Everyone knows how important it is to cut out sugar (or at the very least reduce it to the bare minimum) while on the keto diet. In fact, keto or not, cutting out sugar is one of the very best decisions you could ever make for your health.
However, you also have to consider that many of us still have somewhat of a sweet tooth and will end up having sugar cravings, especially in the early going with keto. For those individuals, zero calorie sweeteners like stevia can help immensely.
But is stevia keto?
Let’s take an in-depth look and find out.
What Makes Stevia a Popular Choice for Low Carb Diets?
Stevia is widely used as a sugar replacement in coffee and for adding a hint of natural sweetness to all kinds of different keto recipes. Here are just a few of the reasons why it’s so popular:
- Stevia has absolutely no calories, while still offering plenty of sweetness.
- It’s a zero carb alternative to refined sugar that can be used quite easily in many types of low carb recipes.
- It’s especially good for newcomers to the keto diet (or any type of low carb diet) who are still adjusting to giving up sugar; it can be a great way for them to satisfy their sweet tooth without knocking themselves out of ketosis.
Is Stevia Keto?
Stevia can be considered keto for the sole reason that it doesn’t affect any of your macros. It has zero calories and absolutely no carbs or sugar. However, this does also mean that it won’t be providing you anything in the way of protein or dietary fats either.
With that being said, stevia can be a huge help for people who are just starting out on the keto diet and looking for a viable substitute for sugar in their morning cup of coffee.
Stevia also works great in a huge variety of different keto recipes as a zero calorie sweetening option. As a matter of fact, quite often stevia ends up being one of the only ingredients you’ll need to swap out in order to enjoy many of your favorite baked sweets in a 100% keto-friendly way.
Stevia Nutrition Facts
As you’ll see from the following nutritional breakdown for a one gram serving size of stevia, it’s incredibly easy to make stevia work with the macros of your keto diet:
- 0 calories
- 0 grams fat
- 0 grams protein
- 0 grams carbs
- 0 grams dietary fiber
- 0 grams sugar
- 0 mg cholesterol
- 0 mg sodium
- 0 mg potassium
Stevia Health Benefits
Besides just being a zero calorie substitute for sugar, stevia also does provide some level of benefits for your health. Here’s what you can expect health wise by making stevia a part of your keto diet:
- Regulates blood sugar levels. Since stevia is a low GI food, it won’t cause any sudden spikes in blood sugar levels like regular table sugar would. This makes stevia an especially attractive choice for individuals who suffer from type 2 diabetes and are trying to stay on top of their blood sugar levels. (1)
- Can help with weight loss efforts. Since stevia contains absolutely no calories, it’s also a great sweetener for anyone who is following the keto diet with the main goal being to lose weight. In fact, studies have indeed found that stevia is a very promising tool for helping individuals to achieve their weight loss goals. (2)
- May help to lower cholesterol levels. There is some evidence that stevia can help to regulate overall total cholesterol levels as well. One specific study found that consumption of 20 mL of stevia leaf extract on a daily basis not only actually lowered the ‘bad’ type of LDL cholesterol with zero side effects, but also increased levels of the ‘good’ type of HDL cholesterol as well. (3)
What are the Best Keto-Friendly Stevia Brands?
SweetLeaf Liquid Stevia Drops – To date, SweetLeaf offers 16 different flavors of their liquid Stevia to add flavor to your favorite foods and beverages. Just 1 to 2 drops of their potent Stevia extract is enough to add ample sweetness without the carbs from sugar.
Pyure Organic Liquid Stevia Extract – Made with simple ingredients, Pyure offers organic Stevia in easy-to-consume forms. Our personal favorite is the liquid Stevia variant, which is described as Simply Sweet.
Hawaii Pharm Alcohol-Free Liquid Stevia Extract – Hawaii Pharm’s liquid stevia extract comes in alcohol-free form–perfect for those who really want the simplest of recipes for their Stevia sweetener.
Keto Stevia Alternatives
A lot of people actually find that stevia can taste even sweeter than sugar, even in small amounts. If you’re sensitive to its sweetness, or you’re just looking for a replacement for stevia in general, then try out one of the following options:
- Agave nectar