You’ve likely had sugar at some point in your life and on one or more occasion, but you probably haven’t heard of some of the newer names, such as turbinado or agave. But then you have sucralose, also known as Stevia, is a manmade sweetener.
In recent years, the sugar substitute has become a valuable part of the American diet for those seeking to stay fit. Research still indicates that it may cause some health concerns.
What Is Sucralose?
Sucralose is an artificial sweetener that is used for various types of cooking that include baking or as a topping to fruit or your favorite beverage. Unlike natural sugar, which is derived from the sugar cane plant, sucralose comes from table sugar, but is processed to extract hydrogen-oxygen groups with chlorine atoms, which results in a very sweet sugar but without the calories that regular sugar contains.
Despite claims that sucralose poses a health risk, it is approved by the Food and Drug Administration as an alternative sweetener and is rumored to be a derivative to pesticides. However, research indicates that various organs can be affected by light doses of the substance. Although sucralose does contain fewer calories than table sugar, it can be hundreds of time sweeter than sugar because it activates the same taste on the tongue. Unlike sugar, which converts to energy, sucralose does not. However, whatever amount that is consumed is secreted in the urine and doesn’t get absorbed by the body.
Different Names For Sucralose
If sucralose doesn’t ring any bells, maybe you have heard of one of the substance’s different names.
- Equal Sucralose
- NatraTaste Gold
Health Benefits Of Sucralose
Sucralose offers a no-calorie solution to many conventional sweeteners and is an alternative for people who are seeking to reduce their intake of sugar and calories. It can instantly increase the sweetness of food and is relatively safe. Despite health concerns of sucralose, researchers deem it as relatively safe. Because of sucralose’s composition, it isn’t recognized by the body as a sugar, and it doesn’t necessarily cause a spike in blood sugar. Additionally, sucralose has a viable taste profile that makes it suitable for incorporating into your daily meals. Other benefits of sucralose include:
- No calories
- Doesn’t cause tooth decay
- Long shelf life
- Versatile for a range of foods
Side Effects Of Sucralose
If you have blood-sugar conditions such as diabetes, sucralose may have an effect on your blood sugar levels. Therefore, it is always a good idea to talk to your doctor should you choose to apply this sweetener to your daily intake. However, studies suggest in a group of obese people who never consumed artificial sugar, that insulin levels rose significantly, while those of a healthier weight reported no change in insulin levels. Therefore if you do not consume the sweetener typically, this could cause your blood sugar to spike.
Studies into the health benefits and side effects of sucralose suggest that the substance can be associated with high blood pressure, heart problems, and even diabetes.
Overuse of the sweetener could also cause an alteration of gut flora, which could lead to tissue inflammation within the digestive system and other complications that include:
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Releases toxins when heated
- Alters the medication effectiveness
Is Sucralose Keto Friendly?
One of the biggest questions regarding sucralose is if it is friendly to a keto diet, but it’s not such an easy question to answer.
If you are using pure sucralose, then it is keto friendly because it has no effect on your blood sugar. However, Splenda (probably the most popular brand of the substance) is not keto friendly as it is a combination of sucralose, dextrose, and maltodextrin. The latter two ingredients have similar effects on glucose levels as regular table sugar, which make the substances not friendly for a keto diet.
Unless you are sure about the makeup of your sucralose, it’s probably best to find sugar substitutes that are more keto friendly than sucralose. Substances like stevia and monk fruit are just two of the numerous replacements that will fall in line with your diet.
Does Sucralose Cause Weight Gain?
Sucralose and other similar artificial sweeteners will often be marketed as being great for those looking to lose a little weight, but there isn’t much to show that they have any effect on weight gain or loss.
Baking With Sucralose
Sucralose can be used in various forms of cooking which include baking or as a topping to fruit or your favorite beverage. While sucralose makes an ideal calorie-free option, it’s best to leave cooking and baking to other sweeteners because it can be harmful when heated to certain temperatures. According to research. heating sucralose can raise cancer-causing agents in food, known as chloropropanols, a class of chemical compounds which has been proven to cause benign tumors after long-term use. Therefore, it’s best to utilize sucralose only if you plan to cook at a temperature no higher than 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Though sugar substitutes, such as sucralose, can be used for baking, you should know that they won’t necessarily react the same way as pure sugar. Cane sugar is useful for baking in that it adds texture to a variety of foods. It’s natural crystalized form enables it to melt into a caramelized fudge or to create a brittle consistency. However, sucralose doesn’t react in this manner and will in many cases lead to a different texture than goods baked with regular sugar, in addition to a flatter thickness, and taste difference, but can easily take the place of white sugar in any recipe. However other useful ingredients such as applesauce or baking soda may be needed to provide adequate flavor and texture. For this reason, it is important to check the package labels or recipe information for the correct substitution measurements to yield the best results.
Sucralose is a very well known sugar substitute that is used around the world to create an array of meals and desserts. While sucralose may function adequately when it comes to taste, keep these important tips in mind to maintain your overall health. Sucralose can be a healthy option for those who are seeking low-sugar and low-calorie options, but as with any food, moderation is key.
Sucralose Vs. Aspartame
Sucralose and aspartame are two of the most widely used artificial sweeteners and both show up in just about every type of product that includes some type of substitute for sugar.
But the similarities stop there. Here’s a breakdown of the differences between the two household names.
What Are The Main Differences?
While both are popular low-calorie substitutes for sugar, sucralose and aspartame don’t have all that much in common. Sucralose is made from sugar that has been modified to eliminate calories while aspartame is made from two amino acids: aspartic acid and phenylalanine.
Aspartame is 200 times sweeter than sugar and has 16 calories per 1 teaspoon, and sucralose is 600 times sweeter than sugar with no calories.
Is One Healthier For You?
Different people handle the two artificial sweeteners differently, and there isn’t a “one size fits all” approach to usage. While both will give you the sweet taste of sugar with little to no calories, you might be better off finding a natural sweetener to use instead.
What Are They Commonly Used In?
Sucralose and aspartame are both readily used in mass produced bottled and canned soda. Diet Coke has long been sweetened with aspartame while Pepsi uses both sucralose and aspartame in different versions of its diet soft drinks.