So you have decided that you want to lose weight in a healthy manner?
There are many facets of your current lifestyle that you may not have a lot of trouble dropping when you decide to start a diet to lose weight.
One of the things I didn’t mind skipping, even though I thought it would give me more trouble – was alcohol. Before I dropped that I got the jitters just by thinking about it.
Another aspect of my ‘old’ lifestyle that I dreaded to drop was baking. I simply love baking.
There’s nothing like putting your effort, soul & love into the baking process. The way it smells when you are putting it all together and making it, and of course; the (hopefully) amazing end result.
The problem with baking is of course, the copious amounts of sugar used as an ingredient.
So I was at sort of an impasse. I didn’t want to drop baking, but on the other hand I really wanted to lose weight at the same time… Impossible… or so I thought.
After thoroughly searching I came upon sweeteners. Although this seems like the perfect solution to our sugar problem, you need to keep a close eye on the type of sweetener.
In this article I will dissect the various types of sweeteners, and reveal the best sugar substitute for baking. Trust me when I say that weight loss and baking can go hand in hand!
The Good & Bad About Sweeteners
Sugar is about as toxic as a food/ingredient can be for your body. It promotes inflammation, accelerates the aging of your cells, it promotes the storage of fat, and causes a spike in blood sugar levels. NOT what we want when we are looking to lose weight.
So we’re dropping that. Now sweeteners can be divided into two categories, or types. There are the artificial sweeteners, which are often marketed as being the solution: Free of calories.
The truth is very different. While they may not contain calories, they contain side effects that are equally as counterproductive. As for weight loss – these artificial sweeteners contain appetite stimulating effects, leading to weight gain.
Other side effects are an increased risk for dental cavities, a negative effect on gut health(poor absorption of micro-, and macronutrients), increased risk of cancer.
The most common (bad) sweeteners we are talking about here are:
For weight loss, as well as general health purposes it is vital that you skip these sweeteners. One could even argue that you are safer off using sugar. Yep, they are that bad for you.
Now on to the better stuff!
Sweeteners aren’t all bad. So whereas the artificial sweeteners are created in test tubes, on the other end of the spectrum natural sweeteners are derivatives of plants and herbs.
That sounds better, right?
The most common health branded sweeteners are Stevia, Erythritol and Monk Fruit.
All three are sold sugar substitutes, and originate from nature:
Stevia – A derivative from the plant Stevia rebaudiana, it is 50 – 150 times sweeter than table sugar. The extract from the plant that gives it its sweet flavor are steviol glycosides. A large amount of the stevia consumed will be excreted by your intestines. Stevia can give a somewhat bitter, or metallic-like aftertaste that I personally dislike quite a bit. Stevia comes in liquid form, as well as granulated.
Erythritol – Almost as sweet as sugar, Erythritol originates from melons and pears. It is a sugar alcohol that contains next to no calories, only 0,2 calories per gram. Erythritol is a granulated sweetener that feels very much like sugar, texture wise. It blends very well with mixtures and water, and leaves no foul aftertaste. This sweetener is my personal favorite.
Monk Fruit – Tastes almost as sweet as Stevia, it is extracted from the Asian fruit, you guessed it – Monk fruit. To be precise, the sweetener is drawn from the mashed pulp of the fruit, when the seeds and the peel are removed. The downside of monk fruit is that it is costly(generally twice the price of Stevia) because it has to be imported from Asia, and it still has a similar aftertaste to Stevia, albeit a bit less present, in my opinion.
Which Natural Sweetener Is Best For Me?
All three natural sweeteners have their pros, and their own suitability for products. Since Stevia is generally the cheapest, it goes very well with pre made drinks, such as soda, but also protein and meal replacement shakes.
If you don’t mind the aftertaste its a great option, especially since its effect on the pricing is nigh. I find that when you use it for baking, which is all about the flavor – it is too much for me. The aftertaste distracts from the overall picture.
Monk fruit often sees the same appliance, but is more expensive. The aftertaste is certainly less present, but still very much noticeable. That along with the high price makes your baking hobby quite the expense.
In my opinion Erythritol earns its stripes here. It is not expensive, it has little to no aftertaste, it is still of a natural source, contains no calories, and tastes very similar to sugar. It also blends extremely well with baking mixtures!
You do need to experiment with your dosages of the natural sweetener of your choice. No dangerous side effects are possible, but some individuals may experience gastric distress when consuming too much.
Who Is It For?
So you can basically use the sweetener of your choice for any product or food that you would like to be sweeter.
(Bulletproof)Coffee, tea & supplemental sports drinks like protein shakes are the most popular drinks to sweeten. But as for foods, baking sweet treats such as cakes and pastries is very popular. If you love it I wholeheartedly recommend it!
Get yours from Ketologic today!
I myself am an avid supporter of the ketogenic diet, and I love baking. From my personal experience I can vouch for sweeteners to be an excellent choice, especially Erythritol, which I consider to be the best sugar substitute for baking.