The Best Keto-Friendly Sweeteners
Don't you just miss the sweet flavor when you are making your favorite dessert or maybe just to add something sweet in your bulletproof coffee? Maybe just get some sweet taste in your double cream?
Almost all of us love sweet foods and an occasional dessert. But unfortunately, sugar and most sweets are among the very worst things to be consuming if you want to heal a chronic condition like rheumatoid arthritis.
There is a jungle out there to find the best sweeteners for your keto diet. But I hope I can give you some insights and tips in this article. Only remember when following a low carb, high fat (ketogenic) diet, it is important to use a natural sweetener that will not affect your blood sugar levels.
What to Look for In a Healthy Keto Sweetener
When looking for a healthy sweetener (for a ketogenic or any type of eating plan), there are several things to consider:
It should not contain chemicals and should be made of only unambiguous, natural, whole-food sourced ingredients.
It should have minimal or no impact on blood sugar and insulin levels.
It should have nutritional value and provide health benefits, including promoting the gut microbiome (the collection of bacteria that thrive in your intestines).
I will make this like an overview of all healthy artificial sweeteners you can eat on the keto diet.
Most people with very low net carbs limit should avoid anything other than zero carbs sweeteners, like Stevia, Monk fruit sweetener or Erythritol.
I do not recommend sugar alcohols such as xylitol or erythritol because they can disrupt the gut microbiome and lead to digestive distress such as gas and bloating.
● Stevia. Stevia is a herb, which is commonly known as "sugar leaf".
● Erythritol is naturally found in fruits, vegetables, and fermented products
● Monk Fruit sweetener
● Yacon Syrup
● Inulin based Sweeteners
What is Stevia? Well, it's a herb that is originally from South America. Stevia is natural and plant-based.
It is two components in stevia that are responsible for the sweetness: Stevioside and Rebaudioside.
Rebaudioside A is most often used in stevia powders and sweeteners, but it is not usually the only ingredient.
In fact, most stevia sweeteners on the market contain added erythritol from corn, dextrose, or other artificial sweeteners.
It is 100-300 sweeter than sugar and you can buy them in small flasks.
Stevia in keto. Usually, you will only need a couple of drops to sweeten your food.
I found it got a little bitter aftertaste that is not so great supposedly coming from stevioside which is only 10% in Stevia.
The benefits of using stevia as a sweetener are that it adds a modest nutrient boost to foods and has no impact on blood sugar levels
You can buy Stevia powder (natural green or refined/white), Stevia drops (NuNaturals and SweetLeaf), or Stevia glycerite (this one is only twice as sweet as sugar but with a more gooey consistency). A tip is to store the Stevia drops in the fridge.
The sugar alcohol Erythritol is naturally found in fruits, vegetables, and fermented foods. It is a sugar alcohol that does not affect blood glucose and has zero calories.
I find Erythritol mess up my stomach a little bit but that is not a big issue. Just because sugar alcohols aren’t really digested, a lot of folks find they cause gas, bloating, diarrhea, and other GI (gastrointestinal) problems. This is a well-known side effect.
But of all sugar alcohol studies have shown that erythritol has the least side effects of all sugar alcohols.
Xylitol is nonsugar alcohol It is a low-calorie sweetener. Personally, I think It got a bad aftertaste but not as bad as Erythritol. It is obtained from a variety of plants. It is a polyol. and it is banned from soda drinks in the EU because of its laxative effect.
More den 50 grams a day can cause problems with your stomach So try to stay Below that amount and you will be fine. I think it is one of the best sweeteners in a keto diet.
I use it myself because I think it's the best sweetener of all. There is no upper limit and it seems to have no harmful side effects on the body, but I think the best thing is not to overuse xylitol.
Monk fruit, also known as Luo Han Guo or longevity fruit, is a fruit that originated in China and northern Thailand. It's 300 times sweeter than sugar and has been used as a medicine in China for a long time the so-called traditional Chinese medicine.
I believe it was to treat obesity and diabetes. It doesn't come with that bitter aftertaste like Stevia so it can be a good substitute for sugar.
A good product should ideally contain only ingredients like monk fruit extract and inulin, you have to look out for some products that can contain dextrose and maltodextrin or artificial sweeteners and unnecessary additives. Like stevia, monk fruit has zero calories.
5. Yacon Syrup
Yacon syrup comes from the roots of a plant called smallanthus sonchifolius and has been used as a herbal medicine for centuries in South America.
It has been believed that this syrup has an improvement in the kidney and the digestive system. It also improves diabetes conditions. it has a dark color and looks a little bit like honey.
It is extracted from the plants' roots and has a very sweet taste. The yacon plant is found in the Andes mountains.
This sweetener is not that sweet and is often used in combination with other sweeteners. It is very good for diabetes patients and it is classified as a fiber because it passes through the digestive tract without being metabolized until it reaches the colon.
It is often used in the food industry to bulk up other products while keeping the calorie count low.
Inulin is also used to provide fiber in snacks and Health bars sometimes also added to some infant formula for health benefits. You should be aware that It's not sugar alcohol but it has got a laxative effect.
You should not consume more than 30 grams per day because it has a laxative effect. It is a fiber and this can have beneficial effects but it can also cause cramps in your stomach if it's consumed in excess.
Inulin is a natural product and you can find them in root vegetables. Most of the inulin is obtained by soaking chicory roots in hot water.
Tagatose is a sweetener because it's based on Properties like monosaccharides and especially hexose. You can find this sweetener in dairy products and it's very similar to table sugar.
It is very sweet but not as sweet as normal Sugar It's around 92% as sweet, but it only contains 38% of the calories. Because it metabolized differently from sugar It has a minimal effect on insulin levels and blood glucose.
It is a food additive that is produced from lactose, which they obtain from whey, and this from cows milk.
Mannitol is sugar alcohol they often used is in medication but it's also used as a sweetener when the user is in medication it is to lower the pressure in the eye, glaucoma.
It is also used as a sweetener for diabetes patients because it's poorly absorbed by the intestines. Mannitol is a carbohydrate made from fructose and hydrogen. It is poorly absorbed in the gut.
And it occurs naturally in mushrooms Marine algae, strawberries, celery, pumpkins, onions. Mannitol can also be produced from seaweeds. Prior to conversion to mannitol, fructose is converted to mannose and that is the reason for its name.
The Best Keto-Friendly Sweeteners For Baking
It is a one for one substitute for sugar, unlike straight stevia. It makes delicious keto baked goods, and it is found at Whole Foods, Walmart, or on Amazon. They produce a granulated version, powdered and brown sugar.
Lakanto is another version I really like; I say more than Swerve, but it can only be found online.
It is made with Monk fruit and a one for one substitute for sugar and comes in powdered, granular, and brown sugar varieties. I favor the taste of the Lakanto as it has a scarcer of a cooling effect. I believe it is the closest to sugar as you can get at the moment.
The two types of sweeteners that are healthiest to use in combination with the keto diet are stevia and monk fruit. But the tastiest for keto desserts are Swerve and Lakanto.