Which Sugar Substitutes Are Best?


On the keto diet and therefore avoiding sugar and carbs like the plague? You may be passing on the white stuff but still crave sweetness. There are plenty of keto sweeteners on the market, but it can be tough to figure out which one will do the trick taste-wise while helping you avoid carbs… or at least eat less of them.

There are eight non-nutritive sweeteners approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The verdict is still out on whether or not they have the power to actually help with weight loss or maintenance and research has gone back and forth about whether these keto sweeteners can work to prevent diabetes and/or obesity.

Related: 150+ Approved Foods for the Keto Diet

Here’s a bit about each of the non-nutritive sweeteners that the FDA has approved.

FDA-approved best keto sweeteners

1. Saccharin

You’ll find this in yogurt and low-sugar jelly. Some studies have linked it to cancer and other health issues and the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) says to avoid it (along with aspartame, acesulfame-potassium and sucralose).

2. Aspartame

Often in diet sodas, this sweetener is in Equal and NutraSweet.

3. Acesulfame-potassium

Packaged fruits that claim not to contain sugar often add this, which is also known as acesulfame K.

4. Sucralose

This is the basis for Splenda, but it’s also in diet sodas as well.

5. Neotame

Love that sweetness in Sunny D? That’s the neotame, which is also in protein shakes and chewing gum.

6. Advantame

This is a derivative of aspartame and is in beverages as well as cooking and baking products

7. Stevia

Stevia made CSPI’s safe list, and the FDA listed it as “generally recognized as safe” or GRAS. You’ll find stevia as a stand-alone sweetener alongside Equal and other sugar alternatives

8. Luo Han Guo/Monk Fruit

This sweetener was also listed as GRAS by the FDA, but the CSPI says to be cautious about it due to a lack of testing.

Related: 6 Tips to Avoid the Keto Flu and Other Dreaded Keto Diet Side Effects

More options for keto sweeteners

When you’re looking for a sugar alternative to help with your keto diet, keep in mind that those sweeteners aren’t the only substances that can offer sweetness. Stevia or monk…



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