• Dr. Lena Fernandez

Sugar Substitutes That Are Keto Friendly!


The most common question I've been getting is, "What's the best sugar alternative that does not have an immediate effect on blood sugar?". In this article, I am going to share with you two well-studied natural sugar substitutes, which do not seem to have a great impact on sugar levels

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The most important thing I want you to get out of this article is that sugar is "poisonous" to your body, so it's vital that you pay attention to sugar and carbohydrate intake especially if you want your body to carry you on healthy and strong. Do NOT ever eat anything with the label "sugar-free."

Why should you pay attention to sugar intake?

Blood sugar (also known as blood glucose) is the sugar that the bloodstream carries to all cells in the body to supply us with energy. The sugar comes from the food we eat. Your blood sugar levels change throughout the day and are typically at their lowest point before your first meal.

After you eat, the body responds by secreting insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas that allows your body to either use the glucose from your food or store it in your liver for future use. Insulin regulates your blood sugar levels and tries to prevent them from getting too high or too low. Consistently elevated blood sugar levels are what often lead to insulin resistance, which can then result in pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes.

When your blood sugar is balanced you'll likely feel energized, excited, productive, and sleep well.

When your blood sugar is imbalanced, you are constantly hungry, brain fog, unable to lose weight or keep it off as stress hormones such as cortisol and insulins are unstable, which leads to obesity, diabetes, heart, and brain issues.

While we all like to indulge once in a while with foods that quickly affect blood sugar. Research shows connections between high-glycemic (sugar) diets and various forms of cancer. These effects are often a result of added sugars from food intake, so be sure to read those nutrition labels.


Your immune function can be affected by sugar.

As if being sick wasn’t bad enough, studies have shown that sugar can interfere with the way your body fights disease. Bacteria, yeast, and viruses feed on sugar, so excess glucose causes these organisms to build up and cause infections. You must understand that excess use of any kind of sugar will eventually affect blood sugar, so be mindful of how much sugar you use on a daily basis.


I get it that cutting out sugar can be quite daunting if you are used to adding it to sweeten everything from coffee to snacks and desserts. I personally don't use any kind of sugar especially since once I was addicted to sugar. This was during medical school and residency when I was operating on three hours of sleep.


However, if you are going to use sugar, then I encourage you to try natural sugar substitutes such as erythritol and stevia.


Studies conclude that erythritol could be of great importance and could be considered to be the preferred sugar substitute for a rapidly growing population of people with diabetes or pre-diabetes to reduce their risk of developing diabetic complications. This is due to erythritol having a higher digestive tolerance compared to all other sugar alcohols because about 90% of the ingested erythritol is readily absorbed and excreted unchanged in the urine. Erythritol is used in a wide range of applications for sweetening and other functionalities, e.g., in beverages, chewing gum, and candies.


1. Erythritol (Excellent for Baking)

Erythritol does not have an aftertaste and is easy to digest, which makes an excellent bulking agent for low-carb keto baked goods. Photo: Thomas Kniess, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Where does erythritol come from?

  • Erythritol occurs naturally in fruits and from fermentation

  • It is a sugar alcohol

  • It does NOT impact blood sugar when eaten a small amount and does NOT cause side effects unless eaten in large doses.

  • When taken in large doses nausea is the most common complaint

  • Erythritol is very easy on the stomach and doesn’t cause bloating, or gas like some sweeteners do in higher amounts.

  • Feeding studies providing up to 0.45 grams per pound (1 gram per kg) of body weight show that it is well tolerated.

2. Stevia

Stevia is a natural plant-based sweetener with a sweetness 150 times that of a corresponding amount of sugar.

Stevia tastes best as a blend with Erythritol especially since stevia has a unique aftertaste, kind of like aniseed when used on its own in things such as tea or coffee.

  • Does not have an immediate impact on blood sugar

  • Contains magnesium, zinc, potassium, and vitamin B3

  • Due to its sweetness, a lot less of it is required

  • The acceptable daily intake of stevia is 4 mg/kg.

  • Note: 1/4 tsp of ground stevia leaves is equal to 1 tsp of sugar.



Other Keto-Friendly Sugar Substitutes:

  • Xylitol

  • Monk Fruit Sweetener

When natural sugar substitutes are used sparingly or blended with others, it makes a fantastic sugar substitute for low-carb baking on a ketogenic diet. Overall, erythritol and stevia appear to be excellent sweetener substitutes that do not have an immediate impact on blood sugar.

Needless to say, be mindful of your sugar daily intake and take good care of your body.


CLICK HERE to watch my video where I teach you exactly how sugar intake affects your health.


Comment #replay when you watch my video so I can hop in there to answer your questions and give you a big shout-out.


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