If you’re planning to follow a ketogenic diet, then you must have noticed that you have to ditch high-carb foods, desserts or snacks.
The diet works when your body doesn’t get the carbs it needs to produce energy, so it reaches a state of ketosis and breaks down the fat stores in the body. And if you like dressings, sauces, and sweet beverages, then you must make them yourself or check the sugar content. But there is a safe way to know which sweeteners are good for this diet and your body.
Fortunately, there are some natural low-carb alternatives you can use instead of sugar.
The Stevia rebaudiana plant is used to create the natural sweetener called Stevia. It contains almost no calories, and carbs and studies even showed that it could even help lower blood sugar level. Stevia can be used in liquid and powder form to sweeten desserts and drinks.
Four grams of powdered stevia replace 200 grams of sugar.
If you like to bake and cook, use Erythritol, a naturally occurring compound – sugar alcohol which mimics the taste of sugar.
This sweetener is 80% as sweet as sugar, but it contains only 5% of the calories – each gram has 0.2 calories. Studies show that it can help lower blood sugar levels in the body and it doesn’t cause digestive side effects that other types of sugar alcohols do.
Monk Fruit Sweetener
A plant found in southern China, the monk fruit, contains natural sugars and antioxidants (mogrosides) that make the fruit sweet. Depending on how many mogrosides the monk fruit sweetener has, it can be 100-250 times sweeter than sugar.
The mogrosides can stimulate the release of insulin and help manage blood sugar levels.
It has no calories or carbs either, but if you buy it from the store, check the ingredients label, as it can be mixed with sugar or other sweeteners.
Monk fruit sweetener can safely replace sugar in any recipe.
According to Keto Vale, monk fruit contains anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. It helps fight fatigue, obesity and diabetes as well as reduce free radical damage thanks to its amazing antioxidant properties. Because of its great taste and health benefits, many people start to use monk fruit as one of the go-to sugar substitutes on sugar-free, low-carb and ketogenic diets. It’s very easy to work with and the great news is that you only need a very small amount in your foods to have the same sweetness as sugar.
The root of the yacon plant which grows in South America is sweet and contains fructooligosaccharides (FOS), which are soluble fiber that cannot be digested by our bodies.
The root also contains sucrose, fructose, and glucose. A large portion of the syrup cannot be digested so that each tablespoon would contain 20 calories. Studies found that, even if it has 11 grams of carbs per tablespoon, yacon syrup doesn’t affect blood sugar like regular sugar.
The best way to use the syrup is in beverages like tea, coffee or in cereal and salad dressings. Don’t cook with it, as the FOS can break down in the process.
Rex Austinwas born and raised in Thunder Bay Ontario on the shores of Lake Superior. Apart from running his own podcast (Ice Fishing And Other “Cool” Things), he spends his time canoeing and backpacking in Northern Ontario.. As a journalist Rex has published stories for Global News (Thunder Bay) we well as Buzz Feed and Joystiq. As a contributor to Great Lakes Ledger, Rex most covers science and health stories. Contact Rexhere