Time to talk about a question that’s on many people’s minds when it comes to the ketogenic diet: how much sugar can you have on keto without going out of ketosis?
It’s a valid concern, especially since the keto diet requires you to cut back on carbs and sugar is a type of carb.
The truth is, the keto diet is all about minimizing your carbohydrate intake, including sugar. But don’t worry, you don’t have to give up all your sweet treats completely!
In this article, we’ll dive into the ins and outs of the keto diet, how sugar affects it, and what the recommended daily limit of sugar is.
We’ll also give you some tips on how to identify hidden sources of sugar, reduce your sugar intake, and what to do if you accidentally consume too much sugar.
So, grab a low-carb snack, and let’s get started!
Understanding The Keto Diet
We already know that it’s a high-fat, low-carb diet that aims to get our bodies into a state of ketosis, where it burns fat for fuel instead of carbs. But how exactly does it work?
To achieve ketosis, we need to drastically reduce our carb intake and replace it with healthy fats. This forces our bodies to break down stored fat into ketones, which they can then use for energy.
And when our bodies are in ketosis, they become more efficient at burning fat, leading to weight loss. Pretty cool, huh?
But that’s not all! The keto diet has a bunch of other benefits too as it can help improve blood sugar control, reduce inflammation, and lower the risk of certain diseases like epilepsy and type 2 diabetes.
No wonder it’s gained so much popularity!
How Sugar Affects The Keto Diet
Alright, let’s talk about sugar and the keto diet!
Sugar is a type of carbohydrate, and on the keto diet, we want to limit our carb intake to get into ketosis. So, how exactly does sugar affect the keto diet?
What Happens To Sugar In The Body
When we eat sugar, our bodies break it down into glucose, which is used for energy. However, excess glucose is stored in the body as fat.
This is why we should limit sugar intake on the keto diet, as we want our bodies to be burning fat for energy instead.
The Role Of Insulin
Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar levels in the body. When we eat sugar, our bodies produce insulin to help process it.
However, if we consume too much sugar, our bodies can become resistant to insulin, leading to high blood sugar levels and potentially even type 2 diabetes.
How Sugar Affects Ketosis
Consuming too much sugar can kick our bodies out of ketosis, as it can cause an insulin response that shuts off the fat-burning process.
That’s why it’s important to monitor our sugar intake and keep it within the recommended daily limit on the keto diet.
The Recommended Daily Limit Of Sugar On Keto
So, what is the recommended daily limit of sugar on the keto diet? Let’s take a closer look.
The American Heart Association’s Guidelines
The American Heart Association recommends that men mustn’t consume more than 36 grams of sugar per day, whereas women should limit themselves to a daily intake lower than 25 grams.
However, we should note that this guideline is for the general population and not specifically for those on the keto diet.
The Keto-Specific Guideline
On the keto diet, the recommended daily limit of sugar is even lower than the general population, with many experts suggesting keeping sugar intake to 20 grams or less per day to maintain ketosis.
This might seem like a small amount, but it’s important to remember that sugar is hidden in numerous foods, in addition to those that are processed and packaged.
How To Identify Hidden Sources Of Sugar
Yes, sugar can be sneaky, and it can be challenging to identify hidden sources of sugar on the keto diet, but we have some tips to help you spot those hidden sources, which can make this a piece of (low-carb) cake for you!
Check The Nutrition Label
One of the easiest ways to identify hidden sources of sugar is to check the nutrition label of the food you’re consuming.
Sugar can go by many different names, including high fructose corn syrup, dextrose, and sucrose, among others. By checking the label, you can see if there are any added sugars that might affect your ketosis.
Be Mindful Of Processed Foods
Processed foods are notorious for containing hidden sources of sugar. Foods like canned fruits, salad dressings, and sauces often contain added sugars, so it’s important to read the labels carefully.
So, you should opt for whole, unprocessed foods whenever possible to avoid hidden sources of sugar.
Avoid “Low-Fat” And “Fat-Free” Products
Low-fat and fat-free products might seem like a healthy choice, but they often contain added sugars to compensate for the lack of fat.
Therefore, you should always check the label and opt for full-fat products whenever possible to avoid hidden sources of sugar.
Choose Natural Sweeteners
Last but not least, if you have a sweet tooth, choose natural sweeteners like stevia or monk fruit instead of sugar. They won’t affect your ketosis and can satisfy your cravings without added sugar.
What Happens If You Consume Too Much Sugar On Keto
Of course, no one is perfect and we have all failed at eating low to no amounts of sugar when trying the keto diet for the first time.
This meant that our bodies shifted out of ketosis, as the excess glucose caused an insulin response that shut off the fat-burning process. In turn, this led to cravings, fatigue, and a slower weight loss process.
However, you shouldn’t worry about this that much!
If you do accidentally consume too much sugar, you can get back on track by reducing your sugar intake, drinking plenty of water, and focusing on whole, unprocessed foods.
This way, you will soon be in ketosis again and continue with your keto diet!
The Bottom Line
Well, there you have it! We’ve explored the world of sugar on the keto diet and learned that while some sugar is okay in moderation, it’s essential to be mindful of hidden sources of sugar and keep our intake within the recommended daily limits.
By being mindful of our sugar intake and opting for whole, unprocessed foods, we can maintain ketosis and enjoy all the benefits of the keto diet.
And remember, the keto diet is all about finding what works for you and your body, so don’t be afraid to experiment and enjoy the journey!