Sticking to a low carb diet can be dull, whilst we know we can’t have a regular candies thankfully there are plenty of low carb candy that can satisfy ourneed for something sweet whilst still keeping us in ketosis.
Low carb candy and other low carb food products use sugar substitutes to achieve a sweet taste. Different sugar substitutes do different things and whilst some are completely carb and calorie free, we have to be careful about the quantities we consume of others as they are often bulked out with agents that are not quite so low carb.
Most of the low carb candy products or other sweet products that you’ll find at Linda’s Diet Delights will have one of the following ingredients:
Also known as Splenda, sucralose is 600 times sweeter than regular sugar. In its pure form it has no calories or carbs.It is mainly used in baked goods or products that require a long shelf life.
Splenda is derived from regular sugar and has much the same properties as sugar; it remains stable in heat making it a perfect substitute for home baking.However if you buy the granulated splenda it will have been bulked out with Maltodextrin which contains 24 net carbs per cup.
There is a concentrated liquid form of sucralose available called Sweetzfree which isn’t bulked so contains zero net carbs and calories.One drop of this is the equivalent sweetness of 1 ½ teaspoons of regular sugar.
Sucralose is approved by the Atkins Diet.
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Sugar alcohols, or polyols as they are also called, are used quite a lot in low carb candy bars and other low carb treats.The most common ones you’ll see on food labels are Maltitol, Mannitol and Sorbitol.They tend to have between ½ and ¾ of the calorie count of regular sugar, but perform differently in the body so that they do not get completely absorbed into the small intestine; they are also absorbed a lot slower than regular sugar.This slower absorption means and much slower rise in blood sugars, therefore less insulin is produced.
Some type 1 diabetics say they have a sugar rush after consuming foods that contain sugar alcohols, whilst others have no problems at all and stay in ketosis after eating foods containing sugar alcohols. Maltitol is particular is sometimes blamed for carb cravings and slower weight loss.
Consuming too much sugar alcohols can leave people feeling gassy and may have a laxative effect on some people.Sorbitol and Mannitol tend to be more prone to this, Maltitol much less so.Newer sugar alcohols are now being used that do not cause a laxative effect:Erthritol, Inulin, Isomalt and HSH (Hydrolyzed Starch Hydrolysis)—often labelled as Maltitol syrup.
As the different sugar alcohols have different properties they are used in different types of food. Sorbitol produces a clear candy that remains hard and dry under any condition.It doesn’t crystalize which makes it perfect to use in low carb ice cream as it helps the product to stay creamy.
Mannitol can absorb a lot of moisture before going damp or sticky so it is used to dust sticks of sugar-free gum or candies.
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Maltitol and Erythritol are used as bulking agents for low carb chocolates and soft candies to give a creamy consistency.
Xylitol is often seen in sugar-free gum and mints, particularly as it actively restricts oral bacteria as well as being zero calories.
To stay in ketosis with these sugar alcohols you will need to watch your intake and you should avoid them during the Induction Phase on the Atkins diet.
Stevia is generally regarded as the best sugar replacement. It has been used for centuries by Guarani Indian tribes in Paraguay to sweeten drinks. Stevia is derived from the leaves of the Stevia Rebaudiana plant which is a member of the Chrysanthemum family and grows in Paraguay and Brazil.
|Steviva Stevia Powder|
It is 300 times sweeter than table sugar but has a negligible effect on blood glucose levels yet it has no calories, no carbs and a zero glycemic index.
Currently Stevia has not been approved by the FDA as a food additive and can only be used in diet products.
Stevia is reported to have health benefits for the pancreas and helps to maintain normal blood sugar levels.It has also been shown to reduce the level of tooth plague.
Stevia can be used in baking but is primarily used as a sweetner.