Sweetener = Sugar response?

(Peter - Don't Fear the Fat ) #1

Please help me to understand what effects, if any, sweeteners have.
Normally sweet means sugar, your body is expecting sugar when it detects sweet, right or wrong? or me with oversimplification again?
I presume an insulin response. I’m making a sweet and eating it daily. Could THIS be why I can’t shift that 3kg of fat?

(Joey) #2

My understanding is that different folks have different reactions to different artificial sweeteners.

The mechanism of interest is the cephalic response to taste bud stimulation… such that even if there are no “carbs” (in the natural sense) of certain artificial sweeteners, they may prompt an insulin response from prior taste bud training/reactions when eating refined sugars. (Even looking at photos of certain foods and smelling their aromas can stimulate saliva production, so there’s a lot going on in the brain when it comes to impending food.)

Not everyone reacts the same way.

I’ve posted on this forum a graph of my own n=1 experiment with a series of 30 minute glucose testing over a period of hours after ingesting a large dose of organic pure stevia extract… not a twit of a movement in glucose, suggesting not likely associated with any measurable insulin response in my particular case.

But YMMV. Why you can’t lose a few pounds of fat may or may not have anything to do with this in your case. :vulcan_salute:

(Peter - Don't Fear the Fat ) #3

Hmmm I see. Perhaps the only way to find out is to cut out the sweet, I can learn not to miss it, and see what happens!

(Sondra Rose) #4

You might find this study interesting: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7014832/#:~:text=Ingestion%20of%20these%20artificial%20sweeteners,due%20to%20their%20sweet%20taste

(Allie) #5

It’s very individual Pete, you really need to do some testing if you want to find out how they affect you.

(Peter - Don't Fear the Fat ) #6

Yes, and that’s OK. This whole new life is a voyage of discovery :blush:
I’m reluctant to remove foods just for the sake of it but hey, these sweets really aren’t necessary.
By removing stevia I want to see immediate results … or I’m making a big cake lol

(Allie) #7

Stevia seems to be one of the least problematic sweeteners, just be careful as it’s often mixed with other things that aren’t so friendly.

(Joey) #8

Excellent point. We’ve been careful to only purchase 100% stevia extract.

In the USA we have a brand “Pyure” that makes both a powdered version and a liquid drop version (the latter of which has an alcohol content).

We avoid other versions (even by the same brand) as they include a mix of various other sweeteners.

Read the labels - and pray that they’re accurate.

(KM) #9

Or grow your own. It’s an easy herb.

(Bacon enough and time) #10

Joey has already gone into this, so I won’t repeat what he said, but I will add a couple of points.

The first is that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will not allow an artificial sweetener to be sold that raises people’s blood sugar. If you ever use such a sweetener and find that it raises your glucose, tell the FDA, and they’ll investigate and probably take it off the market. Other governments will probably follow suit.

However, the FDA cares not a whit for the insulin response, and some people appear to have a response to certain of the artificial sweeteners. This is all anecdotal, and the only way to test the hypothesis is to measure glucose levels and try to infer the possibility of an insulin response from the pattern of blood sugar levels. (This is because at present there is no home test for insulin; testing requires a radioimmunoassy done in a lab. And since the FDA is not interested in insulin, there is no reason manufacturers would pay for tests of people’s insulin responses.)

Not everybody appears to react at all to artificial sweeteners, and those that react to one don’t seem to react to others, and one person might react to a sweetener that has no effect on other people.

So it is possible that one or another of the artificial sweeteners you use may be raising your insulin and preventing fat loss. It is possible that switching to a different sweetener will not do so. However, there are reasons that experts really don’t encourage the use of artificial sweeteners, except possibly as a short-term crutch to get over the hump of giving up sugar.

Now, all that said, there are plenty of reasons, completely unrelated to artificial sweeteners, for your trouble in shedding those last 3 kilos. One is simply that the last 3 kg take a lot longer to shed than the first 45 kg. Another is that, if you are going solely by the number on your scale, you might be putting on some muscle and making your bones denser, even while still shedding fat. Another is that your body likes your current body composition and isn’t about to budge, any time soon. Though it might become willing to shed more fat if you give it some time to get used to its current situation.


Totally different for everybody, for most people they’re fine. Some people say they have an Insulin spike from them, that one always has me skeptical as in the keto world “Spike” seems to be a VERY subjective term.

Do you have a glucometer? If so use some and check for an Blood Sugar drop. I’ve REALLY pushed that one, and never found it happen with any normal one. Closest I could get on that one was slugging 3 cans back to back of Diet Root Beer which has Ace-K in it, that one we know actually is Insulinogenic, but it took 3 to get a noticeable drop, even then, it was only a drop of 15-20 IIRC. So with that little of a response, how much insulin did it really secrete to fix it?

Your blood sugar going up and down isn’t a problem, it’s literally how we work, same goes for “Evil” Insulin. The problem comes when they get high, and stay that way. If you eat/drink something and your BG goes up, you secrete some Insulin, it drops the BG very quickly, then it drops, there’s NOTHING wrong!

On the 3kg you can’t lose, have you been tracking your intake at all or for a while and noticing any correlation with high vs low loss weeks and what you did during them?

(Peter - Don't Fear the Fat ) #12

Thanks Paul and Ifod.
I don’t have a CGM and don’t track much anymore, I just see the bump around my navel and the belt hole isn’t changing.
That said I can be happy like this because whenever I do check my glucose falls in a narrow band (that was the original objective).
The sweetener thing got me interested because I ate a (trusted)
Low carb cake and soon after felt very nauseous. It wasn’t stevia some other sweetener, not sure which one but definitely had a ‘decent don’t eat this’ signal.
Back to bacon and eggs.

(Cathy) #13

My SIL is a type 1 diabetic and he tells me that the only sweetener (so far) that doesn’t raise his blood glucose is erythritol. He has not tested for sucralose which is the one that I like best.

Ideally, getting sweet out of your diet is probably the best approach not just because of what it does (or doesn’t?) to blood glucose/insulin but because it is generally a draw to eat more than what the body needs. Something that I struggle with.

(Brian) #14

What happens over time is an interesting topic to me.

I’ll give a for instance. If every morning, I break out a huge picture of a vicious looking tiger and make an effort to scare you with it by jumping it out in front of you. The first morning, you have a huge response and the adrenaline is off the charts, you’re ready to fight or run. The next day, same paper tiger. But you’re not quite as scared this time, perhaps a little startled. The next day, same paper tiger. Slight annoyance but no flight or flight response. 100 days later, same paper tiger, you barely even notice it as you know it’s not a threat.

So the question is, if you put a little stevia in your coffee every morning, has your body figured out exactly what it is and that there is nothing there to react to with the insulin levels? Paper tiger? Or does your body never figure it out?

(Peter - Don't Fear the Fat ) #15

A doctor I know suggested to me that our body expects sugar when it detects sweet. When the sugar doesn’t arrive it says ‘eat more because something went wrong, I didn’t get sugar’.


But many of us experience nothing like that at all… Sweetener simply may make the food nicer for many of us (for desserts. put a noticeable amount of sweetener or sugar on my meat and I won’t touch it. lactose free sour cream was horribly sweet too, only good for desserts) but it never made me hungrier or raised my appetite too much (I mean, sometimes my appetite is super low while I should eat more food, I welcome the ability to eat some more food in dessert form. I don’t usually use sweetener for that nowadays but I used to in the past).

(Brian) #17

I guess the only way I’d ever answer my own question is with a CGM and some testing. But… I may have already skewed the results. I put a little stevia in my coffee EVERY morning. Have done that for years.

I do wonder, though, whether my body recognizes the subtle tones of stevia flavor and has figured out that nothing is wrong, it’s stevia, no sugar coming.

My wife likes her coffee without any sweetener. And while I can do it that way, I don’t really enjoy it as much.

I have not noticed things like stevia making me crave more sweets or more food. Maybe that’s an individual thing, too. (?)

(Marion) #18

Yes, you are right, there was an Israeli study some years ago that proved that artificial sweeteners raised insulin.
Sorry, can’t link it but it was credible.
They didn’t test stevia.

(Geoffrey) #19

I have just chosen to avoid all sweeteners in any form. That includes hidden sweeteners in food ingredients. I believe I can handle any triggers that may occur because I am totally committed to this woe but I just don’t need anything in my body that doesn’t provide any nutrition.
Maybe that’s a little overboard but it’s what I choose to do.

(Robin) #20

I admire your strict adherence to only nourishing foods.
I try for that… but that stevia in my 2 cups of coffee every darn day,
like right this moment.
It’s like starting the day off with dessert.