Home General Keto Sweeteners – The Visual Guide to the Best and Worst

Keto Sweeteners – The Visual Guide to the Best and Worst

The ketogenic diet has a number of benefits, but it may not be the best choice for everyone. It’s not for everyone, but a lot of people (myself included) are looking for more options to achieve the best results possible. That’s why I created this visual guide of the best and worst sugar replacements.

Keto Sweeteners are sweeteners that have become popular among people trying to lose weight by avoiding carbohydrates. Some of these sweeteners are low-carb, others are zero-carb. They all have their own pros and cons.

The keto diet, or keto sweeteners, is a low carb, high protein, and moderate fat diet used to help manage weight or as a way to follow a ketogenic diet. The keto diet is a highly effective way to lose weight, but in order to lose weight on it, you need to know which sweeteners are keto friendly, as well as the ones that aren’t.. Read more about erythritol and let us know what you think.

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Is it okay to use sweeteners on a ketogenic diet? Maybe if you make the right choices. This tutorial will assist you in doing so.

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The extremely low-carb sweeteners on the left, in the green zone, have minimal impact on blood sugar and insulin levels. Sweeteners on the right, in the red region, have a substantial impact on blood sugar and insulin levels. As a result, we strongly advise you to stay away from them if at all feasible.



In comparison to the same quantity of white sweetener, the numbers for each sweetener reflect the expected long-term impact of each product on blood glucose and insulin levels. A value equal to 100 is defined as pure white sugar for the purposes of this scale.

The question marks on zero-rated items only represent what is known about their impact on blood glucose and insulin response at this time. These items are new, and their impact on obesity, diabetes, the gut microbiota, and long-term metabolic disease risk is unknown. It is necessary to do further research.

Asterisks indicate that these goods include carbohydrates, which are typically fillers like dextrose (glucose) and maltodextrin (concentrated starch).

One package of Splenda, for example, contains approximately the same sweetness as two teaspoons of sugar (8 grams). The pack includes around 0.9 grams of dextrose, which is a kind of carbohydrate. With the same sweetness, this translates to 0.9 / 8 = 0.11 times as much sugar. Splenda has the number 100 because pure dextrose has the value 100 x 0.11 = 11.

The asterisks next to xylitol and maltitol indicate that these sweeteners have a lower glycemic and insulin response than sugar. On a scale of one to ten, this relative reaction is compared to the sweetness of white sugar.

Avoid sweets in the center and red lines if you’re attempting to remain in ketosis.


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What is your primary health objective?

Keep an eye out for the sweetener trap.

The sweeteners mentioned on the left have little to no effect on weight and blood sugar levels. However, for some individuals, they may lead to additional issues.

Here’s where sweeteners might go wrong: Consuming sweet meals and beverages may lead to a desire for more sweeter pleasures.

Sugary soft drinks, cakes, muffins, brownies, ice cream, candy, energy bars, and other items that imitate or replace the keto diet often include these low-carb sweeteners.

Weight gain and metabolic issues may have resulted from rewarding yourself with high-carbohydrate and high-calorie sweets. However, substituting low-carb, high-calorie, easy-to-eat sweets is not always a good idea. They may also lead to a relapse into non-keto eating in some individuals.

Diet drinks’ calorie-free sweeteners may lead to weight gain and long-term metabolic issues.

All sweet tastes, whether genuine sugar or sugar substitutes, operate on the same sweet taste receptors on the tongue and may activate comparable neuronal reward circuits in the brain, according to researchers, promoting sugar addiction and cravings. This is not the case for everyone, though.

Furthermore, the effects of calorie-free sweeteners on pregnant women, developing fetuses, and young children are unclear, and they may pose a risk to long-term metabolic health. Obviously, further study is required.

For all of these reasons, we recommend that everyone think about whether or not they should include a sweetener in their keto diet.

However, we recognize that some individuals may find it simpler to stick to a keto diet if they utilize sugar-free sweeteners in moderation.

After dinner, some individuals find a low-carb cookie or a cup of keto hot chocolate to be just as enjoyable as a glass of wine. Others may have to completely avoid low-carb wine or sweets since they can’t stop at just one or two.

Fortunately, most individuals find that the keto diet decreases their craving for sugary foods over time. Cravings become less intense and simpler to manage or ignore.

If you want to treat yourself every now and again, here’s what you need know to make the greatest decision.


Sugar is used as a sweetener.


White, brown, demerara, powder, candy sugar, maple syrup, coconut sugar, date sugar, and so on are all examples of real sugar.

Sugar is made up of two molecules: glucose (50 percent) and fructose (50 percent) (50 percent ). Sugars are made up entirely of carbs, and they all have the same negative consequences on weight growth, blood sugar levels, and insulin sensitivity.

During the keto diet, sugar in any form should be avoided. This may obstruct your progress.

Many sweeteners, such as white or brown sugar, maple syrup, coconut sugar, and dates, have an exact number of 100. These sweeteners are, in fact, produced from sugar. These sweeteners, which have the same sweetening capacity as white sugar, have comparable effects on blood sugar, weight, and insulin resistance.

Pure fructose is much worse than sugar.

What could possibly be more harmful than sugar? Fructose. It travels straight to the liver and, when eaten in excess, may cause hepatic steatosis, insulin resistance, central obesity, and an unfavorable lipid profile.

Fructose increases blood sugar considerably more slowly than glucose and has a lower glycemic index than pure sugar, which is made up of both glucose and fructose (GI). But don’t be fooled by the low GI! In the long term, fructose may be very detrimental to your metabolism, perhaps even more so than sugar.


High fructose sweeteners, such as high fructose corn syrup, fruit juice concentrate, honey, molasses, and agave syrup, are marked 100+ in our table because they may have long-term negative consequences. They’re known as super-sugars. The greatest fructose is found in agave syrup, which contains more than 60% of it.

Because they don’t induce blood sugar spikes like white sugar, agave syrup and other healthy sweeteners rich in fructose are frequently promoted as low glycemic index goods. However, because of the negative effects of fructose, they may be an even worse option for your weight and health than white sugar.

If at all possible, avoid using fructose-based sweeteners while on the keto diet.

The three most effective keto sweeteners

Here are the best three choices if you want to maintain your ketone levels up with occasional snacking:

    1. Stevia
    2. Erythritol
    3. Fruit of the monks

Message: These aren’t the only sweeteners that are keto-friendly. See the following section for a full list and discussion of additional sweeteners.


Stevia is the first option.


Stevia is made from the leaves of the sunflower-like plant Stevia rebaudiana, which grows in South America.

Natural leaves are not permitted for commercial use or sale in the United States. In a multi-step industrial procedure that conforms with US and European standards, the active sugar molecules, known as steviol glycosides, are isolated and refined. The FDA has classified the refined extract as generally regarded as safe, despite the fact that the unprocessed leaves have not been authorized (GRAS).

  • There are no calories or carbs in it.
  • It has no effect on blood glucose or insulin levels.
  • It seems to be harmless and has a minimal risk for toxicity.
  • Stevia is a highly sweet herb that may be used in large quantities.
  • It is extremely sweet, yet it does not taste like sugar, and many people find it unpleasant aftertaste.
  • It’s tough to cook with sugar-like results, and it’s almost hard to substitute it in current recipes.
  • There isn’t enough long-term evidence on stevia to establish how it affects people’s health.

Sweetening capacity: 200 to 350 times that of table sugar.

Stevia is offered as a liquid, powder, or granular product. Dextrose is found in stevia granules like Stevia in the Raw. B. Truvia, for example, contains erythritol and fillers. All stevia-containing goods should have an ingredient label.

Erythritol is the second option.


Erythritol is a sugar alcohol made from fermented maize or cornstarch that may be found in tiny quantities in fruits and mushrooms such as grapes, melons, and mushrooms.

The digestive system only absorbs and digests a portion of it. The FDA considers erythritol to be safe.

  • It has a very low calorie and carbohydrate content.
  • It has no effect on blood glucose or insulin levels.
  • The active ingredient is excreted in the urine without being used by the body.
  • It may readily be substituted for actual sugar in recipes in granulated or powdered form.
  • It may help reduce plaque and cavities when compared to other sweeteners.
  • It doesn’t taste as nice as sugar in the mouth, but it does help to chill the tongue.
  • In certain individuals, it may induce gas, bloating, and diarrhea (but not as bad as other sugar alcohols).
  • The consumption of erythritol and its subsequent excretion via the kidneys may have negative health consequences (nothing is known about this at present).

We include erythritol in a lot of our keto dessert recipes since it’s great for baking and most people can handle it.

‘Oh, darling,’ I say. It’s around 70% sweeter than regular table sugar.

Erythritol in granular or powdered form, or erythritol and stevia mixes. Dextrose, maltodextrin, and other additives should be looked for on ingredient labels.


Option #3: Fruit of the monks


Monk fruit is a new sugar alternative on the market. Monk fruit, also known as luo han guo, is a dried fruit that is widely used in Asian medicine to make herbal beverages, soups, and decoctions. Monks in Northern Thailand and Southern China grew it, thus the more known name.

Although the fruit as a whole contains fructose and sucrose, the sugar content of the monk fruit is given by non-caloric components called mogrosides, which can replace sugar. In 1995, Proctor & Gamble patented a process to extract mogrosides from monk fruit using a solvent.

Monk fruit has been deemed safe by the United States Food and Drug Administration. The European Union has not yet authorized it for sale.

  • It has no effect on blood glucose or insulin levels.
  • Its taste profile is superior than that of stevia. In fact, it’s often used with stevia to decrease stevia’s cost and aftertaste.
  • It’s frequently used with erythritol to cut down on consumption and enhance cooking efficiency.
  • It has no negative effects on the digestive system.
  • Because it’s so delicate, a little goes a long way.
  • It’s not cheap.
  • Other fillers, such as inulin, prebiotic fiber, and other undisclosed substances, are often combined in with it.
  • Be wary of proprietary mix labeling, since the product may only contain a little amount of monk fruit extract.

Sugar is 150 to 200 times sweeter than this.

Products: Granular erythritol or stevia mixtures, pure liquid drops or liquid drops with stevia; also used in fake maple syrup sweetened with monofruit and chocolate syrup replacements.

Sweeteners other than sugar

Other sweeteners are included below, along with information on their health and safety, as well as their compatibility with the keto diet.

Alcohols derived from sugar

Sugar alcohols, also known as polyols, have a sweet flavor but no alcohol (ethanol). The impact on blood glucose and insulin levels varies depending on the medication. The US Food and Drug Administration has certified the sugar alcohols listed below to be safe (GRAS).


Option 2 above is a good choice for the keto diet.



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Maltitol is made by hydrogenating maltose, a by-product of maize syrup. It’s used in commercial sugar-free goods like candy, desserts, and low-carbohydrate foods since it acts like pure sugar throughout preparation and manufacturing. It’s also less costly to utilize than erythritol, xylitol, and other sugar alcohols for food producers.

On a keto diet, maltitol should be avoided. It has been proven to boost blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity. As a result, it may be a concern for individuals who have diabetes or pre-diabetes. It also has three-quarters the amount of calories as sugar.

It’s also an effective laxative. The remaining 50% is fermented in the large intestine, while 50% is absorbed in the small intestine. Maltitol has been shown in studies to produce severe digestive issues (flatulence, bloating, diarrhea, and so on), particularly when used often or intensively.

Oh, sweetheart: Domestic sugar has around 80% of the sweetness of imported sugar.



You’re chewing xylitol when you consume sugar-free gum. In commercial chewing gum and mouthwash, it is the most frequently used sugar-free sweetener.

Xylitol, like erythritol, is a sugar alcohol derived from plants. A multi-step chemical extraction method is used to remove it from the fibrous and woody portions of maize or birch cobs on an industrial basis. The end product is a granular crystal that looks and tastes like sugar but isn’t.

Xylitol is a carbohydrate-free substance with a low carbohydrate content. It should only be eaten in very tiny quantities as part of a keto diet.

The glycemic index is 13, and only 50% is digested by the digestive tract. When consumed in small amounts, it has little effect on blood sugar and insulin levels. Xylitol tastes like sugar, but it has half the calories and can replace sugar in equal parts in recipes. It has also been shown to help prevent tooth decay when chewed as gum.

However, since only approximately half of xylitol is absorbed and the rest is digested in the colon, it may cause serious digestive issues even in tiny quantities (flatulence, bloating, diarrhea).

Dogs and other pets are likewise extremely poisonous to xylitol; even a tiny bite of a xylitol product may be fatal.

Xylitol is included in certain ice cream recipes because it freezes better than erythritol.

‘Oh, darling,’ I say. Sweetness is comparable to that of table sugar.

Pure xylitol granules from corncobs or birch wood extract as a product.

Vegetable-based sweeteners are being developed.

The sweeteners listed below are relatively new and are not yet commonly utilized. Furthermore, since little study has been done on it, nothing is known about its long-term health consequences.


Allulose was authorized for general sale as a low-calorie sweetener in 2015. Because it only exists naturally in a few foods, such as wheat, raisins, and figs, it is classed as a rare sugar.

Allulose cannot be metabolized by the body, despite having a chemical structure that is almost similar to fructose. Almost everything, on the other hand, goes through the urine unabsorbed, giving just trace quantities of carbs and calories.

Some animal research indicate that eating allulose is good for your health, while human studies contradict each other. When eaten in tiny amounts, the taste is reported to be comparable to that of sugar, and it has no digestive adverse effects. High dosages, on the other hand, may result in diarrhea, stomach discomfort, and nausea.

It’s also more costly and less commonly accessible than other sweeteners. The FDA considers allulose to be relatively safe.

Allulose is keto-friendly and cooks and freezes like sugar, making it an excellent choice for baked products and ice cream.

Sweetness: 70 percent of natural sugar sweetness.


One of the newest sweeteners on the market is BochaSweet. It’s produced from a kabocha (a Japanese pumpkin-like squash) extract. This extract is reported to taste like white sugar, however it is not digested and contains no calories or carbs owing to its molecular composition.

Unfortunately, despite the positive feedback on the internet, nothing is known about the health benefits of Kabocha extract since there are few, if any, published research on the subject.

Sweetness: 100 percent of natural sugar sweetness.

Sweeteners made from inulin

Inulin is a member of the fructose family, which also contains fructooligosaccharides, a kind of dietary fiber (FOS). It is not absorbed by the digestive system and does not include readily digested carbohydrates as a dietary fiber.

Chicory is a good source of inulin, which is utilized in sugar substitutes and low-carbohydrate foods. It is typically used in conjunction with other sweeteners and is not utilized just for its lack of sweetness.

Inulin may induce bloating, diarrhea, and other unpleasant digestive symptoms when eaten in high amounts because it is quickly fermented by gut bacteria. These symptoms have been observed by many individuals who have used inulin-based sweeteners. Inulin, on the other hand, seems to be safe in modest doses and has been given GRAS classification by the FDA.

Oh, sweetheart: Sugar has about 10% of its sweetness.

Yacon syrup is a syrup made from yacon

The root of the yacon plant, which grows in South America, is used to make yacon syrup. It’s a natural sweetener in the same vein as maple syrup. However, like inulin, yacon syrup includes fructooligosaccharides, which may cause digestive issues.

Because part of the syrup contains fiber, it has a lower glycemic index (GI) than most other sugars. A spoonful of yacon syrup, on the other hand, provides readily digested carbs (sugar). Although the precise quantity varies, 100 grams of yacon root is believed to contain between 9 and 13 grams of carbs.

However, since yacon syrup is considerably more concentrated, approximately 2 teaspoons of yacon syrup provides the same quantity of carbohydrates. As a result, it’s not the greatest keto choice.

Oh, my sweetheart: It’s about 75% sweeter than sugar.

Isomaltooligosaccharide (Isomaltooligosaccharide) (IMO)

Isomaltooligosaccharides (IMO) are a kind of carbohydrate that may be found in tiny quantities in foods like soy sauce, honey, and sourdough bread. IMO is made by processing the starch in maize or other grains with enzymes to create a sweeter, less digestible type of carbohydrate.

Sugar-free syrups, chocolate bars, and other low-carb or keto delights, according to IMO. Carbohydrates are included as fiber on the nutrition label, in my opinion.

Although isomaltooligosaccharide is referred to be a resistant starch, studies indicate that it is partly digested and absorbed into the circulation, where it raises blood sugar and insulin levels.

In healthy individuals, small studies have revealed significant elevations in blood glucose and insulin levels after eating IMO.

As a result, isomaltooligosaccharide-containing goods are not advised for keto or low-carbohydrate diets. There’s a good chance they have more readily digested carbs than the nutrition label suggests.

Oh, sweetheart: It’s around 50%-60% sweeter than sugar.


Artificial sweeteners

Synthetic sweeteners, often known as artificial sweeteners, are created in a lab using chemicals and other ingredients (such as sugar in the case of sucralose).

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has authorized the sweeteners listed below for public use, with daily intake limits established for each kind.


This sweetener, also known as acesulfame potassium or Ace-K, is a flavor enhancer frequently used in flavored water and sugar-free beverages. Sunett and Sweet One are brand names for sachets of this product.

Although it contains no calories or carbs, and most studies have demonstrated that it does not increase blood sugar or insulin levels, it has been found in one research to boost blood sugar levels in certain individuals. Additional safety studies, mostly based on rodent research, should be conducted, according to the report.

Sugar is 200 times sweeter than this.


In the United States, aspartame is the most commonly used sugar replacement, as well as the most divisive. It’s utilized in a variety of diet goods and beverages, and it’s also sold as a sweetener under the Equal brand (and previously NutraSweet).

Aspartame is calorie-free and carbohydrate-free, and most studies have demonstrated that it does not increase blood sugar or insulin levels. Aspartame packages, on the other hand, contain almost a gram of glucose carbohydrate.

Although the FDA believes aspartame to be safe when taken in moderation, other experts think that its safety should be further investigated.

Furthermore, aspartame has been linked to headaches and dizziness, among other things. Although there have been many anecdotal accounts of aspartame sensitivity, laboratory findings have been equivocal.

Sugar is 200 times sweeter than this.


Saccharin is the oldest synthetic sweetener, having been developed in 1878. Sweet’n Low and Sugar Twin are two brands that sell it.

Sweetener packets include dextrose instead of pure saccharin, which has no calories or carbs. It’s famous for having a harsh aftertaste.

In the early 1970s, the FDA attempted to prohibit saccharin after research revealed that a significant proportion of rats subjected to very high doses of saccharin got bladder cancer. This connection, however, has never been officially proven.

Overall, research on saccharin’s health impacts is inconsistent, with some studies indicating that it may harm gut health and metabolism in certain individuals.

Sugar is 300 times sweeter than this.


Sucralose is a sweetener contained in Splenda, a sugar replacement that, since it is composed of sugar, tastes like sugar. That’s correct, the sucrose (white sugar) molecule has been altered to be carbohydrate- and calorie-free, as well as much sweeter.

Dextrose, which supplies calories and carbs, is included in Splenda packets.

Sucralose, like other synthetic sweeteners, has a mixed record of research. When eaten alone, most studies indicate that it has no impact on blood sugar and insulin levels, but when consumed with carbs, it may raise blood sugar and insulin levels. More study is required since the impact may differ from person to person.

Sugar is 600 times sweeter than this.

Sweeteners that are misleading should be avoided.


Did you know that certain meals with no calories are nearly entirely made up of carbohydrates?

Stevia in the Raw, Equal, Sweet’n Low, and Splenda packaging should be avoided. They claim to be calorie-free, however this is not the case.

The FDA permits foods with fewer than 1 gram of carbs per serving and less than 4 calories per serving to be labeled as “zero calorie.” As a result, the makers packed approximately 0.9 grams of pure carbs (from glucose/textrose and sometimes maltodextrin) with a tiny amount of a stronger sweetener.

Consumers will be attracted to the labeling, and authorities will be satisfied. However, each package contains roughly 4 calories and about a gram of carbohydrates. This quantity may quickly rise on a keto diet. Don’t be deceived, and don’t eat.

On a keto diet, can you drink diet sodas?


Is it okay to consume soda on a keto diet? If at all possible, stay away from them. Instead, drink water, sparkling water, tea, or coffee.

As stated at the outset of this article, frequent intake of sweets, even if they are calorie-free, may enhance a person’s craving for sweet flavors.

Diet beverages may also make it more difficult to lose weight. This may be due to hormonal changes, other satiety-related effects, or changes in the gut flora.

Furthermore, according to a 2016 study, the majority of studies that identified a positive or neutral connection between sugary beverages and weight were sponsored by the beverage industry and were plagued with conflicts of interest, research bias, and unsubstantiated findings.

If you’re compelled to consume diet beverages, though, you’ll almost certainly remain in ketosis. Regular drinks loaded with sugar or fructose corn syrup, on the other hand, are more likely to knock you out of ketosis. Don’t use it.

Finally, a note about keto sweeteners.

The usage of sweeteners while on a keto diet is a personal choice. The impact seems to differ from one individual to the next.

For some people, the greatest way to achieve optimum health and weight reduction is to develop the habit of consuming unsweetened meals. It may take some time for your taste receptors to adjust, but you’ll be able to enjoy the delicate sweetness of pure, unprocessed foods in a new light over time.

Others, on the other hand, do not lose their sweet appetite. Including some keto-friendly sweeteners in their diet may help people stick to a low-carb diet for the rest of their lives.

The key to long-term success with keto or low-carb diets is figuring out which strategy works best for you.

Being a low carb, keto food blog, we have dedicated entire articles and videos to the various sweeteners on our list. So, when looking for a keto sweetener, how do I know which is best? This article will look at the best and worst of the keto sweeteners that we’ve reviewed so far.. Read more about erythritol keto and let us know what you think.

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Xylitol has the least side effects.”}},{“@type”:”Question”,”name”:”Which keto sweetener tastes most like sugar?”,”acceptedAnswer”:{“@type”:”Answer”,”text”:”

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Xylitol is sweeter than erythritol.”}}]}

Frequently Asked Questions

Which sweetener has the least side effects?

Xylitol has the least side effects.

Which keto sweetener tastes most like sugar?

erythritol tastes the most like sugar.

Which is sweeter xylitol or erythritol?

Xylitol is sweeter than erythritol.

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