In our day and age, we may sometimes hear the phrase “Keto Diet” Some of you may have an idea on what it may be while others a little less familiar with the word may think that it relates to losing weight and exercise, and you are not wrong.
Keto diet is a type of diet that helps in the cutting out of weight in a very short duration of time by stimulating the process of ketosis in the body through the formation of ketones in the body. It is a diet that reduces the uptake of Carbohydrates, our primary energy source and instead increases the amount of fat intake. Now the absence or low levels of carbohydrates leads our body to start obtaining energy by burning fats stored in the body. This in turn leads to weight loss.
There are many different types of keto diets depending on the consumer.
- (SKD) Standard ketogenic diet: it is an extremely low-carb, mild-protein and high-fat diet. It contains 75% fats, 20% proteins and only 5% carbohydrates.
- (CKD) Cyclical ketogenic diet: higher-carbohydrates consumption for long periods of time is included, like 5 days on keto diet followed by 2 days of high-carb intake.
- (TKD) Targeted ketogenic diet: This diet gives permission to add carbs around exercise sessions.
- High-protein ketogenic diet: This is just like a standard ketogenic diet, but involves more protein. The ratio is usually 60%of fats, 35%of proteins and 5% of carbs.
Advantages of the Keto diet
1. Cancer: a hormone that is released by the liver to store to use sugar as a fuel or store it is insulin. Following a keto diet makes the body burn sugar for fuel and does not allow it to get stored. Resulting in less use of insulin by the body. the lower sugar levels may aid the protection against kinds of cancers and slows the cancer cell. growth.
2. Acne: Carbohydrates are related to this skin condition, so decreasing the intake of them help. And the drop in the levels of insulin that a ketogenic diet can start can also help stop acne breakouts and mostly on face. (Insulin can make your body to produce other hormones that cause acne.)
3. cardiovascular Diseases: A diet that is high in fat can raise “good” cholesterol and lower “bad” cholesterol in human body, but starting a keto diet keto diet can help with the conditions that start due to bad cholesterol. It can be possible because the lower levels of insulin that result from ketogenic diets can keep your body from making excess cholesterol. This will prevent your body from having high blood pressure, arteries hardening, and other cardiovascular issues.
4. Diabetes: Low-carb diets can help in keeping your blood sugar levels less. But when the body starts to burn fats to produce energy, it makes elements known as ketones. If a person has diabetes type 1, a large number ketones present in your blood can make the person sick. it’s very important to talk with your doctor in order to makeany changes in your diet.
The common side effects aren’t usually serious, you can have:
2. Mild to low levels of sugar in blood
3. issues in digestion.
4. Keto-flu (which includes headache, weakness, and irritability, keto breath, and fatigue.)
Much less often, low-carb diets can cause to:
1. renal issues like kidney stones
2. large acid level in body (acidosis).
Limitations of the keto diet
Now as we have gone over the basis of this diet let us look at some of the limitations and concerns about the diet.
Amongst many of the major limitations of the diet is that the dieter is unable to maintain it for a longer period of time. As it restricts a large number of carbohydrates it is difficult to maintain the diet and it can deprive you of many important nutrients.
1. Adaptation Process is required by keto diet
Adapting the changes occurring by keto diet can take one or two weeks and the transition can be difficult and uncomfortable for few people. The “keto flu” is usually used to describe flu-like symptoms along with the transition process:
4. Muscle aches.
Due to restricted carb intake, the body is not getting as much water as usual, so the loss of electrolytes and salts is very common. This can easily be compensated with taking mineral supplements or by taking ketones, mineral and salts in diet.
2: Keto diet May Cause Irregularity
If the fat intake is increased while drastically cutting your carb intake, it can cause gastrointestinal problems, from constipation to diarrhea. This mostly resolve itself when the body gets adapted to the changes like fat concentrated diet. There is also a risk for nausea, especially when switching from a low-fat diet to the ketogenic diet. It cis time for the organs like gall bladder, pancreas, and liver to adapt to changes like digesting high amounts of fats.
3: The Restriction of Certain Foods on keto diet
It is difficult to give up a large portion of the food group, and the keto diet requires the consumer to give up all types of sugar (no candy, ice cream or donuts, and basic carbs like bread, rice, and pasta and all types of junk food.
Keto diet also limits many fruits because of the fructose content, along with starchy vegetables like potatoes and corn. On the positive end your body becomes keto-adapted, the sugar cravings will fall or disappear altogether.
4: Keto May increase Cholesterol levels for Certain People
While many people will see their cholesterol fall along the weight, there are some that may face the opposite because of the meat-heavy nature of the keto diet. This is a genetic predisposition and this means that the ketogenic diet is not good for all.
5: Social Gatherings become difficult
Eating out at restaurants requires more planning and research due to hidden carbs on menus if keto diet is being followed. Attending social events will require a lot of self-discipline.
Sugar cravings can be satisfied by eating things like dark chocolate, it is okay in small amounts. Keto-friendly chocolates have zero-calorie natural sweeteners like stevia and erythritol.
As you have read, we reduce the amount of carbs ingested in this diet so for that we have to minimize or stop intake of sugary food, rice and even tubers like potatoes, sweet potatoes and carrots or starch like pasta, bread and rice.
I know, a little hard to follow through on the long run. It is very difficult to not eat deserts or sugar or starch or tubers. But staying healthy is more important.
To satisfy sugar cravings. Many have been looking for alternatives for sugar and artificial sweeteners are the hype, one of the compounds commonly used is Aspartame. Let’s take a look into what is the product and what are its effects on the keto diet.
Aspartame is an artificial non-saccharide sweetener, about 200 times sweeter than normal sugar and is thus used as an alternative in many products. As it does not increase the amount of carbs ingested so it does not affect ketosis or the keto diet. It is used in sugar free chewing gums and sugar free sodas. Be sure to keep in mind that this synthetic compound does have some calories when ingested, it is not entirely calorie free.
As keto diet focuses on ketosis and the way to keep your body in that state is to have decreased carb intake. So many raise the question of whether will it be counter-productive to use an artificial sweetener when doing the keto diet.
The keto diet usually limit carbs intake from 5–10% of calorie intake per day. a diet of 2,000 calorie intake per day, this equates 20–50 grams of carbohydrates daily. Aspartame provides minimum 1 gram of carbs per 1-gram serving packet. in conclusion Aspartame gives very less carbs and does not raise sugar levels of blood when ingested in moderate amounts. the fact that aspartame is sweeter than commercial sugar, it helps in lower consumption as well.
FDA approved dosage
FDA is Food and Drug Association that qualifies different ingredients and compounds for human consumption. FDA had approved aspartame as an artificial sweetener in 1981. Some of the other organizations that have approved aspartame include:
1. World Health Organization (WHO)
2. United Nation Food and Agriculture Organization
3. Europe Food Safety Authority
The FDA approved Dosage of Aspartame is 50mg per kilogram of body weight. the EFSA gives 40 mg per Kg of weight of body.
Who cannot use Aspartame?
Aspartame is usually harmless and has no adverse effect on the individual using it but there is a genetic condition that will be harmful for the person using this sweetener. If someone suffers from phenylketonuria, they need to avoid aspartame completely. Phenylketonuria is a genetic disorder that decreases the ability to break down phenylalanine in body, it is an amino acid in aspartame and different foods.
It is neurological disorder which causes sudden, jerking movements of the body and face these movements are uncintrollable. It usually is the result from long-term use of antipsychotic medications.
researches on cause of TD say that phenylalanine can trigger the muscular movements that characterize TD.
Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana) is a shrub which is known as a source of natural calorie free sweeteners. Stevia is natural, not like other sugar alternatives. It is obtained by a leaf related to garden flowers like asters and chrysanthemums.
human body cannot metabolize the glycosides in stevia, so it contains zero calories. Stevia’s taste is slower onset and stays longer than taste of sugar, and a few of its extracts can have a bitter;licorice-like aftertaste.
In 2010, The European Food Safety Authority made an acceptable daily intake of 4 mg/kg/day of stevia.August 2019, the FDA put an alert on Stevia leaves and crude extracts and on foods or dietary supplements which were containing stevia and its extracts because of safety concerns and for toxicity.
Side effects of stevia
Stevia and chemicals present in stevia, like stevioside and rebaudioside A, are safe when their intake is by mouth as a sweetener in foods. Rebaudioside A is generally recognized as safe to be used as a sweetener for many foods. Stevioside is used in research in doses of up to 1500 milligram each day for 2 years.
1. Feeling Nausea and dizziness: by taking stevia or stevioside some people can experience bloating or nausea. While some people have reported feelings of dizziness, muscular pain, and numbness.
2. Allergies: Stevia belongs to the Asteraceae/Compositae plant family. This plant family includes ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds, daisies, and many more plants. People who are sensitive to ragweed and plants like this may be sensitive to stevia too.
3. Diabetes mellitus: Many developing researches suggests that some of the chemicals present in stevia can lower blood sugar and interfere in blood sugar control. Some research disagrees to this. If you are suffering from diabetes and use stevia or any others sweeteners it contains, check your blood sugar and report your findings to your physician.
4. Lower blood pressure: some of the chemicals present in stevia can lower the blood pressure. these chemicals can result in blood pressure to drop too low in people who suffer from low blood pressure. Get your doctor’s advice before taking stevia or any other sweeteners it contains.
More to know:
Now moving on to discussing the effect of stevia on insulin levels in consumers. Being reminded that the target audience of these artificial sweeteners is diabetes patients, and those suffering from blood sugar, this topic is one of major concern. Among the studies that have been conducted in regards to effects of stevia on insulin levels, none have proved any relation of insulin variability to the consumption of stevia.
Now we move on to the fact whether stevia is keto friendly or not. Whenever on a ketogenic diet or in a state of ketosis, the person tends to opt for sweeteners that have a low glycemic index. In simpler terms, substances that do not effect blood glucose levels. So on the scale of glycemic indices, stevia has a value of zero, in turn meaning that it is a safe option during ketosis.
Generally, food additives such as stevia are considered safe by GRAS and are not questioned by the FDA, transitively implying that they are safe for consumption., stevia and crude stevia extracts are not approved for common use by the FDA.
Studies have not yet proven any major ailments due to stevia yet. It should be of concern to people using blood pressure medications as it has shown to reduce blood pressure of its consumers. Though not proven, research is being conducted of the chemicals present in the stevia plant which are suspected to cause gene mutations as well as cancer.
Sucralose is also another artificial sweetener that is several times sweeter than sugar and is used in cooking. It is sold by the brand name Splenda or Sucral. It’s a sweetener that can be found in a variety of foods including baked products, drinks, chewing gum, gelatins, and frozen dairy it is an all-purpose alternative.
Sucralose is produced by multi-step patented process in which three hydrogen-oxygen groups are replaced with three chlorine atoms. The change with chlorine atoms increases the rate sweetness to 600 times than regular sugar and calorie count is zero.
The FDA introduced a daily use (ADI) of sucralose 5 mg per kg of body weight (mg/kg) of sucrose. It also encourages usage of sucralose in 15 food categories in 1998 and to be used as an all-purpose sweetener for foods in 1999, under a certain limited use.
Side effects of sucralose
The FDA approves sucralose as safe for human intake as a general sweetener, there is conflicting research on the safety of consumption of sucralose. Some negative effects and disadvantages of sucralose are:
1. Increase in insulin levels: This product has been known to raise blood sugar and insulin levels especially in people who don’t consume these artificial sweeteners regularly. In a study, consumers of sucralose had 20% higher levels of insulin in blood. This led scientists to believe that the increase in blood insulin is by the consumption of Sucralose triggering the sweet taste buds in the mouth — an effect called cephalic phase insulin release.
2. Effects the gut enzymes: The bacteria in the gut are extremely important for overall health, benefiting the immune system, heart, weight and other health aspects. Rodent studies say that sucralose can increase intestinal microbiota and may decrease some of this good bacteria, leading to inflammation of internal organs, like the liver. In vivo studies show that sucralose may change hormone levels digestive tract, leading towards many abnormalities that may cause metabolic disorders like obesity or even diabetes type 2. This study is not tested on human beings.
3. Sucralose is Unsafe at high temperatures: Sucralose is not heat stable, this means that it cannot stay sweet when it is used at high temperatures during baking, cooking etc. At high temperatures, it breaks down and creates dangerous substances that can increase the risk of cancer.
4. Weight Gain: Though there is no direct relation between weight loss and sucralose, they’re consumed by weight loss pursuers on the basis that they can control their sweet hunger pangs by inhaling artificial sweets as they’re lower in calories and do not spike blood sugar.it is in studies that on different types of low-calorie and no-calorie sweeteners have shown that these low-calorie sweeteners stimulate an increase sugar cravings, leading to high calorie consumption and more weight gain. As a result, people do not feel satisfied unless they intake more calories. This results in difficulties in losing weight and improving your health.
Sucralose; artificial sweetener which is not metabolized, this means that it can pass through your body undigested and it doesn’t provide calories or carbs. sucralose does not have calories , Splenda has maltodextrin and dextrose, two carbs that give almost 3 calories and 1 g of carbohydrates in each packet. foods that contain them are not necessarily carb-free.
Sucralose is mainly consumed by customers opting for weight loss, diabetes patients or people controlling their blood-sugar levels. blood sugar levels are not raised by it, and they are considered to be safe alternatives to regular sugar for diabetics. While their long-term safety has not yet been determined, but it’s declared safe by regulatory bodies in the US and Europe and are significantly less damaging than “refined sugar.”
It’s no surprise that people experience food cravings and these cravings are no stranger to people following a keto diet. In fact, many people that start a ketogenic diet find an increase in intense sugar craving in the starting. This brings to the question of whether sucralose is keto friendly or not. A keto diet or a state of ketosis requires the person to consume almost 75% fat, 20% protein and 5% or less than 50 grams of carbs daily i.e. the glycemic levels should be as low as they can be. For sucralose, there is a mild controversy about the glycemic index. There are a lot of sources claiming many numbers, but on average, it is that it’s about 80 GI in powdered bulked form (Splenda). The worst part is that it is higher than sugar and it can cause big spikes in blood sugar levels – so the consumer should avoid the powdered form for the keto diet. the GI for pure sucralose is zero, so the consumer can use this as they would use stevia extract. It has no nutritional value, since it is not absorbed in the body. But it’s better to avoid sucralose altogether as caution.
Bottom line, while sucralose may be one of the highest consumed artificial sweeteners, they should be put under as caution. Aside from the above-mentioned issues, it has been noted that the same lab which found that aspartame can cause cancer also published its findings that sucralose can cause leukemia in mice which were exposed to it from before being born. But if the consumer still wants to use sucralose as a sweetener, they should make sure that they only consume it raw without heating (not baked or cooked with) and in the pure form (liquid sucralose with no artificial ingredients added).
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. Can you drink diet coke on a keto diet?
Yes. In technical terms, diet soda is keto friendly since it is determined to not have any sugar whatsoever and is only sweetened through aspartame (artificial sweeteners).
2. Does Aspartame spike insulin?
Most common users of artificial sweeteners are patients suffering from diabetes or blood sugar, since they are not permitted regular sugar intake. For them, impact of their intake on insulin levels is of primary concern since it can seriously damage their health. But studies conducted have shown that aspartame has no link to a rise in blood insulin levels to major extent.
3. Can you be kicked out of ketosis by using diet soda?
Diet soda will not kick you out of ketosis since artificial sweeteners are keto friendly claiming to have no carbohydrates present in them. There have not been any studies proving otherwise so we can safely state that diet soda does not kick you out of ketosis
4. Is it better to drink diet coke or coke zero?
Diet coke and coke zero are both similar options when going through ketosis since both are sugar free and the only difference between them is their taste due to composition alteration of caffeine and sodium. In other words, it doesn’t matter which one you pick while undergoing ketosis as both are safe for consumption.
5. Why is aspartame bad for you?
Many claims are made regarding the negative effects of aspartame stating and not limiting to headaches and dizziness to ailments as far as birth defects and cancer. Research is being conducted and hence, the for or against case will be put to rest when significant evidence is obtained. As of now, there have not been any side effects confirmed since the studies conducted have borne inconsistent results.
6. Is aspartame keto approved?
According to studies conducted by far, aspartame is found to have no negative impact on ketosis, or in other words, it is safe to consume in keto based diet.
7. Can you use aspartame on a keto diet?
Yes, as stated earlier as well, you can safely consume aspartame without any danger to your ketogenic diet.