You might be curious about how much sugar is permitted on a ketogenic diet. After all, refined sugar, just like table sugar, is a major no-no on keto because sugar is a carb.
But is sugar the enemy of keto? And if so, how much should you be avoiding?
In this blog post, we'll answer these questions about managing sugar cravings, reducing grams of carbs, and understanding why sugar is a carb.
We'll also outline some tips for eating a keto diet that includes sugar to stay on track while enjoying your favorite foods.
What is keto?
Keto is a popular low-carbohydrate diet that has recently gained popularity.
The diet is based on the principle that you don't need to eat many carbohydrates if your body burns fat for energy.
In fact, on keto, most people only consume about 20 to 50 grams of net carbs daily. Everything, from fruits and vegetables to whole grains and legumes, is out of the question.
There are a few exceptions to this rule, however. You can technically eat moderate amounts of sugar on keto if you follow the proper guidelines.
For example, you can enjoy small fruits within your daily carbohydrate allotment. And sweets such as cheesecake and cake don't count as net carbs, so they're perfectly acceptable on keto.
The main benefit of following a keto diet is that it helps you lose weight quickly. Because carbohydrates are eliminated from your diet, your body burns fat instead.
This process leads to weight loss and improved overall health.
It's also worth noting that keto, which aims to limit grams of carbs and sugar, is a carb and isn't just for people wanting to lose weight; it can reduce inflammation and improve mental clarity and focus.
The keto diet and sugar
The keto diet is a high-fat, low-carb eating plan that can aid in weight loss.
Although no set amount of sugar is permitted on the keto diet, many people restrict their intake, including table sugar and refined sugar, to fewer than 20 grams of carbs daily.
This means knowing how much sugar is allowed on the keto diet to avoid potential health problems is essential.
Sugar can be found in various foods, including vegetables, fruits, bread, and cereals.
According to the World Health Organization, people should consume less than 25 grams of sugar daily.
The keto diet would reduce this amount to around 16 grams per day. Therefore, it's essential to read labels and identify which foods contain sugar before consuming them on the keto diet.
While many people can stick to a low-sugar diet on the keto diet without any issues, specific individuals may have difficulty avoiding sugar altogether.
If you're one of these people struggling with your sugar consumption on the keto diet, speak with a healthcare professional about your options.
How to count carbs on keto
There are many ways to count carbs on keto, which can be confusing.
Here's a breakdown of the most common methods:
This is the simplest way to count carbs on keto. You subtract your net carbs from your total carb intake to determine how many grams of net carbs you eat daily.
This method is helpful if you want to stay within certain carb limits but need a detailed breakdown of your carb intake.
Another way to monitor your grams of carbs on keto is by total carb intake to limit sugar cravings. This method gives you a detailed breakdown of your carb intake, including net and comprehensive carbs.
However, this method is more time-consuming than net carbs and may only be necessary for some.
One measure of carbohydrates often used on keto is the "net grams" calculation, which considers both net and total grains, legumes, and root vegetables.
This calculation helps you understand how many grams of carbohydrates each food contains (including fiber).
It's helpful if you want to avoid specific types of carbohydrates, but it needs to be more comprehensive than the other two methods described above.
Low-carb, high-fat diets and sugar
Keto is a very low-carb and high-fat diet. Along with this, many people opt to eliminate sugar from their lives. Consistent with these goals, many keto diets forbid even small amounts of sugar.
How much sugar should you allow on keto?
There's no one answer to this question since everyone's body is different.
However, according to the Mayo Clinic, the recommended amount of sugar for those following a keto diet is around 5 grams daily.
If you typically have 25 grams of sugar in your daily diet, you can have up to 10 grams of keto without experiencing any adverse side effects.
If you're worried about exceeding this limit, it's essential to remember that there are other ways to get your sweet fix on keto.
For example, you can enjoy sweet fruit and vegetables, use natural sweeteners like stevia or monk fruit extract, or add cinnamon or cacao powder to your coffee or tea.
The bottom line
If you're wondering how much sugar is allowed on a ketogenic diet, don't worry!
The total carbohydrate you can have daily is still relatively low, so there's no need to be alarmed about high sugar or added sugar consumption.
Typical keto diet foods like bread, grains, fruit, and vegetables typically contain a lot of natural sugars.
It can be helpful to look at some sugar-free recipes available if you want to adhere to a ketogenic diet and eliminate all sweeteners rigorously.
How much sugar can I consume on a keto diet?
Limiting sugar intake to around 20–50 grams per day is recommended to stay in ketosis and maintain a low-carb diet.
Can I use sweeteners on a keto diet?
Yes, you can use artificial sweeteners like stevia or monk fruit as alternatives to sugar while following a ketogenic diet.
Are there any restrictions on natural sugar consumption on keto?
While naturally occurring sugar is present in some foods, it's essential to keep the grams of sugar to a minimum to avoid spikes in blood sugar levels and stay in ketosis.
What are the best alternatives to sugar for keto dieters?
Stevia and monk fruit, which don't raise blood sugar, are popular options for those looking to limit sugar and carb intake while satisfying sugar cravings.
How does sugar affect ketosis?
Consuming too much sugar can interfere with the state of ketosis and impact blood sugar and insulin levels, so it's crucial to keep sugar consumption to a minimum on a keto diet.
Can I consume sugar and alcohol on a keto diet?
Sugar alcohols, low in sugar and low in carbs, can be used as sweeteners on a keto diet, but it's essential to be vigilant of their effect on blood sugar and carb counts.
What is the role of added sugar in the keto diet?
It's important to avoid added sugar and foods high in sugar to maintain a low-sugar and low-carb diet while following a ketogenic diet.
Should I quit sugar altogether on a keto diet?
While quitting sugar altogether is unnecessary, reducing sugar consumption and opting for low-sugar alternatives to support a keto-friendly lifestyle is advisable.
How does sugar impact a keto diet's blood sugar and insulin levels?
Added sugar consumption in high amounts can lead to fluctuations in blood sugar and insulin levels, which can obstruct the objective of maintaining ketosis and following a low-carb diet.
What sweeteners are suitable for a keto diet?
Stevia, monk fruit, and other low-carb sweeteners suit those familiar with the keto diet and looking to minimize their sugar and carb intake.