Sweetners on a Keto diet
How sugar substitutes can still affect your body, keeping you from Ketosis.
Many people have tried low carb diets before, there are many versions of them out there. Again, I am not a medical professional of any kind nor do I claim to be an expert, this is simply what I have learned over the years as to how My body (and the body in general) responds to food, sugar, and sugar substitutes. Specifically on low carb lifestyles.
Have you ever been looking at #SugarFree or #lowcarb labels and wondered "how do these sweeteners really affect glucose levels?" the #glycemicindex (GI) is an indication of how quickly a specified amount of food will cause a rise in blood sugar level.
Watch out for some of these being snuck into your #keto, #lowcarbhighfat, #lchf, #sugarfreelife!
in recipes... bought products... and even your own use. Next time you grab one of those "low carb bars" note what sugar alcohols are used!
The chart above shows you the sugar or sugar substitute and its numerical glycemic index level. The lower the number, the better the sweetner is to use on a Keto diet. Why? Because it is not triggering glucose levels or insulin, and aids in your body switching over to ketones for energy. Aka Using Fat for Fuel.
In an earlier blog post "Common Mistakes and Things to Avoid" I spelled out sweetners to use and avoid specifically:
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 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?
The sweeteners that I like: Swerve, Now Foods BETTER stevia (drops), Sukrin Gold (brown sugar), Erythritol, and Monk fruit. (Check those out on the GI chart above).
You are not going to want to BAKE with stevia. Let me tell you now the aftertaste is, BLAH! Monk fruit, Swerve, and Sukrin Gold are my favorites to bake with. Stevia liquid drops I only use in drinks (shakes, coffee, tea, etc.) Some Erythritol is ok for baking you just have to trial and error your own taste buds.
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. These meters also have glucose strips that can be used to test as well.
All those packets of Splenda and Sugar free candies you have in the 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 !
When in doubt, choose natural sweetners and toss anything with too many ingredients. I personally consider myself Keto at times, Strict Keto, and while pregnant Dirty Keto. You have to find what works best for YOUR body. Knowing what sweetners still stimulate the body the same as sugar is one step in the right direction, regardless of what "low carb" lifestyle you choose!
I hope this helps someone!
- The Ketosis Mom