What Are The Side Effects Of Aspartame, Stevia, And Other Sugar Substitutes?
What are the side effects of aspartame, stevia, and other sugar substitutes? Once you realize how harmful sugar is (by sugar, of course, I mean sucrose and high fructose corn syrup or HFCS, primarily, but also the whole cast of characters out there like cane sugar, beet sugar, dextrose, corn syrup solids, and others that masquerade as sugar), you inevitably want to understand the impact of substituting non-sugar sweeteners for sugar, should you still desire a sweet taste. If youre not yet convinced sugar is a toxin, its probably worth checking out my post, Sugar 101 , and the accompanying lecture by Dr. Lustig. Sugar is, tragically, more prevalent in our diets today than we realize our intake of sugar today is about 400% of what it was in 1970. And its not just in the obvious places, like candy bars and soda drinks, where sugar is showing up, either. Its in salad dressings, pasta sauces, cereals, healthy sports bars and drinks, low-fat healthy yogurt, and most lunch meats, just to name a few places sugar sneaks into our diet. I know some people have an aversion to aspartame (i.e., Nutrasweet, Equal) over sucrose (i.e., table sugar, sucrose, or HFCS). In other words they think Coke is better that Diet Coke because it uses real sugar instead of fake sugar. If you find yourself in this camp, but youre now realizing real sugar is a toxin, this poses a bit of a dilemma. There are two things I think about when considering the switch from sugar to non-sugar substitute sweeteners: Are non-sugar sweeteners more or less chronically harmful than sugar? What are the immediate metabolic impacts of consuming these products, relative to sugar? Question 1: Are artificial (i.e., non-sugar or substitute) sweeteners more chronically harmful than sucrose/HFCS? Theres no shortage of fear o Continue reading >>
Confusion Around Aspartame And Ketosis - Keto
According to an article by Alan Gaby, M.D., published in a 2007 issue of the "Alternative Medicine Review," aspartame is recognized as a triggering agent, along with alcohol and monosodium glutamate, that can knock you out of ketosis. On an already restrictive diet that requires you to forgo many of your favorite foods, relinquishing your diet soda may seem excessive. But Gaby contends that ketogenic diets only work if strictly adhered to. I did a search on this sub and found information that, in summary, indicates that no calories, no carbs = clear for keto. But this link is citing medical research indicating the opposite. Both sides are kind of correct, the issue is that reaction to sweeteners varies a LOT based on genetics (if you are unlucky you can have 10x reaction), plus what kind of reaction is noteworthy in real life vs in the lab. Another factor is that one person drink 1 can per day and the other 50 cans. Aspartame is one of the least reaction triggering sweeteners, but if you drink 4 oil tankers of it, it will still cause a reaction. And if you have unlucky genetics, empty stomach, and you drink one small can very quickly, it can trigger insulin response. Another thing which is highly personal is how one reacts to dairy products, this is why some keto-coaches suggest very very strict diet during first weeks to avoid these random issues ruining everything. This is why there are people swearing their view is right (based on their personal experience) on both sides of these arguments. I would also like to add that thanks to aspartame being one of the most attacked/badmouthed sweeteners in the history it has also been studied a huge amount, and very little actual alarming data has emerged in from all those studies. Ok - I have no clarification with sources.. ho Continue reading >>
The Top Four Sweeteners For A Low-carb Keto Diet
Sugar is basically off limits on a ketogenic diet, but not all hope is lost — you CAN still enjoy sweetness while eating keto. All it takes is some education on the right types of sweeteners to use. Read on to find the top four sweeteners you can use for a low-carb keto diet and why we recommend them. What Defines a Keto-Friendly Sweetener? First, let’s start with what each of these top keto sweeteners have in common and how they follow our guidelines: Low Glycemic The glycemic index (GI) refers to how much a food raises blood sugar. It runs from zero to 100, zero representing no raise in blood sugar and insulin levels. The goal with the ketogenic diet is to remain in ketosis, so staying as close as possible to zero GI for sweeteners is the best choice. Sugar Free Obviously, avoiding added sugars is a necessity on keto. We’re training the body to burn fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates; therefore, carb intake should be kept very low. Even fruit should be severely limited, preferably eliminated, so it makes sense that anything with added sugars are a no-go. Low Carb Another obvious guideline when you’re keto: low- or no-carb sweeteners are a must if you want to stay in ketosis. Top 4 Low-Carb Keto Diet Sweeteners Now that we’ve established some guidelines, here are our top four recommendations for sweeteners on a low-carb ketogenic diet: #1 Stevia Stevia is from the extract of the herb Stevia rebaudiana. In its pure form, stevia contains no calories, no carbs and is zero on the glycemic index. Additionally, It is typically 200-300 times sweeter than table sugar, meaning you only need to use a little to get a sweet taste in foods. Benefits and Using Stevia: Besides not affecting blood sugar or contributing carbs or calories, stevia has also been shown to actu Continue reading >>
Is Aspartame Safe? | Ketodiet Blog
Processed sugar and HFCS (High-Fructose Corn Syrup) are not the only sweeteners to be avoided. There are sweeteners such as Aspartame, which are linked to potentially harmful health effects. Aspartame itself has no calories, so it couldnt possibly contribute to increased body weight, right? Well, this is where things get really interesting. Some studies suggest that Aspartame may increase hunger. Increased appetite may then result in greater caloric intake and increased risk of obesity. Other studies show the opposite effects making the effect of aspartame on appetite inconclusive. Short-term studies have shown that Aspartame has some negative health effects such as migraines. Also, it is unclear what the long-term health effects are. Aspartame may hide behind brand names such as NutraSweet, Equal, Spoonful, and Equal-Measure, but it still accounts for 75 percent of adverse reactions to food additives reported to the FDA according to Ann Louise Gittleman, Ph.D. in Get the Sugar Out. Based on an article from 2008 published by Sharon Fowler in the journal Obesity ( Fueling the obesity epidemic? Artificially sweetened beverage use and long-term weight gain ), individuals who consume diet soft drinks are at an increased risk of overweight and obesity than those who don't. The risk of obesity continued to increase dramatically with increased consumption of 'diet' soft drinks and was independent of other factors like exercise, smoking or socioeconomic status. This epidemiological study doesnt prove that diet soft drinks cause obesity. To be more precise, people who drink more diet soft drinks may also have other behaviours that put them at increased risk of gaining weight. However, the results are still pretty surprising. There are other studies that claim the opposite. How Continue reading >>
For low carbers, artificial sweeteners often mean the difference between blowing your carb limit for the day, or safely satisfying a sweet craving. However, most powdered forms of fake sweeteners contain some sort of sugar based bulking agent, such as maltodextrin, or dextrose. This adds carbs, so if you use a packet, count it as one carb. Liquid artificial sweeteners are becoming more popular, as no bulking agent is needed. I don't particularly like to use artificial anything, but I've come to the conclusion that for my health and wellbeing, a little fake sweetener is better than a lot of sugar. If the idea of a chemical sweetener doesn't sit well, you may want to look into the category of sugar alcohol sweeteners. These do have calories and carbs, though the amounts are much smaller, and there is much reduced effect on blood sugars because they are absorbed slowly. Below is a list of some artificial sweeteners that can be used on a low carb diet. Be aware there is a great deal of controversy around these products, so you'll have to decide for yourself whether you want to use them. I've put together a list of the "pros and cons" for each. I am referring to the powdered version unless otherwise stated . Acesulfame Potassium Acesulfame Potassium, or Acesulfame K, is marketed under the brand names of Sunett or SweetOne. It's commonly used in soft drinks and commercial low sugar products, many times in conjunction with aspartame. It's 180 times sweeter than sugar, has zero calories, and has no effect on tooth enamel. Pros: Acesulfame K is stable under heat, and in moderately acidic or basic conditions, and it can be used in baking, and acidic liquids. It is also used as a flavor enhancer in non-food products such as gum and soft antacids. Cons: Some studies with rats have Continue reading >>
Is Diet Coke Keto?
Tasty, energizing, low in carbohydrates and zero sugar the perfect keto drink. Or is it? What I have described is diet coke, one of the most popular low-calorie sodas on the market. But can you drink it safely on a keto diet? Its Delicious and Low CarbSo Can I Drink Diet Coke on Keto? Im going to jump the gun and just state the obvious Diet coke isnt healthy, but the occasional diet coke will not ruin your keto diet! What you need to understand though, is that diet sodas cannot be justified from a nutritional standpoint. These drinks are not healthy and should not be a regular feature of any healthy diet. Beginners on the keto diet often think it is OK to eat unhealthy foods as long as its low carb and keeps your ketone levels high. You might be able to get some results that way in the short term, but your long-term health will be affected. Keto is a great way to help you lose weight , but you should achieve ketosis using a healthy keto diet. That means you have to cut out unhealthy foods like diet coke, or at least minimize your intake dramatically. Avoid diet coke on Keto its not nutritious even if it is low carb. Like I wrote above, Im stating the obvious here, but you might want to dig a bit further I know this is a controversial topic, so let me explain. Yes, diet coke does not contain any calories and calories do play a part in weight-loss and weight-gain. So, technically, diet coke in the abstract doesnt make you gain weight. But your weight isnt just determined by calories in and calories out In particular, the artificial sweeteners in diet sodas (like aspartame in diet Coke or sucralose in diet Pepsi) could be to blame. ( 1 ) As the author of this mini-review ( 1 ) explains: while people often choose diet or light products to lose weight, research studies sugg Continue reading >>
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The Best And Worst Low Carb Sweeteners
Most people that start a keto diet plan find that they have some intense cravings for sugar in the beginning, but will dissipate after a few weeks. Even the seasoned low carber will tell you that they have cravings every once in a while, sometimes burning inside them so deep they want to give up to temptation. That’s where sweeteners come in, where you can make or bake things you usually can’t eat. Of course, you will have to watch out because most things that say “carb free” actually still contain carbs. Make sure you take the net carbs of any impacting sweetener into consideration when tracking your macros. As a general rule of thumb, it’s always best to try to avoid sweeteners in the beginning. They’re well known to cause cravings and some may stall your progress with over-use. Stay strict and try to only occasionally consume sweet treats when you are on a low carb diet. Types of Sweeteners In general, there are a few classifications of sweeteners. There are natural sweeteners, sugar alcohols, and synthetic sweeteners (or artificial sweeteners). There are a few others that aren’t exactly classified in these categories (like glycerin based sweeteners) but they are quite uncommon and rarely used, so we’ll skip going over them. For a ketogenic diet, I personally suggest sticking with erythritol and stevia (or a blend) because they are both naturally occurring, don’t cause blood sugar or insulin spikes, and sweeten just perfectly. When used in combination, they seem to cancel out the aftertaste that each has, and work like a charm. When you purchase sweeteners, make sure to take a look at the ingredients on the packaging. You normally want the pure sweetener, rather than having fillers such as maltodextrin, dextrose, or polydextrose which can cause spik Continue reading >>
Are Artificial Sweeteners Safe For Ketosis?
Artificial sweeteners certainly have bad reputations among the health community. In the keto community only a few sweeteners have any love, and they are not labeled artificial sweeteners. However, we want to give you the facts and reasons for how artificial sweeteners affect ketosis so that you can make up your own mind. In our opinion at Keto Domain, artificial sweeteners are not a healthy option for people whether they are on the keto diet or not. But even though we don’t condone it, we understand that some people like diet coke (sweetened by artificial low or no calorie sweeteners) and they want to know if they can safely drink it on the keto diet. Artificial sweeteners are chemicals that have a sweet taste, usually much sweeter than regular sugar. They are not naturally found in foods. However, some artificial sweeteners do occur naturally in the body in their molecular form. You may be on the keto diet because you want to improve your health without additives or chemicals. If that is the case, you should not use aspartame, sucralose, acesulfame-potassium or saccharin as a sweetener on the keto diet. But there are other reasons why you should not use artificial sweeteners when on the ketogenic diet. To examine the effects on ketosis, we look at the main artificial sweeteners in terms of changes in blood glucose and insulin levels, as well as caloric quantities. Aspartame Aspartame is a chemically derived sweetener. Aspartame is commonly found in foods like diet coke. It does contain 4 calories per gram, so it is not calorie free.[i] However, in one packet of Equal there is only 37 mg of aspartame which is 0.15 calories. A 12 oz can of diet coke contains about 200 mg of aspartame which is 0.8 calories. Aspartame has been found to be 180-200 times sweeter than sucro Continue reading >>
Ketogenic Diet Plan Overview
Insulin not only makes your body use glucose fuel, it also prevents fat-burning. So, if we are consuming 2-50 grams of carbs per day and a moderate amount of protein, what do we eat to substitute the rest of the calories with? I need to explain fat because we have all been fully indoctrinated that fat is bad and that it will make us overweight and clog our arteries. Whats fascinating is that fat is the only type of food that has almost no effect on insulin. Let that sink in for a minute. All the bad hype you have been hearing about high-fat diets is not exactly true. If you personally read the studies involving high-fat diets, youll discover that 99% of it is a combination of high-fat and high-carbohydrate diets. When you combine high carbohydrates with fat or even protein, insulin will spike dramatically. So that deep-fried donut or deep-fried fatty fries are really fried carbohydrates. If you consume dietary fats with LOW CARBS, you will not spike insulin. High-fats is safe as long as it goes with low carbs. This is based on another principle that I talked about in previous books: You dont lose weight and get healthy. Rather, you get healthy to lose weight. More than just losing weight or reducing your blood sugar, your goals should be getting healthy, making sure you get as much nutrients as you can from what you eat, and making sure you only eat quality food. I look at ketosis as ONE strategy or piece of the puzzle. Ketosis is healthy because it allows you to run your body on a cleaner fuel. Being in this field for quite a while, I stumble on all sorts of aspects of ketosis that continue to tweak things or optimize results. For example; if you get into ketosis and release your stored fat in your fat cells, there is a chance you could end up with a fatty liver since Continue reading >>
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The Skinny On Sweeteners
I am frequently asked which sweeteners can be used with a low carbohydrate ketogenic diet. There are a number of sweeteners available that can be used with cooking; however, many of them are not appropriate for use with a low carbohydrate diet. Because, weight gain and weight loss are controlled by 30 different known hormones, the master hormone being insulin, our overall goal is to lower the insulin levels in the blood stream. Glucose (a carbohydrate in its most simple form) stimulates insulin to rise. A Low carbohydrate diet works because insulin levels are significantly lowered throughout the day. Elevation in cholesterol, elevation in triglycerides and production of uric acid occur because of insulin surges. The presence of glucose (from carbohydrates or sugars) is the most common stimulus for insulin to rise. First, and foremost, we must understand how these carbohydrates or sugars are labeled or named so that we can identify them in the food products we eat. Most sugars are labeled with the ending ose. Sucrose, fructose, glucose, dextrose, lactose, and maltose are the common basic molecules that, when bound together, form the sugars youll see in the ingredient list of many products containing carbohydrates. Sugars are the sweet tasting carbohydrates. All of these types of sugars will stimulate a significant insulin rise and lead to weight gain, elevation in cholesterol and triglycerides. Other very commonly used names that you will find containing the sugars above are: white and brown sugar, fructose, succanat, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, honey, malt syrup, cane juice, cane syrup, rice syrup, barley syrup, maple syrup, molasses, turbinado, agave, monk fruit and fruit juice concentrate. Beware of products that contain no added sugar because they will oft Continue reading >>
Ketosis & Aspartame
The allure of low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diets is that they pay off quickly with rapid weight loss and tangible progress. Giving up all those tasty carbs, however, is tough. Artificial, calorie-free sweeteners can lessen any feelings of deprivation by boosting the flavor of your food. Before you add another spoonful of aspartame to your coffee or chug another diet soda, however, consider aspartame's impact on diets that induce ketosis. Video of the Day Ketosis is a metabolic state of starvation that occurs when your body is deprived of glucose, its primary fuel, and forced to burn fat as an alternative fuel. Many dieters have succeeded on a ketogenic diet because it does not require a lot of exercise and allows you to eat processed meats and other fatty foods not normally allowed on conventional diets. Ketogenic diets have been used successfully to decrease the risk of seizures in epileptic patients,. While scientists have yet to identify the mechanisms by which ketosis reduces epileptic seizures, they have given us a large body of research on the ketogenic response in the human body. The Ketogenic Diet According to the Epilepsy Foundation, ketosis is begun by a period of relative fasting that burns up nearly all available glucose circulating in the blood and stored as glycogen in the liver and muscles. Once glucose has been depleted, the body is forced to tap into fat stores for energy. In this state, ketones are formed in the liver and released into the bloodstream, putting you in a state of ketosis. In this state, appetite is suppressed, making a ketogenic diet relatively easy to adhere to once the state of ketosis is induced. Ketogenic diets are typically high in fat, deriving upward of 80 percent of calories from dietary fat. Aspartame is a calorie-free artificial Continue reading >>
Is Artifical Sweetener Acceptable For A Ketogenic Diet?
Answered Jun 21, 2017 Author has 113 answers and 53.4k answer views This seems to be a bit of a murky area since although sweeteners contain no calories, theres some suspicion to suggest that sweeteners do not just fool your taste buds, but in fact also fools your metabolism into secreting insulin just as it would in response to actual sugar, e.g. causing an insulin spike (to some degree) just like actual sugar would. Obviously this is counter productive when your goal is ketosis (since the insulin will stop ketosis/fat metabolism) and would also help explain why one ends up more hungry after consuming artificially sweetened substances as this leaves your body with less actual glucose in the blood to use, nor ketones. Obviously if this is effect is even slightly true you can start to intuit why drinking diet cooldrink may in fact be one of the worst things you can do if youre overweight, trying to control your hunger and burn fat. Anyway, for what its worth in the early stages I seemed to experience this effect as well somewhat. While I seem to remember it wasnt quite as pronounced/fatal to my ketosis as actual carbs, I nevertheless eventually just cut out all sweeteners as not helpful as apart from interfering with my ketone levels they also seemed to keep my carb cravings alive. (More recently however I seem to be more tolerant of the occasional sweetener, but then Im also rather more carb tolerant and quite well adapted now, so thats perhaps not too surprising.) So the good news is, eventually you should be able to adjust things and it may well become ok to have some sweetened things in later stages of a keto diet (or increase your carb intake somewhat dependant on your actual carb tolerance at the time), however Id advise caution and ideally to avoid it in the begi Continue reading >>
Best Sugar Substitute For Keto? [infographic]
We’re going to be breaking these sweeteners down into 3 distinct categories in order to choose the best sugar substitute for a keto diet. Those categories are Artificial Sweeteners, Sugar Alcohols, and Natural Sweeteners. Check out our video where we touch on everything covered in this blog post and give our recommendations for the best sugar substitute for keto. Artificial Sweeteners These tend to known as intense sweeteners because they are much sweeter than regular sugar. Based on this fact, you only need a fraction of the amount you would normally use with regular sugar. This is seen as a benefit by many. They contain synthetic chemicals that stimulate the sweet taste receptors on your tongue. So, let us break down the different types of artificial sweeteners: Aspartame You might not recognize the name, but if you’ve ever used Equal, you’ve been using aspartame. Aspartame is a low calorie sweetener that is approximately 180 times sweeter than regular sugar. The components that make up this artificial sweetener are amino acid, aspartic acid and phenylalanine, which are not only broken down completely by your body, but found in larger quantities in a great deal of foods, such as meat and vegetables. Aspartame is 0 calories and 0 gylcemic index. When combined with dextrose and maltodextrin to form Equal brand sweetener the calories and glycemic index are increased based on the added ingredients. Pros: Essentially Zero calorie additive Zero glycemic index Cons: Often mixed with high glycemic bulking agents Highly controversial/opposing studies on safety Acesulfame K This artificial sweetener is used in a variety of foods and is approximately 200 times sweeter than regular sugar. It is often found in a blend with other sweeteners, such as aspartame. Blending the tw Continue reading >>
Do Sweeteners (sucralose, Stevia, Xylitol) Affect Keto Diets?
Now that you’re switching to low carb, you’ve probably found yourself with some sweet tooth cravings. Most fruits and sugary snacks are off limits, but luckily you come across, the much debated about, sweeteners. You’ve heard so much about how they’re terrible for your health, but many people have conflicting opinions on how they affect ketosis. Having experimented with all kinds of sweeteners over the last few years, I thought I’d share my personal experience with consuming them. Before I get into it though, I’d advised you consult your doctor or nutritionist before deciding on a sweetener as I am by no means a medical professional! Are Sweeteners safe for a Keto Diet? I see a lot of people asking this question. Can I have Sucralose (Splenda)/Stevia/Malitol/Xyltitol/other sweeteners while on a ketogenic diet? Before I answer the question, first you need to understand the different types of sweeteners. The types of sweeteners available on the market can be categorized under two main buckets. Natural Sweeteners and Keto Natural sweeteners are exactly what the name means, sweeteners that come from nature and aren’t artificially made in a lab. There are two main natural sweeteners you’ll probably come across. Stevia Stevia is an extract from a plant which is approximately 200 to 300 times sweeter than sugar. Stevia has gained popularity in the last few years and is becoming more widely available at local stores across America. Stevia has a glycemic index of zero, which means it should not affect your blood sugar (insulin) at all. It’s also zero calories and since it’s naturally occurring, it’s been widely adopted by people all over. One thing to be wary when purchasing stevia is that the product may be mixed with other forms of sweeteners or bulking a Continue reading >>
Diet Soda On A Keto Diet
Throughout the years, I have gotten so many questions regarding diet soda on a Keto diet. Is it okay to drink since it's 0 grams of carbohydrates (thanks to sugar alcohols and sweeteners)? Some people can drink diet sodas all day long, lose weight and feel great. I wish I were one of these people. Personally, I find that I can indulge every so often and be symptom free, but it comes with risks. I just have to be extremely careful and mindful of my intake. When people tell me that they are following the Keto diet properly by tracking macros and are still unable to lose weight, one of my first suggestions will always be to cut out diet sodas. These have infamously caused stalls in the low carb community for years. Despite most sweeteners being carbohydrate-free, these sweet beverages can still cause an insulin response in the body. One of the foundations of the Keto diet is to keep our blood sugar levels as stable as possible. Constant elevated insulin levels can correlate with weight gain. Did you know that sugar substitutes and sweeteners are usually much sweeter than sugar itself? That seems crazy to me! This is probably the biggest kicker for me. When I do have diet soda on a low carb, Keto diet, I almost always want to finish an entire 2 litre bottle. For me, this stems backs to my old days of being helplessly addicted to Coca Cola. The sheer quantity of what I used to consume is dangerous and disgusting. This may even attribute to eating disorders like BED (binge eating disorder). Questionable long-term effects of sugar substitutes The verdict on sweeteners long-term -- no one really knows. Some people claim that artificial sweeteners like aspartame and sucralose can contribute to conditions like birth defects and cancer. Others claim that the natural sweeteners -- Continue reading >>