There are several schools of thought around natural and artificial sweeteners, from fully supportive to very much against. This adds confusion to the place that sweeteners hold in the low carb ‘Foods to Include’ list.
While I fully support the use of sweeteners in a low carb diet, I believe that in the first few weeks of embarking on the low carb lifestyle, your aim is to break that sugar habit. Replacing sugar with another sweet tasting element is not the answer. However once you feel that you are comfortable with the low carb way of eating, I would prefer that people include sweeteners occasionally than risk falling off the low carb wagon. Natural sweeteners like Stevia or Natvia are my first choice and readily available in most supermarkets.
Most sweeteners either contain no carbohydrates or very few, so do not prompt the insulin response that we are so keen to avoid when losing weight. They are also a lot sweeter to taste than sugar, so a much smaller amount of sweetener is needed in recipes. Take a look at my carrot cake recipe; I use 3 tbsp Natvia to replace 2 cups of sugar.
There will be many who disagree with me on this subject, but I have always said that my focus is to make low carb an option for everyone. Whatever it takes to keep you on the low carb pathway, I am all for it. Besides as you continue on your low carb journey, your need for sweet treats will decrease and you will find yourself instinctively steering away from sweet foods. Don’t be afraid to experiment with low carb baking there are some tasty and innovative recipes available that will impress both your ‘low carb’ and ‘not so low carb friends’!