On a ketogenic diet, high-carbohydrate foods such as starches, desserts and processed snacks should be limited.
This is important to achieve a metabolic state called ketosis, which causes the body to start breaking down fat stores instead of carbohydrates for energy.
Ketosis also requires limiting sugar intake, which can make it difficult to sweeten drinks, baked goods, sauces and dressings.
Fortunately, there are several low-carbohydrate sweeteners that can be used.
Here are the 5 best sweeteners for a low-carb keto diet
Stevia is a natural sweetener extracted from the Stevia rebaudiana plant.
It is considered a non-nutritive sweetener, meaning it contains few or no calories and carbohydrates (1Trusted Source).
Unlike regular sugar, animal and human studies have shown that stevia can help lower blood sugar levels (2Trusted Source, 3Trusted Source).
Stevia is available in both liquid and powdered form and can be used to sweeten everything from drinks to desserts.
However, because it is much sweeter than regular sugar, you need less stevia to get the same taste.
For every cup (200 grams) of sugar, 1 teaspoon (4 grams) of stevia powder is enough.
sweetener derived from the Stevia rebaudiana plant, which has few or no calories or carbohydrates.
for the lack of calories and carbohydrates.
Sucralose is an artificial sweetener that is not metabolised, meaning it passes through the body undigested and therefore provides no calories or carbohydrates (4Trusted Source).
Splenda is the most common sucralose-based sweetener on the market and is very popular because it does not have the bitter taste found in many other artificial sweeteners (5Trusted Source).
Although sucralose itself contains no calories, Splenda contains maltodextrin and dextrose, two carbohydrates that provide about 3 calories and 1 gram of carbohydrate per packet (6Trusted Source).
Unlike other sweeteners, sucralose is not a suitable sugar substitute in recipes that require baking.
Some studies have shown that sucralose can form harmful compounds at high temperatures (7Trusted Source, 8).
Instead, use sucralose to sweeten drinks or foods such as oatmeal and low-carbohydrate yogurt, and use other sweeteners for baking.
Splenda can be used in most recipes instead of sugar in a 1:1 ratio.
However, pure sucralose is 600 times sweeter than regular sugar, so just use a small amount instead of sugar in your favourite dishes (9Trusted Source).
Erythritol is a type of sugar alcohol – a class of naturally occurring compounds that stimulate sweet taste receptors on the tongue to mimic the taste of sugar.
Erythritol is up to 80% as sweet as regular sugar, but contains only 5% calories – just 0.2 calories per gram (10Trusted Source).
Although erythritol contains 4 grams of carbohydrates per teaspoon (4 grams), studies show that it can help lower blood sugar levels (11Trusted Source, 12Trusted Source, 13Trusted Source).
Also, due to its lower molecular weight, it does not cause the digestive problems associated with other types of sugar alcohols (14Trusted Source).
Erythritol is used for both baking and cooking, and can replace sugar in many recipes.
Keep in mind that erythritol has a rather cool taste in the mouth and doesn’t dissolve as well as sugar, which can cause dishes to have a slightly grainy texture.
For best results, substitute about 1 1/3 cups (267 grams) of erythritol for every cup (200 grams) of sugar.
Summary Erythritol is a type of sugar alcohol that is 80% as sweet as regular sugar and only 5%
calories. Studies show that the carbohydrates in erythritol do not raise blood sugar levels
like regular sugar.
Xylitol is another sugar alcohol that is often found in products such as sugar-free chewing gum, candy and mints.
It is just as sweet as sugar, but contains only 3 calories per gram and 4 grams of carbohydrates per teaspoon (4 grams) (4Trusted Source).
However, like other sugar alcohols, the carbohydrates in xylitol are not counted as net carbohydrates because they do not raise blood sugar and insulin levels to the same extent as sugar.
5. Monk fruit sweetener
Monk fruit sweetener, as its name suggests, is a natural sweetener derived from the monk fruit, which is native to southern China.
It contains natural sugars and compounds called mogrosides, which are antioxidants that make up a large part of the fruit’s sweetness (17Reliable Source).
Depending on the concentration of mogrosides, monk fruit sweetener can be 100 to 250 times sweeter than regular sugar (18Trusted Source).
Monk fruit extract contains no calories or carbohydrates, making it an excellent choice for a ketogenic diet.
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