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Complete Guide To Sweeteners on a Low-Carb Ketogenic Diet

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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 the KetoDiet App and my cookbooks don't include any sweeteners at all. If your goal 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 may help you break the weight loss plateau.

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

Best Low-Carb Sweeteners for the Keto Diet

1. Stevia

Stevia is an herb, commonly known as "sugar leaf". The extract from this herb called stevia glycosides 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 moderation, most products are 200-300 times sweeter than sugar! You can get Stevia powder (natural green or refined/white), Stevia drops (NuNaturals and SweetLeaf) or Stevia glycerite (this one is only twice as sweet as sugar with gooey consistency).

Complete Guide To Sweeteners on a Low-Carb Ketogenic Diet

Commercially available Stevia-based sweeteners are NuNaturals, SweetLeaf and others.

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 (sugar) or maltodextrin (e.g. Stevia in the Raw). 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 official product websites, don't specify whether 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 [Updated, March 2023]

Update: According to  this study, there might be some safety concerns when it comes to Erythritol. Please, read this thread for more information.

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.

Complete Guide To Sweeteners on a Low-Carb Ketogenic Diet

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. Because it is only about 70% as sweet as sugar, 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 Sweetener (Lo Han / Luo Han)

Monk fruit, also known as luo han guo or longevity fruit, is a fruit native to China and northern Thailand that 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. Monk fruit contains compounds called mogrosides that are 300 times sweeter than sugar but are calorie-free and carb-free. These mogrosides are extracted from the fruit and marketed as monk fruit sweeteners.

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).

Complete Guide To Sweeteners on a Low-Carb Ketogenic Diet

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, sugar (for me that's a no-no), monk fruit and molasses.

4. 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  help 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.

Complete Guide To Sweeteners on a Low-Carb Ketogenic Diet

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 and cats, 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, 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 keywords here are "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 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),
  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 sugar alcohols, 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.

5. Yacon Syrup

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 maple syrup, it's made via natural evaporation. It has a slightly caramel taste and is similar to blackstrap molasses and coconut palm sugar.

Complete Guide To Sweeteners on a Low-Carb Ketogenic Diet

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 needed in greater amounts 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 may help keep 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).

6. 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. Inulin functions as a prebiotic, providing food for colonic bacteria.Studies show that the human body can absorb 150 kcal / 100 grams of inulin on average as a result of its fermentation to short-chain fatty acids in the colon.

Complete Guide To Sweeteners on a Low-Carb Ketogenic Diet

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 is 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 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.

7. Tagatose

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% as many calories as 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, and 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 available at NuNaturals and on Amazon.

8. 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.

9. Freeze-Dried Berry Powder

Berries are generally known to be the most nutritious and lowest in net carbs of 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 have 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.

Complete Guide To Sweeteners on a Low-Carb Ketogenic Diet

Other Sweeteners - Avoid for Keto

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. Keep in mind that sugar is not the issue - it is the overconsumption of sugar that causes metabolic disease. In general, these are not suitable for weight loss and those with insulin resistance and other metabolic issues. Note that they are not organised in any particular order.

Fresh Fruit Juice

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 a 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 half 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 can lead to what is known as "fatty liver" and the storage of dangerous visceral fat surrounding the internal organs in the abdominal area.

Complete Guide To Sweeteners on a Low-Carb Ketogenic Diet

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.

Date Syrup

Organic date syrup has a rich flavour and can be used as a substitute for 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.

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 Avoid Completely

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, high-fructose corn syrup is 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 advise against it.

It's about 1.5 times sweeter than sugar, but also provides 1.5 more calories — the effect is 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).


Here's our easy to follow guide to healthy low-carb sweeteners with sweetener conversion chart. Feel free to pin, share and print it!

Top 5 Keto Sweeteners and Sweetener Conversion Chart Pin itFollow us 148.4k

Carb Count in Low-Carb Sweeteners

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.

Complete Guide To Sweeteners on a Low-Carb Ketogenic Diet

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Martina Slajerova
Creator of

Martina Slajerova

I changed the way I ate in 2011, when I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s, an autoimmune disease that affects the thyroid. I had no energy, and I found it more and more difficult to maintain a healthy weight.

That’s when I decided to quit sugar, grains, and processed foods, and to start following a whole-foods-based ketogenic approach to food.

About the Reviewer

This article has been reviewed by Franziska Spritzler, RD, CDE who is a qualified expert. At KetoDiet we work with a team of health professionals to ensure accurate and up-to-date information. You can find out more on the About us page.

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Comments (329)

hi Martina. You don't address Allulose in your information on low-carb sweeteners and I have found it making my desserts much better tasting so that I am using it more than any other sweetener. It would be helpful if you have some information regarding it's use in comparasion to other sweetners and the ratio for substitution for other sweeteners. Thank you. I really appreciate your blog for recipes and information on Ketogenic health, and the benefits of introducing other foods.

You're right! This is an old post that needs updating. This is a more up to date post with Allulose included 😊 Top 6 Keto Sweeteners and Low-Carb Sweetener Conversion Chart
Also here: Can I Have Allulose on a Healthy Low-Carb Diet?

Hello Martina,
I just came across a study that reported erythritol was linked to heart attack and stroke.......please see this
Have you heard of this?
Cheers Mark from Canmore

Hi Mark, we are fully aware! As there are almost 2000 recipes on the blog, plus hundreds of articles, this will take some time to update. Also, check this out for more info:
This is an excellent thread to understand what the study actually says:

Thanks Martina. The facebook link would open, said link was broken, but I got into the Twitter one. Since September I have been trying to find out why my D-Dimer is way up, which is an indication of blood clots. Much testing and all systems are good. I have been on a cyclical Keto diet for years now and even went 4 years without a sniffle during covid. Otherwise no other issues. After seeing this article I will definitely cut Swerve out for a month and retest to see if D-Dimer comes down. Thanks for the reply! I actually hope it is the Swerve. Mark

Oh sorry - it's fixed now! I think it's a good idea - I will be doing the same as I have genetically higher risk for blood clots.

Thank, butpleaase stop using cups and use grams. Everyone has a food scale.

Hi Tim, we actually use cups, grams and ounces in all of our recipes. This is just a visual guide that only has so much space so we don't list all this in the infographic. Also, not all sweeteners and sweetener blends weigh the same (different density). Our app has all the measurements available when adding sweetener to any recipe.

Just thought I'd share.  I grew stevia in my garden.  It grew right along side some basil, very easy to grow from a small start.  I trimmed it back and it came back a second year.  I was living in a warm climate then.  I dried the leaves and it TASTED TERRIBLE! I placed it in a old tea tin and forgot about it. A year later I ran across it and it was not so bad. Sill not as good as any I had purchased.   I think it must take a long time for the other more green components to dry out. So if you grow and don't like your results let it set in the air for a longer period of time.  

I have to admit I wasn't too pleased with my stevia plant either. I did find a way to use it though. It was ok to add to my mint tea (together with fresh mint leaves) but since I don't like my tea sweetened, I did not use it very often.

I've been trying to find carb counts on raw/dried/ground stevia leaves.  Most of the lists I've seen are for processed stevia.  Is there much difference?  I just like using the whole herb when possible, mostly in teas.

Hi Denise, any product that uses mostly stevia (stevia powder - green or white), stevia drops, etc that have no other sweeteners added are about the same. If you use fresh stevia leaves, the nutrition facts will be close to any herbs such as mint.

A thoroughly researched article - many thanks. I use a lot of ground Ceylon Cinnamon in drinks and food as a boost to the sweetened taste. My favourite Chai tea is Bengal Spice by Celestial Seasonings it tastes sweet and has no sugars and appears to be only relying on the cinnamon. What are your thoughts on this spice?

I love cinnamon and make a simple panna cotta with it, no sweetener needed!If the sweetness comes from spices it's absolutely fine. Also keep in mind that if you've followed a low-carb diet for a while, your perception of sweetness changes and you won't need to use as much sweetener (if any).

Just wondering about Allulose....any info?  Wanting to make a combo of the big E, monkfruit, stevia and allulose...this combo is said to taste and behave like real sugar but no carbs or at least low carbs...I don't know.

Hi Elaine, Allulose is a great option for keto: Can I Have Allulose on a Healthy Low-Carb Diet?

I am so grateful for your guidance while learning to eat healthier.  Thank you for all of the valuable information.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with GMO foods. That is a bogus scare story. As for aspartame, it has been studied and studied and studied, and it has no safety issues. Just because something is man-made does not make it dangerous, nor does natural make it safe. Arsenic, mercury, and lead are all natural. As for chemicals, our bodies are made up of chemicals. Everything is composed of chemicals.

Thank you for your feedback. I'm afraid you are jumping to conclusions based on false assumptions regarding claims we never made. Anyone with basic understanding of science will never claim that everything "natural" is healthy or that everything artificial is harmful. As to why you think we made that claim is a mystery to me.
Your claim that "There is absolutely nothing wrong with GMO foods" cannot be backed up by conclusive evidence yet you are confident about that statement.
It would be accurate to say: there is no proof that GMO foods are harmful and more research is needed in this area since it's a significant shift in nutrition which carries risks.
As for aspartame, have you actually looked at the available research? Have you looked at the funding sources of the studies and how they correlate with the conclusions? We have done this and you can find it here: Is Aspartame Safe?
We know this is the era of misinformation but we can assure you that what we share on our website is based on science. That is why we continuously review our content to ensure accuracy.

I find that the biggest problem with Aspartame is it tastes nasty 😊 This leads me to not spend much time reading the science on it.  On the other hand, I like Sucralose (not that nasty tasting Splenda), so I have read as many scientific studies as I could find, and based on that I am comfortable using it. All in all, I think blogs and other non-scientific writings are a place to get ideas that then need to be fact-checked and researched. And then while trying to find research you have to "follow the money" to evaluate the research. Not simple.

Have you done any research on Allulose as a sweetener.  It is my favorite.  My daughter researched it's chemical structure and recognized that it is very close to the structure of sugar.  I love it.  No after taste at all and I can use it in my coffee in the morning.  I'm wondering if you would add it to your list of approved sweeteners?

It is indeed a great option! Can I Have Allulose on a Healthy Low-Carb Diet? The only issue might be the price as it is more expensive than other options.

Thanks for a very informative blog on sweetners!  I am wondering about the Inulin though, I did more research on this and while it can break down at high temperatures, that is only the case if the acidity level is high.  In a normal or low acidic level, heat has no impact on it at all.  Can you please provide your source that says heat in general will break it down?  I'm very curious about this as I am hoping inulin could be the 'food source' for yeast in ketogenic baking recipes.  Here is a link to the source I am making reference to.  And thanks!  

That's an interesting point! I'll have to look into this (it is a fairly old post). It will be interesting to see how acidity affects the process. I'm working on a yeast bread recipe and will be trying FOS among other options. Having said that, even if you use sugar, it shouldn't affect the carb count because it will be used to feed the yeast.

I frequently use inulin to feed the yeast in my keto breads. it works! so far, I haven't seen a spike in my blood sugars when using inulin.

I can confirm that because I have been working on a new keto yeast bread recipe and it worked in every single batch😊

Can't wait to seeing what  delicious breads you come up with!

Do you have any info on Soluble Corn Fiber (SCF)? I'm finding conflicting info about it online, but it's popping up more and more in keto products like ChocZero.

Hi John, not yet but I'll look into it!

It’s important to note that any sweetener, regardless of the quality, starts an insulin response, and that is why it can cause stalls. I did not learn that until I started IF (intermittent fasting), and why People that IF emphasis “clean fasting”... no sweeteners or HWC at all... no fruit flavored teas either. It can knock ya out of optimal fat burning to  use sweeteners. Also, there are such limited stevia’s not added with corn... such a disappointment to me!

Thank you so much!  I read everything but failed to read Monk Fruit in the Raw which  contains DEXTROSE!  
I appreciate you taking the time to share this important information, espectially for keto/low carb folks like me.
God Bless you!

the ingredients for nectresse are : erythritol, sugar, monk fruit extract, and molasses

I'm curious about your feelings on allulose.  Most of the information I have found says that it is keto friendly, but I value your opinion.

thank you Margalit! I haven't tried it yet so I can't comment on the flavour or how it (if) affected my blood sugar but I've read some good reviews on other low-carb & keto blogs. I'll look into it and write a post as soon as I can 😊

Please do a review on BochaSweet sugar also...I am craving for REAL sugar...

I would love to but it doesn't seem to be available in the UK.

Allulose is fairly new in the U.S. so basically untested as to long term effects.  It is not as sweet as sugar, therefore you tend to use more which causes gastric distress.  The first time I used it in a cup of tea, it was minutes when I was rushing to the bathroom.   Large manufacturers like Coca Cola have been experimenting with it but haven't brought a product to the public market.  There are a couple of products on the market, Quest bars and KNOW cookies, both taste like cardboard.  Not to mention the expense.

Hi Martina,
  I made a keto coffee cake for friends over the weekend and the recipe called for 1 1/2 cups sugar substitute so I used erythritol and it came out awful! Had to throw it away. Do you have a veto friendly sugar for veto baked goods? I avoid baked goods as I am new to veto and don't need the temptation, but would like to make some things on special occasion .
Thank you,
Robin Nolan

Hi Robin, I think this depends on what you like. I personally like the taste of Erythritol but if you don't like it (cooling effect), you may prefer Swerve or monk fruit based sweetener (like Lakanto).

Which brand do you buy for monk fruit sweetener?

I like Lakanto.

What about the sweetener “ Allulose?”

I haven't tried it yet so I can't comment on the flavour or how it (if) affected my blood sugar but I've read some good reviews on other low-carb & keto blogs. I'll look into it and write a post as soon as I can.

This are the ingredients of the tagatose which is sold in the supermarkets in my country.....
Tagatose (39.9%), Isomalt (39,9%), inulin and oligosaccharides, sucralose (0.02%). As you can see, it is not 100% pure tagatose.
Do you recommend use this despite the presence of Sucralose?
This is the webpage, you can see the photo, is an international product.
Thanks a lot, I really love your blog

Thank you Sergio! I would personally use a different sweetener, preferably monk fruit, erythritol, stevia or FOS based sweetener. Although Sucralose doesn't seem to have the same effects as other artificial sweeteners, I would avoid it.

What about jaggery?

That is a nutritive sweetener (cane sugar) that raises blood sugar so it is not a suitable sweetener.

I noticed you didn't mention Pyure sweetener, which is my go-to way to sweeten everything from coffee to cookies. I use the packets, granulated and now the baking blend. The latter is made from organic stevia leaf extract and maltodextrin. It has 0 carbs and less than 1g sugar per tsp. There are specific cooking tips when using this baking blend, I have not used it much to experiment yet, I'm used to the granular version of it. I use that to sweeten my iced tea. Have you tried this one?

I suppose this might be a new sweetener because I haven't tried it yet. Based on what I found, it's a blend of erythritol and stevia. I haven't tried it yet but it looks like a good option. But I would avoid those with maltodextrin (see above for more information).

Pyure and Truvia are the same thing just different company....0 glycem

Because of this post I ordered erythritol granules from Hoosier hill farms, Amazon & discovered 1 T has 12 G of carbs.  I do not consider this a low carb sweetener. What am I missing here?

That is just the label so I assume they list "total carbs" including sugar alcohols - they do not list "net carbs". For more info, please, read the part about Erythritol.

Thank you for this! Good information and a nice read.

Thank you Martina! Since starting Keto on 1 Jan 2018 (thanks to your Keto Diet Challenge!), I have been reading what I can about what I can and should eat. This article on Sweeteners is very helpful, detailed, and easy to understand, especially now that I have my brain back and working again, lol.
Once again, thanks for doing such great research and for making it available to folks like me.

Patricia, thank you for your kind words!

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