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How Do Artificial Sweeteners Affect Ketosis – Thomas DeLauer
I wholeheartedly understand that when you’re on a keto diet it’s super tough to get away from the sweets, at least at first. So a lot of times it’s a very, very easy to find ourselves just reaching for something artificial, something that gives us that little bit of a crutch. If you’re someone that has a sweet tooth to begin with, it can be really difficult to break that away and totally rip the bandaid off when it comes to going keto.
What I wanna do in this video is I wanna help you understand how artificial sweeteners affect the ketogenic diet. But I don’t just wanna talk about artificial sweeteners, I wanna talk about artificial sweeteners, I wanna talk about sugar alcohols and I wanna talk about natural sweeteners. Because they all have a slightly different process within the body and they all affect ketoses in a slightly different way.
So I figured if I put this out here you can make your own educated decision. But I do wanna say, first and foremost, before we get into any of the science or any of the physiology, that when it comes down to artificial sweeteners, so much of it is psychological. Okay, so much of the reason that we even reach for those sweet treats is simply because our bodies are still adjusted to it, but more so because we think we need it. And a lot of times we were referred to these artificial sweeteners as almost a form of methadone. It’s like something like you’re just giving yourself a little bit of that sweetness to get you through this transition period.
When you’re going into keto, one of the things that I will say is that in the very beginning if you have to use some artificial sweeteners to get you through that gray area, that’s totally fine. But after a certain period of time you’re not gonna need them. Your taste buds are gonna change, your cravings are gonna change, your insulin response is gonna change and you’ll find that you’ll only need those sweet things if you continue to eat those sweet things. Okay. Now that’s out of the way, let’s get to the science.
So the first thing I wanna talk about are the artificial sweeteners. We’re talking about the saccharine, things like Sweet’n Low, we’re talking about Splenda, Sucralose, we’re talking about Aspartane, we’re talking about things like Equal, little blue packets and the things that are in diet sodas and stuff like that. First off, artificial sweeteners like this are totally synthetic. There’s no actual bioidentical process within the body, they’re totally synthetic and they are regulated by the FDA. So the FDA does look at them to see if they’re “safe” or not, but that doesn’t always mean that they’re truly safe.
So what we wanna look at is how these sweeteners affect you in a ketogenic diet. Now, mainly we have found that artificial sweeteners don’t have a response with blood glucose or insulin, so that would lead us to believe that they’re relatively safe to use on keto. Now, safe is a relative term, I’m not saying that they’re safe for longterm use, but by and large they’re not gonna really affect your ketone levels. However, what we are finding is that sucralose is so close to sucrose, we’re talking about Splenda here, that it does have an effect.
Well let’s talk about saccharine for one second and let’s talk about Equal for one second. There were a studies that was published in the journal Epilepsia that took a look at test subjects that were on a ketogenic diet because they were epileptic. So this means super therapeutic processes of ketoses. We’re talking like very, very high fat, very low protein to where it would be very important to make sure that carbs are aligned properly. Now what they’ve found is that these epileptic subjects did not get kicked out of the ketosis when they use saccharin. So that does tell us that when it’s a bonafide artificial sweetener, there shouldn’t be a digestive response that elicits that blood glucose spike and an insulin spike, therefore telling us that it’s ultimately safe.
1) Artificial sweeteners ? a review. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3982014/#CR18
2) Effects of stevia, aspartame, and sucrose on food intake, satiety, and postprandial glucose and insulin levels. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0195666310000826