I've got a question about sweeteners


(jacqueline dietrichson) #1

Been keto since Nov '17. Not T2D or have any major health issues. Do keto for weight loss/health benefits.

I have made keto desserts sweetened with erythritol or a “keto-friendly” sweetener. Then I was introduced to “The Obesity Code” book and Dr. Fung. It was there I first really understood that even these ‘healthier’ sweeteners would spike insulin (even though they don’t raise blood sugar? Sorry, not a scientist, just repeating what I believe I’ve heard.) So Fung recommends avoiding them ALL - sugar and these sweeteners.

My question is: IF I’m going to indulge in a dessert occasionally is there any benefit to making a keto dessert with one of these sweeteners, or I might as well just have the real thing (sugar)? I’ve tried asking this question on one of the Fung FB groups and the admin shut it down w/o answering the question that “Dr. Fung doesn’t recommend the use of sweeteners.”


(Jane) #2

To me, the difference in sugar and 0-calorie sweeteners is even if the latter causes an insulin response, all it does is prevent access to your fat stores - no calories to store as additional fat. Unlike sugar.

I’m not a scientist so I may be interpretating this worng, but that is my take on it.


Why do you say IF you are clearly wanting somone to say go for it? I think you mean WHEN?

I personally believe sugar is very harmful, the fructose component of it. Some artificial sweeteners are also harmful. Dr Fung is treating patients who come to him for end stage renal failure after eating SAD for long enough to become very ill. Many of them are diabetics like me, so I wouldn’t expect that a forum related to him would not support any sweeteners.

Richard Morris has some recipes and so does Carrie in the 2ketodudes.com podcasts, for desserts using a sweetener that I can’t remember the name of, but I believe Richard said it doesn’t raise insulin and it is very good to cook with. You would find the name in those podcasts.
If you used that, perhaps it would be less harmful?

But if you ask me, I would suggest you are playing with fire, don’t do it. I would say just let that part of your monkey brain have a rest, get over it (it will eventually if you don’ t feed it sugar for awhile).

(jacqueline dietrichson) #4

Thanks but No I wasn’t looking for an OK to go have a dessert. Simply was looking for if there was any value to using a keto friendly sweetener scientifically - how it reacts in your body on the occasional indulgence.

I am curious about the recipes. I will look at them.

(jacqueline dietrichson) #5

Interesting. Thanks for your comment.


Something that has helped me sort out what if any sweetener I might try was looking up posts on this forum using the sweetener name in the search field (to get others opinions and experiences) and looking up Keto sweetener review videos on YouTube. Of course, everyone can react to the same sweetener totally different, but it might give you a starting point on which ones should mostly be avoided and which ones you might do ok with. I think you’ll know when you try something if you should avoid it in the future…for instance, did it cause gastro distress? did you feel inflammation after? did you notice an increase in cravings? Etc. I think there’s a more general consensus with Keto that regular sugar even in small amounts may trigger past carb cravings, which most of us want to avoid at all costs :slightly_smiling_face:

(Full Metal KETO) #7

I rarely use sweeteners, usually for cooking, occasionally for a holiday or birthday treat and never in drinks like coffee. I use Allulose, it’s expensive but I might use a two pound bag in a year. It behaves almost like real sugar because it is real sugar, just a rare type that your body can’t use for energy. Some accounts say zero carb and others say it has a little percentage of digestible carbs. Personally with as much as I use and what your projected use is I wouldn’t worry about it. I like erythritol too but some have GI issues with it. I do not. But it’s not as sugar like to cook with, doesn’t caramelize or dissolve to the same degree that allulose does for something like syrups. :cowboy_hat_face:

(jacqueline dietrichson) #8

Thanks for your input. Hadn’t heard of that one.

(jacqueline dietrichson) #9

Thanks very much for your response! Good thoughts.

(Full Metal KETO) #10

Coincidentally I just got my new bag in the mail now. I buy it from Amazon, a two pound bag runs $17.99. I’m making a batch of Cowboy Candy today. I have a few pounds of fresh homegrown Jalapeños right now. And s few treats around Christmas will be inevitable! :cowboy_hat_face:

(Rebecca) #11

I use sucralose (Splenda) and find it doesn’t affect my blood glucose. I find I don’t need to take it into account when calculating my insulin doses (I’m type 1 diabetic) and therefore in my own experience can say it doesn’t create an insulin spike for me!

I only have it as part of a meal and therefore it’s at a time I’m taking insulin anyway (but as I say, I find I don’t need to take any extra on top of what I’ve calculated for the other stuff I’m eating).


The answer for “sweetener or sugar” is glaringly obvious in my case. My body is fine even with lots of sweets every day but it complains if I eat more than minimal sugar or lots of carbs… I actually feel the sugar shocks my system in some cases, right away. Why do you think sugar isn’t worse, do you think your sweetener is harmful? Don’t use any sweetener then, including sugar. They aren’t needed. I eat sweets a lot (well, less nowadays) but just because I find them okay and they had a role in my life, I probably would go over my carb limit without them in the beginning. But with sugar? No keto at all, less pleasant sweets, feeling worse, being hungrier, definitely not a good idea.

But it’s up to you to decide. I find your question very odd though despite it’s not the first time… You do keto, you don’t use sugar for making sweets… Or it’s some tiny amount that fits your carb limit? Not like it’s advisable then… It just doesn’t make sense to me.

(Full Metal KETO) #13

On reflection this is a little humorous. I’m sure it’s true that they don’t recommend any sweeteners for obese and diabetic patients they work with. But I remember a quote from Dr. Fung somewhere concerning being extreme and completely inflexible about eating. That IF and a LC Diet as a long term habit gave you flexibility. He said something like “Eat a piece of the damn Birthday Cake” or something pretty close to that. You did state occasional indulgence in that FB post. Gave me a laugh…:cowboy_hat_face:

(Dee In NY, US wasT2D. Started keto June 14, 2019) #14

Is that only because you don’t have any of your own insulin?


Let’s not forget that Dr Fung’s FB group is a fasting support group. That’s most likely the reason they want to break people of their sweetener habits - fasting with black coffee is recommended, but using sweeteners in black coffee all day will compromise the intended outcome of the fast. (And I’m sure the admins are sick to death of the numerous daily “Will ****** break my fast?” questions, so a blanket ban is just simpler.)

(Rebecca) #16

Good question! I think my use of the word ‘spike’ was wrong - in fact I’d say that in my case sucralose doesn’t seem to create demand for insulin. So that’s why I’m thinking it’s possible that sucralose perhaps wouldn’t cause a spike for people with their own insulin.

This sounds weird but because I can measure blood glucose and I know how much insulin I am dosing, I find my type 1 really quite useful in identifying what can have an effect on blood glucose and what doesn’t - although I appreciate that we’re all very different.

For instance, I’m crazy for raw brassicas - and whenever I make sauerkraut I often end up eating the cabbage stalk as I go. When I first did this I had had no idea quite by how much just a few bites of raw cabbage could affect my blood glucose…! :eyes:

My diabetes nurse doesn’t like that I take insulin when I eat just eggs, or just steak. But these affect greatly my demand for insulin - even though the diktat is ‘inject for carbs’. So it’s not a huge leap to suspect that these things - in the absence of carbs, I mean - are likely to cause an insulin spike in the non-diabetic population too.

Sorry, I’ve moved away from the topic of sweeteners on to protein - but I hope what I’ve said makes sense! :slightly_smiling_face:

(Polly) #17

I think it is called the cephalic effect where an insulin spike occurs in anticipation of some blood glucose becoming available. It has been detected in people who have tasted “sweet “ even when the ingestion was of effectively zero carb material.

(Dirty Lazy Keto'er, Sucralose freak ;)) #18

IMPO, most sweeteners taste kind of lame. Forget Stevia, monkfruit, erythritol, etc.
I love the taste of Sucralose though, and eat quite a bit of it every day. Hasn’t hurt my keto results whatsoever.
I think a lot of people have more psychological issues with Sucralose than they do physical ones.

Too many people go by what they heard, or what they read on the internet, instead of just going by first hand experience.

Honestly, i think eating a bunch of Sucralose every day is a lot healthier than eating a bunch of sugar. And it still tastes good and sweet :wink:


I’m fine with the taste as long as it isn’t bad. Stevia is so horrible I can’t stand it in tiny amounts in a sea of xylitol (and I find xylitol very, very delicious). But some people love it. I use erythritol, not perfect but not bad at all if I don’t use a lot (I know it’s not true for everyone though). It’s not like sugar tastes good to me, it’s just sweet… Sweeteners are for making things sweet, not necessarily tasty, that’s what the other ingredients are for. At least in my world. Some sweeteners are tasty, that’s a lucky thing but simple sweetness is fine.
So I’m quite happy with my bland erythritol (and occasionally, xylitol) and I do my best to eat very little of them. I have this attitude with all sweeteners, it sounds a good idea to me. But each to their own, of course.




Hey @diet94 Jacqueline, keto since 2017, that’s awesome. As a longer term practitioner, have you found that some foods have become sweeter? I’m particularly thinking about vegetables and vegetable fruits, such as pumpkin (squash), that are regarded as vegetables.

The whole concept of dessert has changed in my experience. I now look at fruit, such as 6 strawberries (maybe with some balsamic vinegar, or double cream) as a dessert. Pumpkin and butter and a combination of spices (nutmeg or cinnamon) is a sweet dessert to my keto palate. The latest experiment was 90% dark chocolate and flash fried new season spring lamb liver. Liver as dessert!

The benefit of sweeteners in the keto lifestyle is if one is the host cook at a dinner party with ketosceptic guests. It allows the construction of a seemingly non-keto dessert and plenty of discussion after it is enjoyed.