Stevia vs. Monk Fruit: Which is Better on Keto?

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Written by Brenda Peralta, Registered Dietitian and medically reviewed by Abby Courtenay

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Choosing the proper sugar substitute can be challenging on a ketogenic diet. Splenda, stevia, monk fruit, aspartame, or saccharine are all available on the market. 

When it comes to which ones are better, the comparison is often between stevia and monk fruit since they are the natural approaches to sweeteners. 

However, which is better on a ketogenic diet? 

In this article, we will compare both sweeteners for you to choose at the end which is the better option for your ketogenic lifestyle. 


What is stevia?

Stevia is a plant typically found in South America that provides sweetness without carbs or calories. The sweetener in the grocery store is the refined powder from the stevia plant combined with other components. This extract is called rebaudioside A. 

It is 200-350 times sweetener than table sugar. 

It can be used in beverages, baked goods, desserts, or anything that requires some sweetness. 


What is monk fruit?

This is a fruit typically found in China, providing sweetness without adding any calories or carbs to your diet. 

The extract is produced when the seeds and skin are removed from the fruit. Then the fruit is crushed and filtered to extract the sweet portions into a liquid (or a powdered form). 

This natural sweetener is often mixed with other ingredients like erythritol to increase the sweetness. 

It is 150-200 times sweeter than table sugar. 


Stevia vs. monk fruit nutrition

To determine the best sugar substitute for keto, we need to check the nutritional information for both options. 

The following table is based on one package (1 g) of each product. 

Nutrients Stevia (1 g) Monk fruit (1 g)
Energy 0 kcal 0 kcal
Fat 0 g 0 g
Protein 0 g 0 g
Net carbs 1 g 0.8 g
Total carbs 1 g 0.8 g
Fiber 0 g 0 g


As you can see, they are both low in carbs (no more than 1 gram of carbs in either). This makes them an ideal option for people following a ketogenic diet. Also, because they are very sweet, you will use very little to meet your sweetness needs (usually no more than 1 g per serving). 

They don’t provide any calories, perfect for people looking to lose some weight and cut back down on their caloric intake.

Both sweeteners are low in nutrients, meaning they won’t provide you with anything other than the sweetness sensation.   


Differences between stevia vs. monk fruit 

While they have very similar nutritional values. They have some differences in their origin, sweetness levels, costs, and flavor. 

The first difference you can find between these sweeteners is where you obtain them. Monk fruit is found in China and comes from a fruit, while stevia is a plant originally from South America. 

The difference in the origin affects the cost of the product. Monk fruit is more expensive to grow and export, making it a more costly option compared to the other sugar substitute. 

Another significant difference comes in the sweetness levels. While they are both sweeter than sugar, stevia is 200-350 times sweeter while the other is only 150-200 times sweeter. This makes stevia a more potent sugar substitute. 

Finally, the other difference comes in their flavor. In some cases, stevia might have an aftertaste, while in monk fruit, most people don’t find it to have an aftertaste. 


When to use stevia and monk fruit

Any one of these sweeteners is good for beverages, baked goods, or desserts. Just make sure that they are cooking-friendly. While it won’t affect your health if you use one that is not cooking-friendly, it can change the recipe’s taste if you are not careful. 

If you are looking to avoid having the aftertaste from a sugar substitute, monk fruit might be better. 


Which one is better for the keto diet?

Both are excellent options to help you sweeten your favorite things without worrying about adding more calories or carbs to your diet. 

Make sure to read each product’s nutrition label carefully since, in some cases, fillers may be added to increase the volume of the product. 

One of the fillers you need to be careful of is called maltodextrin. This type of carb can increase your daily carb intake. Having only 1-2 packets a day doesn’t affect your ketosis, but having 5-10 packets per day would be a concern. 

While these are excellent options for cooking, the best results you can get in your keto pastries is using erythritol. This sugar alcohol doesn’t provide you with many calories, and it has a low carb content. In most cases, it doesn’t change the texture and taste, making it the top choice to use. 


To sum up

Both sweeteners are excellent options if you are looking to add some sweetness to your favorite drink or recipe. They won’t affect your ketosis since they are very low-calorie and low-carb. 

While they are both natural sugar sweeteners, they have different tastes, costs, and sweetness levels. Choose whichever you prefer!