Sugar, or any alias or variation of sugar (fructose, HFCS, cane syrup, honey, agave, etc), is not keto. Here are the following keto-approved sugar substitutes that I use on my site:
- Pyure – This is a mixture of stevia and erythritol. This is my favorite one and I save 15% by buying it through Amazon subscription.
- Erythritol – Just the pure stuff, such as this one from Now Foods
- Swerve – This is mostly just erythritol. It comes in granular and powdered forms.
- Stevia drops – Such as these from NuStevia
- Sweet drops – These are also just stevia but they come in flavors.
- Monk fruit powder, such as this one
- Sukrin Gold – Brown sugar substitute made with mostly erythritol
- Sukrin Melis – Powdered sugar substitute made with mostly erythritol. Also called Sukrin icing.
Xylitol is also a keto-friendly sweetener, but I have not tried it. This can be toxic to pets so if you buy it just keep it away from your furr babies.
Truvia is also keto-friendly. It’s basically stevia/erythritol just like pyure.
Allulose and Inulin can also be used in keto recipes on other sites, and have a GI of 0, but I try to avoid those as well.
IMPORTANT: Always read the ingredients on the back of every sweetener! For example, you might buy a pack of stevia, but flip it over and find out it also contains maltodextrin, which has a higher glycemic effect than sugar!
The entire purpose of keto is to keep insulin and blood sugar low! Every food can be ranked as having a glycemic index (“GI”) between 0 and 100. 100 is huge blood sugar spike, 0 is no effect. You want to choose sweeteners near the 0 line, but also ones that are natural and not man-made. The list above is safe and everything has a GI close to 0, with the exception of xylitol which can be up to a 12.
- Splenda. It has maltodextrin in it. AKA Sugar. That’s right. Splenda, which is advertised to diabetics, actually contains sugar, and our FDA allows this to be marketed as sugar-free! Check out the serving size and you’ll see why. Maltodextrin’s glycemic index is 95, which is higher than sugar (90).
- Sucralose. This is another name for splenda. Sometimes you can find pure sucralose which has no maltodextrin in it, however, this is still man made and not technically keto, even though sucralose can sometimes have a GI of 0.
- Stevia in the Raw. Also contains Dextrose which is yet ANOTHER alias for sugar and therefor high GI. Opt for pure stevia instead (or a blend of stevia and erythritol).
- Maltitol. This is man-made sugar-alcohol and can cause terrible bloating or discomfort. Avoid as much as possible. The GI is typically around 35 so if you have a tiny bit it won’t knock you out of ketosis, but it should still be avoided since it’s artificial and causes bloating.
- Sorbitol. Same as above. Okay in tiny quantities such as gum or mints. Much lower glycemic response than maltitol though (about 4 GI).
- Aspartame. Stay away from this man-made cancer garbage. Stop the diet sodas.
- Saccharin. This is the crap in the pink envelopes. Just run away. Why is this junk even still around?
- Sugar in the Raw. This does not make it any healthier by calling it “raw” and is simply a marketing ploy. Still sugar. Not Keto.
- ___ In the Raw – This is a brand and they always add dextrose or maltodextrin which is sugar
- Sucrose. This is another name for sugar. Avoid.
- Fructose. Alias name for sugar. Avoid.
- Glucose. Still sugar. Avoid.
- Syrups. Pretty much any of them no matter what other words they put around it. Pure sugar. Avoid.
- Agave. This is just sugar. Avoid.
- Honey. Still sugar. Avoid.
- Molasses. Still sugar. Avoid.
- ___ Juice. Probably sugar. Avoid.
- Maltodextrin, Dextrose, Maltose, Sorghum – All alias names for Sugar. Avoid.
- Corn Sweetener. That fact that it says “corn” should be a warning sign. This is sugar. Avoid.
- Caramel. This is just cooked sugar. Avoid.
- Barley Malt. This is sugar. Avoid.
- There are so many more… I recommend you research alias names of sugar and memorize them.
You can read the book “Sugar has 56 names” for more detailed information.