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Why You Should Be Mindful Of Sugar Substitute Consumption
Using a sugar replacement with an intensely sweet taste and no calories can have a downside. Theres at least one study that showed that when sweetness and calories were not balanced, the brain tries to balance things out by stimulating the appetite to consume more calories.
The study mentioned above was based on a popular artificial sweetener. But, Ive found that sweet foods do tend to trigger me into overeating. So I recommend limiting keto sweeteners for occasional treats, especially for those who need to lose a lot of weight.
As one breaks away from sugar by moving to a keto diet, sweet foods tend to become less desirable. Therefore, the amount of sugar substitutes used tends to diminish when following a low carb lifestyle long term.
So What Are The 4 Best Keto
Its impossible to say which ones are the best keto-friendly sweeteners without explaining what factors come into consideration. These factors might vary from one person to the other, but if you consider the following:
- Net carbs: a sweetener is here to replace sugar so should be 0 net carbs or very close
- No or very limited negative health effects both short term and long term
- Ease of use for cooking and baking
Then, it immediately excludes all of the artificial sweeteners, all the sugar alcohols but Erythritol, as well as some of the natural sweeteners that have undocumented health effects.
Note that if you really want to use them, the best artificial sweetener for keto is Acesulfame-K, the rest arent keto-approved sweeteners.
The best keto sweeteners used in most of the recipes on this website are:
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Sweeteners Not To Use
The following sweeteners should be avoided at all costs because no matter how natural it is, sugar is still sugar and will affect your body negatively . These sweeteners will always increase your blood sugar levels, diminish your weight loss, and may even knock you out of ketosis. Stay away from: high fructose corn syrup, table sugar, coconut sugar, maple syrup, honey, agave, rice malt syrup, blackstrap molasses, fruit juice and dried fruit.
Sugar Substitutes To Avoid
Evidence suggests that we shouldnt be fooled into thinking that zero-calorie artificial sweeteners with zero grams of sugar are healthy. Both human and animal studies continue to reveal that frequent consumption of diet soda or artificial sweeteners is associated with greater body mass index , obesity and metabolic syndrome.
What are the worst sugar substitutes? One is high fructose corn syrup, which is usually produced from genetically modified corn.
Fructose is a simple sugar that is rapidly metabolized by the liver, causing a sugar high. Researchers believe this quick-acting sugar leads to increased storage of fat in the liver, resulting in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, digestive upset and atherosclerosis.
Another popular one is sucralose, which is 600 times sweeter than sugar and may contribute to an addiction for overly sweet foods and drinks. A study published in the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health found that cooking with sucralose at high temperatures can generate dangerous chloropropanols a toxic class of compounds.
Human and rodent studies demonstrate that sucralose may also alter glucose, insulin and glucagon-like peptide 1 levels.
There are many artificial sweeteners on the market today, including:
Which is the safest artificial sweetener? It depends on what you consider to be artificial.
A sweetener in extract form, such as stevia or monk fruit, is a good choice if youre looking for a zero-calorie option.
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Is Allulose Keto Friendly
Ive tested Allulose over and over again with a CGM and have found no impact to blood sugar . Its not just me, its been proven by many to have little to no impact on blood glucose. Also, its a ZERO on the glycemic index. Read this post, about the glycemic index.
Content on this page is for informational purposes and should not be treated as personal medical advice.
Why Is It Hard To Give Up Sugar
It may take some time to readjust your taste buds to living sugar-free, and is it any wonder? Sugar is now found in 80% of products on our supermarket shelves.
What is astounding is the type of foods that have added sugar. You might expect it to be in desserts, granola, and cereals but tuna? Soup? Bacon? There are also several different names of sugar which just makes it even more confusing when youre trying to understand reading food labels.
But the real problem is how sugar affects the brain and how it lights up our reward center. As we eat more, we become accustomed to the reward and so seek more.
But by replacing sugar with delicious low-carb sweet treats, you can help reduce your cravings.
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Potential Health Side Effects Caused By The Consumption Of Sucralose
- Some concern has been raised about the effect of sucralose on the thymus . High doses can suppress the thymus and decrease its weight.
- Although there have not been many tests on the effects of sucralose on the body, many individuals have reported adverse reactions after consuming sucralose. Some common symptoms reported within 24 hours of consuming Splenda include:
- Head: headaches and migraines, swelling of the face, lips, throat or tongue
- Eyes: itchy, swollen eyes
- Lungs: wheezing, cough, shortness of breath
- Skin: allergic reactions like hives, blistering, acne, itchiness, redness, and swelling
- Stomach: gastrointestinal distress including diarrhea, gas, bloating, nausea, pain, vomiting, bloody stools, and depletion of good bacteria in the gut/intestines
- Neurological: anxiety, anger, depression, mood swings, dizziness, decreased ability to concentrate
- Other: weight gain, decreased red blood cells , increased male infertility
Natural Sweeteners That Are Good For Your Health
Reducing your intake of refined sugar can be tough, but given how incredibly harmful sugar can be, its definitely worth the effort (
Fortunately, quite a few sweeteners found in nature are actually healthy.
Theyre low in calories, low in fructose, and taste very sweet.
Here are 5 natural sweeteners that could be healthier alternatives to refined sugar.
Stevia is a very popular low calorie sweetener.
Its extracted from the leaves of a plant called Stevia rebaudiana.
This plant has been grown for its sweetness and medicinal purposes for centuries in South America.
Several sweet compounds are found in stevia leaves. The main ones are stevioside and rebaudioside A. Both are hundreds of times sweeter than sugar, gram for gram.
Therefore, stevia is very sweet but has virtually no calories.
Additionally, a few human-based studies suggest stevia may have health benefits, including for the following health parameters:
- Blood pressure. Stevia may help lower high blood pressure in people with hypertension. However, it doesnt affect normal or only mildly elevated blood pressure levels (
- 4 ).
Many people greatly dislike the taste of stevia. The flavor depends on the brand, though, so you may need to experiment to find a type of stevia you like.
Stevia is a natural, zero-calorie sweetener that may help lower both your blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
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Is There A Risk Of Getting Cancer With Sweeteners
There has been quite a lot of controversy in the media about the link between some sweeteners and cancer.
Because of the gigantic financial interests in play by Aspartame manufacturers particularly on one side and by the Sugar industry on the other side, its very difficult to see the wood from the trees in all the announcements, sponsored studies, and reviews.
To date, there is no direct evidence that sweeteners, and in particular artificial sweeteners are causing cancer.
The sweeteners that have had question marks for being potential carcinogenic are
According to various reputed sources , these are still safe to consume within limits.
What About Natural Sweeteners
Natural sweeteners can be a better option than refined sugar or artificial sweeteners. They are derived from natural sources and are rich in vitamins, but they have a very high carb level.
These natural sweeteners include:
- Pure Maple syrup
- Raw Honey
This means you must consume these sweeteners in moderation we recommend limiting your consumption of only 1 teaspoon per day.
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Top Sugar Substitutes And Sweeteners
Use our list below as a handy guide to some of the most common sugar substitutes and how to incorporate them into your diet.
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But who actually counts the grams of sugar they consume every day? Many count calories, but not sugar. However, sugar might have more impact on overall health than calories. The CDC reports that consuming sugar-sweetened drinks on a regular basis is associated with a heightened risk for heart disease,
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How To Use The Best Low Carb Sweetener In Baking
First let me say that how one combines sweeteners is completely individual. Everyones taste buds perceive sweetness in a unique way.
This is how I sweeten my baked goods
If a regular recipe calls for 1-2 cups of sugar, I typically use 1/3 2/3 cup of granulated erythritol and then increase the sweetness with approximately 1/4 1 teaspoon stevia glycerite.Why? For me, erythritol produces a very sharp taste and burning feeling at the back of my throat. Ive found that using a minimal amount of erythritol and augmenting with super-sweet stevia counteracts both the sharp taste from the erythritol and mitigates any bitterness from the stevia. Using erythritol and stevia together lets me use less erythritol, which saves me money.
Is erythritol the perfect sugar substitute? No, but its a pretty darn close! Drawbacks? Its expensive, it tends to recrystallize resulting in a crunchy texture in frostings, puddings, and cheesecakes. This tendency also causes hardening upon cooling, ie. a thin crust on cakes or a very hard caramel sauce when cool. Trying to melt it, like one would sugar, to pour into a meringue frosting is disastrous as it seizes.
Mixing erythritol and stevia together produces a nice punch of sweetness!
Do Not Use These Sweeteners On Keto
Now that you know which low-carb sweeteners are Keto-approved, lets quickly go over some sugar substitutes that are best avoided.
The following sweeteners will spike your blood sugar and put you at risk of falling out of ketosis.
Maltodextrin is often found mixed in with low-carb sweeteners. It is highly processed from starchy plants and is best avoided on keto.
#2. Coconut Sugar
Coconut oil and coconut flour are perfectly fine on the Ketogenic diet, but coconut sugar is best avoided. Even though its absorbed more slowly than regular sugar, its still sugar and a small amount can still kick you out of ketosis.
#3. Agave Nectar
This sugar substitute is very high in fructose, which has been implicated in causing inflammation and insulin resistance, as well as increasing triglycerides and small dense LDL.
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Uncertainty About The Safety Of Splenda And Humans
- It is believed that 15% of sucralose is not excreted from the body in a timely manner. When chemicals stay in the body for any amount of time, there is reason for concern.
- There is uncertainty about the long-term health effects on the body because Splenda has not been thoroughly tested. There have not been any long-term studies on the effect and safety of sucralose on humans. This is partly because the manufacturers will not fund research for this .
The Final Word On Whats The Best
Whether you’re sweetening black coffee, espresso, or milky coffee, there’s an array of sugar alternatives. Some have a distinct flavor, others leave an aftertaste. And as with many things, it comes down to personal choice.
As a coffee drinker, do you prefer a natural product over an artificial one? Do you have particular health issues you want to address? Its worth experimenting to see which sugar-free substitutes suit you the best.
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Fresh Or Frozen Fruit
Coming in at the number one way to sweeten your food and drinks is by using fresh or frozen fruit.
Fruit doesnt have any empty calories, which makes it an ideal sweetener, Taylor says.
Try sweetening oatmeal by mixing in banana or applesauce, adding berries to plain Greek yogurt and sweetening smoothies with frozen fruit. Another option is to add natural flavorings like vanilla or almond extract, cocoa powder and spices like cinnamon and clove.
I grew up with a diet high in sugar. When I cut down on added sugars and sweeteners, I started enjoying the natural sweetness of fresh berries and melon, Taylor says. Thats when my sugar cravings started to fade.
How Much Should We Be Eating
The NHS advises adults shouldnt get more than five per cent of their energy from free sugars. Thats no more than 30g of free sugar a day for anyone above the age of 11.
Always check your food labels to keep track of your sugar intake. As a general rule of thumb, 22.5g or more of total sugar per 100g is regarded as high in sugar and 5g or less of total sugar per 100g is low in sugar.
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The Ancestral Root To Our Sweet Tooth
At one point in time, the taste for sugar kept us alive. Our distant primate relatives would swing in the forest canopy, searching for sweet, ripened fruit, which provided more energy and water than bitter, unripened fruit. Bitter or sour tastes could signal poisonous or inedible foods. So, the preference for sweet, sugary foods developed as an evolutionary trait to keep our ancestors alive.
But this same evolutionary trait that helped our ancestors survive for thousands of years, today puts us at risk for multiple chronic diseases, and shortened longevity.
Thats because, although our palates have remained likely unchanged for hundreds of thousands of years, our culture and agricultural practices have changed dramatically over the past 100 years. We no longer move throughout the day, hunting and foraging for food. Instead, sugar is cheap, plentiful, and easily added to foods ad nauseam.
Today, we live in a very different world than our ancestors, a world in which tastes can be deceiving. Rather than seeking out sweet foods for survival, sweetness might better signal caution given the abundance of sugar.
Fortunately, for the cautious connoisseur, there are a variety of natural sweeteners without sugar that you can use to trick your taste buds, while minimizing the metabolic effects of sugar.
Acceptable Daily Intake Levels
In the United States, the FDA provides guidance for manufacturers and consumers about the daily limits for consuming high-intensity sweeteners, a measure called Acceptable Daily Intake . During their premarket review for all of the high-intensity sweeteners approved as food additives, FDA established an ADI defined as an amount in milligrams per kilogram of body weight per day , indicating that a high-intensity sweetener does not cause safety concerns if estimated daily intakes are lower than the ADI. FDA states: “An ADI is the amount of a substance that is considered safe to consume each day over the course of a personâs lifetime.” For stevia , an ADI was not derived by the FDA, but by the Joint Food and Agricultural Organization/World Health Organization Expert Committee on Food Additives, whereas an ADI has not been determined for monk fruit.
For the sweeteners approved as food additives, the ADIs in milligrams per kilogram of body weight per day are:
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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.
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