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Is Erythritol Keto? (+ The Best Sugars for Keto)

Louise | March 1

Many folks think being on Keto means you have to give up desserts forever. Luckily, that’s not true!

You can still enjoy delicious desserts and sweet treats without breaking your Keto diet. It’s just a question of using the right type of sugar alternatives and sweeteners.

To help you navigate the sugar aisle, we’ve put together an easy and simple list that will show you the best kinds of Keto sweeteners and sugars to use.

You’ll also find out which commonly used sugars to avoid!

We’ve even provided some scrumptious and sweet Keto-friendly dessert recipes for you to try, many of which use the sugars and sweeteners featured on this list!

4 Types of Keto Sweeteners You Can Enjoy While on Keto

Here are four easy-to-find sweeteners to use or look for while on Keto.

Keto Sugars

1. Stevia

Made from a species of plant called Stevia rebaudiana, this natural low-carb sweetener is often known as the “Sugar Leaf”. And it’s easy to see why! Stevia is very sweet- it’s considered to be roughly 150 to 200 times sweeter than regular white sugar.

Dr. Andrew Weil, M.D. notes that, “Stevia is safe for diabetics and is widely used as a nonnutritive sweetener around the world.”

Baking with Stevia is easy, but watch out when using it in recipes that call for other forms of sugar. Thanks to Stevia’s intense sweetness, you’ll have to cut the amount of sweetener by half (or more!) in a recipe or else you’ll risk a sickly sweet dessert!

Stevia is great because you can find it both in a powder format (great to use for baking) as well as in a liquid concentrate, which is great to use for beverages, as it doesn’t need heat to dissolve! Use it in cocktails, mocktails, or even good ol’ iced tea!

Keto Sugars

2. Erythritol

Is Erythritol Keto?  Good news – it is one of the sweeteners we recommend!

Made by fermenting a variety of glucose with the natural microorganism Moniliella pollinis, Erythritol’s sweetness comes from non-digestible carbohydrates (similar to those found in fruits). Your body can’t absorb these, which is why they don’t affect your daily carb count. Erythritol is easy on the stomach, easy to incorporate into recipes, and, most importantly, Keto-friendly!

Erythritol is a sugar alcohol.  Registered Dietitian Frances Largeman-Roth, RD, explains, “Despite their name, sugar alcohols do not contain any alcohol at all. Their chemical structure is a combination of a sugar molecule and an alcohol molecule, but they don’t behave like either one.”

Out of all the Keto-friendly sugars, Erythritol gives you the best results when baking. It produces a nice even bake, without any odd after-tastes or finishes.

3. Swerve

Swerve’s sweetness actually comes from an ingredient you’ve already seen on our Keto-friendly sugars list: Erythritol! It’s made by combining this Keto-friendly sugar with oligosaccharides and natural flavors.

Swerve is great to use in baking because you can simply substitute one cup of Swerve when your recipe calls for one cup of white sugar (it’s a one-to-one replacement). Which makes it easy to swap into almost any of your favorite dessert recipes!

Keto Sugars

4. Monk Fruit

Also known as Lo Han Kuo, monk fruit has been used as a natural sweetener for thousands of years in China. It’s considered to be roughly 200 times sweeter than sugar, so you won’t need to use much to sweeten your dishes.

Dr.  Amy Myers, M.D. is a fan of this sugar substitute. “Monk fruit is another zero-calorie sugar replacement, and derives its sweetness from the natural antioxidants in the fruit.”

One of its many benefits is that monk fruit powder dissolves quickly and easily in liquid, making it great as a sweetener for beverages like iced tea.

Check out Dr. Berg’s video on artificial sweeteners for more understanding of these alternates:

Sugars and Sweeteners to Avoid While On Keto

All of the sugars and sweeteners listed below are not appropriate for use on a Keto diet. Although many are naturally derived (like maple syrup), all of the sugars and syrups on the list below contain very high levels of carbohydrates (exactly what you want to avoid on Keto).

Although some of the sweeteners and sugar substitutes may seem like they’re low in carbohydrates, be careful! Many of these have chemicals that lead to spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels, a situation you want to steer clear of when you’re in ketosis (the goal of Keto). These spikes in blood sugar or insulin can even produce intense cravings for sugar, making it all the harder to stick to Keto!

Below you’ll find all the sugars, syrups, sweeteners, and sugar substitutes that aren’t appropriate for Keto. Make sure you keep an eye out for these when cooking or baking at home or if you’re dining out:

  • White Sugar (including powdered or confectioner’s sugar)
  • All Varieties of Honey
  • Agave Syrup
  • Maple Syrup (as well as Maple Sugar)
  • Sorghum Syrup
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup
  • Golden Syrup
  • Fruit Sugar
  • Coconut Palm Sugar
  • Brown Sugar
  • Demerara Sugar
  • Muscovado Sugar
  • Aspertame
  • Sucralose (aka Splenda)
  • Saccharin (aka Sweet’N Low)
  • Sugar Alcohol (e.g. Sorbitol, xylitol, mannitol)

Sugar Alcohols on Keto

Sugar alcohols can seem like a great replacement for white sugar on a Keto diet. But be careful: not all sugar alcohols are created equal! Some can take your body out of ketosis and even make your hunger cravings worse!

Sugar alcohols (aka polyols) are a type of natural sugar found in many foods, especially fruits. Often used to sweeten “diet” or “sugar-free” foods, some of the most common sugar alcohols include: gylcerol, isomalt, lactitol, and xylitol. But there are many more!

Sugar alcohols may seem like a great way to enjoy sweet treats while on Keto, but don’t be fooled! When you compare most sugar alcohols with regular sugar, they actually have almost the same amount of calories and carbohydrates! Which means some sugar alcohols can be just as bad for a Keto lifestyle as regular sugar. So why take the chance?

Learn more about using sugar alcohols on Keto

Is Diet Coke or Coke Zero Allowed On Keto?

The jury is still out on whether diet or sugar-free sodas are appropriate for a Keto diet. According to the latest research, no specific ingredient in these diet sodas should prevent ketosis. But, that said, sweet drinks like Diet Coke and Coke Zero may make it difficult for some people to break their addiction to other forms of sugar.

And did you know your sugar cravings might actually get worse after drinking diet colas? Because these drinks only “mimic” sweetness, they have a tendency of tricking your body and brain to actually want more, not less, sweet things!

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Michelle Dudash, RDN, says, “The end goal…should be to reduce the amount of soda, regardless of the type. It’s prudent to replace artificially sweetened foods with more nutrient-rich, lower sugar foods.”

A good rule of thumb is to give up soda for 30-60 days when going on Keto. You’ll be surprised how quickly you lose a taste for these sugary drinks!

Are Artificial Sugars Dangerous?

With so much conflicting research out there on the dangers of artificial sugars, it can be hard to figure out what is safe to include on a Keto diet! Overall, studies have shown that major artificial sweeteners like aspartame (used in Nutrasweet and Equal), saccharin (used in Sweet ‘N Low) and sucralose (used in Splenda) are perfectly safe for human consumption in moderate quantities.

Are aspartame, saccharine, and sucralose keto?  We don’t recommend them.

Although they may be safe to eat, many of these artificial sweeteners have been linked to increased sugar cravings, exactly what you want to avoid on Keto!

Advertisers love to package junk food as healthy by including a “low carb” sticker. But watch out! You can usually tell you’re looking at junk food if you find artificial sweeteners on the list of ingredients. Unfortunately, artificial sweeteners are a common way for companies to promote a food as “low-carb”, even when it has no nutritional benefit.

If you find an artificial sweetener on a food’s ingredient list, it may be a sign that you should steer clear. Stick to non-processed and natural foods as much as possible, focusing on the Keto-friendly sugars we mentioned in the list above. Use those as a good benchmark for what you buy at the grocery store, out at a restaurant, or even when cooking or baking at home.

Keto Recipes Using Stevia

Cucumber Lime Gummy Snacks

– Keto Summit

Keto cucumber lime gummy snacks

Ingredients: cucumber, mint leaves, lime, gelatin powder, stevia.

I used to love gummy candies as a kid, but with so many artificial flavors and colors, it’s hard for me to enjoy them as an adult. That’s why I love these sweet gummy treats. Sweetened lightly with stevia, these gummies are infused with the subtle flavors of mint, cucumber, and lime. They’re the perfect taste of summer in every single bite.

Keto Apple Cinnamon Muffins Recipe

– Keto Summit

Keto Apple Cinnamon Muffins Recipe (Dairy-Free) #keto

Ingredients: almond flour, ghee, eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, applesauce, lemon juice, stevia, baking soda.

Apples and cinnamon are a match made in heaven. These flavors work together beautifully in this fantastic muffin recipe, perfect as a sweet breakfast weekend treat or a ready-to-go dessert. The almond flour in these muffins only adds to the rich autumnal flavors here, perfect for any time of the year!

Keto Cinnamon Chocolate Chia Pudding

– Keto Summit

Cinnamon Chocolate Chia Pudding Recipe [Paleo, Keto] #paleo #keto -

Ingredients: unsweetened cacao powder, cinnamon powder, chia seeds, coconut or almond milk, vanilla extract, stevia.

So many Keto dessert recipes double perfectly as hearty breakfast options. And this is certainly true for this delicious chocolate chia pudding! Whether as fuel for a busy day or a sweet treat to unwind after work, this easy-to-make recipe will become a weekday staple!

Keto Recipes Using Erythritol

Keto Ginger Coconut Cookies

– Keto Summit

Keto Ginger Coconut Cookies #keto

Ingredients: almond flour, coconut flour, coconut flakes, egg, ghee, stevia or erythritol, vanilla extract, ginger powder, cinnamon (optional), nutmeg, cloves (optional), baking soda.

I love these elegant little cookies which pack so much flavor into such a little bite! With erythritol lending a hint of sweetness, the ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon in this recipe make for a delectable flavor-forward cookie.

Avocado Popsicle with Coconut & Lime

– Ketogasm

33 Awesome Keto Avocado Recipes

Photo Credit: Tasha from Ketogasm

Ingredients: avocado, coconut milk, erythritol, lime juice.

I love the smooth gelato feel of these erythritol keto popsicles. Not too sweet, with a bright hit of citrus-y lime along with creamy coconut and avocado, this handheld treat is a perfect grown-up version of a childhood favorite.

Keto Pumpkin Spice Haystack Cookies (Contains Dairy)

– I Breathe I’m Hungry

33 Delicious and Easy Keto Dessert Recipes

Photo Credit: Mellissa from I Breathe I’m Hungry

Ingredients: butter, cream cheese, pumpkin puree, powdered erythritol sweetener, unsweetened pure vanilla extract, ground cinnamon, ground ginger, ground nutmeg, salt, unsweetened shredded coconut, pecans (optional).

I like to think of these as the best-ever version of coconut macaroons. Warm autumnal spices like cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg blend perfectly with the shredded coconut and pecans to make a classy one-bite treat. A perfect, decadent end to any meal!

Keto Recipes Using Swerve

Fudgy Macadamia Chocolate Fat Bomb

– The Nourished Caveman

Keto Dessert Recipes

Photo Credit: Vivica from The Nourished Caveman

Ingredients: cacao butter, unsweetened cacao powder, Swerve, macadamias, and coconut oil.

I love the rich nutty texture of these sweet morsels. Combining Swerve with cacao powder and butter, this recipe is perfect for any lover of dense fudgy brownies. The nutty, salty hit of macadamias will make this a sweet treat, perfect for any day of the week.

Keto Chocolate Brownies Recipe

– Keto Summit

Keto Chocolate Brownies Recipe #keto

Ingredients: coconut oil, eggs, vanilla extract, almond flour, unsweetened cacao powder, coconut cream, Swerve, confectioner’s sweetener, or stevia.

Talk about a decadent brownie! These ooey gooey morsels are sure to satisfy anyone’s chocolate craving. This easy-to-make recipe has been my favorite for months. I love how the rich cacao powder matches perfectly with the coconut cream here. A must try!

Blueberry Muffins (Contains Dairy)

– Peace Love and Low Carb

Photo Credit: Kyndra from Peace Love and Low Carb

Ingredients: butter, cream cheese, vanilla, coconut flour, granulated Swerve, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, xanthan gum, eggs, heavy cream, blueberries.

Blueberry muffins will always mean one thing to me: weekend breakfast. You can easily whip up a batch of these on Friday and Saturday evening, making them the perfect lazy breakfast treat the following morning. And with just a hint of cinnamon, these classy muffins are a perfect bite for guests.

Keto Recipes Using Monk Fruit

Low Carb Chocolate Cake

– Low Carb Yum

Ketogenic Cake Recipes #keto -

Photo Credit: Lisa from Low Carb Yum

Ingredients: coconut flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, swerve, monk fruit powder, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, sea salt, coconut oil, eggs, vanilla extract, zucchini.

Who knew cake could be good for you? Combining monk fruit powder and unsweetened cocoa for a rich texture, the secret ingredient in this cake is actually a vegetable! By adding grated zucchini, this low-carb cake is fantastically moist. No one will believe they’re eating vegetables in their dessert!

Cheesecake Salad with Mixed Berries (Contains Dairy)

– Low Carb Yum

33 Delicious and Easy Keto Dessert Recipes

Photo Credit: Lisa from Low Carb Yum

Ingredients: cream cheese, monk fruit powder, stevia powder, heavy whipping cream, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries.

I know what you’re thinking: cheesecake AND salad? It sounds like the impossible dream, but this unique recipe showcases this dream team combination of ingredients. Using beautiful fresh fruit like raspberries and blueberries combined with sweet cream cheese, this dessert can be made in under five minutes, making it a perfect weeknight after-dinner treat!

Low Carb Zucchini Blueberry Muffins

– Low Carb Yum

33 Keto Zucchini Recipes That Zip!

Photo Credit: Lisa from Low Carb Yum

Ingredients: almond flour, coconut flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, dried lemon zest, eggs, vanilla extract, stevia drops, monk fruit liquid extract, sour cream, zucchini shredded, blueberries.

Zucchini saves the day again! As our favorite go-to secret ingredient for Keto dessert recipes, the shredded zucchini give these delicious muffins a lovely moistness. Because who wants a dry muffin? Fair warning: these little blueberry bites are addictive. It’s hard to just eat one!


Louise co-founded Louise's Foods, Paleo Living Magazine, Nourishing Brands, & CoBionic. She has considerable research experience but enjoys creating products and articles that help move people just a little bit closer toward a healthy life they love.