Whether you are a Keto Dieter, a Low Carb Dieter or following any other method of eating food… This guide will help you figure out how to approach artificial sweeteners.
We'll discuss what sweeteners to avoid, what sweeteners to use in moderation and the big fat WHY behind this rationale.
We Are Addicted To Sugar
Americans (and most of the world) are heavily addicted to sugar. Ingesting sugar stimulates our brain's “reward” pathway. Which is why we crave it and why it's so difficult to get out of our diet.
You'll probably agree that there is a lot of conflicting evidence out there about artificial sweeteners.
The controversy surrounding artificial sweeteners is enough to get anyone's head spinning.
So what do we do?
Here's the short story…
- Splenda (Sucralose) Nutrisweet
- Equal (Aspartame)
Sunnet & Sweet One (Acesulfame Potassium)
- Sweet ‘N Low, Sweet Twin & Sugar Twin (Saccharin)
Instead, choose one of these:
And always remember….
With any artificial sweetener, you should ingest them in moderation.
What are the facts?
Consuming Artificial Sweeteners Probably Won't Help You Lose Weight
A study that followed over 2,000 volunteers for 7-8 years found a correlation between drinking diet soda and becoming overweight or obese. The more diet soda they drank, the more likely obesity would occur. 1
Replacing toxic sugar with questionable artificial sugars isn't the real solution. Instead of solving our sugar addiction problem, it creates a false sense of security. We say “YES! I can drink and eat sweet stuff as much as I want because there aren't any calories!” Then, because we're human, and live in the land of plenty– we over indulge.
Replacing Sugar with Artificial Sweeteners Doesn't Make You Healthier
Studies suggest that replacing sugar with artificial sweeteners don't lead to a healthier future. It doesn't reduce the risk of disease such as heart disease, diabetes or hypertension. 2
Instead of replacing sugar with artificial sugars, we need to address the ‘sugar addiction' we are programmed to struggle with. Swap out candy and sweets for real foods. Swap out soda for sparkling water or pure filtered water flavored with Young Living Vitality Essential Oils such as Lime, Grapefruit, Tangerine or Lemon.
What About Artificial Sugar's Role in Metabolic Syndrome?
Studies are unclear as to artificial sugars role in metabolic syndrome. However, there is enough evidence to suggest that ingesting artificial sugars could wreak havoc on your endocrine system. Some studies show a link to elevation in blood sugar, increase in appetite and disruption of normal energy metabolism that promotes obesity.3
There's enough evidence here to make me want to avoid artificial sweeteners as much as possible. The good news is that your taste buds will change over time and you won't crave or desire very many sweets. This is one benefit of the Keto Diet. When you give your body the good fats it craves, sugar cravings are drastically reduced.
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. Drink your sparkling or mineral water a little less sweet. Drink 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!
You can overcome your sugar addiction!
When you want something sweet, use one of these ‘safer' artificial sweeteners in moderation.
Here's the deal….
How Do I Tell if Artificial Sweeteners Are Causing A Blood Sugar Spike?
If you are insulin resistant or diabetic, it is important to test artificial sweeteners and how they affect YOUR body. In fact– I recommend this for all my clients.
The easiest way to measure your insulin response is by measuring your blood sugar.
If you don't already have one, invest in a reliable Glucometer and test your blood sugar. Let's talk about how to do this.
You should take a "fasting" measure first thing in the morning. It is also useful to measure your blood sugar an hour or two after a meal to see what kind of a insulin response your body had to that meal.
When we eat a LCHF Ketogenic diet, we eventually expect to stop seeing a very large spike in blood sugar post-meal.
This is something you should track and measure throughout your Keto journey.
Here's the Glucometer we use and recommend. We like that it comes with enough testing strips and lancets for the first months of a Keto transition.
Once you've established a baseline, you can test your blood sugar an hour and two hours after ingesting something you've made with one of the recommended artificial sweetners on my list. If you see an unusual spike, then you should likely avoid that specific sweetner.
Note that it's important to only change one thing about your meal. Test after a meal that you've already established a baseline for numerous times. Then add in the “extra” and see what happens.
What Alternative Sweeteners Should I Try?
My other favorite alternative sweetener is Bocha Sweet.
Bocha Sweet is derived from the kabocha pumpkin and tastes just like real sugar. I can't wait until they come out with individual packets so I can carry it in my purse for when the need arises!
I'm going to spend most of this section discussing Splenda (Sucralose) because it has become very heavily use in the food industry. It's hiding everywhere in things like salad dressing to cough syrup to drinks to medications.
What is Splenda (Sucralose)? Isn't it Natural?
A chlorinated artificial sweetener that is made in a laboratory. The end result (sucralose) does not resemble anything found in nature. Therefore our body doesn't recognize it.
Now, the manufacturer of Splenda will claim that they start with sugar and try to make you ‘think' it's natural. However, you'll notice they don't actually market it as ‘natural'.
I have personal experience with the horrors of Splenda side effects. My personal symptoms are migraines, fatigue, inflammation in my joints and a flu-like feeling. For years, I ingested a lot of Splenda in the form of Crystal Light.
I didn't know how sick it was making me until I stopped using it all together.
If you are a splenda user, I encourage you to omit it and substitute a better option above. After a few months, see how you feel.
That's not all…
Splenda is hidden in a lot of products that we ingest without thinking about it. Subway's “Southwest” dressing contains sucralose. Many cough syrups/medications contain it. Many “light” or sweetened beverages contain it. Even many antacids now contain it!
You really have to be intentional about avoiding Splenda.