Medical review by Natalie Butler, R.D., L.D.
Such sweeteners like sugar should be avoided if you are on a keto diet. The reason is that even the tiniest amount of sugar can increase blood sugar which will kick you out of ketosis. Thus, you will have to try hard to go back into this state. This means that if you treat yourself with sugar substitutes instead of cookies and donuts, your blood sugar level will be fine.
One of the most common artificial sweeteners is Acesulfame Potassium (E950). It happens to be much sweeter than ordinary sucrose. As its taste is better in comparison with ordinary sugar, it requires only a small amount of Acesulfame Potassium to make a product as sweet as sugar would make it.
As you can understand from the name, Acesulfame Potassium includes potassium and acetoacetic. The content of potassium, though, is not significant. Despite the fact that Acesulfame Potassium is usually added to food and beverages to improve flavor and make them sweeter, there are some disagreements regarding the continued usage due to possible health risks.
So, is Acesulfame Potassium keto-friendly? Let`s check this sugar substitute to find out whether you should use it to sweeten food or it is better to avoid it.
What Kinds of Food Can Contain Acesulfame Potassium?
Many manufacturers add Acesulfame Potassium to foods and drinks which are to be sweet. As a matter of fact, it can be seen in a wide range of such products so that they are sweet without sugar. This Potassium compound is very versatile. Hence, you can also find Acesulfame Potassium in baked products as it is stable when it is heated. Here are a few examples of products which can contain Acesulfame Potassium:
- Soft drinks, diet soda;
- Salad dressing;
- Ice cream;
That is why you should check labels on the products you buy to see what the carbohydrate content is and what ingredients they include. Acesulfame Potassium happens to be one of them. If you are trying to find out whether this sugar substitute is in a product, you should also know that it has other names – Ace-K and Acesulfame K.
The Advantages of Acesulfame Potassium When It Comes to Keto Diet
One of the biggest advantages of using Acesulfame Potassium on a ketogenic diet is that people can enjoy sweet products without any need to worry about carbohydrates. In the US and Europe, this compound is regarded as a safe one. In addition to that, the authorities have approved the utilization of Acesulfame Potassium for general purposes. Its usage with poultry, though, was restricted. The sweetener also obtains a zero glycemic index which means that it should not induce high blood sugar when it is consumed. Consequently, individuals with diabetes who keep a keto diet can benefit from making use of Acesulfame Potassium. Hence, consuming products with a low glycemic index is connected with diabetes management.
To sum it up, Acesulfame Potassium obtains the following advantages:
- Its taste is clean and provides no lingering after taste.
- It contains no calories and happens to be suitable for diabetes.
- It is sodium-free.
- The compound does not induce tooth decay.
- Acesulfame Potassium happens to be pH stable.
- It obtains quick solubility.
- It can intensify and enhance the taste.
- It is approved for use not only in foods and beverages but in pharmaceutical products as well in more than a hundred countries around the world.
- The compound is not metabolized by the human body which means that it is excreted unchanged.
- Acesulfame Potassium is considered to be safe for the general population.
It is obvious that if you decide to start a keto diet, you should know that Acesulfame Potassium is a nice option for you.
How Does Acesulfame Potassium Work?
The major thing you have to consider about sugar substitutes and artificial sweeteners when it is about a keto diet if what way they impact on blood sugar levels. According to researches, sweeteners do not usually induce any changes. This is why people on a keto diet tend to turn to sugar substitutes. Same do those who are willing to maintain low-carb and low-sugar diets. They also suppose that it can enhance the release of insulin in large amounts. However, there is no exact answer from the science side and the compound is not listed as a nonnutritive sweetener. Despite that, keto dieters keep on consuming Acesulfame Potassium as the final decision regarding its effects over a longer period of time is still to be made.
Pros and Cons of the Potassium Compound
The benefits of making use of Acesulfame Potassium can be clearly seen – people can enjoy sweet products without consuming sugar. This kind of sweeteners can also be helpful for consumers to keep the levels of calories lower which would have been significantly higher in the case of eating sugar. On the other hand, we still do not know all of the Acesulfame Potassium effects. As was mentioned before there is a probability that the sweetener will increase the amount of sugar absorbed by the gut cells. More research, though, need to be carried out to confirm it.
Artificial sweeteners may also cause other problems. For instance, they can alter body weight and appetite regulation. While Acesulfame Potassium can help to consume fewer calories and reduce the amount of sugar consumed by an individual, it may also increase appetite which will make the person eat more. This contradicts the goals of any keto dieter.
Other side effects can be the following:
- Sleep issues;
- Heart palpitations;
- Muscle spasms;
- Mood swings;
Some people even claim that the potassium compound might be connected with the growth of cancer cells. There are some studies, though, which have been carried out to find out if there is a connection between artificial sweeteners and cancer cells. Currently, there are no findings to prove that the two can be related. As a matter of fact, Acesulfame Potassium has been approved by the FDA as a safe artificial sweetener to be used by people. That is why it is widely used for various products.
Probable Health Risks Connected With Consuming Acesulfame Potassium on the Ketogenic Diet
The utilization of non-natural sweeteners in a keto diet remains a subject of controversy because every authority seems to have a different point of view regarding their efficiency in health. Some suppose that Acesulfame Potassium is good and others state that the compound can slow down ketosis and induce health issues.
Artificial sweeteners are also claimed to increase appetite and Acesulfame Potassium is no exception here. The potassium compound can make people consume more food, so they will gain weight instead of achieving ketosis. It is easy to understand how artificial sweeteners interact with the human brain – they act on the centers which regulate appetite. It makes people want to eat more food.
There are concerns about a bit different kind, which is that the sweetener can cause cancer cell growth. They believe that Acesulfame Potassium includes a carcinogen – methylene chloride. It can be the reason for several clinical conditions such as severe headaches, nausea, and cancer in the case of consuming for a long time. There are also some claims that the compound induces mental confusion, visual disturbances, and kidney issues. Thus, thanks to these concerns, experts believe that Acesulfame Potassium should not be consumed.
Other studies have concluded that if used for a long time, Acesulfame Potassium may change neurometabolic functions. The mentioned tests were conducted with the help of male mice, the test supposes that artificial sweeteners can affect cognitive functions in case of excessive use for a long period of time. In addition to that, there are studies that show that when combined with a low-carb diet, Acesulfame Potassium can influence on the cognitive function of rats. The study supposes that if people restrict their diet and make use of artificial sweetener simultaneously, they may face negative results.
Is Acesulfame Potassium Suitable For Keto Diet?
While there can be several advantages of substituting sugar with the potassium compound, there are a lot of other natural sweeteners that may be utilized instead. They do not cause any side effects and are considered to be safe for consumption. Moreover, they do not induce blood sugar levels to increase.
Here is a list of other options you can use instead of the compound:
- Stevia is a natural sweetener received from stevia rebaudiana leaves. While having no calories, stevia happens to be hundreds of times sweeter when comparing to sugar. It can also deliver some particular health benefits like insulin sensitivity improvement and blood sugar level decrease.
- Erythritol is a sweetener that happens to be sugar alcohol which is received from certain fruit. It obtains around eighty per cent of the sugar sweetness and almost no calories. Just like stevia, this sweetener does not make sugar levels grow. Thus, it is safe and effective with no side effects which can be caused by artificial sweeteners.
- Xylitol is one more sugar alcohol that is frequently utilized as a sugar substitute. Each gram of this sweetener contains around 2.4 calories. It also does not make the levels of blood sugar grow. At the same time, it is connected to digestive problems if consumed in significant amounts.
Conclusion and Final Thoughts
It is obvious that there many advantages of utilizing Acesulfame Potassium which is why it occurs to be a good substitution of sugar. At the same time, it is associated with several side effects, hence it is better to consume natural sweeteners being on a keto diet. These substitutions are also the best option for people on a low carbohydrate diet because they do not contain calories. Even if natural sweeteners have carbohydrates, their amount is too small to cause an increase in blood sugar levels.
Another significant fact is that they need only a small amount of the potassium compound. If there is an excess of Acesulfame Potassium, it can result in severe health problems. It is advised to consult a health professional before you consume Acesulfame Potassium as a substitute for sugar. Furthermore, you should identify it in products as it is utilized in many goods.