Milk—but not cheese—is off the list because it contains a lot of lactose, a form of sugar, which makes it high in carbohydrates. When cheese is made, all the sugar is eaten by bacteria and turned into lactic acid, cutting the carb content way down. Low- and reduced-fat dairy products are to be avoided as they’re overly processed, which strips out nutrients like the fatty acids that make you feel full. Plus, sugar is often added to make up for a loss of flavor and texture, so some actually have more sugar than full-fat dairy. Resist shredded cheese, too, as it contains a carby potato starch that keeps it from sticking together.
Regarding sugar alcohols, there is a big difference between erythritol and other sugar alcohols like xylitol. The difference is that erythritol gets absorbed in the small intestine, but then poorly metabolized. In contrast, xylitol and other sugar alcohols don’t get absorbed at all and continue to the large intestine, which is where they can cause stomach pain or other digestive issues for some people. Since erythritol doesn’t make it to the large intestine in the majority of people, it rarely causes stomach upset. No one I know has had this side effect from erythritol alone. Sure, it’s possible, but at that point there are lots of other foods that cause stomach upset in a small number of people. Of course you know your family best. 🙂
They also often have specific beneficial properties and are used traditionally both medicinally and in cooking. Cinnamon for example lowers blood sugar and suppresses appetite and protects against disease. Ginger is another potent herb which is an antioxidant and is anti-inflammatory. Capsaicin from hot peppers speeds up fat metabolism and reduces inflammation. Parsley is popular herb which removes heavy metals from the body and is packed with vitamins. Rosemary reduces inflammation in the brain treating headaches and boosting mental energy. Herbs and spices add color, flavor and novelty to keto meals. You can make the same dish taste totally different by adding a few fresh herbs.
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