I get a lot of questions from people asking, “what is erythritol?”, “what is monk fruit?”, and “is stevia natural?” Some people say they want to avoid some or all of these, because they think they are artificial, or want to use different natural and/or keto low carb sweeteners that they have for my recipes. Others just want to know what the best low carb sweetener is!
Although not every low carb sweetener can be interchangeable for every recipe, often times they can be. I also frequently see confusion about what keto sweetener to use and what the various low carb sweeteners are.
Which sugar-free sweetener to use is largely a matter of preference. I like erythritol and monk fruit, or blends of them, the best, but they all have pros and cons.
Brace yourself – this is the ONLY sweetener guide you will ever need! I’ll help you understand the differences between them, their effects on blood sugar (often called glycemic index or GI), benefits and possible side effects, how to use them in baking, and more. Most importantly, we also have a low carb sweetener conversion chart AND a sweetener conversion calculator to convert for you!
Looking for Specific Info About Low Carb Sweeteners?
Jump to what you’re interested in:
My Other Low Carb Recipes:
My Other Low Carb Recipes:
- Sugar Alcohols – Erythritol and Xylitol
- Plant-based Sweeteners – Stevia, Monk Fruit and Chicory Root
- Natural Sugar Sweeteners
- Artificial Sweeteners
- How To Choose Low Carb Sweeteners
- Sugar Substitutes for Baking Low Carb
- Keto Low Carb Sweetener Conversion Chart
- Keto Low Carb Sweetener Conversion Calculator
*This page contains affiliate links, but this did NOT impact the products I chose. Your price stays the same. Brands listed here have not paid to be included.
1. Sugar Alcohols – Erythritol & Xylitol
Sugar alcohols can occur naturally in fruits and vegetables, or be produced by fermenting plant sugars. Because they are not well absorbed or metabolized by the body, they contain fewer calories (some of them effectively close to none) and have a smaller effect on blood glucose levels.
For the same reason, they can cause stomach upset if used excessively. This is particularly true for ones that are not absorbed. Their impact on blood sugar and potential for side effects varies depending on the type of sugar alcohol.
Contrary to what some people may believe, sugar alcohols are not artificial sweeteners. There is some processing involved to achieve the granulated sweeteners you can purchase for home use, but this is no less natural than the processing needed for coconut sugar, maple syrup, or white table sugar. You can also choose to buy ones that are guaranteed non-GMO and/or organic.
a) Erythritol Sweetener
What Is Erythritol?
Erythritol is my favorite sugar alcohol, and one of my favorite low carb sweeteners in general. I use it for most recipes on this blog.
Erythritol has practically no aftertaste at all, aside from an occasional cooling sensation that can be present if used in large quantities. It occurs naturally in some fruit, but the granulated kind you buy is made by fermenting glucose.
Erythritol has a glycemic index of 0, meaning it does not spike insulin. In comparison, xylitol has a glycemic index of 13, maltitol has a glycemic index of 35, and sucrose (table sugar) has a glycemic index of 65. The higher the number, the worse it is.
How Is Erythritol Made?
Erythritol is naturally occurring in many fruits. But how is erythritol made for commercial purposes? It’s simply a process of fermentation. Erythritol is made by fermenting corn or birch. Just to be clear, it is not corn or birch itself, it’s the byproduct of the fermentation process. Therefore, erythritol is keto, low carb and has zero net carbs.
If you prefer to avoid corn, erythritol made with birch is a good option, but is more expensive. For my purposes, I buy erythritol made by fermenting non-GMO corn, knowing that the part I am consuming does not actually have any corn in it. There are also options for organic erythritol – see below.
Is Erythritol Keto and Low Carb?
Yes, absolutely! Because it is not metabolized, erythritol is keto and suitable for low carb diets. It has 0 grams net carbs.
The main benefits of erythritol have more to do with what it does not have or do, than what it does. Since it has no calories, no carbs, no sugar, does not raise blood glucose levels, and tastes great, that makes it an almost perfect low carb sugar substitute. As a bonus, it can reduce absorption of fructose, which is not good for us. Erythritol also has anti-oxidant properties and can remove free radicals in the bloodstream. 1
Erythritol Side Effects
Why is erythritol safe and different from others? Most of it gets absorbed in the small intestine, but is poorly metabolized 4. It is later excreted unchanged into the urine.
All other sugar alcohols reach the large intestine instead, which is why they are more likely to cause stomach upset. Since the small intestine absorbs erythritol, it never gets to the part where it can cause distress. This is true for most people, but for best results start slowly with it.
Baking With Erythritol
Technically erythritol is about 70% as sweet as sugar, so the correct conversion would indicate to use a little more compared to sugar (about 1.3 times more). However, many people use it as a 1:1 replacement for sugar without noticing a difference.
In most situations, baking with erythritol is similar to baking with sugar. You can mix it with dry ingredients or cream butter with it.
However, there are several main differences when baking with erythritol instead of sugar:
- Erythritol does not dissolve quite as well as sugar. It’s still possible, just a little more difficult. For any uses where a smooth texture is important, use a powdered (or confectioners) version instead for a good end result.
- Erythritol can cause a cooling sensation, similar to mint. This is the only type of aftertaste that it might have, and is more prevalent when using large quantities. Usually it’s not a problem unless you try to make something extremely sweet with it.
- Erythritol does not caramelize. Depending on what you are trying to make, you would need to find an alternate way to achieve the same result.
- Erythritol may crystallize. Again, this only tends to happen when using a lot of it. It might also happen over time if you store leftovers of something, especially in sauces, frostings, etc. Using the powdered form can help reduce this phenomenon.
Swerve vs Erythritol vs Other Blends
I try not to single out a specific brand here, because this is really intended to be an unbiased guide. But, because this particular question comes up a lot, I wanted to address.
What is the difference between Swerve and erythritol? Swerve is mostly erythritol, but also has oligosaccharides added. What are those? They are simply prebiotic plant fiber.
The addition of these helps make Swerve the same level of sweetness as sugar, whereas pure erythritol is 70% as sweet as sugar.
And what about other brands of erythritol? Swerve is a great option but definitely not the only one.
I have several other brands I use and love. I actually use pure erythritol sweetener a lot. See my recommendations below!
Where To Buy Erythritol
Unfortunately I have not seen erythritol in grocery stores. I usually buy it online. Below are some of my favorite erythritol sweetener brands.
- NOW Foods Erythritol – pure erythritol (non-GMO)
- NOW Foods Organic Erythritol – pure erythritol (organic)
- Sukrin Granulated – pure erythritol
- Swerve – blend of erythritol and oligosaccharides
- Smart Sweet Erythritol – Erythritol derived from birch (no corn)
- So Nourished Erythritol – pure erythritol
- So Nourished Powdered Erythritol – pure powdered erythritol
- Hoosier Hill Erythritol Powder – pure powdered erythritol
- Swerve Confectioner’s – powdered blend of erythritol and oligosaccharides
- Sukrin Icing (Melis) – powdered blend of erythritol and oligosaccharides
- You can also make powdered erythritol from granulated erythritol by using a coffee grinder or powerful food processor.
b) Xylitol Sweetener
What Is Xylitol? How Is Xylitol Made?
Xylitol is another popular natural sugar alcohol. It is made by fermenting corn or birch, just like erythritol.
Xylitol with birch is a little more accessible than erythritol with birch.
Is Xylitol Keto and Low Carb?
Yes! Because it is not absorbed, xylitol is great for keto and low carb diets. It has 0 grams net carbs. In some people a very small amount gets absorbed, but not much.
One of the biggest advantages of xylitol is that it measures 1:1 like sugar in terms of sweetness. It has no aftertaste and tastes like sugar.
Toothpaste often contains xylitol, because it can actually promote tooth remineralization 5.
Xylitol usually has minimal effects on blood sugar, but does have a slightly larger effect than erythritol.
Xylitol Side Effects
The main possible side effect of xylitol is stomach upset. Unlike erythritol, xylitol does not get absorbed in the small intestine. Instead, it proceeds to the large intestine, and the reaction between the natural bacteria there and the xylitol is what can cause distress. How much varies from person to person.
That being said, the gastrointestinal effects of xylitol are not as pronounced as other sugar alcohols like maltitol or sorbitol. I recommend avoiding the latter two completely. Xylitol is fine in moderation.
Xylitol is Dangerous for Dogs
People with dogs in the house may want to avoid keeping xylitol around, because even a small accidentally ingested amount can be lethal for a dog. 6
Where To Buy Xylitol
Unfortunately I have not seen xylitol in grocery stores either. I usually buy it online. Here are some of my favorite xylitol sweetener brands:
- NOW Foods Xylitol – pure xylitol (from non-GMO corn)
- Zveet Birch Xylitol – pure xylitol (from birch)
- Lite & Sweet Erythritol Xylitol Blend – blend of xylitol and erythritol
- I have not seen xylitol in powdered form, but you might be able to powder it in a food processor or coffee grinder.
c) Other Sugar Alcohols
There are many other sugar alcohols, but they have less desirable qualities. Maltitol, sorbitol, and isomalt are the most common ones used in commercially packaged “low carb” products.
Unfortunately, these can actually have a substantial effect on blood sugar and they cause stomach upset more than erythritol and xylitol do. I recommend avoiding them.
2. Plant-based Sweeteners – Stevia & Monk Fruit
Plant-based natural sweeteners are derived from plants like stevia, monk fruit, and chicory root. Their sweetness comes from extracts or prebiotic fibers.
a) Stevia Sweetener
What Is Stevia? Is Stevia an Artificial Sweetener?
Stevia leaves have been used as a natural sweetener in some cultures for over a thousand years. Steviol glycosides are the active compounds derived from the stevia rebaudiana plant, and can be up to 150 times as sweet as sugar.
Stevia is not an artificial sweetener. The sweetness comes from the leaves of the stevia plant and is completely natural.
How Is Stevia Made?
Stevia sweetener is derived from the leaves of the stevia plant. The leaves are dried, then steeped in hot water, like tea. Then, there is a filtering process to achieve concentration and purity. From there, stevia extract can be dried into a powder or suspended in liquid form.
In addition to being natural and supporting a healthy diet free of refined sugar, studies have shown that stevia has numerous other benefits. These include properties that are anti-microbial, anti-fungal, anti-tumor, anti-oxidant, and anti-diabetic. 7, 8
Stevia Side Effects
Stevia does not raise blood glucose levels or have side effects. In fact, more recent studies have shown that it has anti-diabetic and antioxidant properties. Of all the low carb sweeteners, stevia is one of the oldest to be used by humans.
All of that being said, in some people stevia can cause headaches. The reason is that stevia is in the ragweed family. So, people with some level of allergy to ragweed can be allergic to stevia as well, leading to headaches. It’s not dangerous, but unpleasant, so if this affects you, you can try other low carb sweeteners.
Stevia Carbs: Does Stevia Raise Blood Sugar?
Pure stevia has zero carbs and does not raise blood sugar in most people. That being said, there are a few things to watch out for.
Because pure stevia extract is so concentrated, it is often either suspended in liquid or blended with a granular bulking agent. Sometimes these bulking agents can be sugars like maltodextrin or dextrose, which may also be GMO and almost certainly raise blood sugar. These do have carbs, and I recommend avoiding them.
Instead, either use stevia in its pure form (powder or liquid), or find one where the bulking agent is a sugar alcohol like erythritol or xylitol. These sugar alcohols don’t usually raise blood sugar, so a stevia blend with them is a much better choice.
The Best Tasting Stevia
The main issue with stevia is that it can have a bitter aftertaste, which is worse when using larger quantities. Blending it with other sweeteners, like erythritol, can help. I much prefer stevia blends over stevia alone.
Many people also find that they prefer one brand of stevia over another, so it’s worth experimenting to find one that you like.
Why are there differences if stevia is natural, coming from a plant? The reason is that the age of stevia leaves plays a role. Younger leaves have less bitterness, so how and when they are harvested will impact the aftertaste that results.
Stevia in Baking
If you use pure stevia powder or drops, know that their concentration can make it difficult to use them recipes when converting from sugar. Even then, the exact conversion amount can vary by brand, so check the product label for conversions if available.
Stevia extract also comes in the form of drops, in which the active compounds are suspended in liquid. The conversion for these varies even more greatly than it does for the powder, so again you’d need to check the label to accurately determine how much you’d need.
Finally, stevia in baking does not work well with foods that are already naturally bitter. An example of this is dark chocolate, which can sometimes amplify any aftertaste. However, in many other applications it works great. There are always exceptions, and my favorite sugar-free chocolate is actually made with stevia.
Where To Buy Pure Concentrated Stevia Sweetener
- Now Foods Organic Stevia Powder – concentrated stevia extract powder
- NuNaturals NuStevia Stevia Extract – concentrated stevia extract powder
- NuNaturals NuStevia Liquid Stevia – concentrated stevia extract in liquid form
- SweetLeaf Sweet Drops Liquid Stevia – concentrated stevia extract in liquid form
Where To Buy Stevia Sweetener Blends
- Sukrin :1 – blend of erythritol and stevia
- Sukrin Gold – blend of erythritol, tagatose, glycerol, malt extract and stevia (brown sugar substitute)
- THM Gentle Sweet Blend – blend of xylitol, erythritol, and stevia
- THM Super Sweet Blend – blend of erythritol and stevia
- Truvia Spoonable – blend of erythritol and stevia
- Pyure All-Purpose Blend – blend of erythritol and stevia
- Natural Mate All-Purpose Sweetener – blend of erythritol and stevia
b) Monk Fruit Sweetener
What Is Monk Fruit?
Monk fruit, also known as luo han guo, is a round green melon native to central Asia. It has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for at least hundreds of years, with applications including treatment of diabetes and respiratory illnesses. 9
For our purposes, monk fruit makes a wonderful low carb sweetener.
How Is Monk Fruit Sweetener Made?
Monk fruit sweetener is collected from the monk fruit itself. After removing the skin and seeds, the fruit is crushed and the juice inside is collected. The end result is very concentrated. From here it can be suspended in liquid, dried into a pure powder, or blended with other low carb sweeteners.
Is monk fruit an artificial sweetener? No! Being derived from fruit, it is natural and safe to use. It’s suitable for keto and low carb diets.
Monk Fruit vs Stevia
Like stevia extract, monk fruit extract is very concentrated – about 150 to 300 times sweeter than sugar – and does not raise blood glucose levels. Also like stevia, monk fruit based products tend to be mixed with other sweeteners or bulking agents. This is probably in part because pure monk fruit extract is hard to come by and expensive.
In contrast to stevia, monk fruit extract does not have an aftertaste. This makes it a good choice for people sensitive to the aftertaste of stevia.
Monk Fruit Side Effects
There are no reported side effects of monk fruit sweetener. Although it was only approved by the FDA in 2010, it has been used in Eastern cultures for hundreds of years.
Monk Fruit in Baking
Monk fruit by itself is very concentrated, but presenting many of the same challenges in baking that stevia does. See the section on baking with stevia above for more details.
When possible, it’s easiest to use a monk fruit blend that contains another sweetener, like erythritol. This has a huge advantage that there is no aftertaste and the level of sweetness is identical to sugar, so you can replace sugar 1:1 with it in recipes.
Where To Buy Monk Fruit
- Lakanto Monk Fruit Sweetener Classic – blend of erythritol and monk fruit extract
- Lakanto Powdered Monk Fruit Sweetener – blend of erythritol and monk fruit extract (brown sugar substitute)
- Lakanto Monkfruit Sweetener Golden – blend of erythritol and monk fruit extract (brown sugar substitute)
- Lakanto Pure Monk Fruit Powder – concentrated pure monk fruit extract powder
- Lakanto Liquid Monk Fruit Sweetener – concentrated pure monk fruit extract in liquid form (with water)
- Swanson Purelo Lo Han Sweetener – blend of monk fruit concentrate, inulin, and silica
- MonkSweet Plus – blend of erythritol, stevia, and monk fruit extract
- So Nourished Monk Fruit Erythritol Blend – blend of erythritol and monk fruit extract
c) Chicory Root Sweetener
What Is Chicory Root? What Is Inulin?
Chicory root is most commonly known as the root of the Belgian endive plant and has long been used as a coffee substitute. It contains soluble fibers called inulin and fructooligosaccharides (FOS), both of which are responsible for sweetening. 10
Inulin is a carbohydrate that human digestive enzymes cannot break down. Since we cannot digest it, it is a low carb sweetener and has zero net carbs.
Inulin and other forms of oligosaccharides are also found in many other plants, but they are most concentrated in chicory root.
Chicory Root Benefits & Chicory Root Side Effects
Oligosaccharides, including inulin, fructooligosaccharides, and isomaltooligosaccharides (IMO) do not cause stomach upset in most people, when used in reasonable amounts. In fact, these prebiotic fibers can promote beneficial flora in the intestines. However, like any fiber, they can cause stomach upset if you consume too much.
Most people find that oligosaccharaides do not raise blood sugar, but it varies from person to person. In some people they can spike insulin, so you may want to try for yourself.
Like stevia, chicory root is in the ragweed family. So, if you are allergic to ragweed, it’s best to steer clear of chicory root. A study also showed that people allergic to birch should avoid chicory root 15.
Baking with Chicory Root Fiber
Chicory root fiber can be used cup-for-cup like sugar. However, it can have an aftertaste for some people, so is best when blended with other sweeteners.
There are also other oligosaccharide low carb sweeteners that come in syrup form. This is incredibly useful for cooking applications that can benefit from a liquid sweetener or even a binder. They make great replacements for honey or maple syrup.
Where To Buy Chicory Root & Oligosaccharides:
- LC Foods Inulin Fiber – pure inulin fiber from chicory root
- Sukrin Fiber Syrup Clear – pure isomaltooligosaccharides (IMO)
- Sukrin Fiber Syrup Gold – blend of isomaltooligosaccharides (IMO), malt extract and steviol glycosides
- Just Like Sugar Table Top – chicory root fiber with trace amounts of calcium and orange peel
- Just Like Sugar Brown – chicory root fiber with trace amounts of calcium, orange peel, and molasses natural flavor (brown sugar substitute)
3. Natural Sugar Sweeteners
Natural sweeteners in this category are not sugar-free, even though they are sometimes used in recipes that are promoted as such. These include granular sweeteners like coconut sugar and date sugar, as well as syrups such as maple syrup, honey, rice syrup, agave syrup, and blackstrap molasses.
From a chemical standpoint, all of these sweeteners are still simple sugars. The main differences are variances in their ratios between glucose and fructose. Some of them also have other nutritive qualities. Nonetheless, I recommend using them sparingly or not at all, because they do raise blood sugar in the same way (or almost the same way) as table sugar. I avoid them for this reason, but many paleo followers use coconut sugar, maple syrup, and honey as their sweeteners of choice.
If you do choose to use natural sugar-based sweeteners, granulated ones like coconut sugar or date sugar work best for converting recipes. These can replace table sugar cup-for-cup. On the other hand, using syrups would require modifying other aspects of a recipe, because they affect the ratio of wet-to-dry ingredients.
4. Artificial Sweeteners
I intentionally did not include a detailed breakdown of artificial sweeteners in my chart and guide. These include aspartame, saccharin, and sucralose. I cannot advocate using them.
Unlike the other sweeteners above, artificial sweeteners are produced synthetically in a lab. The main problem with this is that the amount of time that we’ve had to observe their effects on humans is much smaller than the time that people have been exposed to natural sweeteners found in plants (which includes sugar alcohols). We have only had decades, instead of centuries or potentially millenia, to find out how they impact us in the long term.
Even in such a short time, there have been conflicting studies about whether the common artificial sweeteners are safe or not. There are better options, so they are not worth the risk.
How To Choose Low Carb Sweeteners
Now that we’ve covered all the different types of low carb natural sweeteners, how do you choose? Whether you need a keto sugar substitute, something to sweeten a moderate or low carb diet, or simply want to reduce your sugar intake, natural low carb sweeteners are the way to go.
Erythritol vs Stevia vs Monk Fruit vs Xylitol
Although there are other low carb sweeteners, I primarily use erythritol, stevia, monk fruit and xylitol. I covered each separately above, but want to do some comparison here.
There are several factors in choosing the best low carb sweetener for your purposes.
The Best Low Carb Sweeteners for Taste
To some degree, the best tasting low carb sweetener is a matter of preference. All our taste buds are a little different.
That being said, most people find that a blend of sweeteners is a great way to avoid any aftertaste or downsides of using one alone. These include blends like:
- Erythritol + monk fruit
- Erythritol + stevia
- Erythritol + xylitol
- Erythritol + xylitol + stevia
- Erythritol + oligosaccharides
You may have noticed that all of these contain erythritol.
And this is one of the reasons why it’s my favorite low carb sweetener. It has no aftertaste and makes a fantastic bulking agent to mellow other sweeteners. In fact, I most often use plain erythritol alone.
While my personal preference is erythritol, monk fruit is a close second. Blends of erythritol and monk fruit together taste great and are usually 1:1 replacements for sugar.
Erythritol Substitute Options
If you want an erythritol substitute, consider one of the blends above. Sometimes they are easier to find than pure erythritol.
That being said, if you want to avoid erythritol altogether, xylitol is the closest option. Monk fruit and stevia can be used, but without erythritol as a bulking agent, they are very concentrated.
Avoiding Side Effects of Sugar-free Sweeteners
The natural low carb sweeteners in this article are all pretty mild when it comes to side effects. But, there can be some.
If you have a sensitive stomach, it’s best to avoid xylitol and prebiotic fiber syrups. Erythritol is usually okay, with a few people being rare exceptions. If this is an issue, sometimes you can get used to erythritol by introducing it slowly.
Stevia and chicory root may cause headaches for people that are allergic to ragweed, birch, and similar plants. Chicory root may cause other allergic reactions as well.
Again, using a low carb sweetener blend can help reduce side effects because you aren’t getting too much of any one sweetener. If you notice a reaction to a particular type, try another.
Low Carb Sweetener Consistency for Drinks, Sauces, and Frosting
One big difference between low carb sweeteners and sugar is their ability to dissolve. This is particularly true for granulated sugar-free sweeteners, like erythritol, xylitol, and blends of them. Besides, erythritol can crystallize, making the problem worse.
The most noticeable foods where granulated low carb sweeteners can be problematic are things that are supposed to be smooth. I’m talking about drinks, sauces, frostings, and so on.
What is the solution? Use powdered or liquid forms of sweeteners here. Their fine consistency will make them dissolve better and leave a smooth result. I prefer powdered erythritol, powdered monk fruit blend, or liquid stevia for these applications.
Sugar Substitutes for Baking Low Carb
Ah, low carb baking! It’s both an art and a science, which is why I love it so much. And, it can certainly take some adjustment to learn to use a sugar replacement in baking recipes. It’s not always straightforward, but I’ll try to include some tips here…
Sugar Substitutes For Baking Recipes
The number one question I get in baking recipes is people asking if they can use a different sweetener. How would this turn out if I use erythritol vs stevia? Can I use this or that?
The answer, usually, is it depends.
There are many factors that go into choosing sugar substitutes for baking. Here are the main ones and the potential issues…
Ratio of Wet To Dry Ingredients
People often ask if they can replace a liquid sweetener with a granulated one, or vice versa. Another common question is wanting to replace a granulated sweetener, like erythritol, with a very concentrated one, like pure stevia. The answer is usually no.
The problem with these swaps is that it alters the ratio between wet and dry ingredients. If that ratio changes, the end result won’t have the same texture or consistency. It could fall apart or be too dense. It could be too dry or too wet.
Function as a Bulking Agent
The solution is similar to above. If you are reducing bulk, you will need to replace it with something else, and then balance out the sweetness accordingly. If you increase bulk, add some more wet ingredients to absorb the extra dry sweetener.
Level of Sweetness
This is the easiest one. Different sugar substitutes have different levels of sweetness. So, you can’t just replace one with another in the same quantity. If you do, your end result could be too sweet, not sweet enough, or worse, have an awful aftertaste.
This is where the conversion chart below can help. It doesn’t address differences in wet/dry ingredients or bulk, but it does help you convert sweetness levels as a starting point.
How To Substitute Sweeteners
So what do you do? If you need to replace a sugar-free sweetener, try to replace it with one that has a similar volume and sweetness level, and the same type (liquid, granulated, or powdered). This is the safest way to get a positive end result.
If you can’t, the way to do it will vary depending on the recipe. Here are some general tips:
- If you replace a granulated sweetener with a concentrated one, you will probably need to replace that bulk with something else. If you are baking, this would be whatever flour the recipe uses. As long as that flour is not drying (like coconut flour), it should turn out okay. But, you will likely need a little more of the converted amount of concentrated sweetener, to account for the extra (not sweet) flour. If the flour is drying, like coconut flour, you’ll need more liquid as well to compensate.
- If you replace a granulated sweetener with a liquid one, you will need to add more of the dry ingredients in the recipe to absorb the extra liquid.
- If you replace a concentrated sweetener with a granulated one, you will need to add more of the wet ingredients in the recipe to balance out the extra bulk from the granulated sweetener.
- Check the section on baking with erythritol for more tips.
Are you seeing the pattern? There are no guarantees when replacing sweeteners of different types. These tips are a guideline, but not guaranteed to work. At least this should give you a general idea.
You want to try to maintain the same consistency of the batter or dough that you are working with, while keeping a similar level of sweetness. It’s not always easy!
If you are ever wondering about options for sugar substitutes in one of my recipes, feel free to ask in the comments on that post.
Natural Low Carb Sweetener Conversion Chart
There are various sources out there for converting among sugar-free sweeteners. The problem is that I have yet to see a chart that lists many or most of them in one place, in a concise way. I put together a chart that you can use as your go-to place for sweetener conversion.
At a high level, the following chart shows how to convert among common natural, low carb, and sugar-free sweeteners. This list is by no means exhaustive, but it does contain the most common sweeteners people ask me about. White table sugar is listed at the top for reference, but of course I do not advocate it.
Low Carb Sweetener Conversion Chart
|Sugar||1 tsp||1 Tbsp||1/4 cup||1/3 cup||1/2 cup||1 cup|
|Erythritol||1 1/4 tsp||1 Tbsp + 1 tsp||1/3 cup||1/3 cup + 2 Tbsp||2/3 cup||1 1/3 cup|
|Xylitol||1 tsp||1 Tbsp||1/4 cup||1/3 cup||1/2 cup||1 cup|
|Swerve||1 tsp||1 Tbsp||1/4 cup||1/3 cup||1/2 cup||1 cup|
|-||-||3/16 tsp||1/4 tsp||3/8 tsp||3/4 tsp|
|3/8 tsp||3/8 tsp||1 1/2 tsp||2 tsp||3 tsp||2 Tbsp|
|-||1/8 tsp||1/2 tsp||2/3 tsp||1 tsp||2 tsp|
|Sukrin:1||1 tsp||1 Tbsp||1/4 cup||1/3 cup||1/2 cup||1 cup|
|-||1/2 tsp||2 tsp||1 Tbsp||1 Tbsp +2 tsp||3 Tbsp|
|1/3 tsp||1 tsp||1 Tbsp + 1 tsp||2 Tbsp||3 Tbsp + 1 tsp||6 Tbsp|
|Truvia Spoonable||1/2 tsp||1 1/4 tsp||1 Tbsp + 2 tsp||2 Tbsp + 1 tsp||3 1/2 Tbsp||1/3 + 1 1/2 Tbsp|
|Pyure All-Purpose Blend||1/2 tsp||1 1/2 tsp||2 Tbsp||2 Tbsp + 2 tsp||1/4 cup||1/2 cup|
|3/8 tsp||1 1/8 tsp||1 Tbsp + 1 1/2 tsp||2 Tbsp||3 Tbsp||6 Tbsp|
|Pure Monk||-||-||1/6 tsp||1/4 tsp||1/3 tsp||2/3 tsp|
Lo Han Sweetener
|-||1/4 tsp||3/4 tsp||1 tsp||1/12 tsp||3 tsp|
|Lakanto Monkfruit Sweetener||1 tsp||1 Tbsp||1/4 cup||1/3 cup||1/2 cup||1 cup|
|MonkSweet Plus||1/2 tsp||1 1/2 tsp||2 Tbsp||2 Tbsp + 2 tsp||1/4 cup||1/2 cup|
|Just Like Sugar Table Top||1 tsp||1 Tbsp||1/4 cup||1/3 cup||1/2 cup||1 cup|
More Low Carb Recipes To Love
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Keto Low Carb Sweetener Conversion Calculator
Some sweeteners are not listed in the conversion chart – these are:
- Artificial sweeteners – I do not advocate artificial sweeteners, and suggest finding a better low carb natural sweetener option instead
- Natural sweeteners that use sugars as bulking agents – Examples of such bulking agents are dextrose and maltodextrin. These raise blood sugar and are often GMOs.
- Natural sugar sweeteners – Granulated natural sugar-based sweeteners (like coconut sugar) can be used 1:1 like sugar, so they require no conversion. Keep in mind they do still raise blood glucose levels. Most other natural sugar-based sweeteners are syrups, which are also excluded for the reasons below.
- Liquid sweeteners and syrups – These are excluded because they do not easily convert from granulated table sugar. The liquid aspect would require other modifications to be made to a recipe using table sugar. This can sometimes be true for converting among various granulated sweeteners as well, but not as often as when converting between granulated and liquid.
- Confectioner’s and brown sugar replacements – These are obviously specialized for certain uses, so there isn’t a point to convert regular sugar to them.
Pinterest-friendly Natural Low Carb Sweetener Conversion Chart
The above natural low carb sweeteners chart can be helpful, and I hope you’ll bookmark this page to refer back to it. Another convenient way to save the conversions is to use this Pinterest-friendly image: