There are natural and artificial sweeteners that a person can use on a keto diet. Examples include monk fruit, stevia, sucralose, and more.

People following a ketogenic diet consume a low carb, high fat diet with moderate protein.

Many diets involve cutting down on carbohydrates and fat. However, individuals following a keto eating plan reduce their carbohydrate intake while increasing their fat intake, causing them to go into ketosis.

To maintain ketosis, people also need to reduce their sugar consumption. This can make it challenging if they wish to use sweeteners in baked goods, sauces, and beverages.

This article examines the best natural and artificial keto-friendly sweeteners. We also look at sweeteners that individuals should avoid on a keto diet.

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Usually, carbohydrates form a person’s main source of energy. However, a keto diet works on the premise that if an individual eats very few carbs, their body will produce an alternative fuel source called ketones.

On average, people in the United States eat around 200–350 grams (g) of carbs each day. A keto diet will reduce this amount to 20–50 g per day based on a 2,000 kcal a day diet. This dramatic reduction in carb intake forces the body to burn fat for energy.

Traditional sweeteners, such as white sugar, are high in carbs, so they are not suitable for people wanting to stick to a keto diet.

People often report a reduction in sugar cravings after a few weeks of following a keto diet. However, sometimes they may still want something sweet.

To stay in ketosis, people can choose low carb sweeteners, such as:

Monk fruit

Monk fruit, also known as “luo han guo”, or Siraitia grosvenorii, is a fruit native to China. Its sweetness comes from non-nutritive mogrosides and, depending on the mogroside content, may be 100–250 times sweeter than sugar.

People have used monk fruit for centuries in China, but the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) only generally recognized it as safe in 2010.

A monk fruit sweetener has no calories or carbs, so it will not raise a person’s blood sugar levels. This means it is suitable for those following a keto diet.


Stevia, another natural sweetener, comes from the leaves of a plant growing in South America. People have used it as a flavoring ingredient and raw sugar substitute for hundreds of years. However, it only became popular after Japan adopted it as a sweetener in the 1970s.

Older evidence suggests that using stevia instead of traditional sugar may have beneficial effects on blood sugar levels.

Stevia can be 250–300 times sweeter than sucrose — commonly known as table sugar — meaning people do not need much to achieve the same sweetness level. It also contains little to no carbs or calories, making it suitable for a keto diet.

Stevia is available as a liquid or powder and is versatile, which means people can use it in everything from beverages to baking.

Yacon syrup

Companies make Yacon syrup using perennial South American plant roots. It is an abundant source of fructooligosaccharides (FOSs), a type of fiber that the body cannot digest, meaning it contains much fewer calories than table sugar.

Some older studies show that Yacon syrup may improve insulin resistance and reduce body weight in people with obesity. FOSs may also positively impact several health conditions, including diabetes, cancers, and gut health.

However, people generally cannot cook with Yacon syrup as high temperatures will break down the FOSs.

As well as natural sweeteners, there are artificial high-intensity sweetener alternatives to sugar that people can use on a low carb diet. These tend to be sweeter than sugar and contribute few calories when a person adds them to foods or drinks.


Sucralose is about 200–700 times sweeter than table sugar. It is known as a non-nutritive sweetener, meaning it contains little to no calories.

The substance is unique as it does not have the bitter taste people associate with other artificial sweeteners.

According to the FDA, sucralose is suitable as a sugar substitute in baked goods because it is heat stable. However, some older studies suggest that exposing sucralose to high temperatures during baking could cause it to release toxic compounds.


Xylitol is a type of sweetener known as a sugar alcohol. It is often in sugar-free mints and gum due to its potential to impact oral hygiene positively, according to older studies.

Xylitol tastes and looks similar to table sugar but contains no carbohydrates.

However, unlike natural sweeteners, consuming excessive amounts of xylitol can lead to laxative effects and stomach discomfort.

It is also important to note that even in small amounts, the substance is toxic to dogs.


Erythritol, another sugar alcohol, has a sweetness of approximately 60–80% of table sugar. However, it only has 0.2 calories/g, in comparison with table sugar’s 3.9 calories/g.

Erythritol contains 100g of carbs per 100g, which at first might make it unsuitable for a keto diet. However, studies show that it may lower the sugar levels in a person’s blood, unlike regular carbs.

Similar to xylitol, if people consume too much erythritol, they may experience flatulence and laxative effects. However, unlike xylitol, evidence suggests that erythritol may not cause digestive issues.

There are some sweeteners people should avoid while on a low carb diet, including the below.


Maltodextrin contains the same number of carbs as table sugar and may not be suitable for a keto diet. However, research suggests that maltodextrin has less impact on people’s oral hygiene than table sugar.


Honey may be a healthier alternative to table sugar due to its antioxidant properties. However, it contains a high amount of sugar and carbs, so people should avoid it when following a keto diet.

Coconut sugar

Companies produce coconut sugar using coconut palm sap. It contains just as many carbs as table sugar.

As manufacturers do not process it as table sugar, coconut sugar retains some of its natural vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. However, a person would have to consume large amounts to reap the benefits.

Maple syrup

Maple syrup is another natural sweetener. It contains large amounts of sugar and carbs, so it is not suitable for a keto diet.

Agave nectar

Although a natural sweetener, agave nectar is almost 85% fructose, making it unsuitable for keto-friendly diets. Researchers have also found a link between fructose and obesity and type 2 diabetes.


People often use dates as a natural sweetener. Dates have nutritional value, as they contain small amounts of protein and some vitamins and minerals such as potassium. However, they also contain 75 g of carbs per 100 g, so they may not be suitable for people on a keto diet.

People choosing to follow a keto diet may still want to consume sweet foods while sticking to a low carb diet.

There are many sweeteners people should avoid on a keto diet due to their sugar and carb content. However, several low carb natural and artificial sweeteners are available to consume on a keto diet, which should not interfere with ketosis.