A ketogenic diet is easier to navigate when you know which sneaky foods to avoid. Sometimes it can seem challenging to avoid the curve balls that can kick you out of ketosis. You probably know you need to avoid heavily processed, refined, and grain-based foods and sugar-sweetened beverages, but there are also hidden names for sugar and high glycemic sweeteners that are a no-no for keto dieters. Scanning the labels of food products can be daunting.
Let’s discuss some of the foods & ingredients you should avoid on keto and some of the sneaky hidden names for sugar:
Solid or Granulated Sugars
Granulated or solid sugars can be listed on the label in many ways, such as:
- Beet sugar
- Brown sugar
- Castor sugar
- Coconut sugar
- Cane juice crystals
- Corn syrup solids
- Ethyl maltol
- Diastatic malt
Liquid or Syrup Sugars
Liquid or syrup sugars might be listed as follows:
- Blackstrap molasses
- Brown rice syrup
- Barley malt
- Carob syrup
- Evaporated cane juice
- Fruit juice
- Fruit juice concentrate
Other Sneaky Hidden Sugars
Watch out for the many names for sugar that could be hidden on your ingredients list, such as maltitol and maltodextrin. It’s also useful to note that many of the words ending in ‘ose’, such as dextrose and galactose, refer to a type of sugar.
Remember, just because a product has one of these ingredients doesn’t always mean it’s completely off the keto menu. There might be some instances where a salad dressing might include a tiny pinch of sugar with 1-2 grams of total carbs. This dressing might be suitable for some keto dieters [1,2].
High Glycemic Sweeteners
You want to avoid high glycemic sweeteners on keto. Some of the highest glycemic sweeteners also have unusual names that are more difficult to recognize, such as HFCS-42, which stands for high fructose corn syrup.
Avoid these sneaky sugars and high glycemic sweeteners and choose keto-friendly and low glycemic sweeteners instead, such as:
- Sugar alcohols like erythritol and sorbitol
- Monk fruit
- Sugar fibers like inulin
- Artificial sweeteners like aspartame and sucralose
Most health experts advise choosing more natural sweeteners over artificial sweeteners.
Which Ingredients Do You Avoid on Your Ketogenic Diet?
Comment below and let us know what sweeteners you use and which ones you avoid on keto!
1. Popkin, B. M., & Hawkes, C. (2016). The sweetening of the global diet, particularly beverages: Patterns, trends, and policy responses for diabetes prevention. Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol, 4(2), 174-186. DOI: 10.1016/S2213-8587(15)00419-2
2. United States Food and Drug Administration. Labeling and Nutrition Guidance Documents and Regulatory Information. https://www.fda.gov/food/guidance-documents-regulatory-information-topic-food-and-dietary-supplements/labeling-nutrition-guidance-documents-regulatory-information
Steph Green is a writer, researcher, and singer/songwriter with a passion for all things wellness. In 2016, after four years of struggling with her own health problems and painful autoimmune disease, Steph developed a life-changing and extensive knowledge of keto, nutrition, and natural medicine. She continues on her healing journey and enjoys helping others along the way.