The alternative sweeteners in this guide indicate the best sweeteners to use for the keto diet.
I am always on the lookout for new, keto-friendly foods. And, in recent years there’s been many new products that have come to market. However, it is disappointing that most of these foods that claim to be “sugar-free” don’t necessarily mean keto-friendly. As you start out on your keto journey, you’ll learn to read labels and familiarize yourself with the different ingredients food manufacturers add to foods, especially sugar and sugar alternatives.
The Best Alternative Sweeteners
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The alternative sweeteners in this guide indicate the good sweeteners that are keto-friendly.
The first alternative 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.
Update: 2021: Monk fruit is now available here and here. Be warned; it’s really expensive.
Stevia is next on the list. Stevia, same as Monk Fruit, does not cause a spike in blood sugar and is highly keto-friendly. Unfortunately, some stevia brands have a bit of an aftertaste, and some even taste like liquorice. The reason for the unpleasant aftertaste is that there are different grades of Stevia. I use a Stevia to sweeten Keto Halo’s BHB. It tastes incredible and has zero after taste.
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. Erythritol is still a bit pricey but much more affordable than monk fruit. Erythritol is about 70% as sweet as sugar and has less of a mouth cooling effect than Xylitol. I’ve also noticed varying grades of Erythritol. Some are more coarse, and others are super fine, which makes it ideal for baking. Because I enjoy baking and make recipes for my blog, I wanted to provide my clients with an inexpensive sugar alternative; I have sourced my own Erythritol. Take a look; it’s very affordable compared to what you will buy it for in retail stores.
Xylitol is also an acceptable alternative to sugar. It is the first one on the keto-friendly list that may affect blood sugar in small quantities. Xylitol can also cause GI upset in large amounts. 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 an alternative sugar available which is quite lovely. It is a sugar replacement, just like real sugar.
- 1 for 1 sugar replacement
- NO aftertaste
- NO carbs
- NO calories
- NO glycemic index
- NO guilt and NO sweat!
- NOTHING added
The Worst Alternative Sweeteners
There are a lot more terrible alternative sweeteners on the market. Food manufacturers use these alternative sweeteners in food products because it is sweeter and cheaper than sugar.
Some of these alternative sugars affect your blood sugar and can upset the delicate balance of your gut flora.
Remember what I said about “sugar-free” not being keto-friendly. Alternative sweeteners such as maltitol and maltodextrin are the two main ones to look out for. Although commonly used in sugar-free products, especially sweets and candy, it can cause a spike in insulin and potentially kick you out of ketosis.
This topic deserves so much more content, and I have an entire eighteen-minute video dedicated to alternative sweeteners in my course.
So, next time you are wondering if you can have the new sugar-free sweet or beverage, take a look at the label and make sure it is sweetened with one of the good alternative sweeteners.