it is a small, round fruit that grows in Southeast Asia.
Monk fruit, a popular Chinese fruit, contains a high percentage of antioxidants called mogrosides, whose sweetness is 100 to 250 times that of table sugar.
* Benefits of using Monk fruit – keto-friendly sweeteners
Among the most prominent health benefits of monk fruit, we mention the following:
- Safe for diabetes.
- It does not affect insulin levels or blood sugar.
- A good choice for people who are on a weight loss diet
- It does not adversely affect the digestive system.
- It tastes very sweet, so be careful not to use it in large quantities.
* Side effects of using Monk fruit – keto-friendly sweeteners
Monk fruit sweetener is expensive. Because this fruit is difficult to grow and expensive to import.
We recommend: Check the ingredient label when purchasing monk fruit sweeteners, as monk fruit extract is sometimes mixed with sugar, molasses, or other sweeteners that can alter the total calorie and carbohydrate content.
Sucralose is an artificial sweetener that is not metabolized, which means that it passes through the body undigested and thus does not provide calories or carbohydrates.
Splenda is the most popular type of sweetener based on sucralose found in the market, the reason for its great popularity because it does not contain the bitter taste found in many other artificial sweeteners.
Unlike other known sweeteners, sucralose is not a suitable substitute for sugar in recipes that require baking.
Because some studies have found that sucralose can produce harmful compounds when exposed to high temperatures.
Pure sucralose is 600 times sweeter than regular sugar, so you will need to use only a small amount to sweeten your favourite foods.
Its sweet taste does not turn into a bitter taste like other sweeteners, plus you can get it cheaply.
You can learn more about: The 3 reasons to avoid using sucralose on keto
Xylitol is another type of sugar alcohol that is commonly found in some products like; Sugar-free gum, candy, and mint.
It is sweet like sugar, but it contains fewer calories.
It does not raise blood sugar or insulin levels to the extent that sugar does.
Xylitol can be added to various tea, coffee and juices, to enjoy a sweet flavour and low in carbohydrates.
Please note that xylitol has been linked to digestive problems when used in high doses, so reduce your intake if you notice any adverse effects.
Sweeteners To Avoid On Keto
Here are some non-keto friendly sweeteners that are high in carbohydrates, which can increase blood sugar levels and knock you out of ketosis.
1. Maltodextrin – non-keto-friendly sweeteners
This highly processed sweetener is produced from starchy plants like rice, corn or wheat, and contains the same amount of calories and carbohydrates as it does regular sugar.
2. Honey – non-keto-friendly sweeteners
3. Coconut sugar
Made from coconut palm juice, coconut sugar is absorbed more slowly than regular sugar. However, it is also high in fructose, which can contribute to poor blood sugar control.
4. Maple syrup
Each serving of maple syrup contains a good amount of micronutrients like manganese and zinc, but it is also high in sugar and carbohydrates.
This dried fruit is often used to naturally sweeten desserts. Although they provide a small amount of fiber, vitamins and minerals, dates also contain a large amount of carbohydrates.
Final recommendations: The best keto-friendly sweeteners
Following the keto diet involves limiting your carbohydrate intake and reducing your sugar intake to achieve ketosis.
This may seem a bit difficult for some people who follow the keto diet, but as we mentioned earlier, there are many keto-friendly sweeteners you can rely on to stay on a low-carb diet.
But keto-friendly sweeteners should be used in moderation because excessive consumption of them can impede your progress on keto and may have dangerous side effects, so be careful.