Ketogenic Diet Food List: Everything You Need to Know
Below, you’ll find a visual list of sweeteners that are commonly consumed on a ketogenic diet. Note that the less accepted they are, the less you will want to consume.
Staying away from anything sweet tasting is the best bet – it will help curb your cravings to a minimal level, which essentially promotes success on the ketogenic diet. If you have to have something sweet, though, there are some options available to choose from.
When searching for sweeteners, try to go after liquid versions as they don’t have added binders (such as maltodextrin and dextrose). These are commonly found in blends like Splenda and can add up in carbs very, very quickly. For keto, you want to try to stick with lower glycemic index sweeteners.
Please note that this is just a small list of sweeteners that people use on keto. There’s tons of different brands and blends out there – we frequently use a mixture of stevia and erythritol in our dessert recipes. You may find something that suits your tastes better, though, just make sure that it is on the acceptable sweetener list.
Typically you want to stay away from any brands that use filler ingredients like maltodextrin and dextrose, or high glycemic sweeteners like maltitol. Many low-carb products that claim low net carbs usually use these sugar alcohols. Many candies that are “sugar-free” also use these sweeteners. Avoid them where possible. These specific sweeteners respond in our body in a similar way sugar does.
When a sweetener has a low glycemic impact (or a low glycemic index), it has little effect on blood sugar. The higher the glycemic index is, the higher your blood sugar will spike during consumption. Here’s our recommended list of 0 GI sweeteners:
- Stevia. One of the most common sugar substitutions used on the market today. Incredibly sweet with no glycemic impact. The liquid form is preferred.
- Sucralose. A very easy, but very sweet substitution to sugar that has a lot of misinformation around it. Many people confuse this with Splenda, but sucralose is the pure sweetener. Liquid versions are preferred.
- Erythritol. This is a great sugar substitution that has 0 glycemic impact. It’s special because it passes through our bodies undigested, and is excreted without absorbing the carbs.
- Monk fruit. This is a less common sweetener and usually used in combination with others. While somewhat rare, if you can find it, it makes a great balanced sweetener.
- Various blends. There are numerous brands on the market that combine these sweeteners in their ratios. Be careful and read the ingredients.
For those looking for something just a little closer to real sugar, you can use Xylitol. It cooks and tastes very similar to sugar, but it has a slight glycemic impact (13 vs. 100 for sugar). It is great, but please keep in mind that it is very toxic to animals and it will raise insulin levels slightly. These are the two most cited reasons for not using Xylitol.