Blog Articles

Are Sugar Alcohols Keto?

Even keto dieters want a bit sweetness of their lives! I do know I do.

However since white sugar is simply pure carbs, you need to skip all of the common sweeteners on Keto (even honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar, and agave are out).

And consequently, many individuals use sugar alcohols (that are low-calorie sweeteners) as an alternative to fulfill the candy tooth.

Don’t fear, they’re not the identical because the alcohol you drink! Chemically talking, sugar alcohols are sugar molecules with an alcohol group connected to it.  (Plus, for folks on keto, alcohol is prone to kick you out of ketosis, at the least briefly!)

Under, we’ll undergo all of the frequent questions you may need: what are sugar alcohols, frequent sugar alcohols, why it is best to or shouldn’t use sugar alcohols, and a substitute for use as an alternative.

However in the event you’re on the lookout for a fast reply to the query, “Are sugar alcohols keto?” then look no additional.  Right here’s the sugar alcohol Keto dieters are inclined to do nicely with, together with the most effective sweetener, normally, to make use of on Keto:

Finest sugar alcohol for Keto: Erythritol

Finest Keto sweetener: Stevia

What are sugar alcohols?

Sugar alcohols (often known as polyols) are a sort of sweetener generally utilized in low carb, Keto, sugar-free, or diet-friendly meals.

Sugar alcohols happen naturally in meals like berries and fruits. However they can be manufactured from different sugars.

In keeping with Registered Dietitian Christin Sehner, RD. LD, “Sugar alcohols (eg, sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol) are reduced-calorie sweeteners that also present energy (roughly 2 kcal/g) but are much less power dense than pure sources of sugar as a result of their incomplete metabolism.”

The most typical sugar alcohols you’ll come throughout are:


These could also be acquainted from low carb or Keto recipes in addition to pre-packaged sugar-free drinks and snacks.

The issue for us Keto of us is that not all sugar alcohols are equal: a few of them could cause digestive points, some are poisonous in excessive quantities (and to canine!), and some could even kick you out of ketosis.

Plus, some truly do include some carbohydrates, in line with Dr. Steven C. Simper, MD. “U.S. labeling legal guidelines enable producers to make use of the phrases ‘sugar free’ or ‘no added sugar’ on the labels of merchandise made with polyols, giving the phantasm that the product has no carbohydrates.”

In different phrases, not all polyols are carb-free, so it’s necessary to verify the label.

However an important query is: do sugar alcohols intrude with ketosis?

Do sugar alcohols kick you out of ketosis?

It relies upon. Not all sugar alcohols will kick you out of ketosis.

In keeping with Keto Oncologist Jocelyn Tan, M.D., “Sugar alcohols technically are pure compounds and are a type of digestible carbohydrate. […] Generally current in meals components to present sweetness, they don’t carry up blood glucose as a lot and don’t stimulate the secretion of insulin.”

They act as low-calorie sweeteners as a result of our our bodies don’t take in all the carbs they include into your bloodstream. Which means they don’t increase your blood glucose ranges like common sugar (sucrose) does.

Take a look at this video on how sugar alcohols have an effect on blood sugar. (Take into accout, a low glycemic index is greatest for staying in ketosis!)

Do Sugar Alcohols Have a Draw back?

Sugar alcohols have fairly nasty unwanted side effects in the event you devour an excessive amount of of them…

“In some folks sugar alcohols could cause bloating, flatulence, and diarrhea,” in line with Nutritionist and Licensed Private Coach Brad Sly.  “It is because the sugar alcohol isn’t fully absorbed within the digestive system and this causes fermentation to happen within the intestines.”

And an excessive amount of of them can undo all of your laborious work. “You can even nonetheless achieve weight when consuming meals that include sugar alcohol, particularly in the event you eat them in extra,” in line with Registered Nurses Sue Cotey, RN and Andrea Harris, RN.

Let’s check out these sweeteners in additional element…

Varieties of Sugar Alcohols


Makes use of: Glycerol (additionally referred to as glycerin) is a mildly candy compound that’s usually used as a sweetener in meals merchandise and in addition as a meals additive for bulking and including texture.

You may also discover it in liquids like vanilla extracts in addition to cough syrup as a thickening agent.

In keeping with Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist Monica Reinagel, LD/N, “The primary benefit is that glycerin doesn’t have an effect on your blood glucose. Nonetheless, substituting glycerin for sucrose won’t cut back energy.”


It has little or no impact on blood glucose.
It’s typically protected if consumed in small to reasonable quantities.


It tastes much less candy than sugar however has extra energy, making it straightforward to overuse in the event you’re not watching your consumption (which may considerably enhance your day by day calorie rely).
It will possibly have a laxative impact if consumed in larger quantities.


Makes use of: Isomalt is a sugar alcohol that’s normally comprised of beets. It’s roughly half the sweetness of sucrose and in addition incorporates half the energy.

One of many fundamental makes use of of isomalt is in baking as a result of it provides loads of bulk that doesn’t break down or lose its sweetness when heated.

Isomalt is normally discovered combined with different sweeteners resembling sucralose to make it sweeter in style. It can be present in meals like sugar-free cough syrup.


It has a minimal impact in your blood glucose ranges.
It isn’t unhealthy to your enamel.


It will possibly wreak havoc in your gastrointestinal tract if consumed in massive portions (usually greater than 50g a day). (1)


Makes use of: Lactitol, like isomalt, is half the sweetness and has half the energy of sucrose. It’s a prebiotic that would assist enhance your colon well being as a result of most of it isn’t digested till it reaches your colon. (2)

It’s used as a low-calorie sweetener in lots of baked items in addition to a therapy for constipation due to its laxative results. (three)


It doesn’t negatively have an effect on your dental well being.
It may boosts the numbers of excellent micro organism in your intestine.


Lactitol has a powerful laxative impact, although analysis suggests staying below 40 grams per day is usually well-tolerated. (four)
Digestive points resembling bloating, abdomen cramps, and diarrhea can happen at larger doses.


Makes use of: Maltitol is often used as a sweetener in sugar-free candies and ice-cream.

It’s about 90% as candy as common sucrose and it has many properties just like sugar (besides it doesn’t brown) with solely three-quarters of the energy. (5)


It’s doesn’t promote tooth decay.
It behaves like sugar so it’s straightforward to make use of as a sweetener in recipes.


It will possibly increase your blood glucose ranges. Whereas maltitol doesn’t increase your blood glucose as excessive as common sugar, there’s nonetheless a notable enhance. (6)
It will possibly trigger digestive points like fuel and bloating at reasonable doses. (7)


Mannitol is discovered naturally in vegatables and fruits. It has 40% fewer energy than common sugar however it additionally tastes 50% much less candy. It’s normally utilized in the identical manner as powdered sugar, to coat laborious sweet and chewing gum.


It has a really low glycemic index (solely 2 out of 100, whereas sucrose is 65). This implies it doesn’t have a powerful impact your blood glucose and it’s appropriate for diabetics.
It will possibly’t be processed by the micro organism in your mouth, so consuming it gained’t trigger tooth decay.
It’s used for numerous medical purposes, significantly these associated to relieving strain inside the head or eyes. (eight)


It’s not the most effective substitute in the event you’re keeping track of your day by day calorie consumption. Though it’s decrease in energy, it additionally tastes much less candy – so you need to add extra to get the identical candy style.
Consuming an excessive amount of of it may trigger diarrhea, nausea, and cramps. Giant doses have been related to acute kidney failure, as a result of it’s osmotic diuretic properties. (9)


Sorbitol naturally happens in lots of fruits like apples and pears, however is usually extracted from glucose. It has 60% the sweetness of standard sugar and two-thirds of the energy. (10)

It’s usually utilized in chewing gum, toothpaste, and mouthwashes because it naturally produces a cooling impact within the mouth after you eat it.


Doesn’t considerably influence your blood glucose ranges. (11)
It has no detrimental results in your dental well being.


It has a strong laxative impact and may trigger digestive misery (12)
Sorbitol may very well contribute to insulin resistance (13)


Polydextrose isn’t technically a pure sugar alcohol. It’s made by combining sorbitol and dextrose (aka corn sugar).

It’s largely fiber and has solely a light sweetness in comparison with sucrose. Polydextrose is normally utilized in baked items so as to add bulk and dietary fiber.


It’s good to your colon well being as a result of it has the same impact to vegetable fiber. (14)
It slows down your blood sugar response to carbohydrates. (15)
It’s not unhealthy to your enamel.


It produces a laxative impact if an excessive amount of is eaten. (16)


Xylitol is made from plant fiber and is about as candy as sucrose however with solely two-thirds of the energy. It’s used for extra than simply sweetening meals – you too can discover it in lots of cosmetics and medicines.


Xylitol solely has a small impact in your blood glucose ranges. (17)
Xylitol is sweet to your dental well being and may forestall cavities. (18)
Xylitol may probably forestall osteoporosis by rising bone density. (19)
Xylitol may probably enhance the physique’s collagen manufacturing, and thereby result in higher pores and skin look. (20)
Xylitol could possibly be a helpful prebiotic fiber that feeds your useful intestine micro organism. (21)


It has a laxative impact.
It’s extremely poisonous to canine. Be sure you preserve merchandise containing xylitol out of attain of your furry pals. (22)


Erythritol has virtually zero energy and is about three quarters the sweetness of sucrose. It’s nice for baking with.

As a result of it has a barely minty and cooling style, it’s usually mixed with different low-calorie sweeteners. For instance, Swerve is a mix of erythritol and oligosaccharides. It’s nice for baking with.


It has the smallest laxative impact when in comparison with different sugar alcohols (23).
It has no damaging impact on dental well being, with some analysis displaying it may truly forestall tooth decay. (24)
It has no impact in your blood glucose or insulin ranges (25).


Consuming massive quantities (over 50g) could cause an upset abdomen, nausea and (in some uncommon instances) hives. (26)
Has a barely minty style or cooling impact when eaten.

What Are The Finest And Worst Sweeteners To Use On A Keto Weight loss program?

If you happen to’re going to make use of a sweetener that can assist you handle your sugar cravings, or in the event you simply need your keto desserts to style proper, I like to recommend Erythritol or Stevia.

Erythritol causes much less digestive points than different sugar alcohols and it’s straightforward to make use of in baked Keto recipes. (I like this model.)

Stevia is an herb, additionally known as “sugar leaf”. Sweeteners comprised of an extract of stevia leaves are an amazing low carb various to sugar alcohols.

Why? As a result of stevia incorporates zero carbs, zero energy, and no vitamins, so that you gained’t have to fret about counting it as a part of your day by day carbohydrate allowance.

Plus, you gained’t expertise any bloating or different digestive misery (as you would possibly with sugar alcohols)!

The primary concern with stevia is that it may depart a bitter aftertaste (and a few folks style it greater than others). One nice choice is to combine erythritol with stevia and to make use of sturdy flavors like cinnamon within the baked items. This helps to cowl up any bitterness.

Considering making an attempt stevia? Right here’s a very good model to strive.

Wish to give these keto sweeteners a strive? Check out these Keto desserts recipes!

Additionally watch this podcast with Andress Blackwell, New Orleans’ queen of Swerve to find out about utilizing pure sweeteners – together with sugar alcohols – in your Keto recipes.

When you have any questions on sugar alcohols or how one can use keto sweeteners, then head over to our keto weight loss program discussion board.