Being a true ketotarian

(Kellie) #1

If you are true to keto and the lifestyle does that mean giving up sugar 100% , I’m talking about sugar substitutes like dextrose and sucralose . The reason I ask is because the last couple weeks Iv been strict and not eating anything with hidden sugar like dextrose and sucralose . Yet I see people post all the time " keto foods" that to me would not be considered keto . For example someone posted a McDonald’s egg mcmuffin without the bun saying it’s keto . I don’t agree because the bacon and the meat they use has sugar garunteed . So I guess I’m confused , can you still be keto and loose weight by just sticking to basic keto like the macro stuff because to me I feel like you aren’t true keto without cutting sugar . Iv had to give up so many things because even if they say sugar free (like this bbq sauce that said sugar free but had sucralose in it- now I don’t eat it) it has dextrose or sucralose or some sort of -ose which is SUGAR PEOPLE. So I’m confused like is it okay or not because I’m trying to loose weight here .

(Chris) #2

For your egg mcmuffin example - I wouldn’t count the sugar in bacon, it’s like 1 gram per pound if that. The sausage on the other hand is probably much worse.

Fast food outside of plain beef patties is a tossup sometimes - the cheese oftentimes is made from soy (American cheese is not cheese, anyway), the ketchup is loaded with sugar, etc.

You’re not wrong, it’s just that people are very much attached to their opinions about what they should and shouldn’t eat. I think you have the absolute right of it, and keeping these things in mind about hidden sugars will only serve you well in food choices.


I go 100% no sweetener. It is just what I want to do. I do however have a tiny cheat about once a week and tiny square of 70% plus dark chocolate. it is with sugar, I do not trust the artificial sweeteners. The same group approved them as the ones that approved the food guild.

(Angelica Lopez) #4

Thank you for posting this. The last few times I have brought this up I seem to get negative responses in return and told that I’m “too strict” I’m “overthinking things” and “stressing myself and others out”. I don’t understand why. I suppose you can eat “dirty keto” which is low carb but wrong ingredients, but I personally do not consider that to be the right way to go. I think people need to understand that even small amounts of these hidden ingredients can not only trigger cravings but also keep those cravings active, which makes this WOE harder.

(Kellie) #5

It is very hard and I mean very hard to find foods and condiments without sugar but I just eat basic stuff . I don’t feel a need to get all fancy , the body just wants food and nutrients , it doesn’t care if it’s some foo foo platter that you spaced hours to make or took the time to make , it just wants food. Plain and simple so I just stick to basic stuff . Plus I’m lazy so it works out :wink:

(karen) #6

Not sure this matters to the point of your discussion, but sucralose is an artificial sweetener, it’s not sugar at all although it can have a sugar-like effect for some people. Sucrose, dextrose, lactose and fructose are actual sugar molecules that convert to glucose or glucose-like things during digestion.

(Kellie) #7

I see that’s makes sense. It effects my levels for sure :frowning:

(Dom DePlume) #8

I really don’t care about being true to a “label” or “name”, or being considered a true “this” or "that"atarian. I’m not in this Way of Eating because of want of tribe or anything like that. I’m here for MY health and MY well-being. The community that’s grown up around keto is just a side-benefit (most times. At other times it’s irritating AF, and makes me as angry as vegans did back when I was a 342lb vegan). People need to do their own thing at their own pace and in their own way. Evangelists and proselytizers just ruin everything (for the most part) with over-promising and under-delivery nearly every damn time. Errors in thinking are human nature, as are biases. Stick with facts, and have them at the ready, but beating people over the head pretty much always back-fires. I don’t EVER try and convince anyone that keto is the way to go. I know that at this stage of my life, it’s what’s for ME. I don’t know about you. You do you. If you have questions about what’s working or not working for me, fire away. But if you want to eat an Egg McWhathaveyou, go right ahead, keto or not. At the end of the day, with the world in the state it’s in, I’ve got vastly bigger concerns.

Just my .02



Well - how about this - there is no one kind of “pure” ketotarian, or a monolithic ketotarian.

Most of us live in a messy/unsustainable human society - and success in the journey to our health goals and/or recomp goals may add up to various different ways to eat while maintaining ketosis and tasty food. I eat organic ketchup with my meatza, have small amounts of organic red wine with certain cuisine, and enjoy other treats like occasional little chunks of Ritter’s bittersweet 50% chocolate which contains SUGAR, while staying very well within my LCHF framework and progress via results of measuring tape :smiley:

Though the first 6 weeks are pretty critical for reaching a good amount of fat-adaptation (80% at least), and can benefit from very strict, very-low-carb self-discipline as much as possible - there is something to be said about “not making the perfect the enemy of the good” whilst learning how to nourish the brain and recompose via a fat-burning physiology. :sparkles: :purple_heart: :sparkles:

Let’s also recognize the societal context of plentiful eating disorders including extremes of ‘clean eating’ ideology these days that are negatively affecting some impressionable minds. (esp among young females prone to anorexia due to media miseducation), within a culture that pivots on addiction and psychosocial disorders. Though LCHF/keto is a remedy for many - it is not some True Religion or Pure Faith. For those with pre-existing eating disorders or self-objectification mental states or plastic surgery addiction (yes, it’s a thing in the U.S. and U.K. these days) - self harm habits can persist along with ketosis, as some on this forum have written of.

What’s true for me is that food sources and dietary cultures can be extremely diverse - and recovery from the Standard American Diet and “dieting culture” can entail differences related also to food access and economic privilege. For those that live in urban ‘food deserts’ without an automobile and facing great difficulty in stocking their kitchens with anything beyond the usual non-foods of the faraway supermarket - with fast food/gas station hot food places every few blocks - a bunless-mcmuffin or low grade hot dog may make the difference between keeping on and giving up. Especially if they’re not 100% fat adapted and struggling with terrible hunger pains and a psychological history of food scarcity. The natural laws of metabolic healing and diabetes-management are very inclined towards regeneration & healing nonetheless - but purity ideologies can be very disheartening and sabotaging in such circumstances.

It’s wonderful how people can stay in ketosis with varying qualities of food, extraordinary cuisine differences, and some flexibility in macros (some midlife and older females who are fat-adapted LCHF keep to 60-65% fat intake and make sure to eat twice a day so that their own body’s fat can be used for fuel whilst helping themselves keep a reasonable protein intake going to help diuresis). Dr. Jason Fung does great at embracing the nuances that exist in turning around obesity and prediabetes/diabetes. He makes the point that the critical key in metabolic health is related to the number of insulin spikes in a day and that a LCHF/keto person who spikes their insulin a lot via snacking may actually not do as well as a higher carb person on OMAD.

There are different tolerance levels for carbs/sugars, and different degrees of food addiction and eating disorders and economic access in play - and individuals who acknowledge this may find it actually easier to implement and experiment with LCHF/keto success that harmonizes individuality of psychosocial & metabolic states with the general mammalian biological reality. There are some flexibilities in the application and culture of LCHF/keto - depending on health history, sex, age, location/food access, endurance activities, and additional muscle mitochondria activation levels (such as slow burn and/or super slow strength training). For 100% fat-adapted non-IR people unconcerned with fat recomp, higher levels of carbs/sugar tolerances are common (up too 100-150 grams total all combined), all keeping to well under the SAD levels and with great labs. For IR folks though, very low levels of carbs/sugars are necessary in order to leverage metabolic healing. I think there is also something to be said for the fact that the body may have a healthy set body composition type that distresses many mainstream female minds determined to cut some abs that match the photos of the steroid-taking female bodybuilders, or surgically enhanced or artificially photoshopped enhanced, etc.

I’ve really enjoyed reading and rereading and pondering “The Art & Science Of Low Carbohydrate Living” by keto medical researchers Phinney & Volek. In it are recipes which use foods like yogurt, berries, and/or small amounts of maple syrup which some ketoers shun - I love those recipes though! And also the classic LCHF/keto book “Protein Power” by Dr. Mary Dan Eades and Dr. Michael Eades (though outdated in some of its artifical sweetener advice, which they have addressed in recent years), along with “Periodic Fasting: Repair your DNA, Grow Younger, and Learn to Appreciate your Food” by Romanian athlete and keto researcher Christi Vlad - small amounts of berries and dry red wine to compliment cuisine are well understood as ancient traditions related to some cultures, and non-sabotaging of a well formulated keto lifestyle.

I also believe that since the vast majority of modern people younger than 60 were gestated by sugar-burning mums, the changes we generate with LCHF/keto can be very deep, and primally unsettling for a time before well established 100% fat adaptation. These changes represent the human mammalian birthright - and are also a generational leap for many, in terms of mental state and physical health creation.

What I know for sure is that self-care and self-compassion can really help us navigate our new physiology - and helps us be more culturally sensitive to the food justice issues that some of the LCHF/keto community are daily navigating (in the U.S., for example, at least 40% of people live in official poverty, and another 8% are very near poverty), etc. It can also help us be more sensitive and aware about how mainstream culture and media mis-representation of the body (esp the female body) feeds CICO lifestyles and/or eating disorders and other compulsions that foster self-harming identities, often starting in adolescence.

At the end of the day:



Thank you @SlowBurnMary; as always your comments are articulate, reasoned and balanced. If you live in the UK then I’d like to meet you for a keto coffee. We’re going back to NZ to visit our family early next year, but I suspect you’re based in the US. Whatever, always a pleasure to read your posts

:smile: Ali


You’re very welcome Ali, and thank YOU for the kind words! :slight_smile:

…LOL, when I was fifteen learning typing in the early 80s, I had no idea that I’d become a digital keyboard writer and then morph into a turbo-charged ketosis-fueled extemporaneous flow style, hahaha.


You’ve just really made me laugh in a good way! Seriously, where are you based? I’m off to sleep now as its nearly midnight in the UK and I wake @ approx. 4am due to the birds and energy levels. Please keep posting friend… :smile: Ali


I’m so happy to know that! Laughter is a really good medicine - and just at the same moment a coworker also made me online laugh :sparkles: , what a wonderful world, as the song goes.

(Am based in the US at present :wink: )


Indeed! I seriously owe you some root ginger capsules. :wink: Just hit midnight and hubby has turned the staircase light off. :smile: Sleep well when your time comes… Ali

(Diane) #15

This topic reminds me of one of my favorite threads:

As always, Keep Calm and Keto On

(LeeAnn Brooks) #16

If that were true we wouldn’t have taste buds. The body doesn’t just want fuel. It wants food that taste good.
Thankfully our tastebuds can be trained to an extent.

(Angelica Lopez) #17

I don’t think it’s hard at all to find food and condiments eithout sugar. I think it’s just overwhelming at first having to read through all the ingredients. After you’ve become accustomed to doing that then it’s like second nature. This is why eating as simple as possible makes things easier. Keto does take more effort than other ways of eating since we have to avoid a lot of things. If I wanted, I could go to the store and purchase a ready to eat rotisserie chicken for dinner, but then it may or may not have the ingredients listed on it so instead I have to go through the extra effort of purchasing raw and making my own with ingredients that I know aren’t going to stall me and/or disrupt ketosis. I hate not knowing what’s in the foods that I eat, even before I was doing keto.

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #18

For me, it also depends on one’s goals. If weight loss is what’s important, “dirty” keto may be acceptable. If metabolic healing is the goal, other priorities will assert themselves. And likewise for those eating LCHF to keep seizures in check, and so forth.

Energy levels count, too. I cook a lot for the family, and I have only so much energy for driving around looking for keto substitutes and stuff. The manager of one of the local supermarkets is probably anti-keto, judging from the list of items he refuses to stock, whereas the branch of the same chain in the next town doesn’t hesitate to stock them. But I don’t always have the time or energy to drive over to the next town, so I sometimes make compromises. I also love gravy, whereas carageenan and guar gum don’t seem to be carried by any of the nearby stores, so I decided that a small amount of cornstarch in a quart of gravy is not worth getting too excited about. I count it and move on.

Also, apart from trying to stay within my carb limit, I can’t weigh food and count calories—it’s just not going to happen. It’s a mental thing, and if I had to do it to eat keto, I couldn’t be keto, so I have to be satisfied with lazy keto. I just don’t worry about it, especially since I’m doing it well enough to see some benefits.

I have to be stricter with sugar, because of being a sugar addict and not wanting to go back to that way of eating (if I do, I promise to notify the forums that it’s time to load up on Dunkin’ Donuts stock!). And I am beginning to suspect that I should probably cut out the stevia/erythritol, because it seems to be triggering cravings. :sob:

So these are the factors that I consider. Not only that, but my blood work is completely normal after a year in ketosis, so obviously the way I do it is “okay,” in terms of my primary reason for doing keto. So I try to do my best and then not to worry about it.

Hope this doesn’t sound too much like a lecture, it’s actually just my musings on the topic, along with a description of my thought processes. You are all examples for me of how diverse this way of eating can be. So it gives me hope that there are things I can change, if necessary, and that I don’t have to judge myself in the meantime.

(Dom DePlume) #19

Yeah. THE thing about keto (for me, as well as others) is that it has to be–and by definition remain–sustainable. There are plenty of “diets” that will help you lose weight. But long-term? Constantly feeling depleted is not an option for me. I did that. About 8 years ago, I went from 324lbs down to a low of 163 in about 18mo, mostly with a combo of Atkins and CICO, and by the time I got down to my lowest, I was pretty much on the verge of a damn heart attack. I looked great, but felt like a wet dishrag most of the time. I couldn’t keep that up. My body was TELLING me that. I got back up to 243 last October. After the switch to keto, I’m now down to 198, have done so with far less effort than CICO, and feel worlds better for it. Yeah, I have to put in more effort in the kitchen in areas (keto ice cream don’t make itself, son!) but in others, it’s NBD. Less side dish making, less breakfasts & lunches. I’m aware that I’m fortunate in that my grocery bubble is pretty small: I can get the vast majority of my keto staples, treats, and supplies within 10mi of my home. But honestly, even if that weren’t the case, I could do without the “special” stuff, and still manage with just the commonly available staples, and that’s why I can have confidence in doing this WoE long-term, and also why I have confidence that even though the weightloss has slowed, I’ll be able to reach my goal weight eventually, but this time in a much more healthy and sustainable way…