Are you a Keto or a Low Carb Dieter? Regardless of which you follow, here is a guide to help you curb your cravings for carbohydrates and sweets.
Let’s shed light on how to satisfy your sweet tooth and know the sugar substitutes to avoid, and use in moderation as a part of a healthy diet.
Easy to Love, Hard to Forget: The Craving for Sugar
We crave sugar because whenever we eat something delicious and sweet, the feel-good factor is activated in our brain. It is the reason many people fail to continue with their plan to omit sugar from their diet even after trying hard.
We know that the added sugar in our diet is contributing to diabetes and other health challenges. Americans (and most of the world) have become so intimately entwined with the feel-good reward that the thought of eating sweets pops up in mind whenever feeling sad, happy, hungry, low on energy... or just bored.
So, if sugar is out of the question... what alternatives can we choose that won't hinder our health?
Here's the quick answer…
Don’t Fall Prey to the Artificial Sweetener Snare:
- Sucralose (Splenda)
- Aspartame (Nutrasweet)
- Acesulfame Potassium (Sunett & Sweet One)
- Saccharin (Sweet ‘N Low, Sweet Twin & Sugar Twin)
Instead, choose one of these:
- Bocha Sweet
- Monk Fruit Sweetener
Now, lets break these down...
Tara's Favorite Sugar Substitute
My all-time favorite sugar substitute is Bocha Sweet.
Extracted from the Kabocha Pumpkin, Bocha Sweet is a superfood that tastes amazing. The food additive has long been a staple of the Japanese diet. Besides, it provides a plethora of benefits to the body.
And, did I mention it tastes amazing?
And always remember....
ALWAYS CONSUME SUGAR SUBSTITUTES IN MODERATION!
Mind-Blowing Facts about Artificial Sweeteners
Artificial Sweeteners Do Not Help You Shoo the Fats Away
A study conducted with over 2000 volunteers for 7-8 years helped the medical community find a correlation between consuming diet soda and gaining weight. The more diet soda a person drinks, the more likely they are to gain unnecessary weight. 1
Know this fact – Using questionable artificial sugars, as a substitute for toxic sugar is not the ultimate solution of sugar addiction. It is essential to clear the false sense of security fog from the mind. Overeating sweet stuff can bring a bagful of health challenges.
Artificial Sweeteners Have Nothing to do with the Journey to a Healthier Life
According to studies, it has been witnessed that using artificial sweeteners as an alternative to sugar does not contribute to a healthier future. The misconception that artificial sweeteners help decrease the risk of heart disease, and diabetes needs to be busted. 2
It is the world of highly processed food. Since they are appealing to the palate and so mouth-watering, we struggle with saying no. Sugar substitutes are not the perfect solution for this problem. You need to kick out the candy and welcome the real foods. The same is the case with soda – replace the drink with sparkling water.
The Relationship between Artificial Sugar and Metabolic Syndrome
Though there is no study signifying the relationship between metabolic syndrome and artificial sugar, evidence tells that sugar can disturb your endocrine system.
In the world of healthcare, studies indicate the connection of the artificial sugar to the increase in appetite, disturbance of normal metabolism that promotes obesity.
Therefore, now it is clear that our health demands a low intake of artificial sweeteners. With time, your taste buds will probably change, and the craving will be a thing of the past. This is among the added advantage of the Keto diet. You can rely on it just as you rely on your best buddy.
Then What's The Real Solution?
It's important to overcome your brain's addiction to sugar. Substituting another sweet substance won't get you where you want to be.
Drink your coffee a little blacker than you like it. Enjoy your sparkling or mineral water a little less sweet. Hydrate with lots of pure, filtered water.
For flavor add Young Living Vitality Essential Oils such as Lime, Lemon, Jade Lemon, Tangerine, Orange, Spearmint, and Citrus Fresh! Or check out True Lime and True Lemon packets.
You can overcome your sugar addiction!
When you want something sweet, use one of these 'safer' artificial sweeteners in moderation. As I mentioned before, my favorite sugar substitute is Bocha Sweet.
How to Know Whether Artificial Sweeteners are Leading to a Blood Sugar Spike?
Making the right food choice is important, especially for those who are diabetic or insulin resistant. Besides, knowing about the effects of artificial sweeteners helps get a clear picture of a blood sugar spike.
So, how artificial sweeteners are affecting the body?
The answer is simple – monitor the blood sugar with the help of a Glucometer to know about the insulin response. Let’s dive right in and discuss the procedure.
After waking up in the morning, take a “fasting” measure, and have your breakfast. After one hour, measure the blood sugar to know about the insulin response to the food.
Following an LCHF Ketogenic diet, people witness no large blood sugar spike post-meal. So, consider keeping an eye on your blood sugar level at every step in the Keto journey.
My second best sugar substitute, which I like to carry in my purse all the time, is none other than Stevia. Though it comes with both powdered and flavored versions, I personally like the liquid versions. Exercise caution with the powdered version of any sugar substitute. Read the ingredients list and avoid anything you see like inulin and even dextrose.
Yes! Sugar! Some companies add sugar to their sugar-free packets of stevia and other sweeteners because FDA labeling regulations allow it.
You can also use stevia with plain water to make your own soda. Some of the flavors that you can try include Orange, Tangerine, Lemon, and Spearmint. To enjoy a real treat, add a tablespoon of organic lemon juice.
Other Alternatives to Sugar
Xylitol or crystalline alcohol is a low-digestible carbohydrate. The sweetness taste receptors on the tongue are stimulated when consuming this sugar substitute.
It has become a hot button topic, and the heated debate about the sugar replacement is still going on. Before putting your steps ahead, do the necessary groundwork because it may cause GI distress. You can use it occasionally, but I would not recommend it for daily purposes.
Monk Fruit sweetener is a sugar alternative that has been in use for medicinal purposes. Due to its antioxidant properties, people, especially the Chinese, have been using it for centuries.
Allulose stands tall in the line, ensuring the health safety in an optimum way. A moderate amount of consumption always helps satisfy your taste buds. Whether you are following a keto or paleo diet, you can add allulose in your diet.
It has been proving a wonderful sugar substitute for years. Apart from having anti-inflammatory properties, it has some amazing health benefits, such as improving insulin resistance and controlling glucose levels. Allulose has gained goodwill because it lets you enjoy 0.2 calories per gram.
Why Aren’t All Artificial Sweeteners Safe?
Well, as the demand for sugar substitutes is increasing high worldwide, many products are popping up in the market. It is necessary to understand that not all products are for everyone. So, consider reading the label of the products and compare the prices as well.
Splenda has spread the roots in the food industry. From salad, cough syrup, drinks, salad, it is almost everywhere.
This artificial sweetener is produced in the laboratory. So, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that sucralose is not similar to anything found in nature.
Manufacturers may contradict it by claiming that they start the process with sugar. However, the real question arises - why don’t they promote it as natural?
Ingesting Splenda was one of my mistakes that ended with side effects such as migraine, inflammation, fatigue, and unhealthy feeling.
I didn't know how sick it was making me until I stopped using it altogether.-Tara
After all these terrible experiences, I have found out safer options - Bocha Sweet and Stevia.
So, don’t let the wrong products hijack your metabolism. Choose the best among the rest!
Resources & References
- Fowler SP, Williams K, Resendez RG, Hunt KJ, Hazuda HP, Stern MP. 2008. Fueling the obesity epidemic? Artificially sweetened beverage use and long-term weight gain. Obesity (Silver Spring) 16(8): 1894-900
- Gardner C, Wylie-Rosett J, Gidding SS, Steffen LM, Johnson RK, Reader D, Lichtenstein AH. 2012. Nonnutritive sweeteners: current use and health perspectives: a scientific statement from the American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association. Diabetes Care 35(8): 1798-808
- Low-calorie sweeteners: Are they better or worse for you than sugar? by The Environmental Working Group
- A Complete Guide To Artificial Sweeteners by Brian Rigby http://university.peertrainer.com/complete-guide-artificial-sweeteners This is a lengthy and well written guide on the dangers of the artificial sweeteners I mention here. It's excellent information if you want to dive deeper.