In 2015 diabetes was the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. During that same year, over 100 million Americans either had diabetes or prediabetes. Thankfully, for individuals who have been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, the disease can usually be controlled by losing weight and eating foods that help to control blood sugar levels.
Some foods that are especially important for those trying to control their sugar levels include low-carb vegetables, greens, whole-grain foods, protein, and natural fats. Many people who suffer with diabetes try to avoid consuming too much sugar, but in doing so, end up using artificial sugar substitutes. These man-made sugar products can be just as damaging, however. In fact, just like sugar, artificial substitutes have been linked to diabetes.
For those hoping to prevent diabetes or to cure it, it's best to avoid both sugar and artificial substitutes, which is the goal for those who are on the ketogenic diet. Those who are on this diet need to determine when they reach a state of ketosis, which can easily be done with a ketosis blood test or ketone test strips.
Artificial Sugar Substitutes
Most people are aware of the negative effects of eating too much sugar, which is why artificial sugar substitutes were invented. However, despite the fact that these man-made forms of sugar are calorie-free, their side effects are just as bad, and in some cases, even worse than natural kinds of sugar.
Some examples of artificial sugar substitutes include:
Artificial sugar substitutes lead to weight gain, primarily because they change how the body processes fat and gets energy. Besides leading to weight gain and diabetes, other negative effects of ingesting too much artificial sugar include an increased risk for other diseases such as metabolic syndrome and coronary heart disease. These sweeteners are also highly addictive, plus they create a craving for more sweet-tasting foods.
Because they are not a healthy alternative to sugar, those on a ketogenic diet, and those who need to do ketone testing on a regular basis, should avoid consuming artificial sugar substitutes.
Avoiding Artificial Sugar Substitutes
Avoiding artificial sweeteners isn’t as easy as avoiding those pink little packets that are found in the grocery store and on most restaurant tables. There are many food items that contain artificial sugar substitutes, including certain diet foods, and other kinds of foods that seem like a healthy choice.
These foods include:
- Light whole-wheat bread
- Light yogurt
- Microwave popcorn
- Low-carb ice cream
- Sugar-free jam
Artificial sweeteners are also found in certain condiments, such as reduced-sugar Ketchup. Many drinks contain sugar substitutes as well, including natural-flavored Crystal Light, Pedialyte, diet sodas, low-calorie Gatorade, and light juice drinks.
For those who are trying to reach a state of ketosis, and are using keto test strips to determine whether or not they have reached ketosis, it is important to read food labels, which can increase awareness of artificial sugar substitutes.