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Is Palm Sugar Keto-Friendly?

Palm Sugar on a kitchen counter

Navigating a ketogenic diet can be a delicious journey, but it also comes with its challenges, particularly when it comes to sweeteners like palm sugar.

Due to its high carbohydrate content, palm sugar is not considered keto-friendly.

In this exploration, we're delving into the nitty-gritty of palm sugar's carb content, why it's a no-go on a keto diet, and how to identify suitable, keto-compatible alternatives.

By expressing a comprehensive understanding of palm sugar and its impact on a ketogenic diet, you can make more informed decisions about your nutritional journey without sacrificing the sweet things in life.


  • Palm sugar is not keto-friendly due to its high carbohydrate content.
  • Consuming palm sugar can lead to excessive carb intake, disrupting the metabolic state of ketosis.
  • Despite some nutritional benefits, the high carbs in palm sugar outweigh these when following a ketogenic diet.

Is Palm Sugar Keto-Friendly?

Palm Sugar, despite its natural origins and distinct flavor, is not considered keto-friendly. The primary reason behind this categorization lies in its carbohydrate content.

Palm sugar contains a substantial amount of carbohydrates, with as much as 84.21g per 100g. This high carbohydrate content significantly surpasses the typical daily carb limit on a ketogenic diet, which usually ranges between 20g to 50g.

Moreover, even a typical serving size of palm sugar, which is approximately 2.0g, contains about 1.68g of net carbs. This single serving almost fulfills a substantial portion of the daily carb limit for those following a strict ketogenic diet.

Can You Have Palm Sugar On a Strict Keto Diet?

Given its high carbohydrate content, palm sugar is not recommended as part of a strict ketogenic diet. A strict ketogenic diet typically restricts carbohydrate intake to less than 20g per day to ensure the body enters and remains in a state of ketosis. Even a small serving of palm sugar, with its 1.68g of net carbs per 2g, uses up a significant part of this daily allowance, leaving little room for carbohydrates from other food sources.

While there are variations of the ketogenic diet that allow for a slightly higher carbohydrate intake, such as the low-carb diet that limits net carbs to 30-50g per day, palm sugar still poses a challenge. Including palm sugar in the diet could easily push total carbohydrate intake over the limit, making it difficult to maintain a state of ketosis.

Carbs In Palm Sugar

When assessing the carb content of palm sugar, it's important to note that it's quite high. Per 100g of palm sugar, there are a substantial 84.21g of carbohydrates. This vast quantity of carbs means that even a small amount can significantly contribute to the daily carb limit of a ketogenic diet.

Looking at the typical serving size, which is approximately 2.0g, palm sugar contains about 1.68g of net carbs. This means that even in small servings, palm sugar presents a challenge for those trying to restrict their carbohydrate intake.

Palm Sugar Nutrition Facts

Palm sugar, a natural sweetener derived from various species of palm tree, offers a unique set of nutrients worth exploring.

In 100 grams of palm sugar, a significant amount of carbohydrates is present, amounting to 84.21 grams. This high volume of carbohydrates mainly provides energy, keeping the body functional and aiding in the smooth operation of various physiological processes.

Another vital nutrient found in palm sugar is Sodium (Na), with 211.0 milligrams in 100 grams. Sodium plays several roles in the body, including maintaining fluid balance, assisting in nerve transmission, and contributing to muscle contractions.

Palm sugar is also calorically dense, with 337.0 kilocalories in the same 100-gram portion. These calories provide the body with the immediate energy it needs for daily activities.

It's important to note that palm sugar is not just about energy supplies; it also contributes some micronutrients, although not significantly. This sweetener is unique, however, in that its nutrient profile varies based on the specific type of palm tree it comes from. Certain types of palm sugar may contain trace amounts of minerals such as potassium, magnesium, zinc, and iron.

Nutrient NameAmount and Unit per 100g
Carbohydrate, by difference 84.21g
Sodium, Na 211.0mg
Calories 337.0kcal
Nutritional data is sourced from the US Department of Agriculture's FoodData Central system. Please see Cast Iron Keto's editorial and research standards for more information.

Health Implications of Palm Sugar on a Keto Diet

Including palm sugar in a ketogenic diet poses a significant challenge to maintaining ketosis due to its high carbohydrate content. This high level of carbs can lead to an excessive intake, disrupting the metabolic state of ketosis which is fundamental to a ketogenic diet.

Looking at the nutritional profile of palm sugar, it does offer some nutritional benefits. It contains sodium, which is essential for maintaining fluid balance and nerve signal transmission in the body. However, the benefit of this mineral needs to be weighed against its potential to disrupt ketosis due to the high carbohydrate content.

Keto-Compatible Alternatives for Palm Sugar

  1. Erythritol: This sugar alcohol is a popular substitute for sugar in a ketogenic diet. It has a taste similar to sugar but does not affect blood sugar or insulin levels, making it suitable for those maintaining a state of ketosis. Erythritol can be used in baking and cooking recipes that require a sweet touch.
  2. Stevia: This natural sweetener is derived from the Stevia rebaudiana plant and is another great alternative to palm sugar. It has no carbs and does not affect blood glucose levels. Stevia is versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes, from sweet treats to savory sauces.
  3. Monk Fruit Sweetener: This sweetener is derived from monk fruit and is a zero-carb alternative to palm sugar. It’s sweet, similar to sugar, and can be used in baking, cooking, and beverage preparation.

Concluding Thoughts on Palm Sugar and Keto

In light of the discussions presented, it's evident that palm sugar, though offering certain nutritional benefits, is not suitable for a ketogenic diet due to its high carbohydrate content. The inclusion of palm sugar, even in small quantities, can significantly contribute to the daily carb limit, potentially disrupting the state of ketosis, which is key to a ketogenic diet.

While it does contain sodium, a mineral essential for maintaining fluid balance and nerve signal transmission, the high carbohydrate content outweighs this benefit when considering a ketogenic diet.

However, not all is lost for those with a sweet tooth on a ketogenic diet. Alternatives such as erythritol, stevia, and monk fruit sweetener offer similar sweetness but with significantly lower carbohydrate content. Therefore, it's encouraged for those on a ketogenic diet to explore these alternatives and steer clear from palm sugar.

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Cast Iron Keto's Editorial and Research Standards

Certain rare or exotic food items may not have nutritional profiles in the FoodData Central database. If an exact match is not found in the FoodData Central database, then, the Cast Iron Keto team utilizes a three-prong approach to provide readers with the closest relevant nutritional data, where possible.

First, in the event that nutritional profiles for a rare or exotic food item is not available in the FoodData Central database, we investigate alternative names for that particular food item and use that data, when possible. Second, in cases where no alternate names exist, Cast Iron Keto will use nutritional data for a close relative or similar food item. Finally, if no close relatives or similar items exist, we refrain from publishing nutrient data tables.

When making dietary or health decisions based on FoodData Central's data, we suggest readers consult with a nutritionist or other health experts, particularly if the food in question has a significant role in your diet or if you are using the food item to treat any health disorder(s).

Furthermore, it is important to note that even if a close relative or similar item is used to approximate the nutritional data, different food items can have varying levels of nutrients due to factors such as soil quality, farming practices, and regional differences.


The information on this website is only intended to be general summary information for public use, designed for educational purposes only and is not engaged in rendering medical advice or professional services. This information does not replace written law or regulations, nor does it replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have questions about a medical condition or are seeking to evaluate the health merits of certain food items for the treatment of any medical condition, you should seek the advice of a doctor or other qualified health professionals.

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Frequently Asked Questions

No, due to its high carbohydrate content, palm sugar is not considered keto-friendly.

Consuming palm sugar could lead to excessive carb intake, disrupting the metabolic state of ketosis.