What Sweeteners Can Kick You Out Of Ketosis
Even the low-carb sweetening agents can kick you out of ketosis. These are non-nutritive sweeteners that can increase your blood sugar. Some of these include maltodextrin, maltitol, aspartame, saccharin, dates, corn syrup, and honey. According to some experts, even a small amount of these sweeteners can already make you gain weight.
Artificial Sugars May Raise Blood Sugar
A report in the Sept. 17, 2014, issue of the journal Nature demonstrates that three common sweetenerssaccharin , sucralose , and aspartame can raise glucose levels, possibly by changing the composition of intestinal bacteria.
Researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel determined people who used a lot of artificial sweeteners tended to have higher blood glucose levels and different intestinal bacteria from those who didn’t use them. When they fed the maximum recommended dose of saccharin to seven people who had never used artificial sweeteners, they found that, after five to seven days using the sweetner, four of the people had a significant increase in blood sugar levelsand a significant change in intestinal bacteria.
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How Do You Use Monk Fruit
Monk fruit is a replacement product for sugar. It can be purchased as a syrup, granulated into crystals, or finely powdered similar to icing sugar. You may use any three of these options for your sweetening needs.
< p class=”pro-tip”> Bonus: Monk fruit is heat stable so it can be used in cooking and baking. < /p>
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Probiotics And Fasting Insulin Levels
Another meta-analysis published in 2017 reviewed the data from 684 participants across 12 studies. The findings consistently indicated that probiotics can lower both HbA1c as well as fasting insulin levels.5
The key is in the liver. Dr. David Cohen and his team at Cornell University unlocked this secret in 2020 after conducting their own animal studies and examining the link between probiotics and glycemic control. They discovered at least one molecule produced by gut microbes that control how the liver releases glucose into the bloodstream.6
Sugar Substitutes: Helpful Or Harmful
Since the 1980s there has been an explosion of sugar substitutes in the marketplace. These artificial or highly refined natural compounds are used frequently in beverages and processed foods to lower total calories or decrease added sugar . The number of products available for use at the table or in cooking and baking at home has also increased. While these compounds are touted as calorie-cutting weight loss aids and an option to people with diabetes looking for sweet choices while sticking to their diet, questions about efficacy and safety have dogged them from the start.
Non-Sugar Sweeteners: If a beverage or food tastes sweet but says it is low-calorie or sugar-free, chances are it contains a sugar substitute. Sugar substitutes as a group are referred to by many names: artificial sweeteners, non-sugar sweeteners, low-calorie sweeteners, non-nutritive sweeteners, or high-intensity sweeteners, says Alice H. Lichtenstein, DSc, director of the Cardiovascular Nutrition Laboratory at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging. A separate category of sugar substitute is sugar alcohols . Although they are frequently referred to as a single entity, the wide variety of compounds used as sugar substitutes are actually quite different from each other and may not behave the same way in the body, says Lichtenstein.
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How Do Artificial Sweeteners Affect My Glucose Levels
Will artificial sweeteners spike your glucose levels or are they a metabolic health freebie? We break down the research and give you some sweetener advice.
Eating something sweetened with a sugar substitute wont by itself cause your glucose levels to spike. Thats because these artificial sweeteners dont actually contain glucose they just stimulate your sweet receptors so you get the taste without the calories.
And while that sounds like a get-out-of-glucose-jail-free card, studiessuggest these sweeteners can have metabolic consequences, influencing your bodys ability to process glucose and insulin over time, and even contributing to obesity.
The science on these substances is extensive, but complex and often contradictory. So lets break down what we know and what you can do about it.
Stevia Known As The Green Packet
Also called Stevioside, Rebaudioside A, B, C,D,F, Dulcoside A, Rubusoside and Steviolbioside
Also comes in liquid and dissolvable tablets. Some Stevia products have not received GRAS status and must be sold as dietary supplements, not as a non-nutritive sweetener. Use to sweeten beverages. May be used in baking but adjustments have to be made for the lack of moisture and bulk. Follow recommendations on product labels.
Brand names include A Sweet Leaf®, Sun Crystals®, Stevia®, Truvia® and PureVia®6.
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Drawbacks Of Using Substitutes
Some studies show that eating foods with zero-calorie sweeteners may have the opposite effect intended and may promote weight gain. For instance, some research shows that an increased intake of very sweet substitutes may boost ones desire for sweetened foods. Theres also no telling what the long-term impact of consuming sugar substitutes may have on the body and overall health.
Certain substitutes may have immediate concerning effects on the body. Some people, for instance, may have allergic reactions to specific substitutes. Other individuals complain that alternatives like aspartame cause headaches and may act as a trigger for migraines. Several sugar substitutes also cause gastrointestinal distress.
One Last Thing About Using Sugar Substitutes When Managing Type 2 Diabetes
As you can see, there are many artificial sweeteners to help you reach your blood sugar goals. Just remember that maintaining them will be easier if you practice moderation and dont allow sweet-tasting food and beverages to lead you to overconsume them. A major goal should be to reduce all types of sweeteners in your diet, including sugar substitutes, so that you become accustomed to the naturally sweet taste of food, says Grieger. Then trust your body to tell you when enough is enough.
Additional reporting by .
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Soo Are There Any Sugar Substitutes You Should Stay Away From
“Like sugar, artificial sweeteners provide a sweet taste, but what sets them apart is the fact that after consumption, they do not increase blood sugar levels, says Shapiro. Because of that, Shapiro notes, they may stimulate your appetite and could cause weight gain as a result.
The sugar alcohols found in certain artificial sweeteners may also affect digestion since your body cant break them down. The main problem is that they can cause digestive problems, especially when consumed in large amounts. Since your body cant digest most of them, they travel to the large intestine where they are metabolized by your gut bacteria, and this can cause bloating, gas, or diarrhea.
In terms of natural sugar substitutes, they can raise your blood sugar depending on their fructose content and glycemic index. Sweet begets sweet. The more sweet you eat, the more you crave, says Slayton. Depending on the substitute you use, it could raise your blood sugar and cause a nasty crash, or could cause you to crave more sugar.
So, its recommended to try and limit sugar substitutes as much as you can. Slayton also offers up this trick: Im a big fan of using cinnamon for a number of reasons: reducing appetite, stabilizing blood sugar, she says. Adding a combo of cinnamon and vanilla to something sweet kind of tricks you into thinking you’re eating something more sugary than you actually are.
Use In Cooking And Baking
Because many sugar substitutes are much sweeter than sugar, it takes a smaller amount to achieve the desired sweetness. Therefore, when cooking or baking, your recipe may need to be adjusted if you’re swapping white table sugar for a sweeter alternative.
While the sweetener package may have specific instructions for cooking and baking, this may come down to trial and error , or you can search for specific recipes that use sugar substitutes or natural sweeteners in place of white sugar.
A few other things to be aware of when cooking and baking with alternative sweeteners:
- Your baked goods may be lighter in color as natural sugar browns more deeply when baked and artificial sweeteners don’t brown as nicely.
- Cooking time may need to be adjusted.
- There may be a texture or aftertaste you’re not used to.
- The volume of cakes or cookies may be slightly decreased as you’re using much less sweetener.
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Natural & Artificial Sweeteners That Wont Affect Blood Sugar
None of the natural and artificial sweeteners I list below will affect your blood sugar in their raw form, but you have to make sure that the manufacturer hasnt added anything else to the product such as fillers or flavors.
With the exception of aspartame, none of the sweeteners can actually be broken down by the body, which is why they wont affect your blood sugar. Instead, theyll pass through your systems without being digested, so they provide no extra calories.
Aspartame And Your Health
These sweeteners don’t affect your blood sugar and are considered “free” foods if you have diabetes. Foods with fewer than 20 calories and 5 grams or less of carbohydrates don’t count on a diabetes exchange, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Obesity tends to travel with diabetes, and both conditions raise the risk for heart disease. Low- or no-calorie sweeteners may help with your weight loss efforts, Dr. Bernstein says. Aspartame is also completely digested into aspartic acid, phenylalanine and methanol in the upper small intestine, and then it is absorbed into the blood.
As such, aspartame does not disturb the balance of good and bad bacteria in your gut. It’s when these levels are out of whack that digestive issues can occur, according to the American Association of Diabetes Educators. That organization states that the safe limit for aspartame is 50 milligrams per kilogram of body weight. For a 150-pound adult, this translates to 3,409 milligrams of aspartame. A 12-ounce drink of aspartame-sweetened soda contains 200 milligrams.
However, there isn’t unanimous approval for aspartame. Dana Greene, RD, a dietitian in Brookline, Massachusetts, prefers that her diabetes patients use aspartame sparingly. “Use it in moderation and try to cut down or eliminate it over time,” she suggests. Her concern is that aspartame and other artificial sweeteners will whet a person’s appetite for more sweets.
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Can Natural Sources Of Probiotics Lower Blood Sugar
Probiotics are naturally found in a variety of fermented foods. However, scientists are not clear if probiotic-rich foods offer the same benefits as a probiotic supplement.11
The question is whether or not the concentration of probiotics in the food is potent enough to have an impact on your health. A probiotic supplement typically contains billions of bacteria, but a food source contains far fewer .
There are a wide range of yogurts on the market today, including brands marketed as functional probiotic yogurts. The generally accepted minimum number of probiotic strains to be considered functional is 106 cfu/mL surviving in cold storage for up to 30 days.12
In the United States, in order for yogurt to bear the label âcontains live and active cultures,â the FDA requires 107 cfu/g at the time of manufacture, with the expectation of 10^6 cfu/g through the product’s shelf life.13
Aside from the quantity of microbiota in probiotic-rich foods, theyâre still good foods to include in your diet because they are rich in essential vitamins and minerals.
Examples of healthy probiotic foods include:
To Satisfy A Sweet Toothnow What
“These products are geared to those who are obese,” Dr. Sen says, worse “It’s giving them false hope.” The message that comes with these product is, if you eat these sugar substitutes you won’t put on weight.
“That’s unfortunately just not true,” Dr. Sen says, given the findings from his research.1 Yet, he is not saying to turn to sugar either, but rather to be aware of the downsides of both ”real” sugar and its artificial substitutes.
“Try eating more whole foods,” Dr. Gardner says. “I’ve never seen a food with an artificial sweetener that is not a junk food,” he says. Fresh fruit delivers plenty of sweetness. Frozen berries that can be thawed and added still warm to oatmeal or yogurt for a very comforting meal.
How to give up the sugar substitute habit? Gradually, Dr. Gardner says. Think transition, not ”cold turkey.” For instance, if you love yogurt sweetened with sucralose, gradually replace your yogurt with vanilla and added fruit, or looking for low sugar brands. Give it a couple of months, he says, to change your habit and retrain your palate.
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Acesulfame Potassium A Popular Sugar Substitute In Diet Soda
Also known as Ace-K, this nonnutritive sweetener is FDA-approved and about 200 times sweeter than sugar. Often manufacturers combine it with other sweeteners, though it is also sold for tabletop use under the brand name Sweet One. You will also find it in some of your favorite diet soft drinks, such as Coca-Cola Zero Sugar and Diet Mountain Dew. The FDA recommends an ADI of 15 mg or less of Ace-K per kilogram of body weight per day.
A 132-pound individual would need to consume 23 tabletop packets of the artificial sweetener per day to reach that limit.
Do Artificial Sweeteners Affect Blood Sugar
Some artificial sweeteners have been found to affect blood sugar levels. Artificial sweeteners, also known as nonnutritive sweeteners, are sugar substitutes added to food to make them taste sweet. They offer a no- or low-calorie alternative to sugar for people conscious about their sugar intake or concerned about diabetes, high blood pressure, or weight gain.
The sugar you eat affects your blood sugar and how much insulin your body releases. If blood sugar levels are consistently high, your body releases more insulin to bring blood sugars down. Over time, this may lead to insulin resistance, which is often associated with weight gain and can increase the risk of developing diabetes. Thats why stable blood sugar levels and weight loss are connected.
This is where artificial sweeteners come into playthey offer the promise of a sweet taste without the presence of actual sugar. We know that sugar can raise blood sugar, but how do artificial sweeteners affect blood sugar? Despite all the research that has been done, more research is needed to determine the effects of artificial sweeteners on blood sugar, insulin, and the gut microbiome.
Read on to find out if artificial sweeteners affect blood sugar and insulin levels, which sweetener may be best for you, and healthy sugar substitutes for diabetes.
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Artificial Sweeteners And Diabetes: Are There Healthy Sugar Substitutes For Diabetics
The topic of artificial sweeteners for diabetes is a confusing one. On one hand, artificial sweeteners are often recommended for people with diabetes because they either contain very little or no sugar, carbs, or calories. Many people use them as sugar substitutes in an effort to be healthier and manage their blood sugar levels.
On the other hand, some artificial sweeteners are not always the best optionsand may actually raise blood sugar with long-term use. Knowing how to recognize the best artificial sweeteners is key. There are low-calorie natural sweeteners that may be more beneficial to your health.
Some examples of more natural sweeteners include:
- Date sugar
- Yacon syrup
Some of these natural sweeteners still contribute to your added sugar intake, so it may be helpful to learn how to detox from sugar. Lowering your intake of sugar and sweeteners overall might be the best call when it comes to managing your blood sugar.
High Blood Pressure: Sugar Vs Salt
Typically, people think of salt as bad for blood pressure. However, sugar is actually also responsible for high blood pressure and is a leading cause of it.
Fructose, a type of simple sugar, raises the levels of uric acid in the blood, which in turn inhibits the production of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is what helps your blood vessels maintain flexibility, so when levels of NO are lowered, you can experience a rise in blood pressure.
In addition, increased sugar consumption can lead to weight gain. Obesity is also a contributor to elevated blood pressure.
Sugar in processed foods is considered a main driver of hypertension, as well. Some sugars are worse than others. In particular, “added sugar,” such as table sugar and syrups used to prepare and process foods, is thought to be more harmful than naturally occurring sugars like those in fruit and milk.
Furthermore, research suggests that sugar intake can actually increase salt sensitivity, leading to the enhanced negative effects of sodium on blood pressure. A 2017 research study, in fact, discovered an association between sugar intake and high blood pressure in older women.
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The Less Worse Sugar Substitutes
#5 Brown Sugar
Brown sugar is white sugar with some molasses remaining in it or added back after processing. Yep, its that simple!
And the difference between light and dark brown sugar? The amount of molasses in them. Molasses is also what makes brown sugar soft and moist. Turbinado sugar and evaporated cane juice are essentially less processed versions of brown sugar.
Pros: Because of the molasses, brown sugar offers more nutrients than white, like small amounts of calcium, potassium, and magnesium.
Cons: The nutrients brown sugar contains arent enough to write home about. One ounce contains 0.2 mg of iron, whereas the RDA of iron for the average person is at least 8 mg per day. And it has almost all the negatives associated with white sugar.
#6 Barley Malt
Barley malt is an unrefined sweetener thats made from sprouted barley. It contains 65% maltose , 30% complex carbohydrates, and 3% protein.
Pros: Barley malt isnt as sweet as many other sweeteners. Because it has some complex carbohydrates and a bit of protein, it is milder in its impact.
Cons: Since its high in maltose, barley malt can contribute to rapid blood sugar spikes. Also, barley contains gluten. This makes barley malt inappropriate for people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.
#7 Maple Syrup
Best known as a pancake topper, maple syrup is a thick, dark sweetener made by boiling down maple tree sap. Im talking about pure maple syrup, not corn syrup imitations, like Log Cabin or Aunt Jemima.