Is Lactitol Keto Friendly? Facts, Benefits, Side Effects, Alternatives

Keto products make life so easier when you crave something sweet, but what happens when they’re sweetened with Lactitol?

If you are interested in knowing what Lactitol is and whether or not it is suitable for the keto diet, let me tell you you came to the right place!

What Is Lactitol?

Lactitol is a member of the family of bulk sweeteners known as polyols – sugar alcohols.

It was first discovered in the 1920s, but it wasn’t used in foods until the 1980s as a low-calorie sweetener.

Lactitol is a white, non-hygroscopic crystalline powder available in either monohydrate or anhydrous form. But there is a dihydrate form that also exists [*].

Lactitol is practically not absorbed in the intestine and is a low-calorie food product (2.4 cal / g). The sweetness of lactitol is about 40% of the sweetness of sugar [*].

Due to its stability, solubility, low calorie value, and taste similar to sucrose, lactitol can be used in a variety of low-calorie, low-fat and/or sugar-free foods such as:

  • Chocolate
  • Ice cream
  • Baked goods
  • Hard and soft candies
  • Chewing gums
  • Sugar substitutes

Lactitol’s mild sweetness also makes it suitable for mixing with other low-calorie sweeteners that are hundreds of times sweeter than sucrose.

Properties

Indicator Standard values
Color colorless or white
Structure lactitol, consisting of residues of galactose and fructose, impurities: lactose. Empirical formula C 12 H 24 O 11
Appearance granules, crystalline powder, solution
Smell without smell
Taste sweetish, with a cooling effect
Main substance content not less than 95%
Solubility well in water, 45º alcohol. Poor at 96º alcohol
Density of matter do not define
Others has low hygroscopicity; resistant to hydrolysis; heat-resistant, crystal melting point 146 ° C; chemically inert; stable in acidic and alkaline environments; easily pressed. Sweetness coefficient 0.4; calorie content 2.4 cal / g

Lactitol Safety and Health

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classifies sugar alcohols as “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS).

Lactitol, erythritol, sorbitol, xylitol, mannitol, and maltitol are all sugar alcohols.

The safety of lactitol as a food additive has also been confirmed by numerous studies in animals and humans.

Alcoholic sugars are considered safe for most people when consumed in moderation.
However, if taken in excessive amounts, some sugar alcohols (such as lactitol) can cause digestive discomfort and can have a laxative effect.

Lactitol Benefits and Side Effects

Sweet and clean taste. Lactitol has a sweet clean taste similar to regular sugar but without an aftertaste.
The relative sweetness of lactitol increases with the increase in its concentration in the food. 

Low in calories. Lactitol is metabolized in the large intestine and produces approximately 2 calories per gram compared to sugar which contributes to 4 kcal/g.

Improving gut health. Lactitol is fermented in the colon and consequently has beneficial effects on the Colonic Microflora.

A reduction in the pH of the colon, along with an increase in probiotic bacteria and a significant reduction in potential pathogens emphasizes the beneficial effects of Lactitol. In essence, lactitol functions as a Prebiotic.

Does not contribute to tooth decay. Lactitol is not metabolized by oral bacteria that break down sugars and starches to release acids that may lead to tooth decay or erosion.

Lactitol is useful for producing high-quality, low-calorie foods. Due to its qualities as a bulk sweetener.

Lactitol has a similar solubility as glucose, it does not absorb moisture in products – rather, it remains stable under acid and alkaline conditions, as well as at elevated temperatures (during food processing).
It also extends the shelf life of biscuits and chewing gum.

Lactiol’s mild sweetness also makes it ideal for use in conjunction with other low-calorie sweeteners such as:

  • Acesulfame K
  • Aspartame
  • Saccharin 
  • Sucralose
  • As well as other polyols such as (sorbitol and xylitol).

Useful for diabetics. Lactitol is a sweetener that has a low glycemic index and is very good for you as it will not increase your blood sugar or insulin levels.

Controlling blood glucose, fat and weight are the three main goals of diabetes management.

So if you are looking for diabetic-friendly sweeteners to replace sugar, you can use lactitol.

Possible side effects:

  • Digestive system: flatulence, abdominal discomfort.
  • Metabolism: electrolyte imbalance during long-term treatment with high doses of hepatic encephalopathy.
  • Allergic reactions.

After learning about the health benefits and side effects of Lactitol. Let’s find out if lactitol sweetener is keto friendly.

Is Lactitol Keto Friendly?

Before answering whether or not lactitol sweetener is keto friendly. First, let’s get to know the basics of the keto diet.

The keto diet is high in fat, medium in protein, and very low in carbohydrates. Your nutrient intake should be around 70% fat, 25% protein, and 5% carbohydrates to stay in ketosis.

What is ketosis? Ketosis is a process that occurs when your body does not have enough carbohydrates to burn for energy. In this case, your body begins to search for a new source to gain energy by burning the fats stored in the body.

Now let’s know if lactitol is keto or not? In short – lactitol is not keto friendly as it is high in carbohydrates. Moreover, this sugar alcohol can kick you out of ketosis even if you consume it in small amounts.

Lactitol should be avoided on the keto diet because it is very high in net carbs (50 grams of net carbs per 100 grams).

It is important to keep in mind that limiting net carbs on the ketogenic diet is between 20 and 30 grams per day to stay in ketosis.

What Are The Best Alternatives To Lactitol on Keto?

* Finally

As an alternative to Lactitol on the keto diet, you can use other natural keto-friendly sweeteners such as stevia, monk fruit, and erythritol.

Monk fruit

Monk fruit extract is attractive because it is 250 times sweeter than sugar but low in calories. Compounds, including the antioxidants mogrosides, create a sweet taste without sugars. Mogrosides are metabolized differently from simple sugars and are not absorbed during digestion.

Monk extract is a concentrated natural sweetener containing these compounds. It is low in calories or completely no calories (depending on how it is processed).

Advantages:

  1. Monk fruit tastes better, with a less bitter aftertaste, compared to stevia.
  2. Monk fruit is often blended with stevia to reduce cost and to drown out the specific aftertaste of stevia.
  3. The monks’ fruit is blended with erythritol to reduce cost and expand its culinary uses.
  4. Eating monk fruit does not cause indigestion.

Disadvantages:

  1. Monks’ fruit is expensive.
  2. It is often blended with other fillers such as inulin, prebiotic fiber, and other undeclared ingredients.
  3. Be careful with products labeled “proprietary blend” as they may contain small amounts of active mogrosides.

Monk fruit is a great substitute for lactitol that many keto dieters prefer.

Stevia

Stevia or honey herb comes from the Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni plant, native to South America, where it has been used for several hundred years. The stevia glycosides extracted from the plant are responsible for its sweet taste.

Advantages:

  1. Stevia does not contain carbohydrates and calories, does not raise blood sugar levels.
  2. Stevia is safe and non-toxic.

Disadvantages:

  1. Stevia has a licorice flavor and characteristic aftertaste when used in moderate to large amounts.
  2. Finally, consuming stevia in large amounts can boost insulin production by increasing fat storage.

* Sweetness: Stevia is 200 to 350 times sweeter than sugar.

Stevia is a great substitute for lactitol that many keto dieters prefer.

Erythritol

Erythritol is a sugar alcohol. It is partially digested and absorbed by the human body. It is found naturally in such plants as grapes, melons, in mushrooms in small quantities. Fermented corn or corn starch is commonly used as a commercial sweetener.

Advantages:

  1. Virtually calorie and carbohydrate-free. After assimilation, it passes into the urine, unprocessed. 
  2. Compared to other sweeteners on the keto diet, it may be beneficial in preventing plaque and tooth decay. 

Disadvantages:

  1. Erythritol leaves a noticeable cooling sensation on the tongue, especially when used in large quantities.
  2. Although consuming erythritol on a keto diet causes fewer digestive problems than most sugar alcohols, some people complain of bloating, gas and diarrhea after consuming erythritol on a keto diet.
  3. The absorption of erythritol and its excretion through the kidneys can hurt the health and functioning of the body as a whole.

* Sweetness: 70% as sweet as sugar.

Erythritol is a great substitute for lactitol that many keto dieters prefer.

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