Artificial Sweeteners & the Keto Diet: Understanding What’s Ok & What’s Not
We’ve talked before about the keto diet, and how it’s a bit different from the other low carb diets that you may be familiar with, but there is a lot more to learn about some of the specific aspects of the keto diet.
For example, one detail that can cause confusion and frustration for people who are new to the keto diet is what artificial sweeteners work with the diet and which ones should be avoided. That’s why we’ve put together this article.
Here, we are going to discuss what types of sweeteners fit well with the keto diet and the brand names that you should look for. We’re also going to list the different types of sweeteners that need to be avoided while sticking to a keto diet in order to stay on track and get the results that you’re hoping for.
First, let’s do a quick overview of why regular sugar is excluded from the keto diet.
Why is sugar not good for the keto diet?
The keto diet is very similar to the other types of low carb diets in that sugar is one of its most restricted food types. This is due to the way the body processes sugar and uses it as fuel. In simple terms, the ketogenic diet drastically reduces sugar and other carbohydrates in favour of proteins and nutrient-rich vegetables in order to change the way the body fuels itself.
By cutting back on carbs, the body eventually switches to burn fat as fuel instead of carbohydrates. This process is known as ketosis and is the key to success on the keto diet. Because sugar is one of the purest forms of carbs in foods, it is off-limits to keto dieters and alternative sweeteners need to be used in its place.
If you’re not familiar with how artificial sweeteners get their taste without sugar, let’s explore a bit more about them so you can get a clear picture of why they don’t count as carbs in the same way as regular sugar.
How are artificial sweeteners different from normal sugar?
Sugar substitutes were first introduced to the general public in the 1950’s, and since then many different brands and types of artificial sweeteners have been produced. Some of the most popular artificial sweeteners today are known as ‘sugar alcohols’, and these make up the majority of the artificial sweeteners that are preferred by low carb dieters and keto dieters alike.
Sugar alcohols are digested by the body in a different way than regular sugars, and as such do not impact the blood sugar levels. Sugar alcohols can be used in almost exactly the same ways as regular sugar in baking, cooking, and to sweeten a variety of drinks and foods.
However, not all alternative sweeteners that are made from sugar alcohols are recommended on the keto diet. Here is a list of alternative sweeteners that are deemed to be safe for use while on the keto diet.
What are the best sweeteners for the keto diet?
Some of the most popular sweeteners for keto dieters are Stevia, Monk Fruit, Erythritol, and Xylitol. These four sweeteners can be found in many different products and under a wide range of brand names. Some of the more common brand names that you may be familiar with of these sweeteners include Swerve and Truvia. These sweeteners have been shown to have no negative effects on the keto diet.
Now that you know which sweeteners are best for the keto diet we’re going to discuss what to look out for.
What sweeteners should be avoided on the keto diet?
Our current position on the above is that if natural sweeteners (considered OK for Keto) — why do we even still bother with products that have Splenda and artificial sweeteners.
As a retailer – we are agnostic to specific diets. We carry products of all types as long as they meet our criteria for nutritional profile (e.g. products that wont spike blood glucose levels, diabetic safe)
Natural sweeteners like Xylitol, Erythritol, Monk fruit carry a huge premium. They are expensive. And not everyone is on “Keto”.
Other alternative sweeteners (typically non-natural) as less expensive and help make many products more affordable to the general public.
Learn More About the Keto Diet
If you’re interested in getting started on the keto diet, and would like more information, have a look at our article explaining how the keto diet works and the type of benefits that you can achieve. In addition, we’ve got some great recipes that are keto friendly and are perfect for all kinds of low carb diets. We hope that you’ve found this information helpful, and that you have success with the keto diet and achieve all your goals.