The Best Sugar Substitute : Stevia
There are a variety of options for you to choose from when it comes to using a substitute sweetener in your diet. Some recommendations we would suggest would be to remain cautious of using them in large quantities. Many can have negative side effects while some side effects are still unknown in relation to long term use. It is important to gauge your bodys reactions and how you adjust when you introduce a new substitute sweetener. If you do notice certain negative side effects, its likely best to dial back on its use.
Something to take note of is how consuming these substitute sweeteners can affect your cravings. They have been known to increase cravings for sweets, therefore, moderation is key. Given the research and studies that have been conducted surrounding all substitute sweeteners regarding calories per gram, sweetness, impact on blood sugar level, taste and use in cooking and baking, Stevia comes out on top as the best substitute sweetener. If it werent for monk fruits substantial cost, we would regard monk fruit as the best substitute sweetener. It is likely, however, that we will see monk fruit emerge more and more in its use throughout foods in the upcoming years.
We go through all of the information discussed in this blog post in the following video. We also give some insight into what sugar substitutes we use on a daily basis in our cooking and baking.
Are Synthetic Keto Sweeteners Safe
Synthetic or artificial sweeteners come from combining various chemicals. According to the FDA, most artificial sweeteners are safe for consumption when used in moderation. However, several studies indicate that products, such as Equal, may cause adverse effects, such as triggering overeating or altering gut bacteria.
Second Step: White Sugar Substitute
Place a cup of your crystallized sweetener into a mixing bowl.
As already mentioned, you can use almost any crystallized version of a sugar substitute you have at home. Be it Allulose, which is my preferred one, or Monk Fruit, Erythritol, or Xylitol.
If using Xylitol, bear in mind that it is poisonous to dogs, just in case you have some pets around the house.
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So Which Sweetener Is Best For Keto
My Conclusion On Sugar Alcohols And Keto
If youve followed my dessert recipes you see that I use Truvia and Swerve for baking more than any other keto sweetener. Aside from the fact that it provides almost zero calories and is virtually carb free, I love the sugar-like consistency that it gives for baking.
Keep in mind, though, that they Truvia only has 70% of the sweetness of sugar and some people may notice a cooling sensation on the tongue with it. Overall, I think the sugar alcohols are the best option for keto baking.
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Lakanto Brown Monk Fruit Sweetener
Another brown sweetener that can be used to replace brown sugar on keto is the Lakanto brown monk fruit sweetener. It is made with ingredients like monk fruit sweetener, erythritol, vegetable glycerin, and natural flavors and has zero net carbs.
This keto brown sugar replacement can be used to add sweetness to all types of recipes including baked goods, beverages, desserts, and more without using actual sugar.
According to Lakanto, this brown sugar alternative matches the sweetness of sugar and can be substituted on a 1:1 ratio. Lakanto brown monk fruit sweetener can be found online as well as in most local grocery stores at a fairly affordable price.
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Now That You Know Our Favorite Sweeteners Heres How To Use Them
Instead of memorizing each sweeteners conversation rate or breaking out your calculator every time you bake, download and print this handy sweetener conversion chart!
This guide shows popular non-sugar sweeteners and how much you should use for each 1 teaspoon, 1 tablespoon, 1/4 cup, 1/3 cup, 1/2 cup, or 1 cup of sugar.
Sugar And The Keto Diet
Sugar is like keto repellent. When we eat it, our ability to burn fat scurries away like a frightened squirrel. Some explanation will help.
When you eat a ketogenic diet, you consume 55 to 70 percent of your calories from fat, 20 to 35 percent from protein, and less than 10 percent from carbohydrates.4 Keeping your macronutrients in these ratios allows you to enter the unique fat-burning state called ketosis.
Keeping net carbs low is the number one rule of keto. . Keeping net carbs low keeps blood sugar low, which in turn keeps the hormone insulin low. With insulin low, your body can happily access stored fat for energy.4
Conversely, eating sugar raises insulin levels and inhibits fat burning. Eating sugar is a surefire way to kick yourself out of ketosis.
Now lets talk about how to stay keto while you bake, sprinkle, and sweeten.
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Stevia And Monk Fruit
I am lumping these two together because they have many similar properties and behave much the same way.
What are they?
Both stevia and monkfruit are naturally derived, plant-based sweeteners that are hundreds of times sweeter than sugar. Because they are extremely concentrated, a tiny amount can sweeten a whole recipe. While that may sound like a good thing, it can have major implications for your keto baked goods. Read on
How do they work?
Concentrated sweeteners like these have no bulk they have little in the way of weight or volume so they dont add much to your recipe other than sweetness. They cant contribute anything to texture or consistency, and they dont caramelize, crisp, or brown your baked goods. Bulk is an important factor in anything from cupcakes to frosting. Substituting a non-bulk sweetener means your keto treats may not rise properly, may be more fragile, and may not set properly.
Monk fruit sweetener
Please be aware that many brands that bill themselves as monk fruit sweetener are actually mostly erythritol. The main ingredient is erythritol, with a little monk fruit to make it sweeter. This means that the sweetener will behave mostly like erythritol.
For Baking And Cooking
Theres an easy rule of thumb for baking and cooking. You cant swap a crystal sweetener for a non-crystal sweetener.
Why cant you swap a crystal sweetener with a liquid sweetener? Its simple:
- Water: Liquid sweeteners are always dissolved in water. By adding unnecessary water to a recipe, it alters its balance and will lead to a significantly more moist result itll probably make your recipe fail
- Volume: Liquid sweeteners are often highly concentrated extracts, and therefore a few drops have the same sweetness as your cup of Erythritol. So these few drops of pure stevia will take far less volume than your cup of Erythritol hence making your dough or paste that much smaller. You wont get the result you need!
So if you do need to swap sweeteners, make sure you swap a crystal sweetener for another crystal sweetener from the list of best keto-friendly sweeteners and that you convert the volumes properly!
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Artificial Sweeteners On Keto Diets
One of the most common questions I get asked about Keto sweeteners is “Is Sweet and Low Keto?” Find out the answer to that and other artificial sweeteners below.
The last type of sweeteners is artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, which are created in a chemical process. This is why they are classified as artificial. The old sugar alternatives like Sweet n Low, and Equal fall into this category.
I left this category for last because my recommendation on this category is to avoid as much as possible.
- For one, they are labeled zero calories but they are not. The FDA allows servings under 1 gram of carbs and under 4 calories per serving to be labeled zero calories. Manufacturers cleverly package about 0.9 grams of pure carbs mixed with a small dose of a more powerful artificial sweetener. The little packages in fact contain almost 4 calories each, and almost a gram of carbs. On a keto diet that can quickly add up.
- Dont be conned consume as little as possible.
- Ditch them for their deceptive marketing alone. They also have lingering health concerns. With better alternatives now widely available theres just no reason to use these.
Artificial Sweeteners & Why To Avoid Them
Sometimes people call monk fruit, stevia, allulose, and erythritol artificial sweeteners, but they are not. They are simply natural sugar substitutes. Yes, there is some processing involved to achieve the granulated keto sweeteners you can purchase for home use. But this is no less natural than the processing needed for coconut sugar, maple syrup, or white table sugar.
On the other hand, there are several truly artificial sweeteners and each has potential health concerns:
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Prebiotic Fibers: Inulin & Oligofructose
Prebiotics are the fiber that the probiotics in your gut snack on. Consider it food for your good bacteria.
The two main prebiotics are inulin and oligofructose.
- Inulin is often produced from chicory root.
- Oligofructose is a component of inulin thats isolated by using an enzymatic process.
Fiber helps you feel full. Thus, if youre using inulin in your recipes, it might help with portion control.
Since inulin is only 35% as sweet as sugar, its often combined with another sweetener. The sweetener Swerve is probably the most popular keto sweetener containing prebiotic fiber. Swerve contains a blend of oligosaccharides and erythritol.
Is It Time To Get A New Best Sugar Substitute For Keto
Youâre looking for a new best sugar substitute for keto. Think about it. It’s impossible to foresee pricing fluctuations in the future. The sooner you buy, the better off you’ll be if manufacturing doesn’t slow down. If, on the other hand, production is falling and prices are expected to climb, you might want to hold off on making a decision until the hype has calmed down.
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Side Effects Of Sugar Alcohols:
Because sugar alcohols are not absorbed well, they can cause stomach upset, bloating, or diarrhea. Their impact on blood sugar and potential for side effects varies depending on the type of sugar alcohol.
- Erythritol Although its in the sugar alcohol family, erythritol does not raise blood glucose like some polyols do . It is also less likely to cause gastrointestinal distress, because most of it gets absorbed in the small intestine and is later excreted unchanged into the urine. All other sugar alcohols reach the large intestine instead, which is why they are more likely to cause stomach upset. Still, erythritol can cause stomach issues for some people. Erythritol can also create a cooling aftertaste in cooking and baking.
- Xylitol Unlike erythritol, xylitol does not get absorbed in the small intestine. Instead, it proceeds to the large intestine, and the reaction between the natural bacteria there and the xylitol is what can cause distress. How much varies from person to person. People with dogs in the house may want to avoid keeping xylitol around, because even a small accidentally ingested amount can be lethal for a dog .
Keto Brown Sugar Replacements
Ive shared some of my favorite keto substitutes for brown sugar here. So check this out if you need more information. However, Ill also list them here.
Some good ideas for keto brown sugar substitutes are:
- Swerve brown sweetener
- Lakanto brown monk fruit sweetener
- Anthonys golden erythritol and monk fruit sweetener
- Health Gardens golden monk fruit sweetener
- Besti natural brown sugar replacement
- Truvia complete brown sweetener
- So Nourished gold monk fruit erythritol blend
- Whole Earth allulose baking blend brown sugar substitute
- Sweet Nature monk fruit sweetener
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Heres The Scoop On Five Keto
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If youre on a Keto or low-carb diet, sugars off the table. Artificial sweeteners like sucralose or aspartamelinked with disruptions in gut bacteria, weight gain and potentially serious long-term effectsarent an option. But who can live without the occasional Keto-friendly fudge brownie or chocolate cake? Lucky for low-carb eaters, a handful of natural alternatives can tame any sweet tooth. Heres the scoop on five Keto-approved sweeteners, with pros, cons and how to use them:
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The Best Sugar Substitute: Allulose
Allulose is a relatively new natural, healthy sugar substitute with incredible benefits for cooking and baking. Even though its plant based, its neither a sugar alcohol nor an extract its actually a rare type of sugar that we cant absorb, which puts it in its own category. Despite being the same family as sugar, allulose has a glycemic index of 0 and 0 net carbs, too. Like erythritol, allulose is 70% as sweet as sugar.
Being in the same family as sugar makes allulose totally different from other keto sugar substitutes. The difference from other sugars is that we cant metabolize allulose . That means it tastes and behaves like sugar without the problems of sugar. In April 2019, the FDA ruled that sugar counts on nutrition labels do not need to include allulose .
Even though using allulose as a packaged keto sweetener is relatively new, it has been around for a long time, because its naturally occurring in fruit, maple syrup, and other plants. Unfortunately, the amounts in fruit are small and difficult to extract. For this reason, allulose for us to consume is made just like erythritol, via a natural fermentation process.
Sweeteners Not To Use
The following sweeteners should be avoided at all costs because no matter how natural it is, sugar is still sugar and will affect your body negatively . These sweeteners will always increase your blood sugar levels, diminish your weight loss, and may even knock you out of ketosis. Stay away from: high fructose corn syrup, table sugar, coconut sugar, maple syrup, honey, agave, rice malt syrup, blackstrap molasses, fruit juice and dried fruit.
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Keto Approved Sweeteners And Keto Police
I know the web is full of people telling you this or that sweetener is not keto. Here’s the thing.
Ketosis is a metabolic state. Food is a guideline for how to achieve that metabolic state. Few foods in and of themselves, are straight-up Keto or not
Food is not helpful in achieving ketogenesis if it raises your blood sugar, and causes you to release insulin while allowing itself to be used for instant glucose.
Potatoes, pasta, rice, sugar, and bread are squarely in this category.
I cover this in some detail in my Keto Fat Bombs, Sweets, and Treats book. But as you know, I am also a scientist and I look to science to tell me what’s right.
Here are some facts. A recent meta-analysis on the Effects of Non-Nutritive Sweeteners on Blood Sugar was quite clear: Once you remove certain confounding factors, chiefly Obesity, and BMI, then there was little clear evidence that Stevia, Splenda, and Erythritol routinely raise blood sugar in everybody.
Meta-analyses are the gold standard for studies. It’s possible to find the odd study that says this or that. But science isn’t ONE study. Science is when there is a PREPONDERANCE of evidence, showing things are routinely one way or another.
A meta-analysis is when you take many different studies, and you use statistical analyses to combine the results. Then, you look at combined results.
These studies are correlational studies. Two things occur together. But that doesn’t mean one causes the other. Night follows day. Night doesn’t cause day.