I get excited when I see a new food item on the market and it says “sugar-free”, but sugar-free does not necessarily mean Keto-Friendly. As you start out on your keto journey, you’ll be learning to read labels and to familiarize yourself with the different ingredients food manufacturers add to foods, especially sugar and sugar alternatives.
Best Alternative Sweetener On Keto
I created this visual guide for the KETO FB COMMUNITY GROUP that I run. If you have not joined the FB Group yet you should join us as we grow and share everything you need to know about keto.
The alternative sweeteners in this guide indicate the good sweeteners that are keto-friendly and the bad ones, which you should avoid at all costs. Take note that they are listed below in order of best to not so good.
The first alliterative sweetener on the list is Monk Fruit. Monk Fruit, unfortunately, is not yet available in South Africa. Monk fruit is the best of all the alternative sweeteners. Monk fruit is 100–250 times sweeter than sugar.
Stevia is next up. Stevia, same as Monk Fruit, does not cause a spike in blood sugar and is highly keto-friendly. Unfortunately, Stevia does have a bit of an aftertaste and some even taste like liquorice. There are different grades of Stevia that have less of an aftertaste, but these ones tend to be extremely expensive. I used a Stevia to formulate Keto Halo’s BHB. It tastes amazing and has zero aftertaste.
Next up is Erythritol. Erythritol is is an alcohol sugar that is also keto-friendly and it doesn’t affect blood sugar. There are quite a few brands that do Erythritol in South Africa. It is a bit pricey, but the nice thing about it is you don’t use heaps of it. Some people do say they don’t like the taste of Erythritol, but that’s just personal preference. It also depends where and when you use Erythritol.
Xylitol is also a great alternative sugar. It is the first one on the keto-friendly list that may have an effect on blood sugar in small quantities. Xylitol can also cause GI upset in large quantities. It is also well known that Xylitol is toxic to dogs.
Yacon Syrup is a new alternative sugar I have seen in some food items from Woolies. I am not sure if it is commercially available in South Africa yet though.
Sally-Ann Creed Alternative Sweetener
Sally Ann Creed has a new alternative sugar available which is quite nice. It is a sugar replacement just like real sugar. It is a UNIQUE product in this country (a South African FIRST) which tastes JUST like sugar (better actually), with the following benefits:
- 1 for 1 sugar replacement
- NO aftertaste
- NO carbs
- NO calories
- NO glycemic index
- NO guilt and NO sweat!
- NOTHING added
Bad Sweeteners To Avoid On Keto
There’s a lot more bad alternative sweeteners on the market. The ones I have listed are just a few that food manufacturers use in food products. These Bad Sweeteners on this guide should be avoided entirely. These sugars affect your blood sugar and affect your gut flora and can undermine your hard earned work sticking to keto.
Also, always be on the lookout for products that may say “sugar-free” on the label. It may be sugar-free, but the alternative sugar they use is not necessarily keto friendly and will probably be one of the alternative sugars in the bottom part of the picture.
This topic deserves so much more content, but I hope that this picture will give you a good indication of sugars that are keto-friendly and ones you should rather avoid.