Atkins Diet Video: Acceptable Low Carb Sweeteners

In this video, I give my perspective on the acceptable sweeteners for those following a low carb diet. A number of new sweeteners have hit the market since Dr. Atkins wrote his book, and while I don’t presume to talk for him, I am giving my perspective on the sweeteners on the market based upon personal experience and meta-analysis of the experts in the field. As with most things, your experience may differ from mine or the norm, and you may be able to consume a particular sweetener and have no side effects and continue to lose weight at the rate expected.

One final note — one thing Dr. Atkins said was our food should be as unprocessed as possible, and that we should shop the exterior of the grocery store. Most of the foods sweetened with these items are in the middle or a special health food section. The vast majority of your food on the Atkins Diet should be regular food with natural ingredients. Each day or even meal does not need a dessert to cap it off.

http://www.medicinenet.com/artificial_sweeteners/page3.htm

Acceptable Sweeteners:
* Splenda (sucralose) – granulated or liquid form
* Saccharin

* Stevia – Natural * Rebiana extract

  • http://nutritionwonderland.com/2009/02/science-truvia-and-purevia-rebiana/
  • http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18554769)

* Oligofructose / Inulin (http://www.lowcarbfreedom.com/2004/12/inulin_oligofru.html)
* Inulin works just like fiber and is made out of plants like chicory root and isn’t digested like other starches, it isn’t absorbed, so it doesn’t have an effect on blood sugar.
* Inulin (IN-yoo-lin) is used as a test to help diagnose problems or disease of the kidneys. Inulin passes out of the body entirely in the urine. Measuring the amount of inulin in the blood after it has been given can help the doctor determine if the kidneys are working properly.

* Ace K

Less acceptable or Unacceptable Sweeteners:
- Polyols (Sugar Alcohol) like maltitol and sorbitol – count against net carbs – are able to be converted in varying degrees to glucose – from better to worse (Erythritol .2 Cal/gram)- Xylitol – Isomalt – Sorbitol (2.6C/g) – Mannitol Maltitol (2.1C/g)) http://www.mendosa.com/netcarbs.htm
The reason that sugar alcohols provide fewer calories than sugar is because they are not completed absorbed in our body. For this reason, high intakes of foods containing some sugar alcohols can lead to abdominal gas and diarrhea. Any foods that contain sorbitol or mannitol must include a warning on their label that “excess consumption may have a laxative effect.”

- Aspartame – Causes Stalls, Cephalic Insulin Reactions (YMMV)

- Blue Agave Syrup (Lower GI, but extremely high fructose)
Dr. Michael EADES: Be aware that agave nectar is mainly fructose, which is not only caloric, but a lipogenic sugar and fraught with problems for an insulin-resistant body. It doesnt run insulin up, of course, but it does promote insulin resistance if not used sparingly.
http://www.holdthetoast.com/node/318
“Perhaps because of needing to be metabolized in the liver, fructose causes non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, making the livers even of teetotalers look and function like those of long-term alcoholics. Fructose is implicated in metabolic syndrome — you know, carbohydrate intolerance, the thing we’re all fighting. Repeated studies demonstrate that fructose raises triglycerides like nothing else. And there are some studies that indicate that the stuff is uniquely fattening. ”
The glycemic index does not address other metabolic issues related to excess sugar consumption. Prominent among these issues is the use of low glycemic index sweeteners, particularly fructose, which is increasingly present in processed food. Fructose is associated with increased adiposity, which may result from its effects on hormones associated with satiety

http://www.holdthetoast.com/httblog/archives/000169.html

- Honey – extremely high fructose
See above comments on Agave Nectar

- Whey Low – Lactose (http://www.wheylow.com/) Ingredients: Sucrose, Fructose, Lactose (all simple sugars)

Others combine unaccepable ingredients with acceptable ones:
* Sun Crystals – mixed Stevia with Sugar
* Splenda Baking Mixes- mixed 50-50 with sugar
* Splenda w/ Fiber – additional carbs (more than regular Splenda) and added corn fiber (not acceptable for Induction)

4 comments to Atkins Diet Video: Acceptable Low Carb Sweeteners

  • yoda

    Great video! I use SweetLeaf brand of stevia…it is a rather pure stevia extract with no sugars or chemicals and has 0 calories, 0 carbs, and a 0 glycemic index! (I use it in baking, too!)

  • Sue

    I love your videos – they have helped me tremendously!!! Thank you so much for taking the time to put those out there! I have a question about sugar alcohols…I’ve been plugging along just fine on my low-carb diet – keeping my carbs to about 20 per day – then suddenly I started experiencing hunger and hypoglycemia. My weight loss has stalled out too. When I think about it – all seem to have begun about the same time I started eating Atkins chocolate bars. Is it possible that the sugar alcohol in the Atkins bars would be causing those things??? I’m thinking maybe the sugar alcohol is jacking my blood sugar up and then crashing?

    • admin

      Yes, they could absolutely cause the increased hunger and potentially hypoglycemia due to release of insulin. The sugar alcohols can trigger the insulin dump, which lowers the blood glucose causing the hypoglycemia, and this lower blood sugar then triggers the appetite center to say I need more food in the system. Good job in recognizing the potential cause for it!

  • Sue

    Well I’ll be darned!!! After just ONE day of cutting back on artificial sugars – the scale is moving again and the hypoglycemia seems to have gone away (give that one a few more days to be sure)!!! Woohoooo!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

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