But you might be wondering if natural sweeteners can be included in a ketogenic diet meal plan.Hundreds of years ago, the natives of South America discovered a leafy shrub in the jungle, with leaves that had an incredibly sweet taste[*].Because of these steviol glycosides, stevia is 200-300 times sweeter than the equivalent dose of table sugar[*].One common concern with non-caloric sweeteners — stevia included — is that they can trick your body into a glycemic response, causing a spike in blood sugar.Since ketosis is governed by blood sugar and insulin, it follows that these metabolic improvements would likely enhance, not prevent, the production of ketones.One such glycoside called stevioside, is highly-researched for its antidiabetic, hypoglycemic (blood sugar lowering), and antioxidant properties[*].This condition is rising at an alarming rate in America, and high-sugar diets are partially responsible for this problem[*].Stevia has a long history of treating diabetes in the natives of Paraguay and Brazil, helping to lower blood sugar and insulin levels[*].When blood sugar gets too high, stevioside commands beta cells in the pancreas to release insulin.This safety mechanism prevents dangerously low blood sugar, known as hypoglycemia[*].Stevia can help lower blood sugar levels and balance insulin resistance, both necessary to manage diabetes.As you go through life, your body generates compounds called reactive oxygen species (ROS) as a normal byproduct of metabolism.Fortunately, your body makes internal antioxidants like glutathione to mitigate the damage of too many ROS.Stevia contains high concentrations of phenols — plant-based antioxidant compounds that reduce oxidative stress.In one randomized controlled trial, Chinese adults suffering from high blood pressure were given 500 milligrams of stevioside powder three times a day for two years.In one six-month trial, a group of Indian schoolchildren used a daily mouthwash made with stevia.This peroxidation of organ tissue can lead to liver dysfunction and represents a common, yet serious, diabetic complication[*].In one 2013 study, stevia-fed rats showed a 30% decrease in liver peroxidation compared to control groups[*].Reviewing over 200 of these studies, the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee set an Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) for high-purity stevia extract at 4 milligrams per kilogram body weight[*].Many health experts agree that this natural sweetener is safer than aspartame, saccharin, and sucralose[*].To minimize the chance of this side effect, and to maximize the benefits of stevia consumption, make sure you consume high-purity steviol glycoside extract.The truth is, many products come with added sugar alcohols like maltodextrin or dextrose — compounds that negate stevia’s benefits and can carry undesirable side effects.There’s also aspartame, sucralose (Splenda), fructose, xylitol, maltitol, sorbitol, erythritol, and monk fruit — just to name a few.Drinking beverages rich in artificial sweeteners (like diet soda) has been linked to diabetes and heart disease[*][*].For example, sugar alcohols — also known as polyols — are not absorbed in the gut and can often cause gas, bloating, and other digestive issues[*][*].Sugar alcohols may also leave a bitter aftertaste, while stevia has a milder and sweeter flavor.Therefore, while sugar alcohols may be a healthier choice than artificial sweeteners, they can carry more side effects (and fewer benefits) than stevia.For these reasons, stevia is a valuable tool in your keto toolbox, as it’s likely to promote a ketogenic, fat-burning state, and has zero calories and zero net carbs.Best of all, it satisfies your sweet tooth without you having to worry about carb count or being afraid of derailing your low-carb diet. .
12 Best Keto-Approved Sweeteners to Keep You in Ketosis
Still, there are sweeteners available that will add the sugary taste you crave without having a significant impact or your carb intake.Fresh N’ Lean is the nation’s largest organic meal delivery service.I mean, the whole point is to slash carb intake and keep sugars low in order to lose weight and feel healthier.have sweeteners when on keto for those times you need to indulge a bit in a sweet snack or dessert.If you do choose sugar that compromises your blood sugar levels—elevating them and throwing your metabolism off—then you might fall out of ketosis, which will cause the body to stop producing ketones and to start storing fat, rather than using it for fuel.If you are unsure which sweeteners are keto friendly, we’ll break down how each sweetener compares on taste, sweetness level, reaction in the body, calories and carbs per serving, and cooking purposes or use.However, it is often mixed with molasses, or sugar which can alter the carbs and calorie content so keep an eye for that.It also tends to be very high in calories and net carbs which can derail your progress on keto.Pros: An affordable and versatile sugar alcohol that ranks zero on the glycemic index scale.It’s expensive compared to sugar and many other sweeteners and some people experience bloating and gas.Taste: Many have a similar level of sweetness to that of sugar, but also leave a cooling aftertaste.Aspartame is the main sweetener found in many diet sodas and sugar-free packaged foods.Cons: Animal studies found that it can negatively affect gut bacteria.Cons: It’s relatively new on the sweeteners market, so you might not find it being sold directly to consumers.Taste: It has 70% sweetness of table sugar and there’s no bitterness, as well as a cooling sensation.Pros: It does not affect blood glucose or insulin levels, and it does not promote tooth decay, like others do.Pros: It’s a sugar alcohol so most maltitol passes through the digestive tract undigested and has 0 net carbs.Best Uses: Use it in small amounts to sweeten coffee, tea, smoothies, and baked goods.Avoid using it for making caramel candy and recipes that need a lot of sweeteners, since you cannot use large quantities.Pros: It’s heat stable, so it can be used in cooking and baking and it has no calories and does not raise blood sugar.A small amount is needed to achieve a high level of sweetness, which is another perk!Cons: It’s an artificial sweetener with no added health benefits other than helping reduce calorie consumption.You’ll find these in most chocolate snacks or coated foods, sweet but non-caloric or low-calorie beverages, protein bars, and more.“I mostly prefer erythritol because it is considered natural, because it is affordable, and it is fairly versatile,” says Sofia Norton, RD.Pros: It can work as a prebiotic, which will boost gut health and promote healthy digestion.It can have a laxative effect for some people at high doses, so be warned if you have a sensitive stomach.Cons: Has 2.4g net carbs per gram, a glycemic index of 7 and moderately high calories per serving.(Use moderately on keto as a versatile sweetener to avoid causing sugar spikes).Cons: It can cause spikes in blood glucose levels, which isn’t good for the heart and can lead to cravings.Best Uses: In recipes that need a thickener and sweetener like peanut butter and smoothies.“I do not like yacon syrup simply because it won’t work well with a keto diet,” says Sofia Norton, RD.And the others on the list that are not recommended are FiberYum and Xylitol (only in moderation, as it can cause digestive discomfort in many people!This means they won’t raise your blood sugar or impact ketosis,” says Sofia Norton, RD and writer.“Most natural sweeteners have been around for a long time and studies typically show they’re safe,” she says.So, you are totally fine to use them when making baked goods or sweetening your tea or coffee.On the other hand, artificial sweeteners like aspartame and sucralose can also be safe to use, but these are frequently linked to a range of side effects.So, you’re better off choosing the others instead, especially since more research is required to totally understand their effects on the body long term.Classic examples of sugar substitutes to avoid or limit on keto are:.“These are concentrated sources of carbohydrates (sugar) and will raise blood glucose levels significantly, keeping you out of ketosis,” she says.“There is no evidence that sweeteners impact weight loss in any way on keto or any other diet for that matter.There are theories, however, suggesting that sweeteners can make us overeat by overstimulating taste receptors; that they disrupt the gut microflora, and that they affect blood glucose in some way, but these are yet to be proven,” she says.A systematic review and meta-analysis published recently in BMJ found no strong link between sugar substitutes and problems with losing weight.Still, you can assume that enjoying the safe and natural sweeteners in moderation on keto is totally okay.You’ve got to indulge at times—for dessert, birthdays, etc.—and so doing so in a practical and smart manner is your best bet.Based on previous studies, researchers from Queen’s University, Kingston in Canada suggested that non-nutritive sweeteners stimulate taste receptors and cells in the gastrointestinal tract, which promotes the release of insulin and other hormones.As always though, enjoy sweeteners in moderation for when you need a sweet snack or dessert to settle your craving.“I think most people would say erythritol because it is so widely used, is fairly cheap and because it’s not a overly sweet sweetener, ie.Yet, more research is needed to truly determine the effects of diet soda on blood glucose levels and on craving tendencies.Feel free to use it in baked goods, coffee and tea, and other sweets you make at home.The reason people like Truvia is that you get the combination of the super sweet stevia along with the flatter erythritol which makes it easier to mix into foods and recipes as it is not so super sweet,” says Evans.Yes, sugar alcohols do count on keto and this can vary based on absorption.Most sugar alcohols will list estimated carb based on expected absorption,” sayas Evans.Some people get diarrhea from any sugar alcohol others can use massive amounts of erythritol without any issues,” he says.Berries are commonly used even in small amounts to keep fruit in the diet due to the fiber content, which helps offset the carb numbers.“If someone has a chronic disease diagnosis, I would say no we do not need the stress on the liver/body but If you are a healthy person on keto who likes a drink now and then technically it is ok.“It seems aspartame/phenylalanine is absorbed quickly, into the blood stream and because of this and the amount some people consume becomes an excitotoxin.This neuroimbalance can impact hormones including serotonin in some people even with just one diet soda,” says Evans.Swerve is a blended sweetener and sugar substitute for low carb cooking. .
The 6 Best Sweeteners on a Low-Carb Keto Diet (And 6 to Avoid)
Following a ketogenic diet involves cutting back on high-carb foods like starches, desserts and processed snacks.This is essential to reaching a metabolic state called ketosis, which causes your body to begin breaking down fat stores instead of carbs to produce energy.Ketosis also requires reducing sugar consumption, which can make it challenging to sweeten beverages, baked goods, sauces and dressings.However, because it’s much sweeter than regular sugar, recipes require less stevia to achieve the same flavor.Unlike other types of sweeteners, sucralose is not a suitable substitute for sugar in recipes that require baking.Some studies have found that sucralose could produce harmful compounds when exposed to high temperatures ( 7 , 8).Moreover, due to its smaller molecular weight, it typically doesn’t cause the digestive issues associated with other types of sugar alcohols ( 14 ).Erythritol is used in both baking and cooking and can be substituted for sugar in a wide variety of recipes.Keep in mind that it tends to have a cooling mouthfeel and doesn’t dissolve as well as sugar, which can leave foods with a slightly gritty texture.Studies show that the carbs in erythritol don’t affect blood sugar.Xylitol can be easily added to tea, coffee, shakes or smoothies for a low-carb kick of flavor.It also works well in baked goods but may require a bit of extra liquid in the recipe, as it tends to absorb moisture and increase dryness.Note that xylitol has been associated with digestive problems when used in high doses, so scale back your intake if you notice any adverse effects ( 14 ).It contains natural sugars and compounds called mogrosides, which are antioxidants that account for much of the sweetness of the fruit ( 17 ).Depending on the concentration of mogrosides, monk fruit sweetener can be anywhere between 100–250 times sweeter than regular sugar ( 18 ).Monk fruit extract contains no calories and no carbs, making it a great option for a ketogenic diet.Be sure to check the ingredients label when buying monk fruit sweetener, as monk fruit extract is sometimes mixed with sugar, molasses or other sweeteners that can alter the total calorie and carb content.The sweet syrup of the yacon plant is rich in fructooligosaccharides (FOS), a type of soluble fiber that your body is unable to digest ( 19 ).Yacon syrup is best used as a sweetener in place of sugar in coffee, tea, cereal or salad dressings.However, cooking with yacon syrup is not recommended, as the fructooligosaccharides can break down when exposed to high temperatures ( 24 ).Human and animal studies suggest that yacon syrup may help lower blood.syndrome, making it difficult for your body to regulate blood sugar levels ( 30 ,.These include maltodextrin, honey, coconut sugar, maple syrup, agave nectar and. .
The best natural and artificial keto-friendly sweeteners
Share on Pinterest Alicia Llop/Getty Images Usually, carbohydrates form a person’s main source of energy.However, a keto diet works on the premise that if an individual eats very few carbs, their body will produce an alternative fuel source called ketones.Traditional sweeteners, such as white sugar, are high in carbs, so they are not suitable for people wanting to stick to a keto diet.Natural keto-friendly sweeteners People often report a reduction in sugar cravings after a few weeks of following a keto diet.People have used monk fruit for centuries in China, but the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) only generally recognized it as safe in 2010.A monk fruit sweetener has no calories or carbs , so it will not raise a person’s blood sugar levels.Stevia can be 250–300 times sweeter than sucrose — commonly known as table sugar — meaning people do not need much to achieve the same sweetness level.It is an abundant source of fructooligosaccharides (FOSs), a type of fiber that the body cannot digest, meaning it contains much fewer calories than table sugar.Some older studies show that Yacon syrup may improve insulin resistance and reduce body weight in people with obesity.However, some older studies suggest that exposing sucralose to high temperatures during baking could cause it to release toxic compounds.It is often in sugar-free mints and gum due to its potential to impact oral hygiene positively, according to older studies.However, unlike natural sweeteners, consuming excessive amounts of xylitol can lead to laxative effects and stomach discomfort.However, studies show that it may lower the sugar levels in a person’s blood, unlike regular carbs. .
Which Sweeteners Break Your Fast?
For the purposes of our sweetener discussion, we’ll break these goals down into the three largest fasting categories:.Surprisingly, some non-caloric and minimally caloric sweeteners actually do impact your insulin response, even without elevating blood glucose levels.Similarly, some zero-calorie sweeteners activate your GI tract even though they don’t end up metabolizing in any meaningful way.As we discussed in the first part of our DOES IT BREAK MY FAST series, if a sweetener does have calories, the type of calorie also has a large impact on fasting, especially for longevity – anything with amino acids stimulates an mTOR growth pathway which inhibits autophagy.Like erythritol, Allulose is found in small quantities in nature, and it’s only about 70% as sweet as regular sugar.The most common natural sugar substitutes you’ll see in lower calorie foods are Stevia and Monk Fruit.We’re going to go through each of the above sweeteners one-by-one to discuss their unique attributes and how considerations like caloric density, absorption, gut stimulation, and growth pathway involvement impact whether or not it will break your fast.One review submits that both stevia and monk fruit improve glycemic control and insulin sensitivity.In type 2 diabetics receiving a standard-American high carbohydrate meal, 1 gram of stevia actually reduced the post-prandial (i.e., post-meal) blood glucose response by 18%.However, another 16-week human trial with type-2 diabetics, showed no impact of 1 gram of stevia on blood sugar, insulin level, or body weight.Studies in humans are limited and it is unclear if the possible insulin stimulating effect is enough to keep someone out of ketosis.So if you’re fasting for reasons related to blood glucose and insulin response, go easy on the monk fruit or skip it altogether.In one study using monk fruit, only trace amounts of its components showed up in plasma concentrations after oral consumption, so absorption was limited but it did occur.This study was done in mice and it is unclear how much the trace absorption will impact digestion in humans, but again, best to be wary of monk fruit if you’re fasting for gut rest.One animal model study suggests that mogroside V (the main antioxidant in monk fruit extract) actually has an activating effect on AMPK (a cell signaler involved in autophagy), so monk fruit could potentially be beneficial for a fast with longevity as the goal.In general, they are incompletely absorbed and metabolized, so they’re commonly used in foods for diabetic populations where the goal is to reduce sugar intake and level out glycemic response.Erythritol only provides 0.24 calories per gram, so the caloric contribution is minimal and it doesn’t have an impact on your body’s ability to produce ketones or burn fat.So you’ll be putting your gut to work to absorb erythritol even though it doesn’t contribute a significant number of calories to your diet.However, it is a protein free substance with minimal energy content, so we can assume that it likely doesn’t affect autophagy.In some cases, the response is about 16% to 25% of that coming from the equivalent dose of glucose, which may be enough to inhibit your body’s ability to produce ketones and burn fat.It may be hard to ingest enough xylitol to make a significant impact on insulin levels, so minimal consumption is likely fine for a fast with metabolic health as the goal.The form in which it’s consumed, often in extremely small quantities, means it’s unlikely to be a significant source of calories.Although research is very limited, one study suggests that xylitol may play a role in autophagy with lung cancer.Artificial sweeteners are zero-calorie food additives that have a sweet taste similar to sugar, but none of the calories.They’ve been a hot topic of debate in the nutritional world for decades, with little consensus on whether consumption has negative implications for overall health, so if you’re looking for a general rule-of-thumb, it’s probably better to avoid these sweeteners.Sucralose is derived from sucrose, but has a different chemical structure, so the body doesn’t recognize it as a carbohydrate.However, there are some recentstudies indicating that habitual use can alter the gut microbiota and potentially have negative impacts on glucose metabolism.Like erythritol and maltitol, Sucralose has been shown to stimulate hormone secretion in the gut after ingestion, specifically GLP-1.This is the big surprise for a lot of fasters – aspartame (aka “Equal”), the sweetener-of-choice for most diet sodas, is actually made up of amino acids.Phenylalanine, one of aspartame’s components, is an essential amino acid that stimulates mTOR and inhibits autophagy.Allulose is what is known as a ‘rare sugar,’ meaning that it is found in small quantities in nature, but can also be produced in larger volumes in a laboratory setting.Interestingly, consuming allulose with a carbohydrate meal has actually been shown to have beneficial effects on postprandial glucose levels, however, more research is needed to verify this result. .
Does Stevia Break a Fast? (Plus, Other Sweeteners) – 22 Days
The three most common include resting the digestive system, metabolic health, and autophagy (or cleaning out damaged cells).That means that, for the purpose of fat loss, adding stevia to your food won’t break your fast.Various medical reviews seem to show that stevia (along with monk fruit) improves your glycemic control and insulin sensitivity.Although the results of these different studies are not entirely conclusive, it’s safe to assume that stevia, by nature of its properties, doesn’t inhibit ketosis.Stevia enabled us to create our knock-out flavors like smooth vanilla, fresh strawberry, decadent chocolate, and luscious peanut Butter without compromising on nutrition.So, when it is time to break that fast, our protein powders will provide the fuel you need to power through without adding unnecessary sugar to your diet.Since erythritol has very low calories, it might not affect the body’s ability to stay in ketosis or burn fat.Thus, if you consume erythritol, your gut will need to work to absorb it, even if it doesn’t significantly add to your calorie intake.However, because erythritol is a protein-free substance and provides the body little in the way of energy, it is generally safe to assume that it doesn’t affect autophagy.Professionals all throughout the nutrition industry continue to debate whether or not consuming artificial sweeteners is good or bad for your health.You can be confident that you’ll remain in ketosis and continue burning fat while giving your digestive system a rest and promoting autophagy.When it is time to fuel up and break the fast, revive your body with a scoop of 22 Days Nutrition protein powder mixed in water, your favorite smoothie, a bowl of oats, or other satisfying and nutritious meals. .
Natural sweeteners: Best options for diabetes and the keto diet
These compounds can be up to 300 times as sweet as table sugar, and stevia extracts are naturally calorie free, making the sweetener a popular choice.The fruit contains compounds called mogrosides, which can be 150–200 times as sweet as sugar, according to the International Food Information Council Foundation.However, it is high in soluble fibers called fructooligosaccharides, which have just half the calories of regular sugar, as a review in the journal BMC Medicine notes.The authors also note that switching to yacon syrup may contribute to weight loss and a reduction in blood sugar.In addition, they report that the intake of yacon has reduced levels of fat in previous trials, some of which involved animal models.Xylitol is a sugar alcohol that comes from natural sources such as birch trees, though some companies manufacture it from other plant materials.For instance, a review in the Journal of Natural Science, Biology, and Medicine notes that regular xylitol consumption can reduce levels of harmful Streptococcus mutans bacteria in plaque and saliva, making it effective at preventing cavities.However, natural sweeteners, such as stevia, monk fruit, and erythritol, tend to raise blood glucose levels less and contain fewer calories than sugar.Also, research in animals indicates that monk fruit — or swingle — extract may help prevent some diabetes complications, according to the Journal of Food Science and Technology .Many people following low carb diets find natural sweeteners — such as monk fruit, which contains no carbohydrates — to help satisfy sugar cravings.The review in BMC Medicine compared the results of numerous medical investigations into alternative sweeteners and weight loss.maple syrup These products may contain tiny amounts of fiber or trace minerals, which some companies heavily advertise. .
7 Things to Know about Sweeteners on Keto
But 0-carb/0-calorie sweeteners aren’t necessarily perfect choices – some have fillers that can add to the carb counts, while others can cause digestive problems, and there’s a huge open question about how they affect the gut biome.But you might be surprised by what happens when you give your body a chance to re-set its own taste preferences – the “need” for sweeteners suddenly becomes a lot less pressing.On the other hand, some sugar alcohols (like xylitol) may be anti-ketogenic in other ways, so they’re not necessarily great for keto just because they don’t have a lot of carbs.Because sugar alcohols aren’t really digested, a lot of folks find they cause gas, bloating, diarrhea, and other GI problems.In small amounts, a lot of people don’t have an issue with sugar alcohols, but if you’re going to pick a staple keto sweetener, they might not be a very gut-friendly choice.Erythritol gets absorbed in the small intestine and most of it comes right out in your urine, so it doesn’t cause the same gas/bloating/cramping issues that other sugar alcohols do.For example, in this study, researchers found that xylitol caused a lot of digestive issues for people, but that erythritol was significantly easier to tolerate, with almost no symptoms at 20-35-gram doses.If sugar alcohols are going to be your game, research suggests that erythritol is least likely to trigger any uncomfortable GI symptoms.Whether or not they’re good for health is a different question, but when it comes specifically to ketosis, a couple studies have shown that it’s possible to successfully use artificial sweeteners in a ketogenic diet:.In this study, researchers gave children saccharin (Sweet’n’low) every day and they stayed in ketosis just fine.The diet allowed artificial sweeteners, including saccharin, cyclamate, acesulfame, aspartame, and sucralose.A 2012 review concluded that “most studies in humans have not detected effects of non-nutritive sweeteners on gut hormones or glucose absorption.” It just didn’t seem to be true that artificial sweeteners caused metabolic problems, gave people diabetes, made people extra hungry, or did anything else to cause weight gain.This study found that artificial sweeteners might cause metabolic problems (glucose intolerance) by messing up the gut bacteria.That could be especially bad news if you’re going keto in response to any kind of carb-related issues (metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance, blood sugar issues…).So especially for people who struggle with blood sugar and insulin resistance, this is a pretty significant open question.In general, liquid sweeteners have fewer fillers (although that makes them less convenient for baking) – do your research, know your own carb tolerance.), but research generally shows that it doesn’t mess up blood sugar control and is safe and possibly beneficial, if not miraculous, for people with metabolic problems. .
Which Nonsugar Sweeteners are OK? An Insulin-Index Perspective
(See “The Trouble with Most Psychological Approaches to Weight Loss: They Assume the Biology is Obvious, When It Isn't” and the posts listed below under the heading “Sugar as a Slow Poison.”).The excellent article flagged above, “The Skinny on Sweeteners” by Adam Nally, gives this answer, which accords with my own views:.Fructose is sometimes promoted as a suitable sweetener for patients with diabetes or people who are wanting to follow a low-carb diet; however even though it does not cause a significant insulin rise on its own, it is rapidly absorbed by the liver and converted into glycerol which leads to increased insulin level a few hours later, as well as raising triglyceride and cholesterol levels.In addition, relying on the article above, experiments indicate that the following nonsugar sweeteners raise insulin levels:.Adam is not entirely clear about lactitol and hydrolyzed starch hydrolysates (HSH), but reading between the lines, he seems to be saying they are not as bad as maltitol, sorbitol or xylitol, but he doesn’t recommend them.Cyclamate is banned in the United States because it causes bladder cancer in rats; otherwise Adam describes it as similar to sucralose: any dextrose or maltodextrin it is combined with will raise insulin.… because of recent evidence demonstrating the effect of aspartame on the gut bacteria, changes in brain mitochondria with prolonged exposure, and stress responses effecting gluconeogensis (glucose regulation) in the liver, [Adam Nally] recommends avoiding this sweetener or using it with great caution in the short term only.… A great option that Dr. Nally recommends for use in cooking is a combination of FOS with erythritol called Swerve .Erythritol is absorbed and excreted unchanged and appears to have no insulin response (Food and Chemical Toxicology, Dec 1998, Volume 36, Issue 12, Pages 1139-1174).… Stevia does not increase blood sugar and appears to improve insulin sensitivity in the pancreas (Metabolism, 2003 Mar;52(3):372-8.Conclusions: Stevia does not affect in acute glycemic and insulin responses to OGTT in obese patients.Note that this result was based on getting Stevia in a pill, so it doesn’t include the cephalic effect of sweetness itself. .