Fast break sweetener?

If you do any type of fasting, chances are you’ve already wondered if using sweeteners in drinks breaks the fast. 

The truth is, it depends on many factors, including what type of fast you are doing and what sweetener you use.

For those who can drink pure coffee, without sugar or sweetener, this is not a concern during fasting. But if you need to sweeten this type of drink, here’s how to use a sweetener without breaking your fast.

Types of fasting

When we need to perform an exam and fast for a few hours, it’s easier to leave the coffee for later and not worry about using sweeteners. Even because, even without sugar, drinking coffee before having a blood test can interfere with the results.

However, in fasts aimed at weight loss or to obtain health benefits such as intermittent fasting , for example, non-calorie drinks such as coffee and some teas are allowed.

In this last scenario, there are two main types of fasting. In caloric fasting, for example, the goal is not to eat anything that contains calories, whereas in metabolic fasting, the goal is not to alter blood insulin levels.

Thus, some foods allowed in metabolic fasting are prohibited in caloric fasting, as they do not generate significant changes in insulin levels, even though they contain calories.

That’s why in a metabolic fast, it is possible to ingest extremely caloric foods, such as coconut oil, butter and TCM, which are fats that do not alter blood glucose.

On the other hand, in caloric fasting it is important to take care of the caloric intake. Therefore, only drinks such as water, tea and coffee are allowed, as long as they are not sweetened with sugar.

Sweetener breaks the fast?

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Saccharin is one of the most consumed types of sweeteners

Sugar sure breaks the fast, but what about sweeteners? In fact, any no-calorie sweetener can be used in calorie fasting.

On the other hand, even without containing calories, some sweeteners can alter insulin levels and invalidate metabolic fasting.

According to some ongoing studies, certain sweeteners activate the taste buds due to their sweet taste and this is enough to increase insulin, breaking the fast.

This can be the case with sweeteners such as aspartame, saccharin, acesulfame K and sucralose.

Therefore, during the fasting period, the ideal would be not to consume any type of artificial or natural sweetener. But if that’s not possible for you, keep in mind your goal of avoiding calories or avoiding insulin spikes and select a sweetener that suits each case.

Namely, sweeteners such as stevia , xylitol and erythritol are natural sweeteners considered the best options to consume during a diet, as they contain almost zero calories and do not significantly alter insulin levels.

scattered organic stevia powder sweetener with lettering picture
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Stevia is a natural sweetener that is one of the best options for the diet

Either way, whether you’re fasting or not, it’s important to use the sweetener sparingly. Also, whenever possible choose not to add sugars to your drinks or recipes and prefer natural foods over artificial ones for the sake of your health.

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