In this article I would like to go over what safe keto sugar substitutes are the best to use living the keto lifestyle. First of all I need to say its best just to avoid sugar and substitutes all together but if you just can’t but still want to live a ketogenic life I will give you the best sugar substitutes to use. These safe Keto sugar substitutes rate either zero on the glycemic index or are the lowest you can get.
While doing the research for the best sweeteners to use I learned a lot myself. I am a frequent user of Stevia which is not a bad choice but I learned that if can trigger an insulin response from a rise in glucose/blood sugar levels. This is some new research that has been done because up until now its was thought to have no effect glucose levels. I will tell you more about how Stevia can cause a rise in glucose levels when I break down my top picks for safe Keto sugar substitutes.
Top 4 Keto Sugar substitutes
# 1. Monk fruit – Not only is monk fruit keto friendly in that it will not raise your blood sugar levels, but it also has antioxidants in it as it is derived from a melon found in China and Thailand. This super fruit has been used for herbal remedies for centuries but just recently getting the attention it deserves in the United States.
Monk fruit extract has a glycemic index of zero which means it will not raise your blood sugar, has little to no calories in its pure powdered form and has a bonus has had no ill side effects or nasty after-taste. Because it contains anti oxidants it supports the immune system, digestive tract and also aids in reducing inflammation. That is why monk fruit extract is my number one choice for a keto safe sugar substitute.
# 2. Erythritol – Is a plant based sugar alcohol and made by fermenting the natural sugars found in corn. This substitute also has a glycemic index of zero, so it should not kick you out of ketosis as it does not raise your glucose levels. 90% of erythritol is absorbed before it ever reaches your bowels, this helps to prevent bloating. This sugar alcohol became commercialized in Japan sometime after 1990. Unlike other sugar alcohols such as xylitol and maltitol this one does not have a laxative effect. Although large amounts which is NOT recommended for any sweetener can cause nausea and rumbling of your tummy.
# 3. Glycerol/Glycerine – Is a natural occurring sugar alcohol derived from animal fats so might not be the best choice for those vegetarians out there. This is one I had never really heard much of until I did my research today, I guess I know the song Glycerin by the band called Bush but that was as far as my knowledge of it went until today. It has 4 calories per gram but it only has 40% of the sweetness that sugar has, so it doesn’t excite that part of your brain that will tell you to crave more sweet taste later on. This one has a glycemic index of zero as well so there’s not trigger in insulin. Like it is suggested with most anything in life do not over do it as this one can have a laxative effect in some people if you consume over 50 grams per day.
This substitute is more commonly used as an ingredient in foods marketed for diabetics and us carb junkies alike.
# 4. Stevia – Before my research today this one would have made number one but for reasons I will explain it made number four on my list. In any form but liquid it can raise your blood sugar because in powdered forms it has malto dextrin or dextrin present. Malto dextrin has double the glycemic index as regular table sugar.
Stevia is 300 times sweeter tasting than sugar so some say it might trigger that part of your brain that will tell you it wants more at a later date. Stevia comes from a plant in the chrysanthemum family and has been used in Japan since the 1970’s. Many stevia products such as “Stevia in the Raw” for example actually doesn’t have a lot of the stevia extract in them so be careful to read the ingredients. If dextrose or malto dextrin is in this list it will raise your blood sugar and result in an insulin response.
Sucrose & Sucralose
One last thing I want to add in here to clear up some confusion is the difference between sucrose and sucralose as this was one that had me scratching my head too.
Sucrose is a naturally occurring SUGAR, we know it as “table sugar”.
Sucralose or “splenda” as you may know it as is an artificial sweetener produced in a laboratory. The reason sucralose/splenda did not make it on my top choice list for safe keto sugar substitutes is because I’m going for the most natural, non-toxic choices for moderate use on a ketogenic “diet”. Not saying I don’t use it and it does not cause a spike in blood sugar but if you’re like me, you probably try to stay as healthy as possible in the choices we make.
Again I can’t stress enough, everything in moderation and its best to practice abstinence so to speak against sugar and even sugar substitutes if you can. I know at first its very hard to go cold turkey and if you need that sweet taste once in a while I would stick to these four keto safe sugar substitutes.
Thank you for reading and as always I love to read your comments below. I also have some meal ideas, snacks and even sweet’s recipe’s at the very bottom of my page. Let me know if you’re looking for anything in particular and I will do my best to accommodate you.
Be well and Keto on.