Sweeten It Up with KetoFLEX 12/3
If you are on a mission to limit your intake of sweets and desserts, odds are you are being wary of your overall sugar intake. There is a good chance any cravings for sweets will dissipate as you follow the KetoFLEX 12/3 meal plan, but if you decide to want to add a bit of sweetness, then very small amounts of some sweeteners are okay!
Below we will discuss a few of the sweeteners that you can occasionally partake in when you want something sweet!
Acceptable Keto Sweeteners
Even though you might not be eating a candy bar, consuming forms of non-caloric sweeteners may still trick your body into thinking it is eating added sugar and therefore, may produce insulin and other hormones involved in glucose regulation. For this reason, it's important to only use very small amounts of the keto sweeteners.
Despite the fact that monk fruit is upwards of 250 times sweeter than regular table sugar, it has zero calories. It is also usually combined with other sweeteners just as Stevia is, but try to make a goal for yourself to find brands of monk fruit that are not blended and contain as few ingredients as possible. PureMonk is one example of an acceptable brand.
A popular non-caloric sweetener, Stevia is upwards of 300 times sweeter than regular table sugar, therefore, only small amounts of it are truly needed at a time. Just the same as monk fruit, it is generally combined with other sweeteners, but be cautious of brands that consist of multiple ingredients. SweetLeaf is an acceptable brand.
This is a rare natural sugar that is approved in small amounts. It is found in kiwi, figs, and raisins and is very similar to fructose, but has very different effects on the body. It's not metabolized into glucose and has virtually no glycemic effect (some event claim it improved insulin sensitivity). It comes in liquids and granulated forms. RxSugar is an acceptable brand with zero net carbs.
Reserved for those who are Insulin Sensitive
These sweeteners aren't for everyone as they will interfere with your body's ability to achieve ketosis. However, because they are ancestral sweeteners with some health benefits, those who are metabolically healthy can enjoy them in very small amounts.
Something everyone has probably heard of, honey is a thick, natural sweetener that has been used for hundreds of years. However, when consumed by itself, can spike blood sugar levels due to it's high glycemic index. If not paired with other protein or fiber-rich foods, it can create negative effects within the body. Honey contains a lot of antioxidants, prebiotics, and antimicrobial compounds which do wonders for our immune system and gut health. The goal for honey is to consume products that are natural and local. A good brand to use is Beekeeper’s Naturals, if you are unable to find and obtain a local option.
An age-old sweetener, it's derived from the sap of sugar maple trees. Packed with a bounty of 24 natural antioxidants, primarily in the form of phenolic compounds, maple syrup aids in diminishing oxidative stress and moderating inflammatory markers. Additionally, it boasts significant levels of manganese and zinc. Similar to honey, it registers high on the glycemic index, so it's only recommended in small amounts and reserved for those who are insulin-sensitive.