Artificial Sweeteners on a Keto Diet: Yay or Nay?
Sugar is an essential part of our balanced diet. Yet, doctors from all over the world are talking about the negative aspects of consuming sugar. It is often termed as “slow poison”. Despite the information we have at our hand, we continue to include sugar in our diet. We have tried to stick to our diet regimes but we could not avoid sugar in our cheat meals.
Sugar plays a major role in our dietary lifestyle. It is included in everything, from our favourite sweets to pastries, in our curries to enhance the flavour and in practically most foods we consume throughout the day. From our morning breakfast to lunch and dinner, we include an item or two of food which contains sugar that makes up a wholesome meal.
Despite the sugar we consume, our body also naturally produces sugar in the form of glucose. Glucose plays a vital role in our body functioning. The sugar that we consume as part of our diet, including the glucose produced in our body, leads to major diseases that we commonly hear. From, the well-known diabetes to irregular levels of blood sugar, sugar does more harm to our body with the excess glucose stored in our body.
The major factors of obesity to diabetes are all linked to common food, Sugar. So, how can we avoid sugar in our diet and continue to eat our favourite foods?! Artificial sweeteners have created all the new rage in the marketplace and are gradually replacing common sugar in our kitchen. The various artificial sweeteners can be included in our diet without any negative side-effects.
In Keto Diet, we witness most people tend to have intense sugar cravings at the beginning of their diet. The sugar temptation is real. This is when artificial sweeteners are the most effective without throwing you off your Ketosis or affecting weight loss management. The Keto-friendly sweeteners are healthy, safe for your regular use and have a very low calorific value.
Artificial Sweeteners produce the same kind of taste as that of Sugar. It can be used in the food we eat. Unlike processed sugar, it produces zero calories to ultra-low calories. Artificial Sweeteners are of different kinds:
Stevia is a natural sweetener, derived from the Stevia rebaudiana plant and acts as a Sugar substitute. It contains little to no calories or carbs and also helps in lowering the blood sugar levels. This plant-based sugar has a very high sweetening potential and it is completely free of calories. The use of stevia is marketed widely as the best alternative to natural sugar. Stevia Sugar can be considered medicinal as the consumption of stevia powder can reduce your blood pressure, lower the insulin level in diabetics patients and claims to fight inflammation.
Erythritol is a type of sugar alcohol and contains 4 grams of carbs per teaspoon. It may help in lowering the blood sugar levels in your body. Erythritol can be substituted with sugar in both baking and cooking. It also acts as an antioxidant and it claims to improve the functions of the blood vessel suffering from diabetes. This sugar substitute does not affect your process of Ketosis and it is safe to say it is good for regular consumption.
Another type of sugar alcohol commonly found in candies or mints. It contains just 3 calories per gram and 4 grams of carbs per teaspoon. Xylitol can be easily added to tea, coffee, shakes or smoothies for flavour. This naturally occurring substitute of sugar needs to be extracted from plants. It has essential medicinal properties which can cure a lot of health issues. Xylitol is mostly used as a sugar substitute because it has lower calories. It essentially does not cause the blood sugar level to rise and maintains the insulin level in our body. It also has antioxidant properties which can help to fight the free radicals.
4. Monk Fruit Sweetener
Monk Fruit Sweetener is a natural sweetener and contains antioxidants like mogrosides which is responsible for the sweetness. It contains no calories and no carbs, making it a great option for a Ketogenic diet. This sugar substitute provides units of calories and it is allowed to be used for food and beverage purposes. It is safe to use and can be used as an alternative to sugar. People on a Ketogenic diet concerned about a possible sugar alternative can use this in their foods on an everyday basis. People suffering from diabetes can safely consume it. There are no side-effects whatsoever.
The Artificial sweeteners help to balance our regular eating lifestyle without trying too hard to avoid natural sugar. It does not affect our insulin levels, increases our bad cholesterol and maintains the blood sugar level. Such sweeteners can also be exposed to high temperature for cooking without turning bitter or degrading the quality of food. It does not harm our net calorific value and contains zero to low carbs. Much importance has been given in maintaining the level of glucose in a healthy Keto Diet without breaking the diet cycle. Our body should rely on our body fats to generate glucose, it is safe to avoid natural sugar and welcome sweeteners to allow you to feast while you are still on Diet.
Artificial sweeteners can be used in our Keto Diet. Research has backed the use of other alternatives of sugar, it is safe to use and has no possible side-effects. Besides all the Keto sweeteners we looked into, erythritol is widely accepted in Keto products and Keto meals for everyday use. It is also easier to digest and can be used without any side-effects. The stevia powder can also be used according to your need. The sugar substitute is important to continue with our diet without the additional increase in calories and harmful effects of sugar. Transform your life with natural sweeteners to increase your healthspan without adding extra calories.