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Keto Sweeteners: Which are the Best?

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  Published on April 25th, 2020
  Reading time: 2 minutes
  Last modified April 15th, 2021
keto sweeteners

There are several ways to have sweet treats on a keto diet. Even when you’re watching carbs closely, you can still enjoy dessert by choosing a low-carb, keto-friendly sweetener.

Of the many keto sweeteners on the market, four are standouts and have their own benefits: allulose, erythritol, monk fruit, and stevia.

 

Allulose

Allulose is a monosaccharide “simple sugar” that is naturally found in nature but is also made from wheat or corn. (1) It has a similar taste to sugar, but has fewer calories and has 0g net carbs.

Benefits:

  • Replaces sugar 1:1 in recipes
  • Lowers glucose

Drawbacks:

  • Might be allergenic for corn/wheat
  • Might cause gastrointestinal symptoms at higher intakes

 

Erythritol

Erythritol is a sugar alcohol that has become a popular keto sweetener because it tastes just like sugar but has just six percent of the calories. The body cannot fully metabolize and digest erythritol, so it has a low impact on nearly every aspect of digestion.

Benefits:

  • Replaces sugar 1:1 in recipes
  • Does not increase glucose
  • Does not increase insulin
  • Increases feeling of fullness

Drawbacks:

  • Might be allergenic for corn/wheat

 

Monk fruit

Monk fruit (or lo han guo) is a natural sweetener derived from a dried melon native to China. It has natural medicine properties and is considered to be anti-inflammatory. (2) It doesn’t affect glucose levels and is around 100 to 200 times sweeter than real sugar.

Benefits:

  • Does not increase glucose
  • Is allergy-friendly when used on its own

Drawbacks:

  • Does not replace sugar 1:1
  • Has a distinct aftertaste

 

Stevia

One of the more popular natural sweeteners, stevia comes in liquid and powder forms. It is sometimes paired with other sweeteners or is available on its own. Stevia can help regulate glucose levels and is ultra-sweet, requiring very little to produce a sugary effect.

Benefits:

  • Helps regulate glucose
  • Is allergy-friendly when used on its own
  • Requires very little per recipe

Drawbacks:

  • Has a distinct aftertaste
  • Does not measure 1:1 in recipes

 

Bottom Line

Overall, each of these sweeteners can be beneficial for keto cooking or baking. The benefits vary and some work better than others for certain types of cooking. If you don’t have allergy considerations, stocking a few different sweeteners might be best for any keto cooking needs. Keep some crystallized erythritol for keto baking and some liquid stevia for making fat bombs, for example.

 

What’s Your Favorite Keto Sweetener?

Comment and let us know what your favorite keto-friendly sweetener is and how you like to enjoy it!

References

  1. Mooradian AD, Smith M, Tokuda M. The role of artificial and natural sweeteners in reducing the consumption of table sugar: A narrative review. Clin Nutr ESPEN. 2017;18:1–8. doi:10.1016/j.clnesp.2017.01.004
  2. Di R, Huang MT, Ho CT. Anti-inflammatory activities of mogrosides from Momordica grosvenori in murine macrophages and a murine ear edema model. J Agric Food Chem. 2011;59(13):7474–7481. doi:10.1021/jf201207m

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