The sugar’s gotta go!
The first casualty of your keto journey should be processed sugar. Other forms of carbs may have redeeming factors such as starch, vitamins, and minerals, but plain sugar is a recipe for lousy health—period. This is something that quite a few people are waking up to: consumers are demanding less sugar in their food, governments across the globe are implementing taxes to curb sugar consumption, and the global market for the sweet granules has been plummeting as demand has decreased.
Let’s be honest, though… we’re not going to cut out sweets entirely. Doing so would just be inhuman! In all seriousness, the sensation of eating something sweet lights up the reward centers of your brain, flooding it with dopamine. There’s nothing wrong with something that makes you happy, as long as it’s good for you. That brings us to the question: what are you going to use to replace sugar?
Vicky published an excellent guide to natural and artificial sweeteners recently, and earlier this year I penned a Pulitzer-worthy expose on two of the best non-sugar sweeteners. These will give you an excellent breakdown of the various types of artificial sweeteners and their properties.
Things you should know
Sugar has been our default sweetener for decades and, as such, most recipes are designed with its properties in mind. Although it makes it a bit more complicated, you’ll probably need to have several different artificial sweeteners on hand for various uses.
For example, I found out that pure monk fruit doesn’t mix well with coffee. When you pour a teaspoon of the sweetener into liquid, it just clumps and floats at the top. Aspartame breaks down at high temperatures, so you shouldn’t use it with baking. A great starting point is to list the ways you use sugar, then search for replacements that have properties conducive to that. If this seems too complicated and you want one general purpose sweetener, I recommend an erythritol/monk fruit blend.
As you’re transitioning onto keto, having something on hand that can satisfy that sweet tooth will go a long way toward curbing cravings. I used sugar-free jello as a snack during the first week, as well as monk fruit. The latter was so sweet that even a small taste would give me the sensation I was looking for.
Where you want to end up
What I’m about to tell you is mind-blowing, so prepare yourselves. The most significant lesson you should pull from this post is that sweeteners are used to sweeten things (you’re welcome). The significance of this, however, is that sweetness is great as a treat but shouldn’t form a significant part of your diet. Even if you’re using all of the approved replacements for sugar and flour and doing everything low-carb, sweet treats will never be the nutrient-rich building blocks of a healthy diet.
Commit to the keto journey and allow your taste buds to adjust to a new normal. Don’t guilt yourself if you need a sweet boost every now and then—that’s perfectly fine. Focus on building a legitimate affinity for different flavors, truly enjoying the natural flavors your food has. Experiment with different spices and develop your palate.
Our taste buds are often cheated in traditional western diets by focusing on too much salt and sugar; these tastes. GoingKeto is an awesome introduction to not only an alternate way of cooking but also a completely different approach to food. Don’t let even artificial sweeteners get in the way of that!
The content on this website should not be taken as medical advice and you should ALWAYS consult with your doctor before starting any diet or exercise program. We provide nutritional data for our recipes as a courtesy to our readers. We use Total Keto Diet app software to calculate the nutrition and we remove fiber and sugar alcohols, like erythritol, from the total carbohydrate count to get to the net carb count, as they do not affect your blood glucose levels. You should independently calculate nutritional information on your own and not rely on our data. The website or content herein is not intended to cure, prevent, diagnose or treat any disease. This website shall not be liable for adverse reactions or any other outcome resulting from the use of recipes or recommendations on the Website or actions you take as a result. Any action you take is strictly at your own risk.