Are alternative sweeteners acceptable on a keto diet?

Let’s get the most important thing out of the way: alternative, zero-carb sweeteners generally do not spike your blood sugar, and they won’t kick you out of ketosis. So no, they won’t immediately interrupt your diet in a major way. Many dedicated and successful keto dieters eat a lot of these sweeteners and appear to tolerate them very well.

Still, they’re a bad idea. Here are three reasons why:

1. Alternative sweeteners actually make you crave sugar. 

When you start on keto, you’re trying to break what is probably a lifelong addiction to sugar. And one big problem with alternative sweeteners is that they are known to actually make you crave more sweets. Breaking a sugar addiction is not easy. Don’t make it even harder by binging on diet soda or low-carb ice creams. If you can go days without any sweets at all, your tastes begin to change and your sugar cravings will subside. Fake sugars will sabotage this process. Give yourself the chance to enjoy this natural benefit of a keto diet.

2. Alternative sweeteners cause havoc with your metabolism.

Experts are still working hard to explain why it happens exactly. One theory is that when you taste something sweet, the body readies itself to process those calories. But zero-calorie sweeteners deliver no energy, and that confuses our digestive and metabolic systems. Whatever the reason, frequent consumption of alternative sweeteners is known to increase the risk of metabolic syndrome, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and Type 2 diabetes. Aren’t these the exact things we’re trying to avoid with a low-carb diet?

3. Alternative sweeteners are toxic to your gut bacteria. 

The trillions of bacteria that live in your digestive system are absolutely essential to your body’s health in ways that we only barely understand. But alternative sweeteners can fundamentally change your microbiome and throw it out of balance. This is called dysbiosis, and it’s correlated with problems ranging from minor belly troubles to major metabolic abnormalities. 

To sum it up, these sweeteners will not spike your blood sugar or boot you out of ketosis. But that doesn’t mean they’re healthy or a good idea. I strongly recommend staying away, especially if you’re new to the keto diet.

For more posts

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Got Diabetes? 8 Reasons to consider the Keto diet

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