5 Best Natural Sweeteners For A Low Carb Diet
Sugar may be sweet, but that doesn’t mean everything with a sweet taste is necessarily bad for you. While a healthy diet should ideally emphasize real, whole foods, some people enjoy using low carb sweeteners. However, there are so many choices, and they all claim to be better than the rest. As a result, it’s hard to know which one to use. This article will take a look at some of the best natural sweeteners for a low carb diet. Each one is basically health neutral, or possibly even good for you. Best Natural Sweeteners In no particular order, here are the top five natural sweeteners. Note: Most of these do still involve a certain amount of processing; the term ‘natural’ is to differentiate from purely lab-made chemical (artificial) sweeteners. Name Calories (100g) Carbs (100g) Glycemic Impact Monk Fruit 0 0 Zero Erythritol 24* 6* Zero Stevia 0 0 Zero Xylitol 240* 60* Minimal Swerve 24* 6* Zero *These are sugar alcohols and our body doesn’t metabolize them into glucose. Hence there is no effect on blood sugar levels. Aren’t Coconut Sugar and Honey Healthy? These traditional natural sweeteners contain combinations of sucrose, fructose, and glucose. All in all, we should maybe class them as ‘premium sugar.’ They’re a bit more expensive and a little better nutritionally, but at the end of the day: sugar is sugar. How About Zero Calorie Artificial Sweeteners? I don’t recommend artificial sweeteners such as aspartame and sucralose. While I don’t think they are as terrible as some people say, there are enough negative studies to err on the side of caution. First, aspartame has a broad range of studies linking it to weight gain, obesity, and in lifetime animal studies — cancer (1, 2, 3). In the case of sucralose, the center for science in the public inte Continue reading >>
- Low Carb vs. High Carb - My Surprising 24-day Diabetes Diet Battle
- Weight Watchers Jumps Eight Spots To #3 Best Diabetes Diet And Retains Top Spot As Best Fast Weight Loss Diet In 2018 Best Diets Report
- The effect of a low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet versus a low-glycemic index diet on glycemic control in type 2 diabetes mellitus
Monk Fruit Extract Sweetener – Best Low Carb Sweetener
This post may be sponsored or contain affiliate links. We may earn money from purchases made through links mentioned in this post, but all opinions are our own. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliates sites. All natural monk fruit extract is the best low carb sweetener! It has a clean sweet taste with zero calories and no glycemic impact. It took me a while to figure out that lo han guo and monk fruit are the same thing. I have a habit of reading the ingredient lists of all packaged foods I buy. Several years ago, I began to notice that some stevia sweetened items also contained lo han guo or monk fruit. I’ve seen monk fruit extract used in Quest bars and Zevia soda, to name a few of the low carb products. And, it’s the only sweetener in low carb ChocZero. So you may be wondering what monk fruit sweetener is and whether it’s safe to use on a low carb ketogenic diet? Lo han guo is a fruit that goes by many names. In English, it’s often referred to as luo han guo, lo han kuo or a combination of the two. I’ve also seen it referred to as arhat fruit, Buddha fruit, monk fruit, or lengevity fruit. Very confusing! The extracted sweetener comes from a gourd-like fruit that is similar in size to a lemon. It grows primarily in Southern China and Northern Thailand. The fruit is green in color with lighter green streaks, but turns brown when dried. Monk fruit is often dried and used as an herb by the Chinese herb. The fruit is rarely eaten fresh due to storage issues as well as the objectionable flavors. Drying monk fruit not only preserves the fruit, but eliminates some of the undesirable flavors. However, the dried fruit te Continue reading >>
The Top Four Sweeteners For A Low-carb Keto Diet
Sugar is basically off limits on a ketogenic diet, but not all hope is lost — you CAN still enjoy sweetness while eating keto. All it takes is some education on the right types of sweeteners to use. Read on to find the top four sweeteners you can use for a low-carb keto diet and why we recommend them. What Defines a Keto-Friendly Sweetener? First, let’s start with what each of these top keto sweeteners have in common and how they follow our guidelines: Low Glycemic The glycemic index (GI) refers to how much a food raises blood sugar. It runs from zero to 100, zero representing no raise in blood sugar and insulin levels. The goal with the ketogenic diet is to remain in ketosis, so staying as close as possible to zero GI for sweeteners is the best choice. Sugar Free Obviously, avoiding added sugars is a necessity on keto. We’re training the body to burn fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates; therefore, carb intake should be kept very low. Even fruit should be severely limited, preferably eliminated, so it makes sense that anything with added sugars are a no-go. Low Carb Another obvious guideline when you’re keto: low- or no-carb sweeteners are a must if you want to stay in ketosis. Top 4 Low-Carb Keto Diet Sweeteners Now that we’ve established some guidelines, here are our top four recommendations for sweeteners on a low-carb ketogenic diet: #1 Stevia Stevia is from the extract of the herb Stevia rebaudiana. In its pure form, stevia contains no calories, no carbs and is zero on the glycemic index. Additionally, It is typically 200-300 times sweeter than table sugar, meaning you only need to use a little to get a sweet taste in foods. Benefits and Using Stevia: Besides not affecting blood sugar or contributing carbs or calories, stevia has also been shown to actu Continue reading >>
The Ultimate Guide To Low Carb Sweeteners
This is my ultimate guide to low carb sweeteners. Which ones I use, and which ones I don’t. I’ll explain how to use each one and what to look for when you buy them because not all low carb sweeteners are created equally. It can be incredibly confusing when you are just starting to live sugar free. Part of the ethos of living sugar free and low carb is to give up the sweet treats on a regular basis and to reset our taste buds. But being able to make a sweet treat occasionally is a deal breaker for many of you contemplating even starting. If you do want a cake, a dessert or a sweet treat, it is better to have a few good sugar free recipes on hand than to reach for a high carb snack. With so many sweeteners now on the market, which do you choose? Always read each and every label carefully, because even sweeteners within the same brand can contain different ingredients or different bulking agents such as dextrose. It may take some time to readjust your taste buds to living sugar free, and is it any wonder? Sugar is now found in 80% of products on our supermarket shelves. What is astounding is the type of foods that have added sugar. You might expect it to be in desserts and cereals but tuna? Soup? Bacon? There are also several different types of names for sugar which just makes it even more confusing when you’re trying to understand reading food labels. When I write my recipes I will always state the amount of low carb sweeteners I have used to make the recipe but I also add “sweetener of choice, to taste”. This is the biggest variable when it comes to low carb baking. We are all on different parts of our sugar free journey, so what might taste sweet to me, might not be nearly sweet enough for you. Always add low carb sweeteners in the minimum amount that suits yo Continue reading >>
The Best (healthiest) Sweeteners For A Ketogenic Diet
Almost all of us love sweet foods and an occasional dessert. Unfortunately, sugar and most sweets are among the very worst things to be consuming if you want to heal a chronic condition and function at your best. For challenging health conditions, a very low carbohydrate, ketogenic diet may be the best healing option. So, what are the best keto sweeteners when following a ketogenic diet? When following a low carb, high fat (ketogenic) diet, it is important to use a natural sweetener that will not affect your blood sugar levels. This article will discuss the best natural sweeteners for a ketogenic diet and what to look for when buying them. But first, let’s look at why a ketogenic diet can be helpful for improving a number of health conditions. Why a Ketogenic Diet A ketogenic diet focuses on minimal carbohydrates, low to moderate amounts of protein, and high fat consumption. This diet allows the liver to produce ketones to fuel metabolism, rather than using glucose for energy. Following a ketogenic diet is useful in improving insulin tolerance and reducing inflammation. These factors consequently reduce the risk of chronic disease and stimulate muscle development and fat metabolism. It is well established that sugar can contribute to the development and progression of cancer. As a result, the ketogenic diet has become a popular approach to essentially starve cancer cells of their primary fuel source − glucose. Many individuals want to reach a state of ketosis to prevent or heal from cancer naturally. There are many good natural sweeteners including stevia, monk fruit, raw honey, and yacon syrup. When looking at which sweeteners are best for a ketogenic diet, it is essential to consider which will have the lowest impact on blood sugar. This is important because these Continue reading >>
- Cancer, diabetes and heart disease diet: Is THIS the healthiest way to eat your eggs?
- Weight Watchers Jumps Eight Spots To #3 Best Diabetes Diet And Retains Top Spot As Best Fast Weight Loss Diet In 2018 Best Diets Report
- The effect of a low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet versus a low-glycemic index diet on glycemic control in type 2 diabetes mellitus
Best Low Carb Sweetener:the Best Sweeteners & How To Choose Them
(I often get asked, “What is the best sweetener for a low carb diet? I hope that my previous article about the difference between low carb sweeteners and this article answer that question for you.) In my last article, Low Carb Sweeteners: Choose What’s Best For You, I talked about the differences between artificial sweeteners, natural low carb sugar alternatives, and natural sugar substitutes. I also listed the pros and cons of each, summing up with the statement that “choosing the best sweetener for you depends on your goals and what you are most comfortable with.” I’ve done a lot of low carb baking over the years, and have tried almost every sweetener on the market. I discovered early on that mixing several sweeteners together produces the best “sugar taste” while minimizing the negatives of any one sweetener. I still mix my sweeteners, preferring to use natural low carb sugar alternatives in lieu of artificial. Why? Well, it’s MY personal preference and what I feel most comfortable doing – especially with kids in the house. But I don’t judge, use what you want. My two Favorite Low Carb Sweeteners? Erythritol and Stevia Now let me just quickly say that my very favorite sweetener is Xylitol. It has a clean sweet flavor most like sugar, but it has three strikes against it… it is lethal to dogs It has calories & the tendency to spike blood sugar in some individuals It can cause stomach upset in some individuals So, I have come to rely on the dynamic duo of Erythritol and Stevia What is erythritol? Simply put, erythritol is a sugar alcohol, named so because it’s chemical structure looks more like that of an alcohol rather than a sugar. It comes in crystalline form (looking like sugar), has 60% the sweetness of sugar, and produces a cooling effect a Continue reading >>
Best Sugar Substitute For Keto? [infographic]
We’re going to be breaking these sweeteners down into 3 distinct categories in order to choose the best sugar substitute for a keto diet. Those categories are Artificial Sweeteners, Sugar Alcohols, and Natural Sweeteners. Check out our video where we touch on everything covered in this blog post and give our recommendations for the best sugar substitute for keto. Artificial Sweeteners These tend to known as intense sweeteners because they are much sweeter than regular sugar. Based on this fact, you only need a fraction of the amount you would normally use with regular sugar. This is seen as a benefit by many. They contain synthetic chemicals that stimulate the sweet taste receptors on your tongue. So, let us break down the different types of artificial sweeteners: Aspartame You might not recognize the name, but if you’ve ever used Equal, you’ve been using aspartame. Aspartame is a low calorie sweetener that is approximately 180 times sweeter than regular sugar. The components that make up this artificial sweetener are amino acid, aspartic acid and phenylalanine, which are not only broken down completely by your body, but found in larger quantities in a great deal of foods, such as meat and vegetables. Aspartame is 0 calories and 0 gylcemic index. When combined with dextrose and maltodextrin to form Equal brand sweetener the calories and glycemic index are increased based on the added ingredients. Pros: Essentially Zero calorie additive Zero glycemic index Cons: Often mixed with high glycemic bulking agents Highly controversial/opposing studies on safety Acesulfame K This artificial sweetener is used in a variety of foods and is approximately 200 times sweeter than regular sugar. It is often found in a blend with other sweeteners, such as aspartame. Blending the tw Continue reading >>
What Sweeteners Are Acceptable On A Ketogenic Diet?
This is beyond a shadow of a doubt the most common question I get asked whenever I tell someone about how I eat. Oddly enough, it is not the most common search term that Google uses to send to my site, that would be “What is Sugar Free at Starbucks?” So it just goes to show you, even when people are cutting out sugar, they still want their hit of sweet. So first let me tell you the right answer. The best sweetener you can use is none at all. I know that sounds like madness but if you are addicted to the taste of sweet, the best way to get over that addiction is to stop cold turkey. I know that sounds impossible but once you make the switch your taste buds begin to change and you can taste the sweet inherent in foods you never thought of as sweet. For instance, I was one of those people who had to have sweetener in my coffee and Diet Cokes throughout the day. It took some time but now I rarely drink any soft drinks and I take my coffee strong and black. I do like to experiment with the coffee now because a friend of mine from work started selling their own specialty coffee blends and everything I’ve tried so far has been pretty good. So that’s the actual answer, now let me walk you through the answer you came here for. I think the best sweetener you can use is a liquid stevia/erythritol blend that is available at almost any grocery store across the country or at Amazon here. It is very sweet and seems to go well with bitter things like coffee because some people think it has a slightly bitter aftertaste. I’ve never noticed that but then I use very little when I use it. The second best is probably Saccharin or Sweet ‘n Low. The pink stuff was our first attempt at an artificial sweetener so it has been on the market so long that if there were any side-effects, Continue reading >>
Guide To Natural & Artificial Sweeteners
For hundreds of years, sugar and the delicious foods it produces hooked us good. It goes by many different names and is added to the most unlikely items. Sugar finds its way into our lives every day and will keep you coming back for more. Fortunately in more recent years, people are becoming more aware of the dangerous effects of sugar and are reducing their intake accordingly. For those of us on low-carb diets, this fact is particularly clear. Sugar is to be avoided at all costs. However, sweetness is in our nature! Sugar stimulates the “feel good” parts of our brain. We were raised on sugary sweets in reward of good behavior and associate it with birthdays, holidays and vacations in which we indulge. It’s perfectly natural to crave a sweet treat. In the search for alternatives to use in baking and beverages, artificial and natural sweeteners offer a ray of hope. As with all processed foods, it’s important to examine these critically and consider the risks and benefits they offer. Let’s take a closer look at some sugar substitutes. Natural Sweeteners Nature provides a few sweeteners that can be good for your health. They’re low in fructose and calories, and actually taste good! Here are some natural alternatives to sugar that we enjoy: Stevia Perhaps the most popular natural sweetener, stevia is extracted from the leaves of a plant called stevia rebaudiana, which is grown in South America. Gram for gram, stevia is much sweeter than sugar, so you can use a lot less of it – plus, it has virtually no calories! Stevia also contains a few beneficial micronutrients like chromium, magnesium, potassium, and zinc. Some studies have shown that stevia can lower high blood pressure by 6-14%, and lower blood sugar levels in diabetics1. There are several studies that h Continue reading >>
Do Sweeteners (sucralose, Stevia, Xylitol) Affect Keto Diets?
Now that you’re switching to low carb, you’ve probably found yourself with some sweet tooth cravings. Most fruits and sugary snacks are off limits, but luckily you come across, the much debated about, sweeteners. You’ve heard so much about how they’re terrible for your health, but many people have conflicting opinions on how they affect ketosis. Having experimented with all kinds of sweeteners over the last few years, I thought I’d share my personal experience with consuming them. Before I get into it though, I’d advised you consult your doctor or nutritionist before deciding on a sweetener as I am by no means a medical professional! Are Sweeteners safe for a Keto Diet? I see a lot of people asking this question. Can I have Sucralose (Splenda)/Stevia/Malitol/Xyltitol/other sweeteners while on a ketogenic diet? Before I answer the question, first you need to understand the different types of sweeteners. The types of sweeteners available on the market can be categorized under two main buckets. Natural Sweeteners and Keto Natural sweeteners are exactly what the name means, sweeteners that come from nature and aren’t artificially made in a lab. There are two main natural sweeteners you’ll probably come across. Stevia Stevia is an extract from a plant which is approximately 200 to 300 times sweeter than sugar. Stevia has gained popularity in the last few years and is becoming more widely available at local stores across America. Stevia has a glycemic index of zero, which means it should not affect your blood sugar (insulin) at all. It’s also zero calories and since it’s naturally occurring, it’s been widely adopted by people all over. One thing to be wary when purchasing stevia is that the product may be mixed with other forms of sweeteners or bulking a Continue reading >>
What Is The Best Natural Ketogenic Sweetener?
Sugar is tricky. We are told biologically that our brain runs off of sugar in the form of glucose primarily, and that if we don’t maintain steady blood sugar levels then we will not run optimally. As a society however, Americans vastly overconsume sugar in highly processed forms such as corn syrup and fructose. Consequentially, conditions such as diabetes, obesity, chronic inflammatory disorders, and cancer are all at historically high prevalence rates. Although not the only factor involved, excess sugar intake and rampant blood sugar imbalances can dramatically influence all of these diseases. As more and more people are becoming aware of the detrimental impact of these sweeteners, sugar replacements are flooding the market in order to capitalize on this trend. There are many great natural sweeteners such as stevia, monk fruit, raw honey, yacon syrup and more. The ones with the lowest impact on our blood sugar are stevia and monk fruit. These will help influence the production of therapeutic ketones and the utilization of ketones as opposed to sugar for energy in the body. This article addresses the question: What is the best natural ketogenic sweetener? Many Dangerous Sweeteners Exist Too often I meet people who are diabetic or trying to lose weight who have replaced sugars in their diets with highly refined artificial sweeteners like aspartame or sucralose. These artificial sweeteners are toxic to the brain, disrupt the health of our gut bacteria, and may even lead to metabolic dysregulation (Which could mean weight gain, go figure!). Now there are even artificial sweeteners that claim to be natural and sweetened with healthier alternatives like stevia. What they don’t tell you is that these sweeteners are actually primarily chemical sweeteners with a touch of st Continue reading >>
The Best Sugar Substitutes For Baking In Ketogenic Diets
If there isn’t enough debate and misinformation about natural and artificial sweeteners the LCHF and Ketogenic Diet forums ought to really confuse you. The best sugar substitute for baking low-carb or keto diet, high-fat food depends on the recipe you’re cooking and also its impact on ketosis. At the same time, we don’t just go throwing any old thing in when cooking our tasty sugar-free recipes without thorough research first. We’re here to let you know that we do use a variety of sweeteners in our keto recipes mostly “all” of the sugar substitutes we use are natural. It enables us to keep the things we bake and cook low-carb and sugar-free, yet still tasting delicious. Our recipes just wouldn’t be possible without sugar substitutes. The sweetener we use is dependent on the recipe we’re cooking. Both artificial and natural sweeteners all have varied intensities and flavors. For example, we wouldn’t use pure Stevia in a fat bomb that we wanted to taste like strawberries. We might use Stevia if we wanted to create a sugar-free licorice, however. The Best Sugar Substitute for Baking that we use in our Ketogenic Diet Recipes Erythritol We use Erythritol liberally in our recipes mainly as a blend with stevia in a product called (Natvia). We use it particularly in our keto snacks and keto desserts as it’s ideal as a bulking agent as well. Erythritol (along with erythritol blends) is our most used sweetener in cooking; we keep plenty of it on hand. Due to its easiness on the stomach, and clean sweetness (no aftertaste). While we can tell slight variances in the taste of desserts with erythritol vs. sugar. We cannot tell which is the sugar dessert or the erythritol one, just that there is a slight difference. One point to note is that erythritol is not hygro Continue reading >>
What’s The Best Artificial Sweetener?
One of the most popular questions asked by people who are just beginning the Ketogenic Diet and Lifestyle is about what they can use as a sweetener. Is aspartame okay? Or saccharine? What about Splenda? How about coconut sugar, it’s from a coconut, so it’s good, right? Honey is all natural, right? Make no mistake about it, there is a lot of confusing information out there about what sweeteners you can use. So I thought I’d take a few minutes to explain some things. First off, a little background information is needed. When assessing a sweeteners benefit to keto, the first thing that must be considered is what is known as the Glycemic Index (GI). The GI is a measure of how quickly certain foods will cause a spike in blood sugar. Spiking blood sugar will result in insulin spikes. Insulin spikes is the mechanism for type 2 diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndrome, and a host of other illnesses. So the idea behind keto is to keep the blood sugar low, and certainly to prevent any kind of spiking. The higher the number of the GI for any given food, the more insulin will be produced. Any food with a GI of 70 or higher is considered high. Below 55 is considered low. Everything else (56-69) is in the middle. Okay…now for a brief detour to talk about terms. The question is what “artificial” sweetener is best, but I’m also including some other sweeteners, known as natural sweeteners. And I show the lists separately. Any food with a value of 100 is, essentially, considered “pure sugar.” I included what I consider to be the most common sweeteners, and certainly the most common asked about sweeteners. Name Type of sweetener GI Maltodextrin Sugar 110 Maltose Sugar 105 Dextrose Sugar 100 Glucose Sugar 100 HFCS-42 (High-fructose corn syrup) Modified Sugar 68 Sucrose Sugar Continue reading >>
Sugar, or any alias or variation of sugar (fructose, HFCS, cane syrup, honey, agave, etc), is not keto. Here are the following sugar substitutes that I use on my site: Pyure – This is a mixture of stevia and erythritol. This is my favorite one and I save 15% by buying it through Amazon subscription. Erythritol – Just the pure stuff, such as this one from Now Foods Swerve – This is mostly just erythritol. It comes in granular and powdered. Stevia drops – Such as these from NuStevia Sweet drops – These are also just stevia but they come in flavors. Monk fruit powder, such as this one Sukrin Gold – Brown sugar substitute made with mostly erythritol Sukrin Milis – Powdered sugar substitute made with mostly erythritol Xylitol is also a keto-friendly sweetener, but I have not tried it. This can be toxic to pets so if you buy it just keep it away from your furr babies. Truvia is also keto-friendly. It’s basically stevia/erythritol just like pyure. NOT Keto: Splenda. It has maltodextrin in it. AKA Sugar. That’s right. Splenda, which is advertised to diabetics, actually contains sugar, and our FDA allows this to be marketed as sugar-free! Check out the serving size and you’ll see why. Sucralose. This is another name for splenda. Sometimes you can find pure sucralose which has no maltodextrin in it, however, this is still man made and not technically keto. Stevia in the Raw. Also contains Dextrose which is yet ANOTHER alias for sugar. Opt for pure stevia instead (or a blend of stevia and erythritol) Maltitol. This is man-made sugar-alcohol and can cause terrible bloating or discomfort. Avoid as much as possible. Sorbitol. Same as above. Okay in tiny quantities such as gum or mints. Much lower glycemic response than maltitol though. Aspartame. Stay away from th Continue reading >>
Best Low Carb Sweeteners For Keto
Want to know the number one reason people fall off the ketogenic diet wagon? It’s because their craving for sugar gets to be too much for them. In this day and age, sugary foods and beverages are so common in the typical daily diet that when you stop eating them, your body doesn’t like it, which is why cravings are triggered. The good news is that you can beat these cravings and still enjoy delicious sweetness as long as you know about the best low carb sweeteners for keto. Sucralose You’ve probably already sucralose at some point and didn’t even realize it. It is most commonly sold under the national brand name os Splenda and can be found in most restaurants and coffee shops in the United States. There’s a reason that sucralose is so popular. Taste tests have shown that it tastes closer to sugar than any other sweetener on the market. There is also a noticeable lack of artificial aftertaste, which is always a plus. Many people on keto use sucralose in the form of EZ Sweetz. Even though it’s been on the market for a while, it’s still the new kid on the block when it comes to artificial sweeteners. It was created by actually reverse engineering sugar and changing up its chemical structure. Sucralose also doesn’t have a negative effect on the enamel that protects your teeth like sugar does. EZ Sweetz is a liquid form of sucralose, which has exploded in popularity over the past year or so. One of the biggest benefits of the liquid is that it’s extremely concentrated. A single drop is the equivalent of 2 teaspoons of sugar, the same as a full packet of Splenda. You can use sucralose in cooking and baking, but if you’re going to do this, you’ll want the granulated version. Splenda has you covered and you use it cup for cup, just like sugar. Stevia You m Continue reading >>