Is Acesulfame Potassium Good or Bad for Ketogenic Diet

If you are currently or have every been on the keto diet, then you more than likely know that there is one major rule that you must follow at all times.  And just in case you are unfamiliar with the keto diet, that one rule that must be followed at all times is that you must avoid all simple sugars, no matter what.

Even if you accidently eat something with a tiny bit of sugar in it, it can potentially spike your blood sugar level, which in turn will knock you out of ketosis.  This means that you are going to have to work even harder to get back into a ketosis state to start burning all of your body’s fat as its source of energy again.

However, instead of going for the cookies and donuts to satisfy your sweet cravings, you can try treating yourself to one of the available sugar substitutes that will help you keep your body’s blood sugar levels in the optimal range.  In fact, having a sweet treat every so often is one of the best ways for you to keep all of your sugar cravings in check. This is exactly why there are so many different sugar substitutes available on the market today. They are able to provide you with the same amount of sweetness of regular sugar, but without having to worry about all of the extra carbs or calories that comes along with regular sugar.

One of the more popular sugar substitutes that you may consider trying if you are doing the keto diet, is called acesulfame potassium.  But what is acesulfame potassium really, and is it really going to be able to help me with my sweet cravings while I’m doing the keto diet?

Here is an in-depth look at this particular sugar substitute and whether or not it may be something for you to consider trying to help eliminate the constant sweet cravings that are eventually going to come up, or if it is a sugar substitute that you should avoid all together.

Acesulfame Potassium, What is it?

Acesulfame potassium is unique as it’s an artificial sweetener that is much sweeter than any regular table sugar.  In fact, it is about 200 times sweeter than regular sugar. It is mainly used to help sweeten beverages and foods, but without adding any additional carbs or calories to them.  

Because of this unique trait that acesulfame potassium has, many people who are following the keto diet often times seek to use it as one of their substitutes for sugar.  It essentially gives you all of the sweetness that you are missing by being on the keto diet, but without all of the extra carbohydrates and calories.

Often times you will be able to find that acesulfame potassium is combined with some of the other sweeteners available, such as the sweetener aspartame, as this helps to eliminate the bitter aftertaste that many artificial sweeteners often leave in your mouth.  

More commonly referred to as ‘ace K’ o ‘acesulfame K’, acesulfame potassium is able to pass through your body through your urine without needing to actually be broken down into smaller pieces and then metabolized.  This means that it will be excreted from your body much faster as it is not going to be broken down.

What Contains Acesulfame Potassium?

There are many different types of foods and drinks that you may expect to have a nice, sweet taste.  Chances are that these are the foods and drinks that contain this artificial sweetener. In fact, this is one of the sugar substitutes that can be found in many of the sweet baked goods that you eat.  This is due to the fact that acesulfame potassium is one of the few sweeteners that you can use in baking. Most of the other sweeteners are unable to be heated up.

Since it remains stable while it is heated, it is used for cooking and baking when a hint of sweetness is required.  This is why you will be able to find this particular sweetener in many baked goods. Some examples of the foods and drinks that may contain acesulfame potassium include:

  • Juice
  • Ice cream
  • Cookies
  • Cereal
  • Milk
  • Salad Dressing
  • Toothpaste
  • Soft drinks & diet soda
  • Alcohol
  • Jam
  • Cake
  • Yogurt
  • Gum
  • Condiments
  • Mouthwash

Naturally, it is always wise to check the food labels on all of your food and drink products so you can know for sure what the actual carb count is, as well as to see if there have been other ingredients that have been added to the food or drinks as well.  And acesulfame potassium is going to be one of those ingredients.

While scanning the ingredients list, you want to be sure that you are searching for not just the acesulfame potassium name, but the other names that it goes by as well.  So you will want to keep watch for ace K or acesulfame K too.

How Does it Work?

When it comes to the keto diet, one of the biggest things to ask yourself about any sugar substitutes and artificial sweeteners is how they are going to affect your blood sugar levels.

In the case of sweeteners, research has shown that they hardly ever have any type of change in your blood sugar levels.  This is exactly why those on the keto diet, as well as people who are trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle by limiting the amount of sugars and carbohydrates they eat, look at other methods of sweetness like sugar substitutes.  

With that being said, there are some speculators that say acesulfame potassium and other artificial sweeteners can actually increase how much sugar that the cells in your gut are able to absorb.  As if that weren’t bad enough, these artificial sweeteners may even send signals to your body telling it to release larger amounts of the hormone, insulin.

However, these speculations are just that, speculations.  There has been no scientific proof that shows any of these are true.  That is why science does not rank acesulfame potassium as one of the nonnutritive sweeteners.  In the long-term though, if you are trying to go keto, you may want to tread lightly in regards to acesulfame potassium, as the effect of this very popular sugar substitute over time has not yet been explored.

The Pros and Cons

Just like most things, there are always going to be pros and cons of everything.  The same is true for acesulfame potassium. One of the biggest pros is that you are able to continue to enjoy delicious, sweet drinks and foods without having to fill your body with all types of extra sugars and carbs.  Another benefit of a sweetener like acesulfame potassium is that you get the taste of the sweet, calorie dense foods, but without having to eat all of the extra calories. So you essentially get the sugar taste, but not the sugar calories.

However, the full effects of using acesulfame potassium are unknown by everyone.  Like mentioned previously in this article, there is a very good possibility that this sweetener can increase the amount of sugar that the cells in your gut are going to absorb.  But before this claim can be confirmed, much more research is going to need to be done so that we are able to get a definitive answer to this question.

On top of that, there may be some other issues as well.  Artificial sweeteners have actually been linked to impede any appetite regulation, as well as body weight.  It is almost a double-edged sword; you can use artificial sweeteners to help maintain a low calorie count and keep the amount of extra sugar that you consume on the low end, but you can then stimulate your appetite in the process.  While this may not seem like a huge problem, for somebody who is on a strict diet or trying to keep his or her body in a state of ketosis, this can be very bad. In fact, it is the complete opposite from what anybody on a diet wants to happen to them.

Is Acesulfame Potassium Keto Diet Friendly?

While there are definitely some advantages of using acesulfame potassium instead of sugar, there are several different all natural sweeteners that you can utilize instead.  The best part about these all-natural sweeteners is that they have not been associated with any of the negative side effects that many artificial sweeteners, including acesulfame potassium, have been associated with.  If that weren’t enough to convince you, these all-natural sweeteners also don’t cause any type of spike in your blood sugar levels.

If you are searching for something that you can use as a substitute for sugar, using acesulfame potassium may be an alternative that you would like to explore.  However, it is definitely not going to be your best choice, especially if you are on a keto or low carb diet. You may be better off sticking with one of the many all-natural sweeteners instead.

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