Carbs And Sugars + Fiber Too How Are They Related
You might be a bit confused because we have done a lot of talking about carbs so far, which means you might be wondering where exactly sugar fits into this equation. Well, did you know that sugar, especially refined sugar, such as basic white sugar or even brown sugar, is considered to be a carbohydrate?
When you are examining your foods for carbs to meet the carbohydrate requirements of your keto diet, you need to pay attention to the sugar content of the food you are eating.
To be clear, carbohydrates are defined as the total amount of sugars, fiber, and starches found in food. This is where it can get a bit confusing. For example, pasta and bread is full of starch, but generally speaking has little sugar content.
On the other hand, something like a candy bar or soda is loaded with sugar, but does not contain any starch, or barely any for the most part. Therefore, 2 vastly different foods like noodles and chocolate bars can both be very high in carbs, but these carbs come from different sources.
Now, it all gets a little more complicated when you take fiber into account, because the amount of fiber your food contains will to a certain degree counteract the amount of sugar and starch your food contains. This all has to do with net carbs, which is the amount of carbs your body absorbs from the total carb content of your food.
The Benefits Of Quitting Or Limiting Sugar Intake
There are a number of benefits associated with limiting or quitting sugar while following a keto diet.
This can help you to lead a healthier lifestyle, as excessive consumption of sugar has links to a number of different harmful health conditions.
This includes non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, dental cavities and plaque, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, type 3 diabetes, heart disease, metabolic syndrome, obesity, and chronic inflammation.
Personalize Your Carb Intake
There is no clear definition of what a low-carbohydrate diet is. For example, a ketogenic diet may restrict carbs to 10% or less of your total daily calorie intake, whereas other low-carb programs may allow 20% of your calories from carbs or more. The best number for you may take some experimentation. It’s best to work with your healthcare provider and/or a registered dietitian to determine a level that is not only safe and effective but also realistic for you to follow for the long-term.
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Low-carb drinks, alcohol, and even hot chocolate and lattes can be part of your keto beverage repertoire. Below, youll learn which beverages, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, are keto-friendly.
Why Is Quitting Sugar So Hard
Its often said that sugar is addictive and, given how powerful those sugar cravings can be, its hard to argue with this opinion. Sugar all-but encourages you to overeat, and it can be a hard habit to break. People are only half-joking when they say sugar is as addictive as heroin!
Sugar appeals to not just our sense of taste but also receptors buried deep in our brains. On some level, humans recognize sugar as being something worth seeking out. We are hard-wired to appreciate and crave sugar.
Sweet foods, such as fruit and honey, are excellent sources of energy, and naturally sweet-tasting foods are often safer and healthier than unsweetened or bitter foods. Sweetness is a good indicator that fruit is ripe enough to eat. Unripe fruit can make you ill. Sweet-tasting food helped your hunter-gather ancestors avoid eating things that may have harmed them. They also knew that sugar would give them a quick burst of energy just what they needed during a hunt.
Sugar not only affects your body it affects your brain too. Sugar triggers the release of dopamine one of the feelgood hormones. This is the same substance that is produced by addictive narcotics like cocaine and heroin. Our bodies reward us when we eat sugar by making us feel happy and relaxed. This is why sugar is so addictive, and why we crave sugar, especially during times of unhappiness or stress. Its no coincidence that most so-called comfort foods are high in sugar.
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What Keto Alternatives Are There To Sugar
The good news is that there are plenty of amazing sugar-free alternatives. You can replace traditional sugar with something that tastes just as delicious but doesnt have all of the carbs.
So, once you feel those sugar cravings set in, rather than reaching for those treats, look to use Keto-friendly sweeteners instead.
Stevia, allulose, and monk fruit are three great examples of all-natural sugar substitutes that work perfectly well if you are on a keto diet. They can replace typical table sugar with ease.
You can also use erythritol, which is a sugar alcohol that is acceptable for consumption while on a keto diet.
Have Cheat Meals Not Cheat Days
If you are going to go off your diet, is way easier to stay on top of your overall nutrition and calories with cheat meals compared to entire keto cheat days. One large cheat meal can add 1,000 or more calories to your day, while a whole cheat day will add much more and potentially undo all of your hard work from the week.
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Choczero White Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
If youve been missing white chocolate on keto, these peanut butter cups from ChocZero may be a great fit.
Made from high quality South American cocoa butter, theyre free of sugar alcohols, artificial sweeteners, soy, and palm oil.
Best of all, they contain only 1 gram of net carbs per piece.
ChocZero offers a large assortment of other keto-friendly chocolate candies as well.
- Net carbs: 1 gram in each 14-gram piece
- Price: $$
Are Sugar Alcohols Keto
Many sugar alcohols are keto-friendly because they have fewer calories per gram and a lower glycemic index than sugar and wont spike blood glucose. But buyer beware: Some sugar alcohols have a higher glycemic index than others, which means they may raise blood sugar and kick you out of ketosis.
Erythritol is the most keto-friendly sugar alcohol because it only has 0.2 calories per gram and a glycemic index of 0-1.
Sorbitol has the most calories of the sugar alcohols, while maltitol has the highest glycemic index.
Because each sugar alcohol contains a different amount of calories and has a different glycemic index, subtracting all sugar alcohols from total carbohydrate count is not an accurate way to measure their impact on ketosis.
Do you count sugar alcohols as carbs? Ultimately, you can subtract all sugar alcohols except maltitol from total carbs to calculate your net carb count.
Sorbitol, isomalt, and xylitol are somewhat keto-friendly, but should be consumed in moderation as they may impact blood sugar more than erythritol, lactitol, and mannitol.
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Chocoperfection Dark European Chocolate
If chocolate is your candy of choice, add these sugar-free bars to your shopping list. ChocoPerfections Dark European Chocolate gourmet chocolate bars are sweetened with erythritol and chicory root fiber. Both of these ingredients have a glycemic index of zero, which means they dont raise blood sugar levels.
These dark chocolate treats contain a whopping 14 grams of fiber and just two grams of net carbs per serving, making them the perfect chocolate candy bar for the keto diet.
Fill Up On Healthy Fats And Protein
At mealtime, fill your plate with foods that provide energy in the form of protein and fat. But try to choose the most nutritious sources. For example, meat, poultry, and seafood that is grilled are smart choices. Some dairy products like eggs and cheese may also work in your food plan.
When choosing fats, look for sources that provide mono- and polyunsaturated fats rather than saturated fats. Avocados, for example, are high in monounsaturated fat. Butter, on the other hand, provides less healthy saturated fat.
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Eating Too Much Protein
There’s this thought that overeating protein will result in the protein magically turning into sugar and spiking your insulin. While marginally true, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Throughout the day, your body is converting non-carbohydrate substrates into glucose through a process called gluconeogenesis. This process is happening continuously, even daily, and while on a ketogenic diet.
Gluconeogenesis is a demand-driven process. Meaning it only occurs when the body needs glucose. While the brain can run efficiently on ketones, it will always require a small portion of glucose to function.
It’s almost impossible for the average person to overeat protein where it would prevent them from entering a state of ketosis.
In fact, you can eat a diet void of carbohydrates and fat while consuming nothing but protein, such as a protein-sparing modified fast, and enter a state of ketosis.
When it comes to protein, it’s better to eat too much than too little.
What Happens When You Cheat On A Keto Diet
Here are all the things that go down when you add carbs back in with a ketogenic diet cheat day:
Going off a keto diet is likely not detrimental. Just because you start eating carbs again, especially just for one day, doesn’t mean you will store a bunch of body fat.
Carbs do not cause weight gain or increased body fat. Only eating too many calories can do this.
And while you may have a slight adjustment period with blood sugar levels and water retention, as long as you are maintaining calorie control, you shouldn’t end up gaining any weight.
Because of the blood sugar spike, it is common for some people to notice an intense sugar crash after cheating with a carb heavy meal.
And depending on how long you’ve been cutting carbs, you might also notice some repeat symptoms of “keto flu” when resuming your keto diet.
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Will The Keto Diet Give Me Kidney Stones
The development of kidney stones is certainly a concern if youre switching to a diet in which youre eating more protein. Consuming high levels of red meat and not drinking a lot of water may make stones more likely, says Whitmire. She adds that on a keto diet, you need to stay hydrated and replenish electrolytes . If not, this can increase your risk of side effects like stones, she says. Past research gives a small glimpse into how likely stones may be. A study published in the Journal of Child Neurology on children using the keto diet to control epilepsy found that about 1 in 15 developed kidney stones, though supplements of oral potassium citrate reduced this risk. Talk to your doctor if you have risk factors, like a family or personal history of stones, about any precautions you should take when on the keto diet.
How Protein Affects Ketosis
Many people limit carbs and protein and eat tons of fat, fearing too much protein will kick them out of ketosis. This isnât necessarily bad, but it may not be the best way to approach keto.
Carbs are the only macronutrient that really messes with ketosis. Thatâs why you should limit your carbs and find the amount of carbs that works for you.
Protein doesnât interfere with ketosis. As long as youâre eating high fat, you can eat high protein, too. Remember the keto food pyramid:
Not only does protein give your body necessary nutrients, but it can help you reach your keto goals. Protein is more satiating than fat, so people on low-protein diets tend to overeat, stalling weight loss . By increasing your protein intake, you can eat less and still feel full.
Protein also has fewer calories than fat . You can lower your caloric intake by switching out some of your daily fat for protein, which can increase your weight loss or break a weight loss plateau.
A word of warning: Adding more protein to your diet may be helpful, but watch out for any extra calories that come with it. Remember, you wonât lose weight if youâre taking in more calories than you’re burning. Aim to eat the right amount of protein for your diet, not too little or too much.
To learn how the keto diet can help you lose weight, check out our comprehensive keto weight loss guide.
With that said, check out some great keto protein bars below, as well as ones to avoid.
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The 6 Best Sweeteners On A Low
Following a ketogenic diet involves cutting back on high-carb foods like starches, desserts and processed snacks.
This is essential to reaching a metabolic state called ketosis, which causes your body to begin breaking down fat stores instead of carbs to produce energy.
Ketosis also requires reducing sugar consumption, which can make it challenging to sweeten beverages, baked goods, sauces and dressings.
Fortunately, there are various low-carb sweeteners that you can enjoy.
Here are the 6 best sweeteners for a low-carb keto diet plus 6 you should avoid.
What Sweeteners Are Used In The Russell Stover Sugar
The sugar-free sweeteners that are used in Russell Stover Sugar Free line are stevia extract, maltitol and maltitol syrup, as well as polydextrose in some of their products..
Stevia leaf extract is a sweetener that is used as a common substitute for table sugar and it is 30- 150 times sweeter than table sugar. Its a plant-based sweetener and its sweetness comes from the active ingredients it contains called steviol glycosides.
Stevia is especially common in sugar-free and carb-free products because the active ingredient it has can not be metabolized by the body and therefore stevia has no calories and no carbs.
Maltitol is a sugar alcohol that is commonly used as a sweetener. It has 70-90% of the sweetness of table sugar. But, even though it is a sugar alcohol, maltitol has the highest glycemic index of all sugar alcohols, which is 35 for maltitol powder and 52 for maltitol syrup. For reference, table sugar- sucrose has a glycemic index of 60, so maltitol syrup comes pretty close to it.
Glycemic index is a number from 0-100 with 100 being pure glucose. It is assigned to food and it represents the relative rise in glucose in the blood after two hours of consuming the food.
On the keto diet, of course, youd want to consume food with a glycemic index that is as low as possible to get into ketosis and to avoid getting out of it.
The high GI index of maltitol means that it will definitely affect your ketosis. Check our article about maltitol on keto diet for more details.
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What Is Monk Fruit
- Monk fruit is an excellent sugar substitute for keto, paleo, and other low carb baking recipes
- Monk fruit is 200 times sweeter than sugar, so requires very little in cooking
- Monk fruit is no carb and does not spike insulin
- Monk fruit is generally free of side effects
- Theres some suggestion that monk fruit may have anti-inflammatory benefits
How To Calculate Your Carb Intake
To understand your daily carb allotment, take the above percentages and translate them into grams .
For example, if youre consuming 2,000 calories per day and aim to get just 10% of your calories from carbs, youll multiply 2,000 by .10, to get 200 calories per day. Since one gram of carbs is equal to four calories, youll then take 200 divided by 4, to get 50 grams of net carbs per day.
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Carbohydrates To Avoid On The Ketogenic Diet
There are certain foods that contain extremely high amounts of carbohydrates and will need to be avoided in order to achieve and maintain ketosis.
During your Ketogenic journey, avoid high-carbohydrate foods including: Most fruits, pasta, potatoes, candy bars, pastries, donuts, candy, soda, juice, rice, and bread.
Diet Soft Drinks On Keto
Can you drink diet soft drinks on a keto diet? We recommend you avoid them if possible. Drink water, sparkling water, tea, or coffee instead.
As noted at the start of this guide, regular consumption of sweets, even with no calories, can potentially maintain cravings for sweet tastes.
Whats more, a 2016 study found that most studies showing a favorable or neutral relationship between sugar-sweetened beverages and weight were funded by industry and full of conflict of interest, research bias and unreproduced findings.50
If you must drink diet sodas, though, you will likely still stay in ketosis. Regular soda, sweetened with sugar or high fructose corn syrup, on the other hand, will likely kick you right out of ketosis. Do not consume.
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