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Keto Sweeteners – What is the Best Sweetener 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?
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, pies, 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 kind 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 have an affect on your blood sugar and insulin that should be avoided while on a keto diet:
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 ~2.5kcals/g.
WHAT IS ISOMALT?
Isomalt is a mixture of 2 sugar alcohols. It is produced from sucrose. It has a glycemic index of 9. Isomalt can cause GI distress and possible diarrhea. Isomalt has ~2kcals/g.
WHAT IS LACTITOL?
Lactitol is a sugar alcohol that is ~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 or IBS. Xylitol is just about as sweet as table sugar. Xylitol has ~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 ~2.7kcals/g.
WHAT IS POLYGLYCITOL?
Polyglycitol is a sugar alcohol that is about 25-50% as sweet as sugar. Polyglycitol is a combination of maltitol and sorbitol. They have ~2.8kcals per gram.
These sugar alcohols should be avoided on a keto diet. Some of these may also cause some GI distress like bloat, cramping and diarrhea.
Natural Sweeteners that should be avoided (or used in extreme moderation) on a keto diet:
- Cane Sugar
- Sugar Beets
- Maple Syrup
- Coconut Sugar
- Date Sugar
- Brown Rice Syrup
- Barely Malt Syrup
KETO APPROVED SWEETENERS
Natural Sweeteners that have no/minimal affect on glucose:
- Stevia (has a bitter after taste at first)
- Allulose (may cause GI distress)
- Monkfruit (most sugar like sweetener in my opinion)
Sugar Alcohols that have no/minimal affect on blood sugar:
- Erythritol (may cause cooling effect, may cause GI distress)
- Truvia (Erythritol + Stevia) – also has brown sugar alternatives
- Swerve (Erythritol + oligosaccharides) – also has brown sugar alternatives
Artificial Sweeteners that have no affect on blood sugar:
- Sucralose (found in Splenda)
- Aspartame (found in Equal and NutraSweet)
- Saccharin (found in Sweet’N Low)
In a well-formulated keto diet, you would try to minimize the use of natural sugars, sugar alcohols and artificial sweeteners. Try to focus on eating nourishing whole foods.
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 2 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.
Do artificial sweeteners affect ketosis? Not all artificial sweeteners affect blood sugar and insulin levels. Please refer to 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! It allows 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!
I loved getting IG messages from people who bought our book saying how much they loved them! One person said they already made the almond kisses 4 times and it wasn’t even 2 weeks past Christmas!
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