How Much Sugar Can You Have on the Keto Diet? This Expert Explains
By now, you’re probably familiar with the keto diet — the high-fat, moderate-protein, super-low-carb diet has helped people lose weight, gain energy, and transform their lifestyles. But as popular as the diet is, there are still many misconceptions about it.
For starters, many people think you can’t eat any carbs at all in order to get into your body’s fat-burning state of ketosis. In reality, some carbs are allowed: about 50 grams or fewer per day. But what about sugar? Keto dieters have all but eschewed the sweet stuff in favor of calorie-free sweeteners like stevia. Just look at this roundup of keto fat bombs: they’re all sugar-free or incredibly low in sugar.
To find out just how much sugar you can eat on the keto diet, we asked Brittanie Volk, PhD, RD, senior clinical and patient engagement specialist at Virta Health, for answers.
So while sugar is a carb and does count toward your 50 grams or fewer a day, you should still limit sugar intake so as not to spike your blood sugar. Yes, you can still have it, but make sure that sugar, combined with all your other sources of carbohydrates, stays below your threshold of about 50 grams a day.
How Much Sugar is Allowed on the Keto Diet?
Exactly How Much Sugar on the Keto Diet?
The recommended daily sugar intake to stay on the keto diet is 0g.
This is because sugar will rapidly fill up your entire carbohydrate allowance for the day and can potentially kick you out of ketosis.
We’ll explain: To stay keto compliant you want to limit carbs to about 20 grams per day. But just one tablespoon of sugar is 12.5 grams of total carbs already.
Is it Possible to Have Sugar Cravings on Keto?
How Do I Stop Sugar Cravings on Keto?
Sugar cravings on keto can be stopped, but it might take a bit of time.
For some folks, substituting any of the below-listed alternatives for sugar does little but make them pine for the real thing.
For these people, nothing short of eliminating sweets altogether from their diet will do.
The good news is that if you want to go the no-sweets route, it is possible, but it’s going to take commitment and time.
What you’ll need to do is find acceptable substitutes to reach for during the time when the cravings are at their most intense.
Some people lean on flavored teas or waters. Other people swear by pickles. A kosher dill, for instance, has about 3 grams of carbs and is rich in vitamins and minerals. Just be sure to choose pickles that don’t have sugar added.
Remember, if you are still open to indulging your sweet tooth but just want to eliminate sugar, try any of the sugar alternatives we detailed in the section below. They’ll more than satisfy your cravings while keeping you keto compliant.