I See Posts on What I CAN have.... but what are some common mistakes or Things to Avoid?
I hope this first section of "Sweeteners" comes as a "no brainer". If you have decided to start a Ketogenic lifestyle then you need to do your due diligence and look into what all it entails.
Every BOLD section below is a common mistake of first time Ketoers....
Sugar is an Avoid. This includes all the other forms of it such as coconut sugar, agave, corn syrup, sugar in the raw, honey, maple syrup, turbinado sugar, cane sugar, or keto sweeteners that are MIXED with sugar. Yes You have to check that it doesnt say BLEND. Now some of you are thinking "oh man! I thought I could sweeten things with my maple syrup or my honey!?" Nope. The actual sugar content in these things is SKY HIGH. Go ahead and rid your brain of thinking about even having these things "on occasion" because they will kick you out of Ketosis. I know, I know, you're thinking "well maybe I will just do it and then work to get back into Ketosis". Well, for me personally, once I am kicked out of Ketosis it can take me up to 10 days to get back into it. So, just ask yourself... "is this Honey in my tea worth it?"
So What CAN you use?
Note that if you are having a stall or plateau that it is recommended to cut all types of sweeteners for 1 week to reset yourself. I 100% recommend testing via a Keto Mojo monitor. I even have a video on Youtube on how to use this. When I first started I tested myself every 3 days to see where I was at, or if I was in Ketosis yet. It took me almost 2 weeks to get into Ketosis. I also recommend testing a few hours after you eat certain meals/baked goods with sweeteners and see if what you're eating is kicking you out of Ketosis.
All those packets of Splenda and Sugar free candies you have int he pantry, toss them. While I do look at overall Net carbs (Total Carbs - Fiber and Sugar Alcohols) some sugar alcohols will kick you out of Ketosis.
Equal, Splenda, Acesulfame, Aspartame, Saccharin, Sucralose, and Maltitol. Maltitiol “can” be consumed in limited quantities but its best to avoid it if an alternative is available.
Have you ever ate more than a few pieces of "sugar free" chocolates? Chances are you were running to the bathroom !
All of the above will kick you out of Ketosis.
Drops/Powders For Water:
Dont be mad, but it really is best to get your 1/2 body weight (in Oz) from WATER, plain water. Regardless of what you use, it is something your body will have to process.
Water enhancers such as crystal lite, and the squeeze bottles are a NO GO! These all contain one or more of the sweeteners above to avoid!
Second would be Ultima electrolyte powder, especially during your first few weeks getting used to keto dieting. The added electrolytes will help the "keto flu" symptoms.
You can add Apple Cider Vinegar to any water in order to help bloating.
This last part will likely have many up in arms, but... do not use essential oils to enhance your water. There are plenty options of extracts in the baking aisle if you really do not like any of the options above.
I am the first person that will tell you giving up soda is hard. Once you have done it, when and if you go back and try to drink one it feels like gasoline going down and tastes AWFUL. A lot of diets will say that diet soda is ok. You can have a diet soda on occasion, but know that it will likely kick you out of ketosis because it contains some of the artificial sweeteners above. My go to has been Zevia. Zevia is a zero calorie, zero sugar, stevia sweetened drink. Fair warning, they are clear. i was very skeptical at first. The first one I ever has was the Rootbeer and I could not finish it because it was so sweet. I will occasionally make a rootbeer float with this though. But remember, just as above, if you are in a plateau cut these as well.
My local grocery as well as Target carry these. However, they normally only have a few flavors and because of the packaging (the horrible for the environment plastic rings), they have often been messed up on the shelves and I can never find a full pack of them. Order them online!
These syrups while sugar free use sweeteners that still cause an insulin response. These can cause weight loss stalls and kick you out of ketosis. This includes Skinny Girl Syrups and Torani Syrups. If you would like a better alternative you could do extracts that you find in the baking aisle and erythritol to sweeten or ChocZero has a large line of Keto friendly syrups (on Amazon or their website). Everything from Choczero is amazing & worth the cost. The syrups can be used in morning coffee and smoothies as well.
Lunch Meat/Processed Meat:
While easy snacks that you would think you could reach for these are often full of fillers that aren’t keto friendly. There are a few brands that do not add starches or sugar but most do. This includes going over to the deli counter at the grocery store. I had someone ask me "this means just the prepackaged ones though right?" No. This is ALL deli meat. You can even go to the counter and start reading the labels on the giant blobs of meat inside the counter and see what I am talking about.
Not to say you can’t have these in moderation, but you want to limit them. These should not be your go to snacks. Plus the protein adds up quickly! This is the same for jerky, these epic bars are the lowest in net carbs I have been able to find.
I personally believe in more of an 80.15.5 ratio (Fat, Protein, Carbs) instead of the 70.25.5 typical macros. While we are on the topic of meat, if you are going to eat red meat - make SURE it is organic, grassfed +finished like TruBeef Organic. Meat does not have to be expensive, and use my code KETOSISMOM to instantly save every week with them.
This is an easy one. Keto is a low carb diet and as such grains are out of the question. Check your labels for grain byproducts as sometimes they are snuck in there under different variations of flour/fiber (wheat fiber is a common one).
I thought the low carb wraps I was using were ok. They weren't!
Peanuts are the exception to the legume rule. But you still want to use in moderation and make sure that if you are having peanut butter that it is a low carb one. Preferably one with no added sugar. I personally use Georgia Grinders nut butters and Aldi has an organic peanut butter that is lower in carbs. The only "low carb bread" we use at my house comes from Aldi
You will want to avoid cooking with sunflower, safflower, cottonseed, canola, soybean, grapeseed, and corn oil. There are many more oils and fats that you can cook with so there is no need to worry!
Coconut and Olive oil will Be your STAPLES. I will note however that the Refined Coconut oil is what I like to use for my FAT BOMBS, simply because the coconut "taste" is less aggressive. You can always also just use an Unflavored MCT oil.
Keto is a high fat, low carb, moderate protein diet. This means you want all the good fats! You don’t want to choose low fat options. Many times the low fat options are also high in carbs. Think of it this way... whatever macro is "Low" in a product the others are inherently HIGH.
Low-Carb and Zero Carb Processed Foods:
For the most part these processed foods are not keto friendly. They may be okay for those on low carb but as far as keto goes they do not mix. They can cause weight loss stalls and insulin responses. Some of the common brands are Atkins and Quest products.
I KNOW I just burst some bubbles, but I hope this helps! I pulled some of this information from my initial challenge when I started Keto. Lessons Learned!
- The Ketosis Mom