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Complete Guide To Sweeteners on a Low-carb Ketogenic Diet

|Complete Guide To Sweeteners on a Low-carb Ketogenic Diet

Most people on low-carb find that once they get used to the diet, the cravings for sugar go away. Many even claim not to use any sweeteners at all. However, you may find it hard to give up sweets, especially at the beginning. I've been researching for natural low-carb sweeteners as well as other healthy alternatives to sugar. As always, there are many sweeteners you should avoid.

I personally avoid using sweeteners regularly and only use them for occasional treats. In fact, most of my recipes in KetoDiet, KetoDiet Basic and my new cookbook don't include any sweeteners at all. If your target is weight loss, sweeteners may impair your progress, as even so-called "zero-carb" sweeteners may cause cravings. If your weight is stalling, avoiding sweeteners or joining my 30-Day Clean Eating Challenge is a good way to break the weight loss plateau.

Note: As all the other posts on my Blog, this post has not been sponsored. All opinions shared are my own and I only use Amazon affiliate links for products I like.

You can download a print-friendly version of this guide here!

Best Natural Low-carb Sweeteners

Following is an overview of healthy sweeteners you could use provided your net carbs limit allows for it. People with very low net carbs limit should avoid using anything other than "zero-carb" sweeteners, like Stevia, Monk fruit sweetener or Erythritol.

1. Stevia

Stevia is an herb, which is commonly known as "sugar leaf". The extract from this herb is used as a sweetener and sugar substitute. Based on the USDA database, Stevia belongs to a group of non-nutritive sweeteners. This means there are no calories, vitamins or any other nutrients. The availability of Stevia can vary from country to country.

Nowadays, it is commonly used in the US and was approved for use in the EU in 2011. The health effects of Stevia have been questioned for the past few decades. However, based on recent studies of the WHO (World Health Organization), Stevia extract doesn't appear to have any harmful effects. Use in modest amounts, it's usually 200-300 times sweeter than sugar! You can get Stevia powder (natural green or refined/white) or Stevia glycerite (liquid, drops).

Commercially available Stevia-based sweeteners are NuNaturals, SweetLeaf and other. If you can, get the liquid stevia / drops, not powdered stevia products. Beware of sweeteners, especially powdered stevia products, that may additionally contain artificial sweeteners, dextrose, maltodextrin (e.g. Stevia in the Raw) or even sugar. Sweeteners with dextrose and maltodextrin are known to raise blood sugar. These may be the hidden carbs you are eating which may be the reason you can't get to ketosis. Also, Dextrose is usually made from GMO corn while Maltodextrin is made from rice and may contain monosodium glutamate (MSG) which is not required by law to be labeled.

Some brands may leave a bitter aftertaste, which also depends on your perception. I suggest you try more brands until you find the one you like. Liquid Stevia from SweetLeaf is one of my favourite sweeteners.

If you notice that your liquid stevia product sometimes gets "cloudy", bin it. Even on the official product websites, don't seem to know either if it's safe to consume or not. The common advice is to bin it. When I noticed that myself, I wasn't sure whether it got "contaminated" when handling it or it simply has short shelf life. Since I didn't want to take any risks, I ended up binning a few bottles. It could be quite upsetting as it's not a cheap product and it's supposed to last for several months. Here is what I've found out: The problem stopped when I started storing my stevia in the fridge. I'm also very careful when handling it, so that I don't accidentally contaminate it. Problem solved!

2. Erythritol

Erythritol is naturally found in fruits, vegetables and fermented foods. It is a sugar alcohol that does not affect blood glucose and has zero calories. Unlike Xylitol, the laxative effects are not reported to be as common. It's because 90% of Erythritol is absorbed before it enters the large intestine and is excreted via urine.

According to medical research, the human body can safely tolerate daily doses of 1 gram per kilogram of body weight. However, in large quantities, it can cause stomach discomfort.

Erythritol has a GI of 0 and 0.2 calories per gram. It does not affect blood sugar and is suitable for a low-carb diet. Its sweetness is about 0.7 of sugar and you may need to use a bit more than sugar.

Erythritol is commonly used in low-carb cooking and is one of my favourites. You can try commercially available sweeteners like Erythritol (non-GMO) or Swerve (a combination of erythritol and oligosaccharides). Another product I've recently come across and would recommend is Lakanto, which is made from non-GMO Erythritol and luo han guo fruit (monk fruit). Lastly, Sukrin is another Erythritol-based sweetener you can try.

3. Monk fruit powder (Lo Han / Luo Han)

Monk fruit, also known as luo han guo or longevity fruit, is a fruit native to China and northern Thailand. It's 300 times sweeter than sugar and has been used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat obesity and diabetes. It's as sweet as stevia but without the bitter aftertaste of most stevia products.

As with all products, you have to be careful what ingredients they contain. Although pure monk fruit is claimed to have no calories and carbs, most products contain other sweeteners like inulin, which contains a few calories.

Avoid anything containing dextrose and maltodextrin or artificial sweeteners and unnecessary additives. A good product should ideally contain only ingredients like monk fruit extract and inulin. Products containing Monk fruit are: Kal Monk Fruit Powder (mostly monk fruit-based), Swanson Lo Han Sweetener (mostly inulin-based) or NuNaturals Lo Han Supreme (monk fruit, vegetable glycerine, alcohol and water).

I would personally avoid a product called Nectresse for several reasons. When you visit their website, it's hard to find out what ingredients it contains. This raises the first alarm. Secondly, the manufacturer is the same as the one selling Splenda which is an artificial sweetener. So, after browsing the internet, I discovered that Nectresse contains the following ingredients: Erythritol (non-GMO?), sugar (for me that's a no-no), monk fruit (good) and molasses (possibly from GM beets).

4. Inulin-based sweeteners

Chicory root inulin (chicory root fibre) is probably the most popular inulin-based sweetener. A product based on chicory inulin, commercially known as Just Like Sugar, additionally contains vitamin C, calcium and orange peel. Although the packaging claims there are almost no calories and no carbs, this isn't exactly true. Studies show that the human body can absorb 150 kcal / 100 grams of inulin on average which means there are some carbs from which we derive calories. Note: I used the same technique for calculating the amount of net carbs like I did in sugar alcohols. It may not be accurate but it's a "safe" way of calculating net carb values (see above).

Apart from chicory root, there are other natural sources of inulin such as Jerusalem artichoke, banana, garlic, jicama, onion or yacon. You may find products made from these foods - just make sure you avoid unnecessary additives and additional sweeteners.

Unlike sugar alcohols, inulin-based sweeteners don't have any cooling effect and shouldn't cause digestive problems if the recommended amount is not exceeded. Studies show that inulin has a beneficial effect on blood sugar and it one of the best sugar alternatives for diabetics and those on a low-carb diet. The nutritional values of chicory inulin are about 150 kcal and 37 g net carbs per 100g / 3.5 oz.

Unlike chicory root, which is not recommended for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, chicory inulin is generally recognised as being safe (GRAS). Inulin has shown to have prebiotic effects beneficial for our health. One of the inulin-type prebiotics are called fructooligosaccharides (FOS). It's a type of carbohydrate which our body cannot fully digest. Consumption of FOS does not increase blood sugar.

Ideally, you should not use sweeteners containing FOS for baking, as the structure of FOS breaks down at high temperatures (over 120 C / 248 F).

When it comes to side effects, inulin has shown to not only feed the good bacteria, but also bad bacteria. This may lead to gas formation and digestive issues. Studies have shown that a daily dose up to 20 grams is well tolerated.

5. Mannitol

Mannitol does not affect blood sugar but has more calories compared to Erythritol - about 1.5 calories per gram.

Recent research shows that Mannitol may be a potential treatment for Parkinson's disease. As for the side effects, Mannitol is not recommended for people with anuria and congestive heart failure.

Mannitol is soluble at higher temperatures and great for candy coating but I haven't tried it.

6. Xylitol

Xylitol is a sugar alcohol that naturally occurs in the fibres of certain fruits and vegetables. It's a sugar substitute that tastes like sugar but has fewer calories.

Like Stevia, it doesn't contain many nutrients but has some other benefits for dental health and may prevent osteoporosis. It's also used in cosmetics and medicines. Xylitol should be used moderately as a sweetener. Although the human body gets adapted after several weeks of consumption, this study shows that doses over 65 grams can cause diarrhoea. Note that "high doses" for some people may be as low as 40-50 grams per day.

Xylitol has a GI of 13 and has 3 calories per gram. It does not affect blood sugar significantly if consumed in moderation. It is 1 to 1.3 times sweeter than sugar, so you can use the same or less than sugar.

Also, be aware Xylitol can be toxic for dogs, so keep it safe out of their reach! I personally don't use Xylitol, as I experienced minor insulin spikes and digestive problems.

Other types of sugar alcohols

Other types of sugar alcohols are Sorbitol, Maltitol, Lactitol, etc. Almost all of these affect blood sugar levels. Be careful with any "low-carb" or "zero-carb" products. All these commonly use Maltitol that affects blood sugar but is omitted from the net carbs count. It's a good marketing strategy, so don't be fooled! To read more about sugar alcohols, have a look at this great article at MarksDailyApple.com, a website devoted to paleo life-style.

How many carbs do sugar alcohols really have?

When you look at the label of most sweeteners containing sugar alcohols, they claim to be "sugar-free" or "carbs-free". These products often contain Sorbitol and Maltitol. They use a simple rule:

Net Carbs (including sugar alcohols, polyols) = Total carbs - Fiber

This is not exactly true, as sugar alcohols may affect blood sugar and contain calories, too. Sugar Alcohols (polyols) are carbohydrates that the human body does not completely absorb. The keyword here is "not completely". I have spent a while trying to figure out how to count the net carbs of sugar alcohols. A reliable source of information is Mendosa.com. You can find a list of sugar alcohols, calorie content & their effects on blood sugar in the table below. I made the following assumptions to estimate the carb content in sugar alcohols included in my table:

  1. all calories are derived from sugar alcohols (a type of carbohydrates),
  2. our body cannot derive any calories from most fiber (insoluble), and
  3. and there are 4 calories in every gram of net carbohydrates,

then net carbs in sugar alcohols can be estimated as follows:

|Complete Guide To Sweeteners on a Low-carb Ketogenic Diet

This may be a conservative way of calculating net carbs but when you are on a low-carb diet, it's better to be safe than sorry. In fact, the main reason I use this method is to avoid overconsumption of sugar alcohols because they may be perceived as foods to be consumed freely. Overconsumption will result in digestive issues and in some cases even in sugar cravings.

When you find "zero-carb" products, always be skeptical. There is no definite rule for counting carbs content in sugar alcohols or chicory inulin. Actually, the effect could be different for each individual.

My advice is that you pay attention to any carbs consumed - even from alcohol sugars, as they may disrupt ketosis & weight loss, as I explain in another post: Not Losing Weight on Low-Carb Ketogenic Diet? Don’t Give Up and Read Further.

7. Tagatose (if available)

Tagatose is a sugar substitute, a monosaccharide naturally occurring in dairy products, fruits and cacao. Since 2001, tagatose has been generally recognised as safe (GRAS).

The taste is very similar to table sugar and Erythritol. It has a very mild cooling effect - it's 92% as sweet and contains only 38% calories of sugar (< 1.5 kcal / g). It has no unpleasant aftertaste and browns and caramelises just like sugar... Somebody said low-carb crème brûlée? :-)

Tagatose only has a small effect on blood sugar and insulin levels, therefore is recommended for low-carb diets. It has a glycemic index of 3 which is very low. It also inhibits digestive enzymes and degradation of carbohydrates in the small intestine which results in inhibition of carbohydrate absorption in the body - that's why the amount of available carbohydrates (net carbs) is quite low (see this table at the bottom of this post).

Among other benefits linked to consuming tagatose are increased HDL cholesterol (reduced risk of heart attack), prebiotic effect (feeding healthy bacteria in your gut) and antioxidant effect. Tagatose has been indicated to be a potential treatment for anaemia, haemophilia, infertility and it doesn't promote tooth decay. It's beneficial for treating type 2 diabetes and obesity.

When it comes to side effects, higher doses of tagatose have been shown to cause mild stomach discomfort, however, lower doses of 10-30 grams have been shown to be well tolerated.

Tagatose is currently not available on Amazon.

8. Organic Yacon sweetener (syrup or powder)

Yacon syrup is a sugar substitute extracted from yacon plant from its tuberous roots grown in South America, Andes. The root has been used for its nutritional and medical purposes for hundreds of years. Like to maple syrup, it's made via natural evaporation. It has a slightly caramel taste and is similar to blackstrap molasses and coconut palm sugar.

Yacon syrup has been known for its anti-diabetic properties. It consists of 50% of fructooligosaccharides (FOS) and a fiber called inulin which does not increase blood sugar. FOS are also extracted from fruits and vegetables such as bananas, onions, chicory root, garlic, asparagus, jicama and leeks.

Yacon syrup is also high in antioxidants and potassium which is an essential micronutrient, when dealing with the symptoms of "Keto-flu". However, the root consists of primarily free fructose at about 35%, so you should consume this sweetener with caution (see this table at the bottom of this post).

Yacon syrup has other health benefits thanks to its significant antioxidant properties and keeping the kidneys and gut healthy. A study has shown that a daily intake of yacon syrup resulted in a significant decrease in body weight, waist circumference and body mass index when given to obese pre-menopausal women.

When it comes to side effects, excessive consumption of yacon syrup can lead to stomach discomfort. This is due to the fiber content and you should not use more than a few teaspoons a day. Also, you should not use yacon syrup for baking, as the structure of FOS breaks down at high temperatures (over 120 C / 248 F).

9. Freeze-dried berry powder

Berries are generally known to be the most nutritious and lowest in net carbs from all fruits. If you can find freeze-dried berries and berry powders with no additives, try them in smoothies, yogurt and baked goods.

Fruit powders add a lot of flavour and you will only need to use a very small amount, so you don't have to worry about excessive carbs.

The net carbs content of freeze-dried fruit varies from 30 to 70 grams per 100 grams (raspberries contain less, while blueberries more carbs). If you want to know how you can use it, have a look at my recipe for No-bake Mini Berry Cheesecakes.

10. Lucuma powder

Lucuma, also known as egg fruit, is a subtropical fruit native to Peru, Chile and Ecuador. Lucuma powder tastes similar to apricots, sweet potato, maple and mango. It's high in carotene and B vitamins, especially B3, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium and calcium.

It's mildly sweet and you can use the powder to sweeten up smoothies or baked goods. Although it's great for flavouring, don't expect lucuma powder to add a lot of sweetness.

11. Dark Chocolate (75% cacao or more)

Dark chocolate can be added to your breakfast "cereal" (such as my recipe for Faux keto oatmeal from KetoDiet), baked goods or yogurt.

When looking for high-quality dark chocolate with the least amount of net carbs, opt for products with over 75% cacao. I personally don't mind a small amount of added sugar but avoid products containing certain sugar alcohols which raise blood sugar (sorbitol, maltitol, etc.) which tend to be added in large quantities. If you can, find products free of unnecessary additives. Small amounts of soy lecithin are acceptable, unless you suffer from soy allergies.

Other Sweeteners - Mostly Avoid

Sugar is sugar - no matter how healthy the sweetener is, it will always impair your weight loss and potentially kick you out of ketosis. The following sweeteners can be labeled "healthy" only if consumed in small quantities. In general, these are not suitable for weight loss but can be added for weight maintenance. Note that they are not organised in any particular order.

Fresh fruit juices

Although fruits and fresh fruit juices should be avoided on very low-carb diets, you can use them in small quantities to sweeten yogurt or smoothies.

Not all berries are the same. While blackberries, raspberries and strawberries have the least amount of net carbs (6-8 g per cup), blueberries contain more than twice the amount of net carbs.

Dried dates and figs

Although some people can metabolise carbs well, most of us are not as fortunate. If you are insulin resistant, you will most likely store any excess carbs as body fat.

Dried fruits like figs and dates are often recommended on paleo diets and may be acceptable for weight maintenance. However, these are not always great for weight loss, in which case you should avoid using dried fruit high in carbs. If you use them, opt for organic fruit with no added sugar.

Rice malt syrup

Unlike honey and maple syrup, rice malt syrup is virtually fructose-free. It contains complex carbohydrates, maltose and glucose. As with all nutritive sweeteners, they are not suitable for a very low-carb diet and also, there is a controversy regarding the safety of rice malt syrup, as it may contain potentially harmful levels of dietary arsenic. Additionally, rice malt syrup has a very high GI (98) which is even higher than table sugar. This means that if you use this sweetener, you will likely experience large blood sugar spikes.

Raw honey

Together with blackstrap molasses and maple syrup, unfiltered raw honey is one of the best nutritive natural sweeteners. The Glycemic Index of honey varies from 32 to 85, depending on the botanical source. While honey could have relatively high GI, the GL (Glycemic Load) is average. About 40% of the sugar content in honey comes from fructose.

Raw honey is different to the processed types you often find in supermarkets. It is worth getting one from your local farmer or a specialty store. Processed honey lacks essential nutrients, which are destroyed during pasteurisation and heating processing.

Additionally, processed honey often contains added sugar. Always look for simple indicators to determine the quality of honey you buy. For example, honey with bee pollen and a part of the comb is more likely to be high in quality than the ones in squeezable plastic bottles.

High-quality honey tends to crystallise, as it contains nutrients and enzymes not present in processed types. Honey contains flavonoids, which are frequently found in fruits, and vegetables and are known for their antioxidant ability. Honey could be included in your diet with caution, because it contains a high amount of carbohydrates.

Coconut palm sugar

Coconut palm sugar comes from coconut palm blossom and has a slightly caramel taste and smell. Like blackstrap molasses, it's rich in minerals such as magnesium, potassium and zinc.

The sugar content in coconut palm sugar is mostly sucrose, which is half fructose and glucose.

Remember, when looking for a healthy sweetener, the lower the fructose content, the better. Several studies have shown that too much fructose in our diet is responsible for what is known as "fatty liver" and the storage of dangerous visceral fat surrounding the internal organs in the abdominal area.

Organic maple syrup

Pure maple syrup is made from evaporated maple tree sap. According to the USDA database, it is high in magnesium and zinc and helps in maintaining optimal immune system function.

Maple syrup is also rich in calcium and contains B vitamins as well as vitamin A and antioxidants. It contains less net carbs than honey and coconut palm sugar.

If used in moderation, maple syrup is suitable for a low-carb diet. Just be aware of your net carbs level: If it's just 20-30 grams a day, avoid it completely.

Organic date syrup

Organic date syrup has a rich flavour and can be used as a substitute to processed sugar. Its mineral content includes potassium, magnesium and iron. Date syrup can be used in moderation but should be avoided when your aim is weight loss through ketosis, as even just a teaspoon may disrupt it.

Unsulphured blackstrap molasses

Blackstrap molasses is a healthy nutritive sweetener. It has a relatively low amount of sugar and high amounts of nutrients. According to the USDA database, blackstrap molasses is particularly rich in potassium. It's also rich in other nutrients such as copper, iron, calcium, and B vitamins.

Molasses is actually a by-product of the sugar-refining process. The flavour is sweet and bitter - it is perfect for baking or even for meat and vegetable meals. Look for unsulphured blackstrap molasses from organic sugar and always use with caution.

Sweeteners to Always Avoid

HFCS (High-Fructose Corn Syrup) and sugar, etc.

Other sweeteners such as processed sugar or high-fructose corn syrup must be avoided completely. In fact, it's probably the worst sweetener you could possibly use - yes, even worse than sugar! Have a look at this video presentation: The Trouble with Fructose: a Darwinian Perspective by Robert Lustig, MD. Dr Robert Lustig explains all you need to know about sugar, especially fructose and and its evil health effects.

|Complete Guide To Sweeteners on a Low-carb Ketogenic Diet

Agave syrup

I used to include agave syrup in the list of suitable sweeteners and used to believe it was good for me. There are some websites that recommend using agave syrup due to some positive health effects, while others advice against it. I recently came accross an interesting article by a reputable weight loss expert Dr. Johny Bowden, who says:
"Agave nectar/ syrup is basically high-fructose corn syrup masquerading as a health food."

Some basic facts: Agave syrup is produced from the blue agave, which is also used in making tequila. It's about 1.5 times sweeter than sugar, but also provides 1.5 more calories - the effect is in result the same. It has a lower GI than sugar but it's 90% fructose, which has damaging effects on our metabolism. Verdict: Avoid it.

Artificial sweeteners

If you plan to use any artificial substitutes like Aspartame, Saccharin, Acesulfame K or Sucralose, beware of potentially negative health effects. Specifically, based on a review of studies regarding the safety of Aspartame I do not recommend using it. When it comes to other artificial sweeteners like Sucralose, there is inconclusive evidence about their safety in the long term and I personally avoid them.

Do artificial sweeteners kick you out of ketosis? The effects of artificial sweeteners vary between individuals. Some people experiencing ketosis claim that certain artificial sweeteners contained in diet drinks put them out of ketosis. According to this article by Mark Sisson, there is only a little effect (if any) on insulin levels from most artificial sweeteners.

Sometimes it's quite difficult to know what ingredients some commercially available products contain. If you want to know the ingredients in various products, have a look at this list: Comprehensive All Sweetener List (scroll down to see List of Sweetener Brand Names).

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Sweeteners in a Nutshell

As mentioned above, there is no definite rule for counting carbs content in sugar alcohols or inulin and oligofructose and the effect could be different for each individual. The table below shows estimates of net carbs in various sweeteners following a conservative approach of counting net carbs, where all calories are derived from them.

Here in a quick overview of sweeteners you can use as part of your healthy diet. You can download a print-friendly version here!

|Complete Guide To Sweeteners on a Low-carb Ketogenic Diet

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Please, note that I do not offer personalised advice. For personalised advice you can contact one of our experts.

Comments (210)

Hello! Thank you for the awesome information. I wonder, though, if you could recommend sweeteners that I could bake with that don't have that wierd cooling effect or leave a funny filmy feeling in my mouth. I've tried so hard to like Swerve, but can't get past those things. Is erythritol the same way? I haven't bought it yet for fear that would be the same way. Are there combinations of sweeteners I can use to reduce or eliminate it? How about sweet recipes that don't need cooked - which ones are best to avoid that same cooling effect? Thank you.

Reply

Hello Kelly, you could try inulin-based sweeteners (Just Like Sugar) if you don't like the cooling effect of erythritol. If you didn't like Swerve, you won't like erythritol (it has a cooling effect). You could try Sukrin syrups - here's more info: ketodietapp.com/.../product-review-and-giveaway-sukrin
You could try NuNaturals stevia which doesn't have a bitter aftertaste: ketodietapp.com/.../product-review-and-giveaway-nunaturals
All can be used for both baked and chilled desserts.

Reply

I just bought some protein pancake mix but wasn't sure what to buy for syrup (pancakes aren't the same without saucy companions imho) and now I discover not only is my agave syrup a wash (bloody $7.95 a bottle) but even the el cheapo "bad" fake sweetened maple syrup has sorbitol, which has a heap of crabs!
IDK what to do with the stuff now- my daughter said the pancake mix is really nice but it cost me a fortune (I live in regional Australia so our choices for keto friendly additives aside from meat and veg is very limited- high protein low carb pasta or Halo Top here ;_; ) and now I can't put anything on them...
Is there anything at all I could try on them? Dry pancakes just seem a little to sad to even bother with.

Reply

Hi Emma, I wouldn't personally use those sweeteners. You could eat the pancakes with some butter, almond butter, mascarpone cheese, low-carb berry jam or cream. Here are some ideas for pancakes that include toppings: ketodietapp.com/.../tagPancakesWaffles&title=Pancakes%20%26%20Waffles

Reply

I love having raw sugar in my morning coffee. I tried having it with stevia but didn't like it.
What would you recommend in trying to get that raw sugar taste for my coffee?

Reply

You could try Erythritol or Swerve. I think these are the best alternatives if you don't like stevia.

Reply

Hi, Thank you so much for all of this info. I'm finding it incredibly helpful. I'm new to keto and have only been doing it for a couple of months.  In my quest for sweetness I came upon something I had never heard of before.  There is a new (ish) product on the market call Whey Low. They make it in several different varieties - granular, brown sugar, maple and diabetic. I'm wondering if you've ever heard of this stuff?  I've purchased it and it tastes incredible - really - just like sugar. But I don't understand how it works.  The website shows the chemical diagrams, but chemistry was never my thing....I'm wondering if you would mind taking a look at it and giving your opinion on the stuff.  I think their website is just wheylow.com.....

Reply

Hi Natalie, this product uses fructose which is the worst type of sugar (if you google "Dr. Robert H. Lustig", you'll find all about fructose). I would definitely avoid it. You may want to try products with erythritol - or even pure erythritol. It's the best alternative for sugar and tastes almost like sugar.

Reply

Martina,
Incredibly grateful for this, and all of the other blogs, you write. My son is autistic and I have found that a ketogenic diet really works wonders for his behavior. (or maybe just so much crap out there on the market with artificial this and that and GMOS that not subjecting him to that is the key). I wanted your opinion on two questions-
1) One of things I used to cook was hot smoked salmon- calls for a ton of brown sugar. What would you recommend substitute and in what equivilent measurement?
2) I drink black coffee, perhaps cream. I am weary about the flavored coffees since it is hard to find nutrional info on "other natural flavors". I know to stay away from the sysrups and addiices and such, but what is your opinion on the benefits/risk of flavored coffee, ie. caramel irish dark roast.
Thanks again for your time, energy and expertise in assisting with us leading a healthy life.
Sincerely,
Robert Urban

Reply

Hi Robert, I'd try Sukrin Brown granulated sweetener instead of regular brown sugar (here's my review of Sukrin): ketodietapp.com/.../product-review-and-giveaway-sukrin
I'm not sure if I would use flavoured coffee and I think it's better avoided if you can't find what they exactly put in the coffee. You could always use flavoured stevia drops - I like this brand (NuNaturals): http://amzn.to/2ctV0Bk

Reply

I think sucralose should not be lumped in with aspartame and saccharine.  Completely different animal and endorsed by many keto ers.  Any thoughts on that particular sweetener?

Reply

Hi Ray, I agree that Sucralose is not the same as other artificial sweeteners such as Aspartame and seems to be well tolerated with fewer side effects. However, based on the studies I've seen and the side effects I've experienced, I avoid all artificial sweeteners including Sucralose.

Reply

Is there a table to reference equal amounts of different sweeteners?  For example, 2t of Splenda equals ? stevia?  I made a low carb chocolate mousse that called for 6 packets of Splenda...I used 6 packets od Stevia and it was awful

Reply

Hi Kathy, I don't have such conversion chart yet but I have this in my to-do list for the next couple of months. I would think that you will only need a few drops of stevia (10-15) or up to 1/4 cup powdered Erythritol. Everyone's palate is different - you should use just a small amount of sweetener, taste it and add more sweetener as needed Smile

Reply

I like that you have provided all the sweeteners and the info on them all, its very comprehensive.  I really appreciate that it is written in an objective way so I can learn the info and decide to research further, or make a decision based on what I've read.  
I've learned a lot from this page alone, some I knew but alot I didn't or wasn't completely informed about, yet and can still continue with a few of my own beliefs to figure out on my journey.  
Thank you.

Reply

Very good information on all the sweeteners. Smart. A wonderful way to avoid
eating them all together. I am a sweetener-aholic and now i figure why i am not losing weight so fast. Thanks so much for your information look forward to MORE. Have a blessed day

Reply

I'm glad it helped! Smile

Reply

Is coconut nectar a low carb sweetener?

Reply

I would personally avoid it on a keto diet, it's a high-carb sweetener.

Reply

I am confused.
The resources for coconut nectar say it is a low glycemic sugar. It's numbers (Big Tree Farms brand, "Amber") are terrific, (and it is yummy!):
1      Tbsp  cal:29  carb:6  fib:1  Net:5  Pro:0  Fat:0
compared to Erythritol (NOW foods):
1      tsp  cal:0  carb:4  fib:0  Net:4  Pro:0  Fat:0
when put to Tbsp:
1      Tbsps  cal:0  carb:12  fib:0  Net:12  Pro:0  Fat:0
And when you put it to Cups, net carbs jumps to 192!
I'm afraid to use it, because it throws my carb numbers so high. The curious thing is calories is "0."
Confused!

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Although Erythritol lists 4 g "net" carbs, the actual effective carbs are almost zero (also zero calories) so it looks like that refers to overall carbohydrates, including sugar alcohols which have no effect on blood sugar in case of Erythritol (see this post for more info).
Coconut nectar is too high in carbs, I would avoid it on a keto diet. You can have a small amount of Yacon syrup or Sukrin syrups instead: ketodietapp.com/.../product-review-and-giveaway-sukrin

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Hi Martina!  I just purchased your Fat Bomb book and tried 2 recipes last night...yum, yum, yum!!   I am having trouble locating all natural flavorings (maple, etc,)  I keep finding flavors with pg and other not so good ingredients.  Can you provide a list of the flavors that you use and where you purchase them?  Thanks so much!  I'm going to buy the keto cookbook next!  P.S.  When my oldest child (we have 5) was 6, she was on the Keto Diet for 2 years for her severe epilepsy.  Her diet was in starvation mode which was very difficult.  Who knew that 10 years later, I would be doing the diet for weight loss!  As for our daughter, she still has epilepsy but no longer needs the diet to control her seizures.  

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Thank you so much for buying my book Trina! I'm glad that your daughter is doing well, I can't imagine how difficult it must have been for both of you.
Whenever I can, I use whole foods instead of extracts (lemon zest, orange zest, vanilla bean powder, cinnamon) - and I buy most of the extracts on Amazon (cherry, maple, etc.). Some may contain glycerin which doesn't seem raise blood sugar. Here's my list on Amazon: astore.amazon.com/ketblo-20 I hope this helps Smile

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Martina,
I am curious about erythritol.  The Now brand that we use and you recommend has 4g of carbs per teaspoon, but if I add erythritol in the custom foods from your app it shows  0.5  net carbs.  It seems to me 4 grams of carbs per teaspoon is not a low carb choice.  Can you explain.  Thanks

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Hi Tara, I count "effective carbs". I'm not sure why they list 4 g carbs per teaspoon (that's about how much a teaspoon weighs) but I suppose that they list it as "sugar alcohols". There are only 20 calories per 100 grams (I count all as carbs which gives you only 20/4 = 5 g net carbs per 100 g).

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Hi, I was wondering if Pure Via is on the forbidden list. It contains Dextrose & Reb A, some kind of Stevia extract. Thanks!

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Hi Tina, I'd personally avoid sweeteners with dextrose (they affect blood sugar).

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Hi Martina,
When talking about Sukrin Erythritol-based sweetener, are you refering to this one?
Sukrin Gold
www.amazon.co.uk/.../ref=sr_1_1

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Yes, that's definitely one of the options - check out this product review: ketodietapp.com/.../product-review-and-giveaway-sukrin

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I tried to find mannitol to purchase.  No luck.  Do you know how to acquire it for home use?  Thanks.

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I think I found it on Amazon a few years ago but I don't use it. You may want to get erythritol instead - that is easy to find.

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Where can I get powdered Erythritol ?
I have Erythritol but some recipes ask for powdered Erythritol!!
I love your blog and recipes 😊

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I make my own - you can powder regular granulated erythritol in a food processor or a coffee grinder. It may clump up over time so it's better to powder it when needed. Or I get Sukrin powdered (icing) erythritol on Amazon - it never clumps up and tastes great Smile

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Hi Martina, I am trying the low card diet but I can not do any of the sugar free sweeteners because they cause me to have bad migraine headaches what can I do instead I can't even eat the atkins bars.

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Atkins bars are not a healthy option anyway so it's better if you don't eat them. If you can't eat erythritol, stevia or monk fruit powder (my top picks), you can still add some sweetness by using berries or dark chocolate (like in this recipe - just skip the sweetener: ketodietapp.com/.../quick-keto-oatmeal).

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Hi Martina, What is your take on Natvia,   http://www.natvia.com/
which can be purchased here in the UK? I'm so confused!!

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I had a quick look and it seems suitable for a healthy low-carb diet. It contains erythritol and stevia. I think that stevia is additionally used to make the product as sweet as sugar (erythritol is only about 70-80% as sweet as sugar).

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I have tried stevia since the late 70s, before it was commercially available in the US in any form.  (I used to have to mailorder it direct from South America!)  However, I have NEVER liked the taste and aftertaste(s) of stevia.  To me, regardless of form, it is bitter and has a lingering sort of metallic aftertaste.  Albeit, being prediabetic, I am still interested in finding an alternative to table sugar, honey and molasses that can be baked and caramelized.
For others who have found stevia's taste somewhat "off," have you found a form and/or particular brand of it that you found--in your opinion--the LEAST disagreeable?
--Mae, MAR/16/2016

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If you don't like stevia, try some of these, it's my favourite brand: ketodietapp.com/.../product-review-and-giveaway-sukrin I also heard that NuNaturals stevia is not bitter but I haven't tried it yet. Once I do I'll post a review.

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Martina, Thank you so much for posting this. Can you tell us what you use?

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Hi Roxanne, I use Erythritol and stevia drops in most of my recipes. Recently, I started using products from Sukrin (erythritol, brown sugar substitute and IMO syrups). I also like SweetLeaf and NuNaturals sweeteners, including monk fruit sweetener.

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Dear Martina,
Thank you so much for this insightful post. I was wondering if you know this product: fluid vegetable glycerine (e.g. www.bobbyshealthyshop.co.uk/...product-details.php) and whether you approve of it. Will it affect ketosis etc.? I sometimes struggle as to how replace honey and other liquid sweeteners in baked goods and wondered whether this is something I could use.  As I consider you to be an authority, I thought I better ask your opinion on this before I buy and try it Smile

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Thank you Sarah! Yes, vegetable glycerine is another option but I would only use it when making ice-cream (keeps it wonderfully soft and creamy). It has more calories than sugar (that's why I use it sparingly) but shouldn't affect ketosis or raise blood sugar.

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Hello Martina,
This is really usefull, since I'm still figuring out which sweetener to use for which recipe. I have some canisters and bags of "Just like sugar" brand. However, one of the canisters had another description on the ingredient list.'Just like sugar is a unique blend of "Crystaline maltodextrine and chicory root fiber' I've contacted the company to ask if there is yes of no maltodextrine in their product. They asked me for pictures of the different products I bought and I've tried to get an answer for like 10 times, with no results. Nobody seems to want to answer this question, but I would really like to know this. Can I still use the products or is better to use another sweetener?
Thanks, Sofie

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Hi Sofie, I have some "Just like Sugar" at home but I don't use it very often. Mine has no maltodextrin in it - maybe they used to have it but removed it? I like Erythritol (also easier to get where I live) and also Swerve. Stevia is another option and I usually add a few drops together with Erythritol. I rarely use stevia on its own to avoid bitter aftertaste. Hope this helps!

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Hi Martina, thank you SO much for the wonderful breakdown on sweeteners! After reading your blog, I bought Swerve for my coffee & an occasional unbaked sweet treat & have really loved not experiencing the bitter after taste of straight stevia. I've been on the induction phase for 3 weeks & trying to achieve deep ketosis but have only been successful with purple readings once. I realize there might be other health factors impeding this goal perhaps (slow thyroid?) but would the oligosaccharides in Swerve prevent Ketosis? There was one brief line in Dr Atkins book where he mentions that he felt oligosaccharides would prevent Ketosis but he didn't elaborate or give any reasons as to why he tended to have this opinion. What insights are out there about oligosaccharides relative to Ketosis?

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Thank you Michelle! I think this post may answer most of your questions: ketodietapp.com/.../how-to-low-carb-15-common-weight-loss-mistakes
I think that Swerve and Erythritol are the best options (if you don't like stevia). Erythritol is slightly better (no FOS) but I think that small amounts won't make a difference. The difference between Erythritol and Swerve is that FOS found in Swerve add more calories (not carbs) but it's still not significant. The problem with sweeteners is that they may cause cravings and it's better to limit/avoid them sometimes.

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Thank you so much for this very informative article.  I do not have a sweet tooth by any stretch of the imagination - I normally use 1/2 teaspoon in my 12 ounce coffee. But without it, my coffee sucks LOL.  If Erythritol can help me with my addiction to coffee while attempting to remain in Ketosis - YES.!!  You are a goddess Smile  Thank you again for your information and extremely detailed and helpful blog.!!

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Thank you so much Andy!!!

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Thanks for pulling this together in one place.  I've just started HFLC diet about 8 days ago.  Lost 10lbs allready.
Sweetners have a place...but the RIGHT one is the one I'm looking for. Thanks again.

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That's great! Well done!!

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This article is a great help! I've been on a lchf diet for a week now but ive foolishly bought sweetener tablets with the main ingredient as lactose followed by stevia. They are tiny but will they have any effect on ketosis?

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Hi Suzy, I'm not familiar with these sweeteners so I'm not sure (quantity, content of each of the ingredients, etc). Lactose would have a effect on blood sugar but it depends on the amount. I think that stevia is listed second because it's 200-300 times sweeter than sugar.

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Hi, in your opinion is the best tasting low carb sugar free sweetener? & the best baking low carb sugar free sweetener?.

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I think that the best tasting one is Erythritol or Swerve - works great for anything including baking. Just keep in mind that when you use it in recipes that are not heated, you have to use "powdered" Erythritol - I do that in my food processor. 100% Tagatose (not a blend of sweeteners) has an amazing taste but I don't know if it's possible to find it any more. NuNaturals don't seem to have it anymore.

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This is a good article with a nice breadth of different sweeteners. I enjoyed it very much.
I would like to say that the "evidence" posted against sucralose on that website (mercola.com) is completely unfounded, inaccurate, and misleading. If you do any actual research, you would find out that sucralose is among one of the most tested and researched artificial sweeteners on the market today. I mention this because I don't want people scared away from a good product because of bogus scare articles.
Keep in mind that if you do choose sucralose as a substitute, you must get liquid sucralose and not sucralose as it exists in the form of Splenda. Splenda binds sucralose to maltodextrin and dextrose, causing it to have carbs (and negative inflammatory effects). Liquid sucralose has been shown to have no side effects (even in excess).
I would also mention that most of the research debunking aspartame is also bad, but aspartame tastes like crap anyways, so I wouldn't recommend it on that basis alone.

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Hi Michel, thank you for your insights. I have to agree that the link to Mercola shouldn't be there. It's an old post that I wrote a few years back and I no longer link to that site. When it comes to aspartame, there is conflicting evidence but the vast majority of pro-aspartame studies are industry-funded which always raises questions about their credibility. I don't personally use artificial sweeteners.

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It's a hard thing to give up 'sweetness'in any form.  I've read articles stating that even the taste of sweetness sets off a physiological response in the body that releases insulin.  Giving up stevia, xylitol, in addition to doing a modified 'zero carb' (meat/water) with low carb veggies is the only thing that got my weight to drop.  Even when I was in 'deep purple' ketosis, I wasn't losing any weight.  It's a tough call but I was desperate enough to *try* it . . . first week lost #4 in 4 days-maybe more as I haven't continued to weigh in.  Really happy to see you discouraging sweeteners . .  low carb, natural, whatever.  For some (not all) we have to quit the whole spectrum of sweetness.  Is it worth it?  I've still got #30 to go but the thought of fitting back into my buckets of small clothes and knowing the secret to stay in them-yes, it's worth it to me.

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I think you're right that some people respond to any sweetness, even if it has no effect on blood sugar. I didn't experience that but I know that others may do. Some low-carb sweeteners do have an effect on blood sugar (e.g. xylitol) but stevia and erythritol have zero effect. I don't think it's always because it raises insulin but it may trigger cravings in other ways. I didn't do well on "zero-carb" but that might be because of my thyroid issues (Hashimoto's). Then again, everyone is different and if "zero-carb" works for you, that's great!!

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Great post! Thanks for this. I have been using a powdered stevia product by Nature's Garden (sold at Holland & Barrett). Have you come across this?

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Hi Paul, thank you for the tip. I haven't tried it myself but I'll have a look. From what I found it should be fine: it's made with inulin and stevia - the label says "stevia extract powder" so I'm just not sure how it's made. It also contains "silicon dioxide" which is considered safe.

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Great insight to what can be a super confusing subject! We've been so all over the place with our preferred natural sweetener that we've simply stopped using them in all our new sweet treat recipes! Our fave new recipe is our Sweetener Free Pumpkin Cacao Brownies (they are paleo too) super delish! Smile Thanks again!

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I think it's always better if you can avoid sweeteners altogether. Less sweeteners = less cravings Smile

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I am LOVING all your insight!! I'm new to this & it's been so helpful! I've tried SO many brands of stevia & absolutely LOVE Kal liquid stevia. No awful aftertaste. I've converted many friends who were convinced stevia was awful Smile. Amazon has it along with luckyvitamin.com & iherb.com, just to name a couple. Thx again!

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Thank you Shannon, I'll have to give that brand a try!! Smile

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Thank you for this comprehensive write-up.  I have about 5 tbsp a day of powdered Stevia in the Raw with my morning bowl of coffee (I like it sweet) and it explains why my keto diet was not going as well as I'd hoped despite otherwise consuming a 70/25/5 ratio for the past few months.  I had gone with another brand that didn't contain maltodextrin initially but the granules didn't dissolve into my mousse particularly well and the price of SitR was comparatively lower.  Now I know better and will be looking for either my initial product choice or some erithrytol at a specialty store.  Not to mention finish off my agave once I'm off keto and never purchase it again.
Though I have had changes with the keto diet, based on my daily consumption of maltodextrin, do you have an educated guess on whether removing it from my daily food intake will have a significant effect or not?  I still pretty much have a new bag that was recently opened and am wondering if while I'm doing keto I should chuck it aside for the time being or use it til it is finished at a smaller amount.

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Thank you B! Yes, maltodextrin and dextrose can raise blood sugar and are, unfortunately, added to many low-carb sweetener mixes. It's hard to tell how big the effect will be for you but it is definitely beneficial. I'd avoid it for a while if I were you just to see if it makes any difference but all other macros are important too so make sure you don't focus just on carbs (http://ketodietapp.com/Blog/page/KetoDiet-Buddy). Hope this helps!

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Hi. 100g of Erythritol it's only 5g of carbs? Sorry to repeat this, but I can't understant where is the rest of the carbs. Thanks.

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Hi George, this is explained in this post too - search for "How many carbs do sugar alcohols really have?" Sugar alcohols don't have the same effect on blood sugar and our body cannot fully absorb them.

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I use a product called Steviva Blend, which is a mix of Stevia & Erythritol and doesn't have the bitter taste that stevia leaves behind.  It's expensive though at $11.99/lb. However, I only use 1 tsp. in my coffee, so it should last a while if you only use it for that. I've used it in baking and it works perfectly. It has a 2:1 sweetness ratio to sugar. New Season's here in Oregon carries it.  Amazon has it too, but it's $14.95 there.

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I haven't tried it but I think it must be good - I like mixing stevia & erythritol in my recipes!

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How about something like Berocca (effervescent food supplement).  That's something I used to use every now and again - is this a no-no on a low carb diet?  If so, are there any alternatives I can use?

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I'd avoid it because it contains some unhealthy ingredients such as Acesulfame K and Aspartame. I think it's better if you just make lemonade from fresh lemons and add a low-carb sweetener from the list above Smile You won't need supplements on a LCHF diet - apart from magnesium which I personally take.

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Hi..
Interesting stuff. So I understand certain things are pliable for tiny amounts... But maybe I missed it in all the comments... What's the best  sweetener when you have to use large amounts in recipes that may call for 1/2 cup of sugar, or more? I have been doing the no sugar thing for quite some time... Sweetleaf stevia I love ONLY in drinks, and I cannot stomach it in solid foods. The after taste is too much. I was keen on Birch Xylitol, but learned larger amounts affect glucose levels, etc... So when you dont want to sweeten a drink, or put a measly tsp in something, What about for larger needs to replace sugar? What works best? I might have missed the answer to it in the comments.

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Hi David,
for large amounts, the best sweetener is Erythritol / Swerve. When I use Erythritol in my recipes, I also combine it with stevia (say 1/2 cup Erythritol + 15-20 drops stevia depending on the recipe). I quite like to mix these two to avoid the aftertaste some of the sweeteners have.
How much?  It really depends on your palate. As you get used to LC eating, you'll use less sweeteners. Sometimes, I don't use any sweetener at all. When substituting sugar with Erythritol, I use the same amount or even less. Because Erythritol is not as sweet as sugar, I usually add a few drops of stevia.
Yes, Xylitol has affects blood sugar and can cause stomach discomfort in large amounts (I actually experienced that with only half the recommended amount). Hope this helps!

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Maybe this was already addressed, but I didn't see it. Does Erythritol affect ketosis at all? Maybe this is redundant, and if so, I apologize. But my bag says it has 0 everything except carbs. It has 4 carbs per tsp!

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Hi Tiffany, no, it shouldn't. It has no effect on blood sugar and very little calories. The reason I don't count it as a "zero-carb" sweetener is simply to avoid over consumption of sweeteners which is what happens to some people on a LCHF diet. There are 20 calories in 100 g so I count 5 g net carbs per 100 g (20 calories divided by 4 calories in every gram of carbs is 5 g net carbs). In a tablespoon, you'd have 0.5 g net carbs and in a teaspoon almost nothing. Hope this helps!

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Thank you for this great article ! I only wish I could print it up without all the responses? I am totally new to a keto diet & have no support from anyone I know ? I do not know if I have entered keto sis yet I bought the test strips but I'm confused to when to do them and don't want to drag them every were I go? Im probably doing this wrong ? I did try Atkins back in 1990 lost 9 pounds then got pregnant with my 2nd son ! Lol but I have been dealing great ! And have no gastrointestinal problems or should I say my constant problem has gone( yeah!!!) My question is Vitafiber? It's a isomalto-oligosaccharide) very high in fiber !and is supposed to be probiotic ? Oh and I can not get enough of this app love it! So informative to me 10 stars

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Hi Cindy, thank you so much! I'll now add a quick PDF version and link to download it (top of this post). This will enable you to print it without the responses.
I think you may want to read this post (Ketosis & measuring ketones): ketodietapp.com/.../Ketosis-Measuring-Ketones
and here is a complete guide to keto: ketodietapp.com/.../Practical-Guide-to-Keto-Paleo-Diet-for-Health-and-Long-Term-Weight-Loss
Vitafiber is a prebiotic - as you said, it's IMO. Make sure you don't use too much of it to avoid digestion issues. I'm not sure what you wan to use it for but if it's as a sweetener, there are better alternatives such as erythritol. Hope this helps!

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Excellent..will try on it...just one thing..THANK YOU so much for your prompt reply..it's so good to get replies right away...shows your hard work and dedication to your readers...u r too sweet...not the "sugar" sweet but eryithol sweet lol ..take care Smile

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Thank you Sabi!! **blushing** Smile)

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So helpful...where can I find erithol..can it be found in stores or only online?

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Hi Sabi, thank you! It depends where you live. I get mine from Amazon and I haven't seen it in stores but you may be able to find it. I've only seen stevia and xylitol in stores in the UK.

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Thank you so much for the extensive research. It's fabulous! I've been using Splenda for years. My doctor doesn't discourage it's use. But it has about 1 carb per 1 packet so I want to try something else. While my lifestyle is low-carb, my carb intake is higher than many others but I still like to keep it as low as possible. I was thinking of switching to Swerve. What do you recommend that doesn't taste awful (liquid Stevia tastes awful to me!) AND has low carbs? Like I said, I am thinking about purchasing Swerve. What's the difference between Swerve and Erithroyal (sp!) I thoufh Swerve was Erithroyal but after some of these posts, I am confused! Thanks for your advice!

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Hi Regina, I think that the best tasting sweetener is tagatose. However, it's different (caramelises) when used in baking and it has slightly more carbs than other low-carb sweeteners. I think that Erythritol and Swerve are the best low-carb sweeteners (both great taste & very low in carbs). Stevia has even less carbs   because you won't use more than a few drops, but the taste is not pleasant for everyone. I personally prefer Erythritol - it is pure sugar alcohol. Swerve is almost the same - just a brand name. Swerve includes erythritol, oligosaccharides and natural flavours. The carb content is the same as Erythritol. Hope this helps! Smile

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Also two tablespoons of peanut butter good or not so good?? I crave sweets really bad and always have so I will grab a spoonful of peanut butter instead of a chocolate bar

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When it comes to carbs - yes, peanut butter is fine. However, I also follow a paleo/primal diet and avoid legumes so I'd have almond or macadamia nut butter instead. You can have a piece of 85% dark chocolate too Smile

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Also on the weekends I drink vodka with a squirt of mio???

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I think a drink or two is ok but I'd rather avoid alcohol altogether if I was you. It's fine for weight maintenance (sugar-free) but not ideal for weight loss. When you consume alcohol, you basically "block" fat burn, as your body has to burn alcohol first.

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Yea I use regular sugar in my coffee, can possibly switch to cream!! Thanks so I will use stevia instead!!

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I have been doing no carb low carb for a while now, but I do love my sweets, usually I have a cheat day once a week but lately I have been finding it harder to lose the pounds per week like use to, I think it maybe because I'm now lifting weights. I have three Tim Horton coffees a day two milk two sugar and I was just wondering would it help any at all if I changed my sugar to stevia??? I always said when going on a diet I would never give up my coffee... These are probably the only carbs u consume a day beside 2 tablespoons of peanut butter... HELP PLEASE

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Hi Danielle, right now do you use regular sugar or some other low-carb sweetener? That would make a huge difference. Do you use milk? Have you thought of switching to cream instead? (less carbs) It would - without any doubt - help if you used stevia or erythritol instead of sugar. How about other sources of carbohydrates? I suggest you have a look at the keto food list here: ketodietapp.com/.../Keto-Diet-Food-List-What-to-Eat-and-Avoid Hope this helps!

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Amazing, thank you. Awesome post!

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Thank you!

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Martin, THIS ARTICLE is incredibly well written, educated, intelligent and such great piece of work. Well done! I absolutely HAD to share it with my readers of my blogazine. I recently found your bloq and recipes and tried out the frozen chocolate fat bombs (misskay.tv/.../) and I am trying your vanilla ice cream tomorrow! Thank you so much for all you do! Love it!
Cheers
Miss Kay

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Thanks so much Miss Kay! Smile

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Hi, you may have already referenced this in the many comments above but there are so many to go through, I thought I'd just ask. I read on another ketogenic diet/low carb site that it was okay to order sugar free syrups in a heavy/whipping cream latte at Starbucks. I had ordered a grande worth sugar free vanilla syrup but nowage reading your article, I'm afraid I've stalled my progress and my weightloss on my ketogenic journey. I'm only on my 3rd week Frown Are their sugar free syrups not recommended?

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Hi Penelope, sugar-free syrups at Starbucks are not particularly healthy. Here are the ingredients:
WATER, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS, MALTODEXTRIN, CELLULOSE GUM (E466), CITRIC ACID (E330), SUCRALOSE (E955), PRESERVATIVE: SODIUM BENZOATE (E211), COLOR: CARAMEL (E150d).
These syrups may not contain sugar but may cause sugar cravings & weight stalling. I suggest you only get Americano with pouring cream (not whipped, they often add sugary syrups in their whipped cream). Hope this helps!

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Any thoughts on how vegetable glycerin/glycerine/glycerol might affect blood sugar?

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Hi Sara, glycerin has negligible effect on blood sugar. There is more about it at Mendosa.com (link in this post above).

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Superb web page.  Taught me more about my powdered stevia product than I knew.  I will be sticking to liquid stevia for my home made ice cream.  Thank you.  

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Thank you Robert! Liquid stevia is great Smile

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thank for the great post,i have agree for this, even i like some sweetener of it's. and the best sweetener that i love is java sugar.. may be you should to taste it...

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Thanks, I'll have a look at it, never heard of that sweetener.

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What's your one favorite sugar substitute as listed in this article? I simply do not want to drink my coffee without some sweetener. Which one tastes more like sugar and does NOT leave an aftertaste?
Thank you in advance <3

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The best tasting sweetener in my opinion is Tagatose, as it leaves no aftertaste and really behaves like sugar (caramelises and is as sweet as sugar). However, it's not completely carbs-free so I'd only use it in small amounts (like in coffee). My favourite sweeteners are Erythritol and stevia drops (either SweetLeaf or NuNaturals) Smile

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Can someone tell me if SKINNYGIRL MONK FRUIT is a good one to try?

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Hi Luce, I'd avoid it, it includes sodium benzoate which is a toxic preservative.

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What about Truvia?  I didn't see information about it. Unless I missed it.

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Hi Monica, here is what I said in one of the above comments: "I'm not sure about Truvia and I haven't used it. Some of the ingredients look ok (erythritol, stevia extract), but the nutrition facts seem off. It says it has 75% fewer calories than sugar. Since Erythritol and all the other ingredients are almost calorie-free, this doesn't add up. I'd expect almost no calories and carbs. Although both stevia and Erythritol are suitable sweeteners, I'm not sure what the "natural flavors" represent. Lastly, Truvia's erythritol might be made from GMO corn."

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Ok, so I'm just learning about yacon syrup.  This is another choice?  I'm sorry if this is a repeat question.  Thanks! Btw... not using agave is making me really sad right now, since I just found an organic agave salted caramel syrup for my coffee that I adore. Frown

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Hi Misty, yacon syrup is a healthy alternative but I'd be careful with the amounts you use. I'd only use a teaspoon or tablespoon a day (depending on your carb limit). I love the taste and use it to sweeten up my yogurt with nuts and a handful of berries Smile

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As the holidays approach, I'm pondering extreme low carb baking.  I'm seeing where you've stated some of these sweeteners are NOT okay for baking, but I don't see your preference for actually using for baking.
I typically use 1-2 liquid stevia drops to add sweetness to my heavy cream or yogurt, but I'm looking at cheesecake and cookie recipes and wondering if that'll work.  The texture might be off...but most of the granulated stuff has extra added carbs.
Thoughts?  Thanks!
-T.

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Just an update to my own post:  I ended up using 1/4 cup erythritol + 16 drops of liquid stevia to replace 1 cup of sugar in a pie recipe.  It turned out awesome!  Laughing
-T.

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Hi Teneko, I like using a combination of Erythritol & stevia drops. If you go through any of the "sweet" recipes on my blog, you'll see that I only use these sweeteners. I've tried Swerve but it's not available where I live and I didn't like the taste. For every cup of sugar, I use 1/4-1/3 cup Erythritol + 10-15 drops stevia - just like you did! Smile

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Hi Martina, Love your blog and your recipes... I've been in Ketosis for 3 months and although I thought I was healthy before and I've never really been overweight, I have never felt better in my life.  The Keto Diet has changed my life.  
I always look into our blog when planning my weekly meals and shopping  Smile
You use Erythritol in our recipes a bit though, and I do not seem to tolerate Erythritol very much.  I feel bloated and get a lot of intestinal discomfort.
If I were to replace the erythritol in our recipes with powdered and/or liquid Stevia.  What would be the ratio from Erythritol to Stevia?  Thanks!

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Thank you Karla! My worry with stevia would be that it may add bitterness. Stevia is so sweet that if you use slightly more than you should, it will make any recipe taste bitter (I usually use a combination of both stevia and erythritol). There are some sweetener blends but I think that they also use erythritol so I'm not sure if that would help. Another option is inulin-based sweeteners but they may cause the same issues as erythritol. I think that if you use stevia instead, you'll have to go by your palate. Hope this helps Smile

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so, no coke zero? Laughing

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Hi Roxi, soda drinks containing artificial sweeteners may affect weight loss due to their effect on appetite. This applies to all sweeteners, even the healthy low-carb sweeteners and varies individually. My main concern with artificial sweeteners is their negative health effects.

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Thank you for your incredibly well-researched and clearly written post.  I have been very health and diet-conscious for the past 26 years due to various dietary restrictions (Seafood vegetarian; later lactose intolerant, wheat sensitive; now "no red meat" keto, and somehow miraculously able to have dairy again).  I, like many, had thought that agave syrup was a healthy alternative to refined sugar.  I had no idea!  I also spotted some "low carb" chocolates at the store, but found that they're all sweetened with malitol and end up having almost as much carbs as a normal dark chocolate.  That was a shock!  Now that I've been 2 months on keto, of course I've been avoiding agave and other sugars, but recently I picked up some sausages and found they have some maple syrup in them.  As long as the listed carbs falls within my daily restrictions, do you think it's going to be a Bad Thing to have those?  What about the bit of sugar that's in cured and "uncured" meats like bacon and ham?  I'm wondering because there's a brand of local natural bacon sold here that has no added sweeteners at all, but boy is it expensive!
Thanks again!
-T.

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Hi Teneko, exactly. I like dark chocolate which has a small amount of sugar but didn't notice any sugar spikes - it depends on the amount and carbs per serving. As long as you fit within your daily carb limit, you can even have a bit of maple syrup added in sausages and cured meats. I guess that these won't add many carbs anyway but if they do, it may be easier to switch to another brand. The same applies to ham and bacon. I personally don't eat sausages, bacon and ham that often but when I do, I try to get those with the least ingredients. The drawback is that these are sometimes quite pricey.

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It usually ends up being 1-2 extra carbs per serving.  I've been avoiding the ones that are up to 3-4 extra because my limits are SO incredibly low - only 17 net carbs per day really goes fast.
Thanks a ton.  I'll keep an eye on my progress and see how my body reacts.  I think the maple sausage I had will be off limits because it actually tasted sweet.  It would have been better as a topping for pancakes (haha).
-T.

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Yes, if it's 1-2 grams, it's very low. Just make sure you are aware of all carbs, even in sugar-free chewing gums (0.5-2 grams). If you want to try a healthy low-carb sweetener on pancakes, try yacon syrup it's delicious Smile I'd maybe just avoid it unless your limit is at least 25 g net carbs a day.

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I am glad I found this discussion about sweeteners. I noticed that "Sugar in the Raw" was never brought up as an issue. I've been on my 3rd week of keton diet and I am still using this supposedly low glycemic natural cane turbinado from Hawaii for my daily coffee in the morning (at lest 1 tsp)cup.
What is your take about using raw sugar?
Thanks

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Hi Angelo, it depends on what your goal is. If you follow a low-carb diet, almost all sweeteners are better avoided (apart from the first few sweeteners I have in the list). When it comes to counting carbs, it doesn't matter where they come from. Raw sugar has some micronutrients compared to regular table sugar but the effect on blood sugar is the same. If you want to get the most of sugar cane, go for blackstrap molasses.

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Hi!
Thank you so much for this great list of sweeteners, its so helpful! Smile  I was wondering what you mean by yacon syrup having a high fructose content (up to 35%)? Do you mean 35% fructose on top of those 50% that is inulin/FOS? If it's this what you mean then that means there is 3,5 g of fructose in 100 g of bacon syrup, am I correct or have I misunderstood this? Would appreciate it if you could clarify as I really like yacon syrup and love it for making raw chocolate at home! Smile

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Hi Rita, there are FOS, glucose and fructose. Fructose content can be up to 35% (counted from the dry root matter). Yacon syrup is a healthy alternative but I would personally be careful with the amounts used (a tablespoon a day). In general, if you don't follow a very low-carb diet, you can have it more frequently.

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Love your site and app! I'm actually doing an accelerated meal plan from mariamindbodyhealth.com. I'm coming from a paleo diet, and am not at all used to the taste of stevia/erythritol/swerve. Especially the stevia. I've only been eating this way a week, so maybe I just need more time. Any recommendations for getting used to these sweeteners? Thanks!!! Laughing

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Thank you Kelly! My favourite is Erythritol, stevia always has a slight aftertaste and you really have to be careful with how much you use. I don't use sweeteners that often but I used to have coffee with 2-3 drops of stevia which was about the right amount before it got bitter. I think it's better if you avoid sweeteners for a start and then add them slowly back in. Another option that is very close to sugar is Tagatose.

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Hi Kelly H -- did you get used to the healthier sweeteners yet? Are you still doing the accelerated meal plans? I'm interested in others' experiences after a few months Smile

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Hi Martina,
Thank you so much for this.
I have not heard of several of these.
I was wondering if the information given re insulin/blood sugar spikes is an indicator of fructose content?
Thank you again for much" food for thought"

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Hi Noeleen, it's not just their fructose content but anything that can raise blood sugar / insulin: glucose, fructose, sugar alcohols, etc. From this point of view, stevia, monk fruit extract and Erythritol seem to be he best. Hope this helps Smile

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Thanks soooooo much for your awesome research and blog. I just have a question, I am doing the hcg diet, and I am not allowed to have sugars except for sweetners, I was thinking of purchasing Tagatose and monk fruit, would these be ok . For the purpose of hcg diet, which only allows for a max of 12 to 15 grms of carb a day.
Would really appreciate you imput and others.
Thanks

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Hi Titi, I'm not a big fan of the HCG diet because it only allows 500 kcal a day which is way too low. Here is a great article comparing the HCG and low-carb diets written by Franziska Spritzer who is a dietitian: www.lowcarbdietitian.com/.../hcg-diet-vs-carbohydrate-restriction-for-weight-loss
You can use any sweeteners with no or little effect on blood sugar. I personally prefer Erythritol and stevia drops but tagatose and monk fruit powder are also suitable options. Hope this helps!

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Hi, thanks for your great article! I've found some delicious no sugar added chocolate bars here in Australia with around 2-5g carbs per bar (depending on dark/milk/flavouring). The main sweeteners are erythritol and stevia. The milk variety contains milk solids (milk powder, milk fat) and both milk and dark contain polydextrose. Should I be concerned about either of these ingredients, especially the polydextrose? Does powdered milk affect blood sugar in the same way as regular milk? Thanks!, milk powder and polydextrose (soluble dietary fibre).

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Thank you Georgina! Polydextrose is synthesised from glucose and also contains small amounts of sorbitol and citric acid. According to studies, it has a very little effect on blood sugar: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/72/6/1503.full I have no personal experience with polydextrose and prefer Erythritol and stevia.
In my opinion, if the product contains milk powder, these carbs should be included in the net carb count. Unless it's protein isolate, milk powder is relatively high in carbs and it depends on the quantity they use. Hope this helps!

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Thank you so much for this blog. I recently have been trying to switch to LCHF because of insulin resistance. I used Splenda when I was younger but we all know that is not good. So I have tried Stevia and have horrible side effects with it. Thank you for giving me other options to try! I was coming to terms with the fact I wont be able to have any sweets but this gives me hope!

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Hi Jena, thank you! I'm sorry to hear that. I'd probably try Erythritol / Swerve or monk fruit sweetener. It may not be stevia itself causing this but other ingredients they often mix it with. Just in case you had only powdered stevia, try the drops, they are usually tolerated well.

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I found this really interesting, thanks.
I love using 'superfoods' as sweeteners as it is a great way to get the extra nutritional benefits of the antioxidants and still be able to enjoy guilt free sweetness!
Lucuma ice-cream is delicious - I am considering trying it with the Amerenatta cherries which is how I found myself here in the first place!

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Thank you Ruth, and for finding your website - added to my list of online health shops here in the UK Smile I only used lucuma in smoothies but ice-cream is on my long todo list! I like the slightly apricot taste it gives to smoothies. I will post a recipe for ice-cream that goes with the amarenata soon.

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Thank you for the great post. It includes most of the natural sweeteners that I'm curious about. I'm very sensitive to carbs but I missed my sweets so much. Anything like Lo Han powder or maple syrup is too much carb for me. And I don't like sugar alcohol. So, I bought one bottle of yacon syrup, so expensive and I can't take more than 1/2 teaspoon a day...
I wonder if mesquite powder is more tolerable and lower in carb. Have you ever researched this substance?

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Hi Quinn, thank you! Pure monk fruit powder should be very low in carbs but I'm not sure which product you've tried. Have you tried stevia - the drops are the best I've tried (NuNaturals or SweetLeaf). Yacon syrup is a good alternative to sugar but may not be suitable for a very low-carb diet, as it still contains carbs. I haven't tried mesquite powder myself and I'm not sure how sweet it is and if it can be used as a regular sweetener. I guess it's quite similar to lucuma powder which is great for smoothies and baking but it doesn't add much sweetness and can't be used everywhere. Hope this helps!

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Very good article. I am a physician who runs a weight loss and wellness program through my office. I haven't been able to get a good answer to this question: I understand that inulin and fructo-oligosaccharides are not digested until colon. They have about 1.5 to 2.5 calories per gram. For purposes of a ketogenic diet, should these be viewed as similar to fat calories, or carb calories? Will these substances throw you out of ketosis? I have not been able to find the answer to this, though I think the answer is no.
Have you seen a Canadian product called "NousVous"? I'd be curious about your thoughts on it.

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Thank you Emily. I tried to find the product you are referring to, is it supposed to be a sweetener?
Fructooligosaccharides can be used on a low-carb diet but in small amounts (as all sweeteners). I personally prefer stevia, as this sweetener doesn't seem to have any effect on my progress. Erythritol is my second best option.
You can estimate the amount of carbs for the purposes of the ketogenic diet (same as in case of alcohol sugars) but this estimate is not 100% accurate, as FOS may have different effects on people. I prefer to view FOS as "net carbs" just to be safe (thus the calculation of 37 g net carbs where all the calories come from net carbs). Most sweeteners can impair your results and should be only used for making occasional treats, not on a daily basis. The problem with sweeteners is that they may cause cravings and increase appetite.
It also depends on the type of the ketogenic diet. If you are using the keto diet for weight loss, you can include more sweeteners and more foods in general (no need to be in deep ketosis all the time). Contrary to that, if it's used for therapeutic purposes (cancer, epilepsy, etc.) where the level of ketones and glucose are crucial, you have to be careful with all sweeteners.

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I just read about Tagatose on this blog from a couple of months ago.  Would it work for me with the stevia and erythritol?   I am looking for something my husband and grandchildren would like too!  Went to doctor today and told her what I was doing and she didn't say much but ordered a bunch of labs.   I have lost 37 lb's in the six month's since my last visit and I hope my lab work is wonderful and shocking to her!.  I love reading your blog and the keto diet app!

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Hi Colette, thank you very much for your kind words! Tagatose is a good alternative to sugar but you should still use it with caution. It has more calories and carbs. Tagatose tastes amazing and caramelises just like sugar so I use it in my recipes together with stevia and Erythritol. It is absolutely amazing when sprinkled on top of low-carb creme brule (one of the recipes in my app). Unfortunately, many health professionals are still against low-carb eating, as they see it as something extreme. As long as you see health and weight loss benefits, there is no reason to change your way of eating - congratulations on your weight loss!

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Hi Martina, probably a stupid question, but could you explain what you mean when you say yacon "consists of primarily free fructose at about 35%, so you should consume this sweetener with caution". What does this mean, and why is it bad, as I was under the impression that yacon was one of the healthiest sweeteners, and this is the first negative thing I've read about it. Thanks!

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Hi Jacob, it's not a stupid question at all Smile It depends on what your goal is. What I meant is that yacon sugar contains some digestible carbs which may not be ideal if you follow a very low-carb diet. Unlike other sweeteners (e.g. stevia or erythritol), yacon syrup can increase the blood sugar and overall carb intake per day - that's the only reason I said "with caution". It is still a healthy low-carb and low-calorie alternative to sugar.

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A product in EU called Natreen Classic, which is a sweetner contains (Sweeteners cyclamate, saccharin, fructose, acidifier citric acid, preservative sorbic acid)
Is this a product to be avoided at all costs?

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Hi Shaun, many of the ingredients raise the alarm for both containing carbohydrates and having negative health effects. I would personally avoid it completely.

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I'm a huge fan of ketogenic diet but, frankly, I don't understand why artificial sweeteners are left out. Being synthesized in a lab does not make them bad per se as you suggest.
Apart from that, their properties make them more than appropriate in a ketogenic or low-carb diet.
And finally, most of the exposed sweeteners may have natural origins but they are extracted through chemical processes (yes, even the famous stevia).

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Hi Marc, I don't have any problem with them being synthesised in the lab but I looks at the evidence showing they do have negative health effects. There is evidence that aspartame is bad for us for several reasons (links to studies are included in this post another I link to here: ketodietapp.com/.../Is-Aspartame-Safe).
There is very limited evidence that sucralose is bad for us but I personally choose to avoid all artificial sweeteners. It's very individual but I can't describe how much better I feel since giving them up, especially diet soda that mostly uses aspartame.
When you say that even the natural sweeteners are chemically processed, which ones do you have on mind? Some stevia products contain additional sweeteners such as maltodextrin, other may be chemically processed (pure SweetLeaf stevia lacks chemicals). Erythritol is, for example, produced by fermentation with no chemicals involved (more about it is here: www.decodedscience.com/.../42248).

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Great post! What about all natural organic honey? Smile

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Hi Ani, not for the ketogenic diet but you can use it if you follow a paleo diet. It's quite high in carbs and it all depends on what you are trying to achieve.

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Nice article...... what about TRUVIA?

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Hi Yuliana, I'm not sure about Truvia and I haven't used it. Some of the ingredients look ok (erythritol, stevia extract), but the nutrition facts seem off. It says it has 75% fewer calories than sugar. Since Erythritol and all the other ingredients are almost calorie-free, this doesn't add up. I'd expect almost no calories and carbs. Although both stevia and Erythritol are suitable sweeteners, I'm not sure what the "natural flavors" represent. Lastly, Truvia's erythritol might be made from GMO corn.

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Thank you so much for this great list. I got some of the Erythritol and really like it (can't stand the licorice taste of stevia). I was wondering if you had any suggestions for making some low carb ice cream (mainly to keep my son happy on this new lifestyle change!). I made some ice cream with the Erythritol and after it freezes all the way in the fridge it turns into.. something kind of crystallized/granulated. It doesn't seem to dissolve that well. It's still edible, but not the ideal ice cream "experience". Do you by any chance have any suggestions on what else to try instead of the granular Erythritol?
Thanks!

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Thank you Cynthia! When you make ice-cream, try one of the following: Either use powdered Erythritol or Swerve OR let it dissolve in warm liquid (e.g. cream or coconut milk). If you do that, the crystals should go away and the ice-cream should be smooth even after you freeze it. Also, ice-cream maker makes it smooth and more even.

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Thank you this blog is the best summary of low carb sweeteners I have found so far.  Ii's often so tricky trying to compare nutritional benefits of one product over another, and this blog and particuarly the tables confirm my preference for stevia/erythritol combo.  Cheers,

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Thank you Fale, I really appreciate that!

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Bookmarked! This is the most complete and comprehensive list of natural sugar substitutes I've ever seen! Thank you so much for doing the research .

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Thank you Laura, I really appreciate that!

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Thank you for all your hard work putting this together!! So appreciated.

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Thank you Whitney!

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A very nice, concise coverage of this topic, Martina. Smile

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Thank you Peggy!

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I reccomend xylitol.  Its a sugar alcohol, has fewer calories than regular sugar and has a lesser glycemic index

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I agree that it's better than sugar, a LOT better. It really depends on how it works for you, it is definitely on the "healthy" list. If only I could tolerate it without digestive issues and insulin spikes... I guess a small amount is fine for me.

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Wonderful info! As you did for the links for the UK - do you have reputable suppliers/ links/brands for the USA? Thank you so much.

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Hi Amy, thank you! I do have some tips here on my Amazon store (it's for the US): astore.amazon.com/ketblo-20
I'm planning to add some more tips for other sources in the US and UK (not just Amazon).

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So I can't have even a tsp of sugar? Like cane sugar? That only has 15 calories + its more natural than any fake sugars out there. The carbs are at like 4g per tsp lol

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Purely from the net carbs point of view, yes, you can have any sweetener, even sugar. The thing is whether it's worth it. You can have a teaspoon of erythritol with virtually no carbs instead - the choice is yours. The sweeteners I like to use (stevia, erythritol, monk fruit powder) are not "fake" or less natural than cane sugar.

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what about malitol?

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I'd avoid it. Like sorbitol, maltitol affects blood sugar levels and contains more carbs. It's found in many low-carb / zero-carb products and in most cases, the manufacturers don't add them into the net carbs count. You may be eating hidden carbs which may put you out of ketosis and negatively affect your weight loss.

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Where in the UK can I buy the products mentioned above? namely Stevia and Erythritol? Just bought your book, it is all so fascinating for this 80 year old "computer terrified" Granny. Your recipes are so easy to follow and make me so envious of the "easy peasy" way you handle all this technology, you have obviously spent many long hours gathering all your information,making you a great source of Healing Thank you Martina
Love and Light Mavis

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Hi Mavis, thank you so much! To be honest, if it wasn't for my partner, I wouldn't be able to do all this. He handles all the technical aspects Smile Here is where I get the sweeteners:
1) Erythritol from Amazon.co.uk: http://amzn.to/1Ol4bhB (best value for money I found)
2) Stevia lasts for long and I get it either from http://www.amazon.co.uk (http://amzn.to/1Ol4h8M) or http://www.healthysupplies.co.uk (also for fruit powder)
3) Monk fruit powder from here: http://www.healthmonthly.co.uk
4) Yacon products from here: http://www.gojiking.co.uk/shop/
5) Xylitol from Tesco or Sainsbury's
6) Tagatose and Just Like Sugar are from the US and I had to pay extra for that but wanted to try them.

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Hi Martina, This is a very informative article - thanks! Those Amazon UK links for erythritol and stevia don't work. Wondering if you could correct them please?

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I will now. Thank you Sally!

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I can't thank you enough for this post! It's the best source of information about sweeteners I've found! Thanks god I now know about agave. I used this sweetener for a long time and always thought it was healthy. It's crazy but since I ditched it, I lost my belly fat!

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Thank you Denise! I used to think agave was healthy - same as you Smile Congrats on you weight loss success!

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Hi! what a great post, super helpful! I have a question about Lo Han Guo as a sweetener, what are your opinions on the ingredients in this brand: www.znaturalfoods.com/Luo-Han-Guo-Extract-7-Powder ?
it is all Lan Han Gua extract with some added non-GMO tapioca maltodextrin derived from yuca root. I know you said to avoid maltodextrin, but this source said it is added to prevent clumping. would you agree?

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Hi Sam,
thank you! I will keep updating this post with anything new I learn about suitable sweeteners. The good thing is that the maltodextrin used is non-GMO but it does afgect blond sugar and I can't tell how much the put in this product. The problem is that it could be mostly maltodextrin and cause insulin spikes. I would personally go for a product that uses inulin instead of maltodextrin.

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Just so I can see if I'm understanding correctly - these calculations show that around a 1/2 cup of erythritol or stevia has 5 effective carbs/inulin has 37g (!!) that do affect blood sugar? So a recipe with 2 cups of erythritol would actually have twenty effective carbs that I'm not accounting for? So 'doesn't affect blood sugar' is a bit of a misnomer - it really means that for like, a teaspoon...?
Of course, people aren't usually sitting down and just eating a 1/2 cup serving of these sweeteners, but still (definitely not for stevia, haha!). Are these calculations for carbs included in the nutrition info for the recipes you post?
Thanks so much for all the info!

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Hi Sara,
I do include all these carbs in all my recipes (blog, book and apps). Although there are some carbs in Erythritol, this and some other sweeteners do not affect blood sugar (Erythritol, monk fruit and stevia have zero effect).
The carbs calculated in this post are based on the fact that all calories come from carbs. This may be a rather conservative way of counting carbs but I prefer to be better safe than sorry. This means that only stevia adds "zero carbs". There is about 0.5 g net carbs per a tablespoon of Erythritol (based on my approach).
IMHO all sweeteners affect fat loss and if I try to lose weight, I avoid all of them apart from stevia and a very small amount of Erythritol and monk fruit (if any).
Hope this helps Smile

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This is the very best article on sugars that I have ever read. We'll done!

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Marsha, thank you for your kind words! Smile

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The most comprehensive list of sweeteners for LCHF! I also like the info they have at the sugar and sweetener guide you link to. I really appreciate your effort to find the carbs content in some of the low-carb sweeteners sold as "zero-carb". This is what happens when they are not legally obliged to show the true values. Thank you, I'll pin it to my fridge together with your "fats & oils" table! Smile

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Thank you Denise! I really appreciate it! Smile

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Seriously, this is the BEST post about sweeteners I've found! Thank you so much for all the info given, the table is SO useful. I thought there were no calories / carbs in JLS and was wondering what was kicking me out of ketosis... now I know! It's impossible to trust these products and you have to do your own research.

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Thank you so much Hannah, I really appreciate your kind words! You are right, you can't trust any products these days. The producers sometimes "hide" certain facts as they are not required by law.

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Love, love, love your blog and all the excellent research and work here. So very happy to discover it. Very much appreciated, thank you!
-Victoria

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Thank you Victoria! I really appreciate that! Smile

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I'm amazed there is not a great deal additional information about low carb diet programs. It almost is actually their future.

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Tell me about it... It's going to take time. Some low-carb experts don't believe it will ever reach the mainstream.

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Hi, I have a question, how about tagatose? Would you recommend it? And what about the net carbs? Thank you!

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Hi, I haven't done the research on tagatose yet but when done, I'll add what I've discovered.

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I just tried tagatose. It tastes great, but it gave me awful diarrhea. I read that a "laxative effect" is possible if you have more than 10 teaspoons a day. I had 2 teaspoons the first day and was affected. Apparently, my experience was rare, so I encourage you to try it, because it is the best tasting sugar-free sweetener that I've tried, but try it on a day when you don't have to leave the house. Smile

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Hi Sue, I ordered tagatose a few months ago from the US and really liked it! I used probably just about a teaspoon or two and was fine. I will be careful though! Thanks Smile

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I had been waiting over a week for my tagatose to arrive - it seems very hard to come by (here in the UK at least). I got a 1lb bag from NuNaturals and had two teaspoons in my tea. It tasted *perfect*. I've tried Stevia, Truvia, Erythritol, Splenda... all had a horrible aftertaste, but tagatose tastes *exactly* like sugar. Unfortunately, just like Sue, I appear to have had an EXTREME gastrointestinal reaction: after just 12g or so in my tea, and shortly thereafter I spent pretty much two hours in the bathroom evacuating every particle of liquid from my body.
I absolutely love it; but it appears that, according to the studies I can find at least, my (and Sue's) reactions appear to be very rare. As a consequence, I don't think I can use tagatose anymore :/

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Hi Lawrie, yes, it tastes just like sugar. And it also has the ability to caramelise just like sugar which is great for low-carb creme brûlée! What you can try is to slowly add it and use with another sweetener... just in case it helps. I'm not sure if it will but it may be worth giving it a try. If you are ok with Erythritol, you can try adding small amounts into it and see if it helps. Some people cannot tolerate coconut oil and/or pure MCT oil (digestive issues just like this one) and claim that taking it slowly has helped...

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Does anyone have experience with Tagatose can speak about it's effects on ketosis?  I just want to make sure that it does not affect keto before ordering it.  I have been using erythritol but the like the fact that tagatose caremalizes.  When I use erythritol, i don't count it at all for my carb.  Should I count tagatose towards net?  I am normally around 10-15g carb a day, rarely over 20, so if this could make a difference for me ....

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Unfortunately Tagatose is not available at this time. The original manufacturer is no longer manufacturing it and the company that acquired the rights to manufacture it has not issued the product for mass consumption.
http://www.cjingredient.com/product/tagatose.asp

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Do you have a source to purchase Tagatose?  All of the sites i see have discontinued to product.

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Oh I just noticed that on Amazon too. I've checked Netrition.com and even iHerb.com but it seems to be the same there. I hope it's just temporary... I still have an unopened package here just in case you were from the UK :-D

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Hi Martina, You say:
"Martina @ KetoDiet 10/11/2013 9:23:53 AM #
Hi, I haven't done the research on tagatose yet but when done, I'll add what I've discovered."
One month shy of two years have passed... anything you have found regarding Tagatose?
Just a bit of FYI. I too searched to purchase tagatose via Google, and the only place that seemed to sell it here in Australia, was a seemingly rip-off mob, at AUD$45.95 per lb!!!
There also seems to be another mob that sells it in various shapes and sizes, at a much more reasonable price (all prices in USD):
100 tablet dispenser $2.36:
www.farmaline.us/.../
500g crystalised $7.14:
www.farmaline.us/.../
50 satchels $3.33
www.farmaline.us/.../
And the dispenser refill (5 x 100 refills) $6.13
www.farmaline.us/.../
The site that sells the above items also have a 15% discount, which seems to have affected the above listed prices.
Sorry for advertising the products without prior consent, but it did seem like they were as rare as hens' teeth, and reasonably priced... so I decided to pre-emptively provide what information I could. Feel free to not approve, or delete the comment if it is against your site's regulations, and please accept my apologies for unknowingly stepping out of line. By the way, I am not affiliated with either the suppliers, or the producers in any way, shape or form. Honest to goodness looking out for my fellow ketoers.
And finally, thank you so much for your informative blog. Keep up the great work ;)

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Hi Isa, I actually did - the post has been updated since then. Thank you for your comment, it's good to know that there are still shops that offer tagatose-based sweeteners. Let's hope that the original product (pure tagatose) will be out soon again.

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Excellent article as always...

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Thank you! Smile

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Thank you so much for this post! I agree with sugar alcohols - better safe than sorry. I also used to think agave was good for me, it was just good marketing and they managed to sell it as "healthy" for years!

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I also fell in their trap - all the packaging for agave looks healthy but so does the packaging for sugar-loaded cereals! :-/

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