If you’re on the keto diet, you’re well aware of your daily intake of carbohydrates and sugar. Keto diets limit carb intake to fewer than 50 grams per day, and often less than that. For those with a sweet tooth, that number may seem staggeringly small. There’s little to no room to “cheat” with a sugary snack, or even a few pieces of candy.
Fortunately, there are alternatives out there for those tackling the rigor of a keto diet. If you love the sweet stuff, but have to stay away from sugar and carbs, I have a list of healthier, keto-friendly options out there. Take a look at our list of no- or low-carb sweeteners, and consider incorporating these alternatives into your diet to stay lean and healthy, while satiating that sweet tooth. Take note, each alternative has its own pros and cons, so pick the right alternative to fit your needs.
Monk fruit extract is gaining popularity due to its resounding sweetness, and the fact that it has no carbs or calories. Find extract that doesn’t have sugar added to it (manufacturers often add sugar), and use it as you would with other sweeteners. Take note, however, monk fruit is actually sweeter than sugar! So, if you’re sprinkling some of this miracle sweetener over your cup of coffee or baking with monk fruit extract, be sure to reduce the amount that you use. You’ll only need about half as much monk fruit extract as you’d need with traditional sugar. Be mindful that baking with monk fruit may change the outcome of the recipe, so you’ll have to adjust accordingly.
Stevia swept the nation a few years back, and it still stands as one of the best alternative, natural sweeteners available. Stevia is a plant that can be used to create sweet powder (just like sugar), as well as sweet tinctures (a sweet liquid). Seek out the stevia tinctures if you can, since they require less processing to create. Like monk fruit stevia is carb and calorie-free, and again it’s actually sweeter than traditional sugar, so you won’t need to use much to make dessert or to add flavor to your favorite drink. Be mindful that there is some evidence that stevia may be a natural contraceptive when ingested — consult a doctor before consuming stevia if you’re trying to conceive. In addition, stevia may not be right for those who have blood pressure issues, since stevia can lower your blood pressure to a dangerous level — again, consult a doctor before consuming stevia if you’re concerned about your blood pressure.
Have you seen xylitol as an ingredient on the back of a pack of gum? There are a few reasons why gum manufacturers are opting to use this sweetener to produce their chewable treats: Xylitol is low-calorie, low-carb, and good for your teeth. Xylitol is actually an alcohol that can be found in all sorts of fruits and veggies, and it naturally sweetens those foods. You can replace traditional sugar with xylitol to lower the amount of carbs and calories that you consume. Just be mindful that xylitol can have a laxative effect when you consume a lot, and each teaspoon has about 4 grams of carbs, as well as 4 calories.
Erythritol, a sugar alcohol, is far less calorie- and carb-dense than the real stuff. And our taste receptors still pick up on the sweetness. Erythritol still packs about 80 percent of the sweetness of its traditional sugar cousin, yet you’ll only ingest 5 percent of the calories and 4 grams of carbs per teaspoon used. Stick to erythritol to lower your carb and calorie counts, while keeping dishes sweet. Take note, however, that erythritol doesn’t dissolve as well as sugar, so it may not be best for mixing into drinks and other applications.
Start Your Journey to Holistic Wellness
Shaping your diet can be hard, and finding the right ingredients to satiate your body while satisfying your taste buds may seem out of reach. But there’s good stuff out there, trust me! I’ve dedicated myself to finding the best foods to help others to thrive. I work with women to determine their personal goals for their health, and strive to help them achieve those goals. If you’d like to learn more about nutrition and your health and wellness, I’d be ecstatic to talk with you — just reach out to me to learn more. Begin your journey to wellness today!