This site is reader-supported and we earn commissions if you purchase products from retailers after clicking on a link from our site. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.
It takes focus and self-control when following the keto diet, especially when you’re trying to limit your sugar intake to stay in ketosis.
The keto diet may seem hard to understand with all the food types you have to limit, such as sugar.
Does sugar kick you out of ketosis?
We talk about how sugar affects ketosis and some keto sweeteners to try in place of sugar.
We also share some tips for what to eat when you’re craving sugar on the keto diet!
What is Sugar?
Sugar is the term for sweet, soluble carbs used in food and more.
The most common type is table sugar, granulated sugar, or regular sugar. These are all sucrose disaccharides.
Disaccharides are compound sugars made of two monosaccharides.
These include fructose, galactose, and glucose.
Fructose is sugar that occurs in root vegetables, cane sugar, and honey. It is one of the components of table sugar.
Galactose usually comes in conjunction with glucose. It is less sweet and found on the surface of red blood cells.
Lastly, glucose occurs naturally in fruits and plant juices. The carbs that we consume are converted to glucose.
This happens during digestion and is later on transported around our bodies through the bloodstream.
Disaccharides are compound sugars that are combined by two monosaccharide molecules.
Lactose is a kind of sugar found in milk.
Maltose, on the other hand, is formed through the germination of grains like barley. They are converted into malt.
Sucrose is found in sugarcane and the roots of sugar beets. This is formed by the mixture of a molecule of glucose with a molecule of fructose.
The Difference Between Carbs and Sugar
Carbohydrates are essential macronutrients that the body needs, while sugar is a compound that makes up carbohydrates.
Sugars are fast-digesting agents that are found in complex carbohydrates, although they are also ingredients in processed foods.
Monosaccharides, which was previously mentioned, are the building blocks for larger and more complex carbohydrates.
Carbohydrate is a broad type of macronutrient but is does not only include sugars. You may be reducing added sugars to stay low-carb but remember that your body also needs fiber and other nutrients that carbs provide.
It is also worth noting that not all sugars are bad. Sugars in fruits, vegetables, and milk are not detrimental to your health, but you still need to reduce your intake to stay in ketosis.
“Bad sugars” are usually the added sugars used in processed foods for flavorings. These are found in sodas, chocolates, pastries, and more.
How Sugar Affects Ketosis
While not all sugars are bad for your health, all of them may affect your ketosis.
Table sugar, for instance, has about 4 grams of carbs per teaspoon. That’s a lot considering the recommended carb intake on keto is 50 grams or less daily.
A teaspoon of sugar may not kick you out of ketosis, but it can cause weight gain since it increases your sugar cravings even more.
Research even shows that people who drink sugary drinks weigh more than people who don’t.
Sugar intake also needs to be limited since it spikes your blood sugar.
High-sugar consumption also drives resistance to insulin, increasing your risk of type 2 diabetes.
It is also linked to an increased amount of visceral fat, a kind of belly fat associated with diabetes and heart disease.
Other health risks of sugar include:
- fatty liver
- cognitive decline
- esophageal cancer
- energy drain.
Foods with Hidden Sugar
You may think that some food products are keto-friendly just because they are “sugar-free” or have many health benefits.
However, many of these foods and drinks should be avoided as they contain hidden sugars.
- sugar-free drinks
- starchy vegetables
- asian sauces
- some dairy products.
Tips for When You’re Craving Sugar
Try the following to curb your sugar cravings.
Eat Berries Instead
Low-carb berries include strawberry, raspberry, and blackberry. These fruits will satisfy your sweet tooth while also providing nutrients.
Raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries only have around 5 or 6 grams of net carbs per 100 grams.
There are many types of sugars and sugar substitutes, so make sure you know the different names for them.
Look at the ingredients list and nutrition labels to find out if the type of sweetener you are using is keto-friendly.
Here are different names for sugars you need to look out for:
- fruit juice concentrate
- brown sugar
- malt syrup
- corn syrup
- coconut sugar
Meanwhile, keto-friendly sugar substitutes include:
- monk fruit
Use a Sugar Blocker
With current innovations, you can now use anti-sugar cravings products like Juniper Life Store’s Empower Instant Willpower
This is a minty spray that blocks the sweetness of your food for up to three hours to target the main cause of sugar cravings.
While other tastes are unaffected, the simple sugar receptors on your taste buds are removed to block the reward and temptation.
This spray version is claimed to be more effective than lozenge versions of other products!
Alternative Keto Sweeteners
Ditch the table sugar, along with other sweeteners like sucralose and xylitol.
These keto sweeteners are both healthy and low-carb!
Commonly used in baking and cooking, erythritol is tasty and safe at high temperatures. This makes it ideal for a variety of uses.
Despite the distinct aftertaste, its similar in taste to table sugar.
It is a type of sugar alcohol that naturally exists in many fruits as a result of fermentation.
Monk fruit is not a sugar alcohol, but a natural sweetener that is extracted from monk fruit. It’s been used in Asia for many years now because of its antioxidant properties.
Though it has no calories, it is 200 times sweeter than table sugar.
It’s a great keto sweetener because it has no side effects like gas, bloating, and allergic reactions.
Stevia is another sweetener you can enjoy on the keto diet that does not affect your blood sugar.
This sweetener is full of minerals and has eight glycosides which are sweet components isolated and purified from the leaves of stevia.
Stevia is 150 times sweeter than sugar without affecting your ketosis.
FAQ Sugar and Ketosis
How Does Ketosis Work?
In ketosis, your body starts using ketones for fuel instead of the available glucose in your body from a high carb diet.
Ketones are a form of energy made from fatty acids.
That is why the keto diet encourages a high-fat, low-carb diet to get you in the metabolic state of ketosis.
Read our article on ketosis to find out more!
Can I Have Dessert on Keto?
Yes! With keto-friendly sweeteners, you can enjoy desserts while staying in ketosis.
Many great keto desserts contain heavy whipping cream.
Here are some keto dessert recipes you can try!
Will One Cheat Day Ruin My Ketosis?
Yes! A whole day full of high-carb meals will kick you out of ketosis, although it won’t stall your weight loss progress easily.
Try having cheat meals instead of a full day to stay in ketosis while still enjoying your favorite food.
Do you need to learn how to cheat the right way on keto?
Does Alcohol Contain Sugar
Some alcoholic beverages with mixers, like margaritas and other cocktails, contain sugar that will kick you out of ketosis.
Others like dry wine or plain spirits are safe on keto because they contain no carbs or sugar.
Learn all about ketosis and alcohol consumption now!
How Do I Test My Ketone Levels?
In one of our articles, we talked about some ketone level testing methods. You can do it by testing for ketones in your urine, blood, or breath.
Test your ketone levels regularly to know if you’re in ketosis or not.
How Long Does it Take to Get Back into Ketosis When Kicked Out?
It would take you about 24-72 hours to re-enter ketosis once you’ve been kicked out after a cheat day.
This all depends on your body, your efforts to get back in ketosis, and how long you’ve been in ketosis before you’ve been kicked out.
Our guide on how to get back in ketosis in just 24 hours can help you reboot quickly!
Sacrifice Sugar to Stay in Ketosis!
Consuming sugar on a daily basis can kick you out of ketosis. And you have the downside of it increasing your sugar cravings even more.
The increase in appetite might make you lose self-control and cause weight gain or stall your keto diet efforts.
It also spikes your blood sugar levels and increases your risk of heart disease and cancer.
Try keto sweeteners like stevia, erythritol, and monk fruit instead!
If you can’t deny your sweet tooth anymore, learn how to cheat on keto the right way!