This Guide to Keto Sweeteners explains some of the best sweeteners for a keto diet.
Sweeteners are a hot topic in the keto community. Many “diabetic” foods and sweets have artificial sweeteners in them that actually have an effect on your blood sugar and insulin! So the question is, what sweeteners can you use on a keto diet?
Transitioning to Keto Sweeteners
When first transitioning from a Standard America Diet (SAD) to a low carb or keto diet, one thing people miss most are baked goods. They’re like an American tradition.
At every birthday party you have either cake or cupcakes.
Bake sales are super common for fundraisers at schools and there you’ll find a plethora of brownies, cookies, cakes, and pies. Basically, everything that could potentially spike your glucose through the roof.
Go to grandma’s house and you’ll find a cookie jar full of 15 different kinds of cookies.
So, one way to make transitioning to a keto diet easier is finding low carb versions of your favorite baked goods. BUT to do that, you need to find what sugar substitutes and sugar replacements you can use on a keto diet.
Not all keto sweeteners are created equal!
The following are sugar alcohols that effect your blood sugar and insulin, and should be avoided while on a keto diet:
These sugar alcohols should be avoided on a keto diet. In addition to effecting blood sugar and insulin, some of these sugar alcohols may also cause some GI distress like bloating, cramping, and/or diarrhea.
What is Sorbitol?
Sorbitol is a sugar alcohol that is naturally found in fruits, but most of it is manufactured from corn syrup. It can also act as a laxative. Sorbitol is about 60% as sweet as table sugar (sucrose). Sorbitol has about 2.5kcals/g.
What is Isomalt?
Isomalt is a mixture of 2 sugar alcohols produced from sucrose. It has a glycemic index of 9. Isomalt can cause GI distress and possible diarrhea. Isomalt has about 2kcals/g.
What is Lactitol?
Lactitol is a sugar alcohol that is about 40% as sweet as sugar. It is composed of galactose and sorbitol. It can also act as a laxative.
What is Xylitol?
Xylitol is a sugar alcohol found in many fruits and vegetables. High intake of xylitol can cause GI distress, diarrhea, gas, and/or IBS. Xylitol is just about as sweet as table sugar. Xylitol has about 3kcals/g.
What is Maltitol?
Maltitol is a sugar alcohol that is naturally found in some fruits and vegetables. Maltitol is about 90% as sweet as sugar. Maltitol has about 2.7kcals/g.
What is Polyglycitol?
Polyglycitol is a sugar alcohol that is about 25 to 50% as sweet as sugar. Polyglycitol is a combination of maltitol and sorbitol. It has about 2.8kcals/g.
The following are natural sweeteners that should be avoided or used in moderation on a keto diet:
Keto Approved Sweeteners List
In a well-formulated keto diet, we try minimize the use of natural sugars, sugar alcohols, and artificial sweeteners. Try to focus on eating nourishing whole foods.
But with that being said, sometimes you just want something sweet! You can use keto sweeteners to make keto baked goods to help you stay on track, especially when you’re first transitioning to a ketogenic lifestyle.
Natural Sweeteners With No or Minimal Effect on Blood Sugar
Sugar Alcohols With No or Minimal Effect on Blood Sugar
- Erythritol (may have a cooling effect to some people; may cause GI distress)
- Truvia (Erythritol + Stevia) – also has brown sugar alternatives
- Swerve (Erythritol + Oligosaccharides) – also has brown sugar alternatives
Artificial Sweeteners With No or Minimal Effect on Blood Sugar
- Sucralose (found in Splenda)
- Aspartame (found in Equal and NutraSweet)
- Saccharin (found in Sweet’N Low)
Keto Sweeteners FAQs
Is Polyglycitol Keto?
No, it causes a glucose and insulin response.
Is Splenda Keto?
Splenda is a combination of sucralose, dextrose, and maltodextrin. Since Splenda is made up of two different sugars, it is not ideal for a keto diet.
Is Sucralose Keto Friendly?
Sucralose does not seem to have an impact on glucose, but there are better sugar alternatives for a keto diet.
Is Coconut Sugar Keto Friendly?
No, coconut sugar causes a glucose and insulin response.
Can You Have Maple Syrup on a Keto Diet?
Maple syrup causes a glucose and insulin response so it is not ideal for a ketogenic diet.
However, we love Lakanto maple-flavored syrup!
Do Artificial Sweeteners Effect Ketosis?
Not all artificial sweeteners effect blood sugar and insulin levels. Please refer above to determine which artificial sweeteners are okay on a keto diet.
Is Allulose Keto?
Yes. Allulose does not seem to have an affect on glucose or insulin levels.
Can You Have Honey on a Keto Diet?
Honey causes a rise in glucose and insulin levels so it is not ideal for a keto diet.
What Are Keto Approved Sweeteners?
Keto sweeteners that do not cause a rise in glucose or insulin levels are allulose, erythritol, stevia, and monk fruit.
Is Stevia Good for Keto?
Liquid stevia extract does not cause a spike in glucose so it is very popular on a keto diet.
Should I Use Sugar Substitutes?
Sugar substitutes are a great way to help you transition to a keto diet! They allow you to make many awesome recipes to replace the ones you use to love like our keto chocolate chip cookies.
Sugar substitutes also come in handy around the holidays when you want to make something sweet to put out for Santa come Christmas time! Grab our Holiday Baking: Christmas Cookies and More recipe ebook, and try some of the recipes for yourself!
We love getting messages from people who bought our book saying how much they love our recipes. One person messaged us on Instagram and said they already made our Almond Butter Chocolate Kiss Cookies four times and it wasn’t even two weeks past Christmas!