The ketogenic diet is a high fat, low-carb form of diet. If you are on a Keto diet, you are to avoid any forms of sugar. But what about sugar substitutes? Do natural sweeteners like coconut sugar keto-friendly? Read on and find out.
Why Do We Even Need to Consider Sweetener Substitutes for the Keto Diet?
People might be wondering, “Why do we even need to consider what type of sweeteners to use for the keto diet?”. The answer is quite simple- the ketogenic or the keto diet is a highly specialized eating plan that focuses on dieters eating more high-fat foods with low carbs to aid in weight loss. This is achieved by the ketogenic diet through the body’s shift to the metabolic state known as ketosis. During ketosis, the body shifts from burning consumed carbs to burning stored and available fats. With ketosis comes the proliferation of compounds known as ketone bodies. These ketone bodies are an indication that the body is still under ketosis.
With this, it is clear that the ketogenic needs the strict observance of certain dietary requirements and any form of incorrect food or beverage consumption can derail and kick and individual out of ketosis. Being forced out of the metabolic state known as ketosis also means a less efficient fat-burning body. This is why it is important that food taken in or consumed during the ketogenic diet is very carefully monitored or tracked and the sweeteners’ dieters take in are no exception.
Coconut Sugar: The Keto Safety Profile Plus Keto-Friendly Sweetener Substitutes
With all the benefits and advantages of going keto, the question remains- is coconut sugar a safe for ketogenic dieters? Unfortunately, the direct answer to this question is no. In fact, coconut sugar is included in the list of sweetener substitutes to avoid for keto dieters. This is because compared to regular sugar, coconut sugar is more slowly absorbed by the body and has higher levels of fructose which can adversely affect blood sugar levels within the body.
Some of the other sweeteners to avoid when doing the Ketogenic diet include:
This is a sweetener that comes from wheat, corn, and rice or other starchy grains and has been shown to contain a similar number of carbs and calories as that of white sugar. If you don’t want to be kicked out of your ketosis, then maltodextrin is a big no-no.
This sweetener has been gaining popularity with health buffs and for good reason. Honey contains nutrients and antioxidants that can contribute to better health. Unfortunately, honey still has increased levels of carbs and calories and may not be the best option for those doing the Keto diet.
The perfect sweetener for our pancakes and waffles might not be the perfect addition to the keto diet. Maple syrup contains increase levels of carbs and sugars. It may provide macronutrients such as zinc and manganese. Keto dieters are advised not to consume maple syrup if they want to stay in ketosis.
The main issue is that it can make the management of blood sugar levels difficult or even impossible. Consuming agave nectar can lead to a condition known as metabolic syndrome.This will cause reduced insulin sensitivity. When this occurs, people can say goodbye to their ketosis and their blood sugar regulation.
A popular sweetener for some desserts, dates can also introduce a significant number of carbs and calories. While dates contain a lot of nutrients, keto dieters are advised not to use dates as their go-to sweetener to avoid getting kicked out of their ketosis.
Keto-Friendly Sweetener Substitutes
This is a plant-based sweetener and is considered an all-natural sweetener by most experts. Harvested from the stevia rebaudiana plant, stevia does not add in any form of carbs or calories to the diet.
Compared to sugar and other sweeteners, data shows that stevia can help in the management and reduction of blood sugar levels for both humans and animals. It is also available in different forms or presentations and can be used in either its liquid or powdered form. Stevia is such an effective sweetener that it can be used to sweeten almost all kinds of food products and beverages.
Another keto-friendly sweetener is sucralose. This sweetener can pass through the system or the body of the dieter without ever being processed or metabolized ensuring that no added carbs or calories are added into the dieter’s overall daily intake. Sucralose is not recommended for use as a substitute sweetener for baked products and in the preparation of certain pastries.
This sweetener is a form of sugar alcohol which aids in the activation of the portion of the tongue to imitate the sweetness of sugar. While it contains some carbs, it can mimic the sweetness or the taste of sugar by up to eighty percent (80%). Similar to stevia, Erythinol may be used for the preparation of many different products such as food items and beverages.
This sweetener is familiar to most people as it is the sweetener used in sugar-free candies, gums, and mints. The good news is that these products, when using xylitol, are considered keto-friendly.