The keto diet has been gaining popularity in recent years due to its numerous health benefits. It’s a low-carb, high-fat diet that has been proven effective in weight loss, reducing blood sugar levels, and improving overall health. However, one of the most significant challenges of the Keto diet is the restriction on sugar intake.
Sugar can be found everywhere, making it difficult to avoid. But worry not. In this blog post, we’ll be discussing the kinds of sugar that are allowed on a keto diet.
Sugar and keto diet
Most people who start a keto diet plan find that they initially have strong sugar cravings. Even seasoned dietitians will tell you they almost indulge in a sweet temptation now and then.
Here’s where the keto-friendly sweeteners show their value and uses! They offer you a way to satisfy your sweet tooth without kicking you out of ketosis or delaying fat loss.
This sugar is allowed on keto
The first type of sugar allowed on a keto diet is natural sugar. Natural sugars are derived from fruits and vegetables. These sugars are generally safe to consume as they provide essential nutrients that the body needs to function properly.
Examples of natural sugars include fructose, found in fruit, and lactose, found in dairy products such as milk and cheese. However, it’s best to consume natural sugars in moderation as they can still raise blood sugar levels and hinder weight loss progress.
Another sugar allowed on keto
The second type of sugar allowed in keto is artificial sweeteners. Artificial sweeteners are synthetic compounds that provide a sweet taste without the calories found in sugar.
These sweeteners are typically lower in carbohydrates than natural sugar, making them an excellent option for those on a Keto diet.
The most common artificial sweeteners used in keto diets include stevia, erythritol, and xylitol. However, like natural sugar, it’s necessary to consume artificial sweeteners in moderation.
Keto sweeteners: How to choose
As with most “low carb” products, you have to be careful with the ingredients of the sweeteners you use. Even if it says “carb-free” or “sugar-free,” it can still contain enough calories to slow the progression of your keto diet. (That’s why we must consider all net carbs when tracking our nutritional values).
That being said, there are several keto-friendly sweeteners that provide you with full sweetness without calories and carbs.
The sweeteners you can use on a ketogenic diet fall into one of two categories, natural or artificial sweeteners.
Yet another sugar allowed on keto
The third type of sweetener allowed in a keto diet is sugar alcohols. Sugar alcohols are low-carb sweeteners often used instead of sugar. The body does not entirely absorb them, so they do not significantly affect glucose levels. Examples of sugar alcohols include maltitol, sorbitol, and isomalt.
However, as with any other kind of sugar, it’s important to consume sugar alcohols in moderation, as consuming large amounts can cause digestive issues such as bloating.
Best keto sweeteners in detail
The best natural sweeteners for a ketogenic diet are stevia, erythritol, and monk fruit. Honey and maple syrup, although they are natural and have a lower glycemic index than sugar, are best avoided as they are quite high in carbohydrates and raise blood sugar.
These three are the best choices for keto sugar replacements:
One of the most popular sweeteners, stevia is derived from a plant called Stevia rebaudiana and is between 100 and 300 times sweeter than sugar (the exact number is debatable). This means it’s very sweet – if you use pure stevia extract, you only need a tiny amount to sweeten your coffee or dessert. Start with less and add more as needed.
Its active ingredients are called steviol glycosides and are responsible for the sweetness of stevia. They are heat and pH stable, which means you can use them in baking or to sweeten your coffee or tea.
Stevia contains no carbohydrates, no calories and has a glycemic index of 0, which means it does not raise blood sugar. This makes it an ideal sweetener for a very low-carb diet, like keto.
Stevia is sold in both powder and liquid forms. When you buy stevia, always check the label to ensure you’re buying the pure extract and that it hasn’t been mixed with another sweetener.
In higher concentrations, stevia can have a slightly bitter aftertaste that is uncomfortable for some people. To avoid this, you can simply mix stevia with another sweetener, such as erythritol (more on that below).
Erythritol is a naturally occurring sugar alcohol and is widely used as a sugar substitute. It comes in granulated and powdered form.
Unlike stevia, it’s less sweet than sugar, gram for gram, yet contains only 6% of the calories of sugar and has a very low glycemic index of just 1.
You can use erythritol in keto desserts, and it’s a good sugar substitute because it has the bulk and consistency of sugar. However, you should be aware that it has a slight cooling effect that may be uncomfortable for some.
To compensate, you can mix it with another sweetener. As already mentioned, stevia and erythritol make a very good combination.
A word of caution about sugar alcohols
Sugar alcohols are known to cause digestive problems in large amounts. However, erythritol is much better tolerated by most people.
If you are particularly sensitive to other sugar alcohols, such as maltitol, you should start with a lower dose of erythritol to ensure it does not adversely affect you.
Other sugar alcohols like maltitol and xylitol have a higher glycemic index than erythritol and can cause significant stomach upset in some people, so they’re not optimal.
Monk fruit powder
Monk fruit is found in China and northern Thailand, and its powdered extract is another keto-friendly natural sugar replacement you can use. The extract is 300 to 400 times sweeter than sugar, has no calories and does not raise blood sugar. Like stevia, it is heat stable and can be used in hot drinks or baking.
Be careful when buying monk fruit powder. Make sure to check the label for additives, as dextrose is often added to monk fruit-based sweeteners, making the end product less than ideal for keto.
Monk fruit is safe to use, and no negative side effects have been documented to date. Some people might find the taste a bit too fruity. For bulk and convenience in cooking, especially baking, monk fruit can be offered in pure form or as a blend of monk fruit and erythritol.
A word of caution about sugars allowed on keto
It’s important to note that while these types of sugars are allowed in a Keto diet, limiting their consumption is still necessary. Many people make the mistake of swapping sugar for other forms of sweeteners and consuming too many, which can hinder their progress.
Consuming no more than 50g of carbohydrates per day on a Keto diet is recommended, meaning a little goes a long way.
What about artificial sweeteners on keto?
Artificial sweeteners are controversial, but that’s also why they’re very well studied. The most popular are sucralose, aspartame, and saccharin. People react to them differently, and they can induce cravings in some, so you should use them cautiously and be aware of possible side effects. For best results, we do not recommend using artificial sweeteners at all.
Sucralose is 300 to 1000 times sweeter than sugar and is not processed by the human body, meaning most of it passes through the digestive tract unchanged, while the rest is excreted in the urine. Sucralose is commonly used in sugar free/ zero calorie beverages and in many foods and is considered safe for human consumption.
Splenda is the most widely used sucralose-based sweetener, but it also contains dextrose and maltodextrin, meaning it’s not carbohydrate and calorie-free.
If you decide to use sucralose, you should look for products that do not contain dextrose or maltodextrin.
Aspartame is one of the most controversial food additives on the market, making it one of the most studied sweeteners. It is used in diet soda, gummies, yogurt, sugar-free candies, and many other foods and beverages.
Saccharin is another artificial sweetener widely used in the food industry, particularly for zero-calorie soft drinks, and was first used more than a century ago. It has 0 calories and is 300 to 400 times sweeter than sugar, so you only need a very small amount of each.
It is often sold as tiny single-dose tablets (used to sweeten coffee, for example), but is often mixed with other sweeteners because of its bitter aftertaste. Be sure to check the label for other ingredients before purchasing.
If you need sugar substitutes for your low-carb and ketogenic lifestyle, your best bets are stevia, erythritol, and monk fruit powder.
Conclusion: What sugars are allowed on keto?
In conclusion, the keto diet restricts sugar consumption, but alternatives can still be enjoyed in moderation. Natural sugars, artificial sweeteners, and sugar alcohols are all allowed in the keto diet, but limiting their intake is necessary to ensure the best results.
It’s always a good idea to choose natural sweeteners where possible and check labels when purchasing artificial sweeteners and sugar alcohols to ensure they fit within your daily intake allowance.
By making smart choices when it comes to sweeteners, it’s possible to stay within the guidelines of the keto diet and still enjoy a variety of foods that satisfy your sweet tooth.
What sugar can you eat on keto?
Are you looking for a sweet treat while on the keto diet but unsure of what types of sugar are allowed? Fear not! There are some options available that won’t throw you out of ketosis. Stevia and monk fruit sweeteners are great alternatives that won’t spike your blood sugar levels.
Erythritol and xylitol are also popular choices, but be sure to use them in moderation, as consuming too much can cause gastrointestinal distress. So go ahead, and satisfy your sweet tooth without sacrificing your progress on the keto diet!
Can you have any real sugar on keto?
Are you a sugar lover and wondering if you can still enjoy your favorite sweet treats on a keto diet? Well, the good news is that you can still have some real sugar, but in limited amounts. While a low-carb, high-fat diet like keto restricts carbs, it doesn’t necessarily mean cutting out sugar completely.
In fact, some natural sweeteners like stevia, erythritol, and monk fruit are also keto-approved alternatives that won’t break your diet. However, consuming too much sugar can spike your blood sugar levels, knock you out of ketosis, and impede your weight loss journey.
So, make sure to watch your sugar intake and stick to small portions of real sugar or keto-friendly alternatives. Remember, moderation is key when it comes to indulging in sweet treats on a keto diet!
Can you have any sugar and stay in ketosis?
So, you’re on a keto diet and wondering if you can indulge in sugary treats without breaking your ketosis? Well, the short answer is no, you can’t. Ketosis is a metabolic state that occurs when your body burns fat instead of carbs for energy. Consuming sugar will spike your blood glucose levels, prompting your body to produce insulin, which stops fat burning and kicks you out of ketosis.
However, this doesn’t mean you need to eliminate sweetness from your life completely. There are plenty of keto-friendly sweeteners out there, such as stevia, erythritol, and monk fruit, that you can use in moderation to satiate your sweet tooth without sabotaging your hard-earned progress.
So, why not experiment with some sweet substitutes and see how you like them? Who knows, you might just find a new favorite sugar-free treat!