The ketogenic diet requires people to severely cut back on sugars, starches, processed foods, and high-carb foods. Continuing to eat these foods will kick the body out of ketosis, and your quest to lose weight will remain difficult. It can be confusing to navigate the right path that will keep your body in ketosis, especially when it comes to sweeteners, which should still be used in moderation. There are, however, sweeteners that are extremely low in net carbs and calories.
The Role Of Sweeteners On Keto
The most important thing to remember about sweeteners, in relation to the keto diet, is to always use them sparingly. You aren’t about to load up on stevia just because it is on the keto-approved sweetener list. Sweeteners can easily raise blood sugar and kick the body out of ketosis, but a little monk fruit in your fat bomb coffee recipe will be just fine.
A Quick Guide To Sweeteners
When it comes to the sweeteners (the few that you can have) that you put into your body on the keto diet, it is integral to educate yourself on their various forms. The three big types of sweeteners to be aware of are broken down below.
As the name suggests, artificial sweeteners are synthesized and do not originate in natural sources. Originally used to sweeten foods and beverages without adding calories, artificial sweeteners like aspartame, saccharin, and sucralose are not healthy for the body, and they can increase your risk of metabolic syndrome. Even though these are actually marketed to people on the keto diet, we recommend avoiding them for an overall healthier body.
Derived from sugar, sugar alcohols typically contain half the amount of calories as white sugar. They are comprised of sugar and alcohol molecules, and they act like dietary fiber. The most common types of sugar alcohols include glycerol, maltitol, erythritol, and sorbitol/glucitol.
Unlike artificial sweeteners, natural sweeteners are derived from natural plant sources. The most popular natural sweeteners include raw honey, monk fruit, grade A 100% maple syrup, coconut sugar, and stevia. Not all of these sugars are low in carbohydrates, meaning that only a select few are keto-friendly.
One last thing to remember is that one must aim to only consume 20-30 grams of net carbs per day to remain in ketosis. You can keep your net carb intake down by eating high fiber foods like non-starchy vegetables. Try these keto-approved sweeteners to keep your body in ketosis.
Stevia is considered to be a nonnutritive sweetener, meaning that it contains little to no carbs or calories. It contains about 5 grams of net carbs per 100 grams, which is a lot of stevia. You probably will never use that much at once in your life. This is because a little goes a long way, due to the fact that stevia is 200-400 times sweeter than cane sugar. Not all stevia products are created equal, so opt for the most natural products when available.
Extracted from the monk fruit, monk fruit sweetener contains powerful antioxidants known as mogrosides. These antioxidants can help stimulate the release of insulin, which may improve the elimination of sugar out of the bloodstream, aiding healthy blood sugar management. It is a keto-friendly sweetener that has a glycemic index (GI) of zero, yet it is 300-400 times sweeter than cane sugar. When you purchase monk fruit extract, make sure that it isn’t mixed with molasses or can sugar, because that can increase that calorie and carb content.
Yacon syrup is naturally derived from the root of the yacon plant. Containing a high percentage of prebiotics, yacon syrup works to increase beneficial bacteria in the digestive system. It measures as 1 on the GI scale, and can be found in many health food stores, as well as online. When using it, you only need about a teaspoon.