If you have a sweet tooth and want to enjoy sweet keto treats, this is what you NEED to know!
Some names of sweeteners can give you a serious tongue strain (Acesulfame, anyone?!). Luckily, we don’t need to be able to pronounce them to be able to pick them out on the list of ingredients on your food or drinks labels. So in this blog we talk about what sweeteners are keto friendly.
And on keto, that’s all you need to do. Love them or hate them, they can be a large part of making keto sustainable for life. We can enjoy some of them. We definitely want to avoid others.
Taste your keto friendly sweeteners!
Personal preference does come into it. Because what tastes nice to one person might taste just awful to you! Plus switching from, for instance, sugar filled drinks to the diet version, can be a real struggle. They simply don’t taste the same! Getting through that initial transition to sugar free can be tough, but worth it! Finding the right keto friendly sweeteners is key!
Your taste buds will change. What tastes bitter now, may well taste sweet after a month on keto. It takes a couple of weeks for most people to get used to the taste of diet drinks and sugar free alternatives. So give your taste buds a little time! You might be pleasantly surprised.
Understand the different keto friendly sweeteners
If we can help you understand the different types of sweeteners and even what a polyol or sugar alcohol is, then it will be so much easier to make better food and drink choices.
Checking ingredients for keto friendly sweeteners
By understanding the different types, you should be able to navigate your food and drink labels wisely. And pick the right sweeteners for baking sweet keto treats by yourself too.
There is an abundance of research out there all about sweeteners, some are good, some are really bad. Some artificial sweeteners have been linked to all sorts of health issues in the past, but a lot of that has slowly been debunked over the years.
It is up to you to decide if you want to include any or none of these in your (dirty) keto / LCHF way of eating.
Choose your sweeteners wisely
We are including the most common keto friendly sweeteners used in UK foods and drinks. These are also the ones that, as far as our research shows, do not spike our own blood sugars or kick us out of ketosis.
With that in mind, remember that the following is not a definitive list. It is however, the MOST COMMON names you will probably see listed in the ingredients of various “sugar free” foods and diet drinks in UK shops.
Good v Bad Sweeteners – Keto Friendly, or Not!
We have split this little list in to 2 parts. Firstly, the one’s you have got to avoid!
Even if you don’t remember the names of any good sweetener, if you can remember these 4, you can’t really go wrong. These ones are just as bad as sugar itself. But they are added to lots of things labelled as “sugar free”. It is all clever marketing to make us believe we are making healthier choices, but we really aren’t!
Bad sugar alternatives
These bad “sweeteners” can have the same effect on your blood sugars, as sugar itself does. In other words, they can cause insulin spikes and raise blood sugars, therefore kicking you out of ketosis. Also, if you are doing a LCHF diet and not necessarily worried about ketosis, these can trigger your fat storage hormone, insulin! So you still need to avoid them!
The terrible 4 – the worst, most common, non keto friendly sweeteners:
So, avoid all of the above!!
Secondly, time for the good guys (but remember, as long you remember the above 4 to avoid, don’t worry too much about remembering all the names of the “good” sweeteners).
The most common good, keto friendly sweeteners:
Remember, everybody is different and you may or may not get along with all of these sweeteners. It is up to you to try them out and see how you go. Sidenote: None of these have spiked our blood sugars or caused any adverse effects, and the majority of people do not have any issues.
These are some of the most common sweeteners and polyols (or sugar alcohols) that you will see in the ingredients of things like “sugar free” sweets, processed foods, and diet drinks.
The keto friendly sweeteners:
Acesulfame K (or Ace-K)
Sucralose (do not confuse with “sucrose” this is not the same thing!)
Armed with this knowledge, you can go shopping for diet drinks or “sugar free” sweets, and start baking your own sweet keto treats, with confidence. And you won’t be spoiling any of your great progress on keto!
Where to buy keto friendly sweeteners
Most supermarkets now sell keto friendly sweeteners – NatVia, PureVia, Erythritol can all be found on the shelves. Some are cheaper and better bought online. Shop around and think about how much you think you will use. By spending a little more on a large bag of keto friendly sweetener, that can be better than a small supermarket size. A larger 1kg bag is great if you are going to be making keto bakes and keto treats.
The best keto friendly sweeteners
If you are looking for a really good sweetener which is healthy then these are the ones we like and stick with:
Erythritol – we use this one from Amazon and the 3 bag pack lasts us about 4 months – NKD Living Erythritol Granules
Top tip – if a recipe calls for powdered Erythritol, use your blender or smoothie maker to blitz your granules to a powder.
Stevia – Word of Warning! Watch out for supermarkets selling cheaper jars of sweeteners that have “Stevia” plastered all over the front label in large writing! It probably is not pure stevia! Always check the ingredients – most of them are actually maltodextrin, with maybe 2% stevia mixed in. Seriously! Which is actually worse for you than sugar! Get pure stevia, granulated, powder, or drops (we like these drops from Amazon – Nick’s Chocolate Stevia Drops)
Monk Fruit – mostly from health food shops or online. This is one that you will see a lot on American blogs but it isn’t widely available in the UK – Yet!
Sukrin – another favourite for baking. It’s a mix of erythritol and stevia, which a lot of people prefer to either one or the other! Sukrin Natural Sugar Alternative 250g
Different brands, same keto friendly sweeteners
There are loads of different brands to choose from, especially when you look online for keto sweeteners, the list seems endless. But they are all pretty much based on the same types – erythritol and stevia. Use this as a guide to choosing the right ones for you, and avoid the wrong ones.
Who said you can’t indulge in treats while following a keto or LCHF diet?! Yes, you can! Yes we do! And yes, we still lose weight and keep it off!
Keto sweet treats!
If you already have your preferred keto friendly sweetener in the cupboard, why not try this deliciously guilt free keto treat, and it only takes a minute! Try our version of the keto chocolate mug cake!
- 1 tablespoon melted butter
- Egg, beaten, x1
- A tablespoon of coconut flour (or 4 of ground almonds)
- 2 tablespoons of erythritol (or other keto friendly sweetener)
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
In an average sized coffee mug, melt the butter (microwave for 10 seconds). Add the other ingredients and stir very well with a fork. Mix well. Microwave for 60 seconds (make sure you do not over cook it, it might be dry!) Add some sugar free choc chips too, or top with some whipped double cream.