We know that when trying to cut out carbs, we all still have a little bit of a sweet tooth. A little craving for that post meal palette cleanse. And that’s ok! Indulge the feeling because that’s how life should be!
But when you reach for that “low cal” or “no cal” snack, you have to be conscious of the most important thing. . . the nutrition label! And while there are many nutritional sweeteners that claim to be no carb or have no caloric impact, that’s unfortunately not the whole story. There are many sweeteners that have been linked to chronic disease, inflammation, and even weight gain! Here we’ll breakdown the top 6 most used ones, as well as their impact on your body so you can have some knowledge next time you’re perusing the grocery store aisles.
Monkfruit is a small round plant that grows in Southeast Asia where it has been used as a natural sweetener and medicine for centuries. The sweetener is created by removing the seeds and skin of the fruit and crushing it to collect the juice, which is then dried into a concentrated powder. It is about 100-250 times as sweet as sugar, while having 0 carbs and 0 calories! Unlike some other sweeteners, it has a glycemic index (GI) of 0, so it’s safe to eat on a ketogenic or low-carb-high-fat (LCHF) diet. Even better, no adverse effects have been found even at high doses.
For these reasons, Kevivé chose the natural sweetener, monkfruit, as our primary sweetener in all our sweet snacks!
The first thing most people don’t know about xylitol is it is a naturally produced chemical! Plants, animals, and humans naturally make this chemical through metabolism. However, the xylitol used as a sweetener is created in a lab from birch through a regimen of chemical reductions. It is considered a Sugar Alcohol. Half sugar, half alcohol molecular structure. It has a glycemic index of 7-10, which is low, but not 0! So just because it is a 0 carb sweetener, doesn’t make it keto diet approved. While xylitol is completely safe for human consumption, it can cause bloating and is even toxic to dogs.
Erythritol is another Sugar Alcohol often used as a sugar replacement. It has 70% of the sweetness of sugar with 6% calories (0.24 cal/gram). In large-scale production, erythritol is created when a type of yeast ferments glucose from corn or wheat starch. Like many other sugar alcohols, it can cause bloating and gas! On the other hand, it does have a GI of only 1 making it an effective keto addition. We personally try to minimize our consumption of erythritol products, simply because there are better options for your optimal health!
Splenda, the sweetener that replaced aspartame in your parents' morning coffee. Splenda’s chemical name is sucralose; which is made by removing and replacing some of the parts of the sugar (sucrose) molecule. This makes it an Artificial Sweetener. While it does tote 3 cal/gram and a GI of 0, it’s not free from health issues. It has been linked to a decline in gut health and recent studies have put into question it’s effects on metabolism. Due to its unnatural origins and questionable health effects, we don’t add sucralose to any of our products.
Aspartame is the most popular Artificial low-cal Sweetener available on the market today. This is a shame because it has been “potentially linked” to a myriad of various ailments including cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. To us, even a small health risk is a big problem. Just FYI, aspartame is can by either synthesized chemically or made through a fermentation process. It has 4 cal/gram and 0 GI. While we do prefer aspartame over refined process sugar, we would also prefer fasting over either one. This is one to definitely stay clear of.
Stevia sweeteners are purified extracts of one type of constituent, called steviol glycosides, found in the leaves of the stevia plant. Because it comes from a plant it a considered a Natural Sweetener. It is 200-400 times sweeter than table sugar. It also boasts a 0 cal/gram and 0 GI count! Stevia has become extremely popular among the low carb advocates due to many of these properties. The one negative finding some users complain of bloating or gastrointestinal issues. While not our favorite sweetener, Kevivé does consider this a valid option in maintaining a low carb lifestyle.
- Saccharin (Sweet N Low)
Saccharin often goes by Sweet N Low, is another Artificial Sweetener made through chemical synthesis. It is 300-400 times sweeter than sugar. It passes through the digestive system unprocessed, which means it has 0 cal/gram and a GI of 0 as well! But like the other artificial sweeteners, it was found that it does actually raise blood sugar insulin! On the other hand, recent studies have actually busted the myth that saccharin is carcinogenic. Despite this, the unnatural nature (and chemical aftertaste) of this sweetener make it a no-go for our snacks!
Now you know! We’ve done our research so you can feel confident when choosing our snacks. We believe in only using the most natural and whole ingredients while simultaneously keeping in mind health-conscious lifestyle choices. The combination of these is what is going to help keep you living better, longer!
Check out our kitchen and find the Keto snacks that are right for you.