We have spoken at length about sugars, today we chat about artificial sweeteners on the LCHF diet. Are they bad for you, can you have them?
Like with many products, and substitute products in particular, some are better than others. When looking at artificial sweeteners; you are probably better off using something that is more natural or carbohydrate based, as opposed to other forms of chemicals that have been developed.
We consistently talk about avoiding processed and refined foods, and more importantly foods that are chemically produced or developed. Natural is always better, and sweeteners are artificial after all.
Are artificial sweeteners good for you?
While there may be more natural sweeteners out there, the majority are not. You should really try to avoid putting any unnecessary chemicals into your body. When looking at its use on the LCHF diet, it is not advised either, as it could see you rediscover your sugar addiction. Sugar is one of the most addictive things on earth.
Sugar addiction is tough to break. Substituting sugar with sweeteners is not the option if you are hoping to do this. If you are insulin resistant and obese and looking to lose weight, you need to be cutting out sugar completely. If you don’t you won’t be able to break the habit. This is why processed foods are such a no-no, they are mostly loaded with sugar. You just need to read the food label to see how high the sugar content is in products.
Are artificial sweeteners as bad as sugar?
Not everyone has the need or desire to cut out sugar completely. Here you are better off eating sugar, as it is a more natural product than artificially produced sweeteners.
There is a similar case here to the above debate. While “no sugar” soft drinks have substituted the sugar content and are thus lower in calories, they are still feeding a sweet habit. Those applying the LCHF diet at its most extreme level need to avoid this completely as well.
What about ‘no sugar’ fizzy soft drinks?
While the “no sugar” alternative to your favourite soft drink is lower in calories, it doesn’t mean it’s any better for your health. Yes normal soft drinks have an excessive amount of sugar, but they have less chemically produced elements in them. When sugar is removed or reduced from a product it is often replaced by some form of chemical to mimic the sweetness it provided.
On a sensory level, the brain still perceives these “no sugar” drinks to have a high amount of glucose in them. This means you will still see a spike in your glucose insulin level. Soft drinks really should just be avoided all together.