If you’re following the keto diet, you’ll know how important it is to minimise your carbohydrate intake and keep your blood sugar levels under control. But what about when you’re craving something sweet? The good news is you don’t have to go without – there are plenty of keto-friendly sweeteners that can satisfy your sweet tooth without throwing you off track!
In this post we’re sharing the top keto-friendly sweeteners and how to use them in your favourite recipes. Whether you’re a busy professional or a busy parent, you’ll be able to find a sweetener that fits your lifestyle and your taste preferences.
What to Look for in a Keto-Friendly Sweetener
When following the keto diet, it’s important to keep your blood sugar levels low and stable. This is because carbohydrates are broken down into glucose, which is a type of sugar that can raise blood sugar levels. When blood sugar levels are high, the body releases insulin to bring them back down to a normal range. However, this can interfere with the body’s ability to enter ketosis, which is the metabolic state in which the body burns fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates.
Choosing a sweetener that has no impact on blood sugar levels and minimal effect on insulin levels can help you maintain a stable state of ketosis. When your sweetener doesn’t raise your blood sugar levels, it won’t trigger an insulin response that could throw you out of ketosis – this means that you can continue to burn fat for fuel and continue to enjoy some of the benefits of the keto diet, such as weight loss and improved energy levels.
Top 5 Keto-Friendly Sweeteners
Here’s a closer look at our top 5 sweeteners that are perfect for the keto diet:
Stevia: Stevia is a natural sweetener derived from the leaves of the Stevia rebaudiana plant. It’s an excellent sweetener for the keto diet because it has zero carbs and zero impact on blood sugar levels. It’s also incredibly sweet, so a little goes a long way. Stevia can be used in a variety of recipes, from beverages to baked goods.
Erythritol: Erythritol is a sugar alcohol that’s derived from fruits and vegetables. It has zero net carbs, zero impact on blood sugar levels, and is a popular keto sweetener because it tastes very similar to sugar. However, some people may experience a cooling sensation in their mouth when they consume it. Erythritol is often blended with other sweeteners, such as stevia or monk fruit, to minimise the cooling effect. It also hardens as it cools, so it can be used in recipes where you want a crisp end result, like a crisp cookie.
Monkfruit Sweetener: Monkfruit sweetener is a natural sweetener that’s derived from monkfruit. It’s a popular keto sweetener because it has zero net carbs, zero impact on blood sugar levels, and tastes very similar to sugar. It’s also heat-stable, which makes it a great sweetener for baking and cooking.
Xylitol: Xylitol is a sugar alcohol that’s derived from plants. It has a low glycemic index, which means it has minimal impact on blood sugar levels. However, it’s important to note that xylitol is toxic to dogs, so it should be kept away from pets. Xylitol can be used in a variety of recipes, from beverages to baked goods.
Allulose: Allulose is a natural sweetener that’s derived from fruits. It has minimal impact on blood sugar levels and insulin levels, and can also give a chewy effect when used in recipes like chewy caramel candies. Allulose is also heat-stable, which makes it a great sweetener for baking and cooking.
Some sweeteners can be blended to achieve the perfect balance of sweetness and taste. For example, stevia and erythritol are often sold together in a blend, which can minimise the cooling sensation from erythritol while enhancing the sweetness from stevia. It’s worth experimenting with different sweeteners and blends to find the perfect combination for your taste preferences and recipes.
How to Use Keto-Friendly Sweeteners in Recipes
Here are some tips and conversion ratios to keep in mind when you want to use a keto-friendly sweetener in place of sugar in a recipe:
Conversion Ratios: When substituting sugar with keto-friendly sweeteners in your recipes, it’s important to know the conversion ratios. Here are some general ratios to keep in mind:
- Stevia: 1 teaspoon of stevia extract powder is equivalent to 1 cup of sugar.
- Erythritol: 1 cup of erythritol is equivalent to 1 cup of sugar.
- Monkfruit Sweetener: 1 cup of monkfruit sweetener is equivalent to 1 cup of sugar.
- Xylitol: 1 cup of xylitol is equivalent to 1 cup of sugar.
- Allulose: 1 cup of allulose is equivalent to 1 cup of sugar.
It’s important to note that different brands and products may have slightly different conversion ratios, so always check the package instructions in case they provide any specific conversion advice.
Baking Tips: Baking with keto-friendly sweeteners can require some adjustments to achieve the best results. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
Reduce the amount of sweetener: Keto-friendly sweeteners are often much sweeter than sugar, so you’ll need to use less of them in your recipes. Start with half the amount of sweetener called for in the recipe and adjust to taste.
Add moisture: Sugar adds moisture to baked goods, so you may need to add extra liquid to your recipes when using keto-friendly sweeteners. Adding extra eggs, butter, or other liquids can help to maintain the texture and moisture of your baked goods.
Watch the baking time: Baked goods made with keto-friendly sweeteners may brown faster than those made with sugar, so keep an eye on them while they’re baking to avoid over-browning or burning.
There are many different brands and products available for keto-friendly sweeteners, so it can be overwhelming to choose which ones to try. When you’re doing your grocery shop make sure you check the ingredients of the sweetener you’re interested in and ensure that it only has these sweeteners mentioned (e.g. stevia, erythritol, a combination of both, etc). Some of the ones we frequently purchase in New Zealand include Natvia, and Whole Earth (to name a few). In each recipe we will recommend which type of keto-friendly sweetener to use in that recipe (e.g. allulose, erythritol-stevia, etc) so that you can make sure you have that same ingredient.
Potential Risks and Side Effects
It’s important to note that while keto-friendly sweeteners can be a great alternative to sugar, but as with any food or supplement, it’s important to listen to your body and consume keto-friendly sweeteners in moderation. If you experience any negative side effects, it may be best to reduce or eliminate your consumption of that particular sweetener. It’s also a good idea to consult with your healthcare provider if you have any concerns about using keto-friendly sweeteners in your diet.
We encourage you to try out these sweeteners in your favourite recipes and explore new flavours. And if you’re looking for more keto-friendly recipes and tips, make sure you check out the Welle Club app. With our app, you can discover a wide variety of delicious and healthy recipes that will help you stay on track with your goals!