The Best Sweeteners for Keto, Compared: Stevia and Erythritol

Whether you’re a longtime believer of or a recent convert to the keto diet, you likely already know that processed sugar is one of the worst things that you can consume for your diet.

Made up almost completely of carbohydrates, even the smallest amounts of sugar can easily throw your body out of ketosis and cause you to go from burning fat to burning carbohydrates for energy.

Because of the downsides of consuming sugar while on keto, many people often end up breaking their keto diets to satiate their sweet tooth. However, did you know that you can actually continue to enjoy sweet foods while still adhering to your keto diet?

In this post, we take a closer look at two of the best sweeteners for keto and how you can incorporate them into your lifestyle.

What Are Non-Sugar Sweeteners and How Do They Work?

Non-sugar sweeteners are substances that imitate the sweet flavor of sugar but without any of the associated carbohydrates. Because they don’t contain any carbohydrates, your body will continue to remain in a state of ketosis where it consumes fat reserves for energy. Non-sugar sweeteners are an essential component of any keto diet because they enable you to continue to sweeten the food you consume while still adhering to your diet. 

If you’re thinking of incorporating non-sugar sweeteners into your diet, you might be spoiled for choice and may not know which works best for you. Stevia and erythritol are two of the most popular non-sugar sweeteners amongst individuals on keto and low-carbohydrate diets.

Without further ado, let’s look at the benefits of each one to help you make a well-informed decision when it comes to which one you should use. 

Stevia: A Natural Sweetening Solution

Stevia is a non-sugar sweetener that is derived from the leaves of the stevia rebaudiana plant, a plant that is native to South America. Stevia is made using the plant’s compounds that mimic the sweetness of sugar — with sweetness levels of between 50 to 300 times that of sugar!

Stevia has a mild menthol flavor with some individuals finding it slightly bitter. Consider trying it first to determine whether it suits your taste buds. 

Because the human body is not able to metabolize the compounds in stevia, they are passed through the body without being used for energy1. As such, this makes stevia one of the best non-sugar sweeteners that is not only natural but also does not have any calories and consequently, does not have any carbohydrates, making it a keto-friendly substitute for sugar. 

Antioxidant Properties

Apart from being carbohydrate-free, stevia also has certain antioxidant properties, adding to its nutritional value when consumed as part of your keto diet.

Stevia contains various compounds such as phenolic compounds and phenolic acids which are known to have strong antioxidant potential2.

Erythritol: Sweetness Without The Guilt

Erythritol is another non-sugar sweetener that you can consider as an alternative to stevia if you’re on the keto diet. It is a naturally occurring sugar alcohol that can be commonly found in fruits such as grapes and pears, although it is typically mass produced through the fermentation of natural sugars using yeast3.

Commercially available erythritol has a cooling taste, which can often be masked with stronger natural flavors from food. 

Unlike regular sugar, erythritol has a significantly lower calorie content, making it the ideal sweetener for individuals on a keto or low-carb diet. It also has a glycaemic index of zero, meaning that consuming it will not cause your blood sugar to increase and that your body will continue to be in a state of ketosis. 

Preventing Tooth Decay

In addition to its nutritional value, erythritol is also excellent at helping you avoid tooth decay. This is because unlike with sugar, harmful bacteria are unable to consume erythritol to multiple and thrive. This prevents them from harming your teeth or causing cavities in them4

Incorporating Non-Sugar Sweeteners into Your Lifestyle

If you want your keto diet to be sustainable in the long term, it is essential for you to incorporate non-sugar sweeteners into your lifestyle. For starters, you should try both stevia and erythritol to determine which is more suitable for your tastes and preferences.

Apart from replacing all the sugar in your diet and your recipes with either stevia or erythritol, it is important for you to ensure that the sweet treats and snacks you buy (or cook yourself using KBosh dessert recipes!) are made with these non-sugar sweeteners. 

For a healthier, keto-friendly snacking alternative to chips and chocolates, consider KBosh’s keto candied pecans. Made using both stevia and erythritol, these nuts are a much healthier option for you to snack on, helping you satisfy your sweet cravings without any of the guilt.