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The Ultimate Guide to Keto Sweeteners: A Comprehensive Overview for Beginners

Navigating the world of keto sweeteners can be confusing, especially for beginners. With so many options, it’s crucial to understand the differences between them and which ones are best suited for a low-carb lifestyle. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll break down the most popular keto sweeteners, their benefits, and how they stack up against each other so you can make the best choice for your needs.

Table of Contents

Erythritol is a sugar alcohol that’s derived from corn or other plants. It has a similar taste and texture to sugar but contains only about 5% of the calories. Erythritol is a popular choice for keto dieters because it has zero net carbs and doesn’t raise blood sugar levels. It’s also easy to digest and has minimal side effects, making it a suitable option for those who experience gastrointestinal issues with other sugar alcohols.


Stevia is a natural sweetener derived from the leaves of the Stevia rebaudiana plant. It’s approximately 200 times sweeter than sugar but has zero calories and zero net carbs. Stevia comes in various forms, including liquid drops, powder, and granulated blends. The taste can be somewhat bitter for some people, but it’s an excellent option for those looking for a natural, plant-based keto sweetener.

Monk Fruit

Monk fruit, also known as Luo Han Guo, is another natural sweetener extracted from a small fruit native to Southeast Asia. It’s roughly 100-250 times sweeter than sugar and contains zero calories and zero net carbs. Monk fruit has a fruity taste and is often combined with erythritol or other sweeteners to reduce any potential aftertaste. It’s a suitable option for people seeking an alternative to artificial sweeteners.


Allulose is a rare sugar found in small quantities in fruits like figs and raisins. It has a similar taste and texture to sugar but contains only 10% of the calories. Allulose is considered a safe and keto-friendly option because it doesn’t impact blood sugar or insulin levels. However, it’s relatively new to the market and can be more expensive than other sweeteners.


Xylitol is another sugar alcohol derived from plants, most commonly from birch trees or corn. It has a similar taste to sugar and contains about 60% of the calories. Xylitol is not the ideal choice for a strict keto diet, as it has a glycemic index of 13 and can impact blood sugar levels. Additionally, it can cause gastrointestinal issues in some individuals and is highly toxic to dogs.

Comparison Table: At a Glance
SweetenerOriginCalories per GramNet CarbsGlycemic IndexTastePrice per Ounce ($)ProsCons
ErythritolSugar alcohol0.2401Similar to sugar0.50No aftertaste, low caloriesMay cause digestive issues
SteviaSugar alcohol000Sweet, slightly bitter0.40Good for oral healthToxic to pets, digestive issues
Monk FruitPlant-derived000Sweet, fruity0.80No calories, natural sweetenerMay have bitter aftertaste
AllulosePlant-derived0.400Similar to sugar1.00No calories, natural sweetenerMay have slight aftertaste
XylitolRare sugar2.4513Similar to sugar0.50Low calories, browning abilityLimited availability, expensive
Benefits of Keto Sweeteners

Keto sweeteners allow you to enjoy sweet treats without the negative impact of sugar on your blood sugar and insulin levels. This can help you maintain ketosis and support weight loss, improved blood sugar control, and overall better health.

Dr. Eric Westman, an expert in low-carb and ketogenic diets, recommends using erythritol or xylitol as they have a minimal impact on blood sugar levels and are well-tolerated by most people.

Drawbacks of Keto Sweeteners

Some keto sweeteners, like erythritol and xylitol, are sugar alcohols and may cause digestive issues in some people, especially when consumed in large quantities. Additionally, some sweeteners, such as stevia and monk fruit, may have a slight aftertaste that some individuals find unappealing.

Tips for Choosing the Right Sweetener

When choosing a keto sweetener, consider the taste, glycemic index, and any potential side effects. You may need to experiment with different sweeteners to find the one that best suits your taste and dietary needs.

Nutritionist and bestselling author, Maria Emmerich, suggests using a combination of stevia and erythritol for the best taste and minimal aftertaste in keto recipes.

  • Consider your personal taste preferences
    Different sweeteners have distinct flavors, so it’s essential to choose one that suits your palate.
  • Think about your cooking needs
    Some sweeteners work better for specific recipes and cooking methods. For instance, erythritol and allulose are suitable for baking, while liquid stevia is great for beverages and no-bake recipes.
  • Be mindful of your budget
    The cost of sweeteners can vary significantly. Opt for a sweetener that fits within your budget without sacrificing quality or taste.
  • Pay attention to glycemic index and net carbs
    For keto dieters, it’s crucial to choose a sweetener with a low glycemic index and minimal net carbs to maintain ketosis and blood sugar levels.
  • Check for potential side effects
    Some sweeteners, like xylitol, can cause gastrointestinal issues in sensitive individuals, so consider your personal tolerance.

Choosing the right keto sweetener can make all the difference in maintaining a successful low-carb lifestyle. By understanding the differences between erythritol, stevia, monk fruit, allulose, and xylitol, you can make an informed decision that suits your taste, cooking needs, and dietary goals. Use our comparison table as a starting point, and don’t be afraid to experiment with different sweeteners to find the perfect one for you!

Please don’t hesitate to contact if you have a question!

Printable Conversion Chart

Here’s a simple printable conversion chart for substituting sugar with keto sweeteners in recipes:

SweetenerConversion Ratio (to 1 cup of sugar)
Erythritol1 cup
Xylitol1 cup
Stevia powder1 tsp
Stevia drops1-2 droppers
Monk fruit1-2 tsp (depending on brand)
Allulose1 1/3 cups

Please note that these conversion ratios are general guidelines and may vary depending on the specific brand or product you’re using. Always refer to the package instructions for the most accurate conversion ratios.


Q: Can I use these sweeteners while intermittent fasting?

A: Yes, most keto sweeteners have little to no calories and don’t cause an insulin response, making them suitable for use during intermittent fasting. However, it’s important to use them in moderation and be aware of individual responses, as some sweeteners may cause cravings or digestive issues for certain individuals.

Q: How do I substitute sugar with these sweeteners in recipes?

A: The substitution ratios vary for different sweeteners. Please refer to the printable conversion chart below for guidance on how to substitute sugar with keto sweeteners in recipes.

Q: Are there any side effects to using these sweeteners?

A: Some people may experience side effects like bloating, gas, or digestive discomfort when using certain sweeteners, particularly sugar alcohols like erythritol or xylitol. If you experience any issues, try switching to a different sweetener or using a smaller amount.

Q: Do keto sweeteners have an aftertaste?

A: Some keto sweeteners, such as stevia and monk fruit, may have a slightly bitter aftertaste for some people. This can often be mitigated by combining sweeteners or using them in recipes with strong flavors.

Q: Can I use keto sweeteners if I’m diabetic?

A: Most keto sweeteners have a low glycemic index and don’t cause significant blood sugar spikes, making them suitable for people with diabetes. However, it’s important to monitor your blood sugar levels and consult with a healthcare professional when making dietary changes.

Q: Are keto sweeteners safe for children?

A: Many keto sweeteners are safe for children in moderation. However, it’s essential to consult with a pediatrician or healthcare professional before introducing new sweeteners into your child’s diet, as individual responses may vary.

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