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How Much Sugar Can You Have on Keto?

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If you’re following a ketogenic diet, you may wonder how much sugar is allowed. The answer to this question depends on various factors, including your carbohydrate limit, the source of sugar, and individual factors. In this article, we will explore how sugar affects ketosis, how much sugar you can have on keto, how to test your sugar tolerance and alternatives to sugar on the keto diet.

How Sugar Affects Ketosis

Sugar is a type of carbohydrate that tastes sweet. When you consume sugar, it is broken down into glucose, which raises blood sugar and insulin levels. High blood sugar and insulin levels prevent ketosis and fat burning, as insulin promotes the storage of glucose as glycogen in the liver and muscles.

Low-carb diets like keto, on the other hand, aim to lower blood sugar and insulin levels. By restricting carbohydrates, the body is forced to use stored fat as an energy source. This leads to the production of ketones, which fuels the brain and other organs.

How Much Sugar Can You Have on Keto?

The amount of sugar you can have on keto varies from person to person, and there is no one-size-fits-all answer. Generally, most people on keto aim for a carb limit of 50 grams or less per day. However, some individuals may need fewer carbs to achieve and maintain ketosis.

In addition to considering your overall carb limit, you should also assess the source of sugar. Natural sugars, such as those in fruits, dairy, and honey, contain other beneficial nutrients and fiber. While they contribute to your carb intake, they may be consumed in moderation while staying within your limits.

On the other hand, added sugars like table sugar, corn syrup, and agave should be avoided on the ketogenic diet as they are high in carbohydrates and have no nutritional value.

Testing Your Sugar Tolerance on Keto

The best way to determine how much sugar you can have on keto is by testing yourself. Using a blood glucose meter and a ketone meter, you can measure your blood sugar and ketone levels before and after consuming different foods with varying amounts of sugar.

Interpreting the results will help you gauge how your body responds to different sugar levels and adjust your intake accordingly. It is crucial to note that everyone’s tolerance to sugar is different, and what works for one person may not work for another.

Alternatives to Sugar on Keto

Fortunately, you don’t have to give up sweets on the keto diet completely. Several sugar-free alternatives are keto-friendly and have little or no impact on blood sugar and ketone levels.

Some popular sugar-free sweeteners include stevia, erythritol, and monk fruit. These natural sweeteners provide a sweet taste without affecting blood sugar levels. However, it’s important to note that some artificial sweeteners may have a laxative effect or cause digestive issues for certain individuals.

There are also plenty of keto-friendly dessert and snack options that use sugar-free sweeteners. Examples include keto brownies, cheesecake, cookies, and even ice cream. These treats can satisfy your sweet tooth while keeping you in ketosis.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much sugar can you have on keto?

The goal is to keep your carb intake around 20 to 50 grams per day, or around 5% of your total food intake. Sugar is a carbohydrate, so any more than that, and you’ll likely get knocked out of ketosis

What happens if you eat too much sugar on keto? 

Consuming too much sugar on a keto diet can knock you out of ketosis, which means your body will start burning glucose for energy instead of fat. This can make it harder to lose weight and achieve the other benefits of a keto diet

Can you have any sugar on keto?

While it’s possible to have some sugar on a keto diet, it’s important to keep your intake low and choose keto-friendly sweeteners instead. Added sugars are known in the keto diet world as empty calories, as they contain zero nutritional benefits and take up space in your daily calorie intake without making you feel satisfied and fulfilled

What are some keto-friendly sweeteners? 

Some keto-friendly sweeteners include stevia, erythritol, monk fruit, and xylitol. These sweeteners are low in carbs and won’t spike your blood sugar levels like regular sugar

What is the recommended daily net carb intake on keto?

Keep your net carb intake around 30 to 50 grams per day. Net carbs are total carbohydrates minus fiber since fiber buffers the sugar response and don’t affect insulin levels. However, with refined table sugar, you want to avoid it at all costs

Why is sugar restricted on a keto diet?

Sugar is a carbohydrate, and consuming too many carbs can knock you out of ketosis. Additionally, sugar increases your risk of developing chronic conditions like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease. With sugar and carbohydrate restriction, you reduce blood glucose and insulin levels, a major culprit behind chronic diseases


There is no one-size-fits-all answer regarding sugar consumption on the keto diet. It’s important to consider your overall carbohydrate limit, the source of sugar, and your tolerance. By testing yourself and monitoring your blood sugar and ketone levels, you can determine how much sugar you can have while staying in ketosis.

Remember that the main goal of the keto diet is to lower blood sugar and insulin levels, promote fat burning, and achieve ketosis. By choosing low-sugar foods and exploring sugar-free alternatives, you can still enjoy sweet treats while reaping the benefits of the ketogenic diet.