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Looking for a sweet and rich sweetener for your keto chocolate chip cookies or keto ice cream? For some, regular brown sugar might do the trick. But the ketogenic diet requires a low-carb sweetener to keep you in ketosis.
You need a keto substitute for brown sugar that is not loaded in carbs for you to enjoy your baked goods, sauces, and meats.
Find out whether or not brown sugar is keto-friendly, the best keto substitute for brown sugar, and a simple recipe for no-carb brown sugar!
What is Brown Sugar?
Brown sugar is simply sugar that has molasses. It’s a pigmented type of sugar that is made from adding molasses to the usual refined white sugar processing.
Like regular white granulated sugar, brown sugar is also made from sugar beet or sugar cane.
Molasses is a rich brown, thick syrup from the refining process of raw sugar. It’s the only real ingredient in brown sugar that gives it any nutritional value, although not much.
It has different types, such as blackstrap molasses, cane molasses, sulfured molasses, unsulfured molasses, and hydrosol.
Molasses has a sweet and slightly bitter taste on its own and is used in different baked goods like chocolate chip cookies. It can improve sexual and reproductive health, keep your bones healthy, relieve your acne, increase red blood cell production, and more.
But these benefits only come from pure molasses. You won’t get any of these from brown sugar, no matter how dark it is.
However, if you’re interested in the nutrients of molasses, then skip the brown sugar and use straight molasses. Blackstrap molasses, in particular, is high in magnesium, which studies have shown aids in insulin sensitivity
The two types of brown sugar are light brown and dark brown sugar. Light brown sugar is more suitable for baking, sauces, and glazes.
Dark brown sugar, on the other hand, is used for recipes that need thick consistency like gingerbread or meatloaf.
Is Brown Sugar Keto-Friendly?
Definitely not. Although the content of molasses in brown sugar gives it some health benefits, it still provides a high amount of sugar and carbs in general.
Aside from kicking you out of ketosis, brown sugar can increase your blood glucose levels. Individuals with diabetes should stay away from foods that creates a spike in insulin levels.
Just like white sugar, brown sugar is high in carbs. It may have a slightly more nutritional benefit than regular white refined sugar, but it’s still high in carbs and can impact your blood sugar.
Of the different types of sugar, coconut sugar has the lowest impact, but most keto experts still recommend leaving it out of your diet.
If you’re trying to limit your carb intake, brown sugar should be completely avoided. Otherwise, you’ll get kicked out of ketosis. Your body will go back to its state of depending on carbs for fuel instead if our fat.
With a carb count of 24 grams per serving, you’ll want to avoid it unless your carb intake for the day, including brown sugar, does not exceed your limit.
The Best Low-Carb Substitutes for Brown Sugar
Brown sugar has more downsides than health benefits for those on keto. While you may consume a serving as long as you don’t exceed your daily limit, there are two keto-friendly alternatives you may want to try.
Brown erythritol is a keto sweetener that is low in carbs. Although it is hard to find, it serves as a great substitute for brown sugar that fits your keto lifestyle.
For a serving of two teaspoons, this low-carb brown sugar sweetener comes in at a total of 8 calories, zero grams of fat, zero grams of protein, and zero grams of net carbs.
Sukrin Brown Sugar Alternative
Sukrin Gold Brown Sugar Alternative has erythritol, a sugar alcohol that’s also a great sugar substitute. It has malt and stevia that provide flavor, aroma, and the texture of brown sugar without all the unwanted carbs.
It’s low-calories and gluten-free, making it the perfect brown sugar substitute for recipes. One gram of Sukrin Gold Brown Sugar contains zero calories, zero grams of fat, zero grams of protein, and one gram of net carbs.
Truvia Brown Sugar Blend
Truvia Brown Sugar Blend is made of their natural sweetener, regular sugar, and molasses. A teaspoon of this brown sugar alternative has 10 calories, zero grams of fat, 4 grams of carbs, and zero grams of protein. So, it’s not a zero-carb sweetener, but it surely won’t kick you out of ketosis.
While most of the ingredients in Truvia Brown Sugar Blend do not affect blood sugar, the one gram of sugar per half a teaspoon counts toward your daily carb count.
However, compared to brown sugar, it is a better option and will let you stay in ketosis as long as you’re paying attention to your intake.
Homemade Keto Brown Sugar
You can also make your own low-carb brown sugar substitute at home. If you’re interested, all you need for this recipe is a few simple ingredients, such as:
This homemade keto brown sugar has no carbs at all! That’s because erythritol is not absorbed by the body and instead passes through the digestive tract chemically unchanged.
Keeping it Sweet on Keto
Brown sugar is a pigmented type of sugar that is made of refined white sugar and molasses. Molasses is a rich brown, thick syrup from the refining process of raw sugar which offers many health benefits like improved reproductive health and enhanced bones.
However, you won’t get any of these benefits from brown sugar, since they only come from pure molasses.
If you’re on the keto diet, then brown sugar should be completely avoided because it contains a carb count of 24 grams per serving. However, that doesn’t mean you should deprive yourself of sweet treats on keto.
But the options don’t stop at prepackaged brown sugar substitutes. You can also make your own no-carb brown sugar substitute at home which only requires granulated erythritol, maple extract, and stevia glycerite!
Start using these low-carb substitutes for brown sugar to satisfy your sweet cravings and still fit in with your ketogenic diet lifestyle!