I am going to start this article off by saying, I am not going to ask you to eliminate sweeteners from your life.
Now that we have established that, let's talk about sweeteners!
There are two classes of sweeteners. Artificial (yuck) and natural (yay).
Artificial sweeteners include aspartame, sucralose, asulfane potassium, and saccharine. You may have seen these in NutraSweet, Equal, Splenda, Sweet n' Low, and Sweet One packets. Aspartame is thought to be an "excitotoxin", which is a compound that can overstimulate the nerves in your brain. The biggest concern with aspartame is the phenylalanine, because it may be hard for some people to metabolize. When you have high levels of phenylalanine in your body, it could potentially result in brain damage. This is why there is an FDA warning on all products containing aspartame. There are several side effects of artificial sweeteners, including:
And the research is still being done, so there could be possible links to cancer. In fact, in the 1970s, saccharine caused cancer of the bladder when tested in animals.
So let's just all agree to stay away from artificial sweeteners.
Now let's discuss natural sweeteners.
Natural sweeteners include honey, stevia, dates, coconut sugar, maple syrup, monk fruit, among others.
While there are health benefits to consuming raw honey, or dates, they contain quite a few carbohydrates. So, if you are following a paleo lifestyle, those are great options in moderation. If you are trying to maintain ketosis, we recommend a couple other low carb natural sweeteners.
We do advise caution in how you are using these keto sweeteners. If you are entering into the keto diet as someone who loves sugar, such as, baked goods, candy, chocolate (me, me, me), it can be very beneficial to cut sweet tasting things out of your life for at least a month. What this does is help you re-train your taste buds to enjoy the sweetness of food the way it was intended to taste. Carrots will taste sweeter. Almond butter, more satisfying. Dark chocolate (80% or above), no longer bitter. It's well worth the sacrifice. I also use Kegenix PRIME to help me bust those sugar cravings. It works wonders. I also look forward to the part of my day when I get to have a Keto Meal smoothie. The vanilla tastes like yellow cake batter and the chocolate tastes like a delicious chocolate milkshake. Plus they have actual ketones in it, so I maintain ketosis all day.
If you are the type of person who would just like a keto dessert every couple of days, that’s just fine. You can use these keto sweeteners. But watch out, so that they don't become a daily treat. Because daily could become after-every-meal. And suddenly, you have plateaued because you are eating too many keto treats and getting in too many calories.
Here are 5 takeaways from this article.