Sucralose is a sweetener that does not have any carbs or calories, which sounds good for keto.
However, some people worry it might be linked to cancer, weight gain, and high blood sugar, so it is not that simple. This guide will tell you the good and bad things about using sucralose on keto and suggest two other sweeteners that could be better.
Let us begin with the basics.
- What is Sucralose
- What is in Sucralose
- Is Splenda the Same as Sucralose
- Keto Products with Sucralose
- Sucralose and Keto: Any Advantages
- 3 Reasons to Stay Away from Sucralose
- Sucralose Can Be Harmful When Heated
- Sucralose Might Make You Want More Sugar and Gain Weight
- Sucralose Might Hurt Your Good Gut Bacteria
- Research says that Splenda and sucralose
- Is Sucralose Okay for Keto
- What About Splenda? Is Splenda Good for Keto
- Is Sucralose Safe
- The Top Keto Replacements for Sucralose
- Monk Fruit
- Conclusion: Is Sucralose Good for Keto
What is Sucralose
Sucralose is a man-made sweetener found by accident in 1976. It is like sugar, but they replaced some parts of it with chlorine atoms, making it taste way sweeter, about 600 times sweeter than regular sugar. The best part is it has no carbs or calories.
What is in Sucralose
Since our bodies can only break down about 27% of sucralose, it does not give us any calories, protein, fat, fibre, or carbs. The chlorine in it makes it tough for our bodies to process.
So, most of the sucralose just passes through without being used up. However, that is not the case for Splenda.
Is Splenda the Same as Sucralose
Splenda is a popular artificial sweetener that’s based on sucralose, but it is not pure sucralose.
In Splenda, about 95% of it is made up of agents, maltodextrin, and dextrose. Maltodextrin is a highly processed ingredient used to preserve, sweeten, fill, and bind things together. It is made from high-carb foods like corn, rice, and wheat and has as many carbs as regular sugar.
Maltodextrin can even raise your blood sugar more than sugar itself, as it has a higher score on the glycemic index. This means each teaspoon of Splenda adds three calories and 1 gram of carbs to your daily intake.
Sucralose is also found in some low-sugar and keto foods.
Keto Products with Sucralose
Sucralose is used in many products in the US, more than any other fake sweetener. You can often find it in things like:
- Diet drinks
- Sugar-free candies
- Protein bars
- Protein powder
- Drinks or bars that replace meals
- Vitamins and supplements.
Splenda is the most popular sugar replacement, but even though it has some good points, it might not be the best choice for a keto diet.
Sucralose and Keto: Any Advantages
Sucralose does not bring any nutrition to the table. But people like sucralose (and Splenda) because:
- It sweetens low-carb stuff cheaply. Pure sucralose makes things taste super sweet, like 600 times sweeter than sugar, without piling on many carbs or calories. Also, it is cheaper than natural sugar replacements.
- No weird bitter taste. Fans say sucralose does not leave that bitter aftertaste that some other fake sugars do maybe because it’s made from sugar.
- Easy sugar swap. You can use sucralose, just like sugar in most recipes, in a 1:1 ratio. This makes it simple for folks to cut sugar from their diets.
However, do not cook or bake with sucralose, as we will talk about next.
3 Reasons to Stay Away from Sucralose
Here are three reasons why we do not use sucralose at Levels.
Sucralose Can Be Harmful When Heated
Sucralose becomes unstable and breaks down when exposed to high heat. This can lead to the release of harmful substances known as chloropropanols and chlorinated aromatic polycyclic hydrocarbons (CI-PAHs).
These substances can build up in your body and might be linked to causing cancer. Even if you do not heat it yourself, you cannot be sure if the sucralose in your protein supplements was exposed to high heat during the making process.
Sucralose Might Make You Want More Sugar and Gain Weight
Artificial sweeteners like sucralose are much sweeter than sugar, and they activate your brain’s reward system just like sugar does. Research suggests that sucralose might lead to:
- Cravings for sugar
- Increased hunger and overeating
- Weight gain
Higher insulin production enables storing fat instead of burning it. These effects can make sticking to a keto diet more challenging.
Sucralose Might Hurt Your Good Gut Bacteria
In your gut, there are more than 100 billion tiny living things called bacteria. What you eat can make these bacteria work for you or against you.
If you eat the right stuff, you will have a healthy team of good bacteria in your gut. They help reduce inflammation, make your digestion better, and make your immune system stronger.
Now, here is the bad part: Splenda and sucralose might mess up your good bacteria and let bad ones take over.
Research says that Splenda and sucralose
- Show signs of causing a kind of long-lasting inflammation in your liver.
- Reduce the number of your good gut bacteria.
- Stop the good bacteria from growing.
There are not many studies about how sucralose affects us, but from what we know, it is better to avoid it when you are on a keto diet.
Is Sucralose Okay for Keto
Sucralose is not a good choice for keto because it can make your insulin and blood sugar go up. This is bad because it can lead to something called insulin resistance, where your blood sugar stays high because your cells do not react to insulin.
When your insulin and blood sugar are high, your body cannot burn fat for energy, and it stores fat instead. To be in ketosis and burn fat on a keto diet, your insulin and blood sugar need to be low.
What About Splenda? Is Splenda Good for Keto
Splenda may not be the best choice for keto because it has a high Glycemic Index (GI), up to 80, mainly because of the dextrose and maltodextrin in it. Just so you know, sugar’s GI is 65. So, Splenda might raise your blood sugar more than sugar does. However, for keto to work, you want low insulin and blood sugar.
Is Sucralose Safe
The FDA says that sweeteners like sucralose are usually safe to use. They have set a limit of 5 milligrams of sucralose for each kilogram of your body weight. So, if you weigh 150 pounds, you could safely have 340 mg of sucralose every day.
To give you an idea, one Splenda packet has 12 milligrams of sucralose. That means you could have about 28 packets each day without any worry.
Some studies in the past connected sucralose with cancer, but those studies were found to be wrong. They saw these results in tests with animals using very big amounts of sucralose.
However, even if sucralose is not linked to cancer, there are still many reasons not to use it, mainly when there are better natural keto sweeteners available.
The Top Keto Replacements for Sucralose
It’s tough to break the sugar habit. When you switch to keto, many people have strong sugar cravings. That is where sugar substitutes come in – they give you a sweet taste without getting in the way of your weight loss or ketosis goals.
Instead of using chlorinated sugar (like sucralose), it is better to go for natural keto sweeteners. Two good options are:
Even though the leaves of the Stevia Rebaudiana plant are not naturally sweet, when you take out and concentrate the compounds inside, they become naturally sweet. Pure stevia has zero calories and zero carbs, but it is 200-300 times sweeter than sugar.
You can find stevia in liquid and powder forms, and you usually need just one teaspoon of stevia for each cup of sugar in keto recipes. Also, you can bake with it because it stays good at both low and high temperatures.
We like stevia at Levels because it does not raise insulin levels or blood sugar. Some studies even suggest it might lower blood sugar.
Our other favourite keto sweetener also comes from a plant.
Monk fruit is a little pumpkin-like fruit that grows in Thailand, China, and Southeast Asia. It has special things called mogrosides that make it taste sweet.
When we take out these mogrosides from monk fruit and make them into a powder, they become super sweet, about 250 times sweeter than sugar.
We really like monk fruit at Levels because:
- It comes from something good for you called an antioxidant.
- It has no carbs in it.
- It does not raise your insulin levels or blood sugar.
- Moreover, here is something cool: monk fruit might even help release insulin to manage your blood sugar.
Both monk fruit and stevia have their health perks. Also, they will not affect your chances of reaching or staying in ketosis. That is why we use only monk fruit and stevia in our whey protein.
Conclusion: Is Sucralose Good for Keto
Sucralose is not a great choice for keto because it can make your insulin and blood sugar go up. It might also stop you from getting into or staying in ketosis.
Splenda and Sucralose add unnecessary difficulties to a keto diet.
Instead, go for monk fruit and stevia. They give you the sweetness you want in a natural way, and they are better for your health.Checkout More: Can you use sucralose on a keto diet?
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