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How Much Sugar Can You Have on the Keto Diet? This Expert Explains

Popsugar logo Popsugar 14/09/2018 Christina Stiehl
a bunch of different types of food on a table: Photographer: Sheila GimNo Restrictions: Editorial and internal use approved. OK for Native and co-branded use. © POPSUGAR Photography / Sheila Gim Photographer: Sheila GimNo Restrictions: Editorial and internal use approved. OK for Native and co-branded use.

It seems like everyone and their cousin is doing the keto diet these days — the high-fat, moderate-protein, super-low-carb diet has helped people lose weight, gain energy, and transform their lives. But as popular as the diet is, there are 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 as long as you eat about 50 grams or fewer daily. But what about sugar?

Keto dieters have all but eschewed the sweet stuff in favour of calorie-free sweeteners such as 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.

"To achieve the many health benefits that a ketogenic diet has to offer, one needs to consume only the amount of carbohydrates that the individual can tolerate to stay in nutritional ketosis," she told POPSUGAR.

"This amount differs from person to person but is generally less than 50 grams of total carbohydrates per day. That means all sources of carbohydrate, including refined sugar, should be limited to as little as possible to avoid the impact carbohydrates can have on blood sugar and insulin levels."

So while sugar is a carb and does count toward your 50 grams or less 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.

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