A Little About Sweeteners…

When it comes to sweeteners, there is more to it than just the carbs…GLYCEMIC INDEX counts too.

Most Common Sweeteners

A lot of brands add other things that can impact your glucose other that the main sweetener. Some add dextrose or maltodextrin, others (mostly baking blends) add regular white sugar, these mixes can cause problems for your blood sugar and in turn, your ketosis.

Sweeteners are interchangable, if a recipe calls for stevia…it will work with your favorite sweetener. Amounts may differ though. Different brands come in different types, granulated, powdered, liquid, even brown sugar, you can replace sugar in any recipe with an alternative.

Pure STEVIA tends to be very bitter, pure ERYTHRITOL can have a “cooling effect”. Everyone is different and has different taste, while one sweetener may be great tasting to one person, it might be horrible to someone else.

The quantity of the sweetener can change the effects as well. Too much of some sweeteners can take away from the sweetness and add to the side effects/after taste. I always start with half of the amount listed in a recipe and then add to taste. I just keep tasting until I get it right and then mark it on my recipe for future use.

My number one suggestion when baking is that if you don’t like your cookies and cakes…try a different sweetener.

When you mix sweeteners together, you can usually get rid of the offending effect. For example, when stevia and erythritol are mixed, the effects are cancelled out. It might take a little testing to find what works best for you. There are pre-mixed blends like PYURE and TRUVIA, just avoid the “baking blends” of both of these brands as they are half sugar, half substitute. SWERVE is also a mix of ERYTHRITOL and oligosaccharides (which is a sweet fiber), some people still feel the “cooling effect” from this though.

Different sweeteners can also affect people’s blood sugar differently. The only way to be sure is to test your blood sugar before eating the suspect sweetener, an hour after eating and again 2 hours after eating. A small increase in numbers is expected…a large jump means you probably avoid that particular sweetener. I know for sure I am good with ALLULOSE and I spike horribly with MALTITOL.

No single food or ingredient will kick you out of ketosis. The only thing that can kick you out of ketosis is carbs or a major glucose spike. Ketosis is caused by the lack of carbs, if there are no carbs we are automatically in ketosis…The process only stops if there are carbs (glycogen) to burn instead. This means you can use any sweetener you want, as long as it doesn’t spike your blood sugar. Don’t let people tell you that it’s “not keto”

COUNTING THE CARBS –

You might notice carbs listed for some of these sweeteners. With zero GI sugar alcohols like ERYTHRITOL you can subtract the carbs from the total, for higher GI sugar alcohols like MALTITOL you should only subtract half (or just avoid completely).

ALLULOSE is not considered a sugar alcohol but it can also be subtracted in full.

Some sweeteners come from fiber, like INULIN and they can also be subtracted with the fiber.

Total – Fiber – Some Sugar Alcohols = Net Carbs. The difference between total and net are the undigestible carbs…if we don’t digest them, then they can’t affect our glucose level. The only thing that affects our ketosis is glucose. There is no reason to count the carbs that don’t affect us. Besides, we can eat more vegetables if we count net carbs, giving us more fiber and nutrients that we need.

ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS –

The use of artificial sweeteners like SUCRALOSE, ASPARTAME and SACCHARIN are up to each person. Just like the natural sweeteners, they can affect people differently. These sweeteners also commonly come mixed with things like MALTODEXTRIN in their pre-packaged forms (Splenda or Nutri-sweet)…but not when added as ingredients to a food or drinks.

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