Sucralose is the artificial sweetener and sugar substitute in Splenda. When ingested, it is not broken down by the body, so it is calorie-free.
Sucralose is used in many diet beverages like soda and flavored sparkling water. Among other foods, it can also be found in sugar-free candy, chewing gum, and in dairy products like yogurt. Sucralose remains stable when heated at high temperatures so it is commonly added to sugar-free baked goods as well.
Many people who follow a calorie reduction plan or low carb diet like Keto use Sucralose or other forms of sugar-free sweeteners in place of sugar to reduce their carb and calorie intake.
If you’re thinking about trying Sucralose as a sugar-substitute in your diet, you may be wondering about the health effects. Keep reading to find out how healthy this artificial sweetener is and whether or not you should incorporate it into your low carb diet.
Is Sucralose Keto Friendly?
There are many artificial sweeteners on the market, like aspartame, acesulfame K and sucralose. Consuming foods sweetened with these sweeteners can help you stay within your daily carb limit.
Diet sodas sweetened with Sucralose won’t kick you out of ketosis like regular soda. While foods sweetened with sugar like baked goods or candy and beverages sweetened with high fructose corn syrup, like regular soda will quickly cause you to exceed your daily carb limit.
How Many Carbs are in Sucralose?
Sucralose contains 0.9 grams of net carbs per 1-gram packet. Splenda contains maltodextrin and dextrose, supplying 1 gram of carbs per packet. However, the total carbs Splenda contributes to your diet are negligible, as its sweetness is highly concentrated – 600 times sweeter than sugar – so you’ll likely only need to use a tiny amount.
How Many Calories are in Sucralose?
Sucralose itself is calorie-free. However, Splenda also contains dextrose (glucose) and maltodextrin, which brings the calorie content up to 3.36 calories per gram.
|Serving Size: 1 packet of Splenda with Sucralose (1 gram)|
|Total Fat 0 grams|
|Sodium 0 milligrams|
|Potassium 0 milligrams|
|Carbohydrates 0.9 grams|
|Net carbs 0.9 grams|
|Sugar 0.8 grams|
|Fiber 0 grams|
|Protein 0 grams|
Artificial sweeteners are virtually calorie-free. On the other hand, a teaspoon of sugar has about 16 calories and 4 grams of carbs. A can of regular soda can contain up to 10 teaspoons of added sugar and provides around 160 calories.
If you’re trying to manage your weight, products sweetened with artificial sweeteners may be helpful, however, their effectiveness for long-term weight loss is unknown.
Blood Sugar Control
Unlike sugar, artificial sweeteners like Sucralose generally don’t spike blood sugar levels so it may be helpful for people with diabetes or those who are predisposed to the disease.
- Diet soft drinks
- Low carb baked goods
- Sugar-free candy
- Low-calorie puddings and Jello
- Sugar-free jams
- Dairy products, like calorie-reduced yogurt
The health claims of sucralose are quite controversial, like that of most artificial sweeteners on the market today. While some studies report that the sweetener is completely harmless, new studies indicate that it may have negative effects on metabolism and for some, it may raise blood sugar and insulin levels.
Reports of adverse reactions to sucralose and products made with Splenda include symptoms such as headaches and allergic reactions.
Additionally, one study on rats reported that sucralose may have negative effects on the microbiome (gut bacteria), however more research is needed to confirm these findings on humans.
Another study published in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases indicates that use Splenda and other artificial sweeteners doubles the risk for Crohn’s disease and can exacerbate intestinal reactivity in sufferers of Crohn’s disease and other inflammatory conditions.
Will Using Sucralose Instead of Sugar Help with Weight Loss?
Randomized controlled trials support that substituting low-calorie sweeteners like Sucralose instead of sugar leads to modest weight loss.
In one study on over 300 participants who consumed either water or low-calorie sweetened beverages for one year found that those in the low-calorie sweetener group lost 6.21 kilograms on average, compared to those in the water group, who only lost 2.45 kilograms.
With that being said, some observational studies have demonstrated an association between low-calorie sweeteners and increased waist circumference. However, observational studies such as these that examine the relationship between Sucralose intake and a body mass do not provide direct evidence of cause and effect.
How is Sucralose Made?
Sucralose is made using a scientific process that starts with regular table sugar. Three select hydrogen-oxygen groups on a sucrose molecule are replaced with three chlorine atoms, which results in a calorie-free sweetener that is about 600 times sweeter than sugar.
The structure of Sucralose prevents enzymes in the digestive tract from breaking it down. Therefore, about 85% of the product is not absorbed by the human boy. The small amount that does get absorbed is about 15%, however, none is broken down for energy. For this reason, sucralose does not provide any calories and any absorbed sucralose is excreted in the urine.
Is Sucralose Safe to Consume Regularly?
To date, there have been more than 100 safety studies, showcasing over 20 years of research claiming Sucralose is safe. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of this artificial sweetener back in 1998 in certain food categories. By 1999, it expanded the approval to all food and beverage categories.
With that being said, recent studies suggest that it may have some adverse effects on metabolism and for some people, it may raise blood sugar and insulin.
Is Sucralose Safe for Children?
Foods sweetened with sucralose can add sweetness to the diets of children without contributing to increased calorie intake or risk of cavities.
However, due to limited studies in children, the American Academy of Pediatrics hasn’t provided official recommendations on low-calorie sweetener intakes for children.
Is Sucralose Safe During Pregnancy?
Research indicates that sucralose has no adverse effects on expecting or nursing mothers or on the fetus. Only a tiny amount of sucralose is actually absorbed into the bloodstream, so the amount present in breast milk is negligible.
Is Sucralose Safe for Diabetics?
Foods and beverages that are made with sucralose are often recommended for people with diabetes as an alternative to sugary foods and drinks. A large body of research shows that sucralose does not raise blood sugar levels or negatively affect blood sugar control.
Products containing sucralose are lower in carbohydrates than those containing sugar, which is helpful for people with diabetes who are trying to monitor their sugar intake.
The 2018 American Diabetes Association Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes report that sweeteners may have the potential to reduce overall calorie and carbohydrate intake if substituted for sugar.
Sucralose is generally safe to use within the defined acceptable daily intake levels, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Diabetes UK, and Diabetes Canada.
However, opinions seem to be mixed regarding the safety of sucralose for people with diabetes or those predisposed to the disease.
Another study published in the Journal of Diabetes Care reported a link between sucralose and the risk of developing diabetes. This study indicated that daily consumption of diet soda was associated with a 36% high risk of developing metabolic syndrome and a 67% high risk of developing type 2 diabetes. That means sucralose could be a trigger for the disease.
If you suffer from this serious condition, check with your physician for advice on whether or not you should consume Sucralose.