Fructose and non-nutritive sweeteners both serve the same purpose in many respects so we will discuss the reasons why neither of them is allowed on the AIP diet.
First, why is only a limited amount of Fructose included in the Autoimmune Diet Protocol?
Fructose, as we all know, is a sugar and one of the main features of the autoimmune paleo diet is to regulate sugar. Regulating sugar begins with watching our own intake and focusing on other autoimmune paleo food options. By the way, no sugar is added in any of our paleo protein products. J
Many products have found their way into the paleo world that use fructose or other sweeteners that may fool some into believing it is good for them. The problem doesn’t lie in eating fructose it has to do with the amount of fructose consumed. Many fruits and even vegetables contain fructose; these fruits and vegetables are good for our health but don’t have a highly concentrated amount of fructose in them. The real issue is that most people consume up to five times more fructose than what would be naturally provided if they were just consuming fruits and vegetables. So why is this bad?
Blood-triglyceride concentrations go up when large sums of fructose are consumed which causes insulin resistance and stimulates appetite which can cause weight gain. This happens frequently…no more than frequently, it happens constantly with the majority of people across the world. Studies have proven that those who ingest large quantities of Fructose are at MUCH higher risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. Yeah, it can get ugly if people get carried away with fructose consumption.
However, as mentioned in the autoimmune diet protocol between 10-20 grams of fructose can actually be healthy. In fact, fructose can help reduce blood-glucose levels which will improve insulin sensitivity…why is that good? Well, insulin sensitivity improves the body’s ability to lose weight and/or maintain or achieve a healthier weight.
Now, for the next question…why are non-nutritive sweeteners a bad idea?
Non-nutritive sweeteners taste sweet but don’t provide any caloric value. Many of these are well known like sucralose, aspartame, and other alcohol sugars. These sweeteners have been linked to obesity and metabolic syndrome. These studies suggest that the non-nutritive sweeteners may affect your metabolism or hormonal balance. It could also be that since these sweeteners are calorie free that people overindulge which, in turn, causes some of these problems. Not to mention, sweeteners like aspartame increase oxidative stress and inflammation in the brain which certainly doesn’t work for our autoimmune paleo folks. Rest assured that none of these ingredients are in our Paleo Perfection Protein.
However, Stevia is included in our Cherry Chocolate Paleo Protein but not in the natural…the Paleo Perfection Natural protein is AIP Certified! Stevia can be problematic when overconsumed so we only included a very small amount in the Cherry Chocolate and it hasn’t been linked to any direct effects to those with autoimmune diseases. We are working on an alternative option that will provide a good taste and value but it will take some time. In the meantime, we hope you can enjoy without any worry!