If you’re like me, then you have a sweet tooth. And maybe even a pretty big one.
And maybe you recently discovered that a ketogenic lifestyle has minimal sugar and carbs. So, when it comes to getting your sugar-fix, you’re shit out of luck…
Or are you?
Over the past couple of years of a low-carb, high-fat lifestyle, I’ve found some pretty sweet (pun intended), keto-friendly sweeteners. But in my research, I’ve also found some not-so-great options that spike blood sugar more than regular sugar (two times more, in fact). So, let’s get on to the best keto sweeteners.
The Stevia Leaf
Stevia is my favorite sweetener, and it’s a great choice for a keto sugar substitute. But have you ever wondered why some stevia brands taste like chemicals?
You might know that stevia is 200 times sweeter than sugar, but the size of the single-serving packets are still the same.
Shouldn’t the stevia packets also be 200 times smaller than sugar to achieve the same sweetness?
Watch Out for Maltodextrin
The answer is fillers. To achieve a 1:1 sugar replacement, brands commonly use either maltodextrin or erythritol. While erythritol is a sugar alcohol and harmless in small amounts, maltodextrin is labeled as a complex carb and has a glycemic index of up to 130, which is way above standard sugar (65) .
Having a high glycemic index means that the sugar goes through the digestive system and into the bloodstream that much faster. And if you’re like me and watching your sugar intake, then this is something worth paying attention to.
So, What’s the Stevia Solution?
While most stevia packets contain maltodextrin, liquid stevia is usually just water, stevia, and alcohol, making it a much better option for low carb sweeteners.
Some powdered stevia leaf brands have “stevia leaf” as the only ingredient. These are best and don’t taste artificial in my opinion.
The lesson I learned over the years is to read what you eat. However small, additives and artificial sweeteners, like maltodextrin, can accumulate in our bodies over time.
Other Foods That Contain Maltodextrin
Maltodextrin can be found in many foods and especially in your sugar-free syrup at coffee shops.
Some other maltodextrin-filled foods are:
pasta, cooked cereals, and rice
sugars and sweets
energy and sports drinksMedical News Today
Monk fruit comes from a green gourd in Southeast Asia, and like stevia, it’s 150-200 times sweeter than sugar .
As a no-carb, no-sugar sweetener, monk fruit is keto-approved, and another great replacement for sugar. While I like to use stevia in my tea, lemonade, and keto fudge, monk fruit still reigns in baking.
Have you ever found a great cookie recipe, only to remember that you’re living the keto lifestyle now? Yeah, I think we all have.
What’s great about monk fruit brands is they’re often a 1:1 sugar replacement.
Need 1/4 cup of sugar for that recipe? Just use 1/4 cup of monk fruit sweetener (don’t forget about replacing wheat flour with almond or coconut flour too).
Also, check that your monk fruit package says 1:1 sugar substitute and contains the sugar alcohol erythritol and no maltodextrin. You don’t want to be dumping in 100% monk fruit only to get a monk fruit juice dessert.
Want to know how monk fruit is made? Check out this video by my favorite monk fruit brand, Lakanto (this is not an ad or sponsor).
I feel like we’ve been talking about maltodextrin all day. That’s because, unfortunately, it can be found in most foods.
While stevia and monk fruit are natural, sugar-free sweeteners, it’s always smart to check the label. If you see something in there that’s difficult to pronounce, like dextrose or maltodextrin, chances are that it might not be so great for you.
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