We all want to be healthier and have improved overall wellness and quality of life. As such, it is no longer surprising that people will go for food diets that can help them reach their health goals and targets. Some of these diets include the Paleo Diet and the Atkins Diet which promise not just weight loss but also an overall healthy lifestyle. One of the more popular diets, though, which is the ketogenic diet can be quite restrictive to dieters. This is because for the ketogenic diet to be successful, dieters need to maintain what is called a state of ketosis. This means that food items and ingredients need to be chosen carefully in order for individuals to not get kicked out of the said state. So, one important question for keto dieters would be “Is sucralose sweeteners keto-friendly?” In this article, we answer this question so read on to find out more!
The Ketogenic Diet: A Brief Backgrounder
Observing the keto diet means avoiding the intake of foods that are high in carbs such as processed food items, desserts, and starches. This is critical since to be able to achieve the state of metabolism known as ketosis, the body needs to transition from a carb-burning machine to a more efficient fat-burning one.
The Ketogenic diet will also require that the individual lower their consumption of sugar which means that it can be quite difficult to make certain food items such as dressings, sauces, baked goods, and beverages sweetened. Fortunately, there are a number of different sweeteners that are still low in carbs that individuals can enjoy on a keto diet.
Sucralose: Benefits And Side Effects
Sucralose is a form of sweetener that is artificial. It does not undergo metabolism which means that it can pass through the body without being digested. As such, sucralose does not have any added carbs or calories. One of the most popular sweeteners that are sucralose-based is Splenda. This brand is popular in the market as it does not have any taste or flavor that is bitter compared to other sweeteners that are artificial.
This sweetener was first discovered in the 1070s and it was only accidentally discovered by Leslie Hough and Shashikant Phadnis. It all started with a misunderstanding by Phadnis where instead of testing the powder they had developed, he had the powder tasted. Both researchers noted then that sucralose was sweet and can be used as a form of sugar substitute. Splenda the brand was then introduced in 1999. The world loved the said sweetener due to their sweet taste and the absence of a bitter aftertaste that other sweeteners encounter.
Some of the health benefits of sucralose may include:
- Sucralose is neutral for people who want to lose weight: There is evidence to suggest that people can use sucralose and experience neutral BMIs
- Sucralose can be better for blood sugar levels compared to regular ones-This reduced or better management of blood sugar can help improve levels of blood sugar that can lead to problems such as heart diseases, type 2 diabetes, and obesity.
On the other hand, below are some of the possible side effects of sucralose include:
- Sucralose contains other components: While sucralose may be sweet, it can contain other additives such as maltodextrin.
- Insulin resistance and blood sugar level: Due to some of the said additives found in sucralose, it is safe to say that it can still cause spikes in blood sugar levels
- Not ideal for heat and baking- It is best that people do not use sucralose for baking as it cannot tolerate the heat and result in harmful compounds.
Sucralose does not have any severe side effects but it can produce compounds that are harmful when high temperature is applied to it. Hence, sucralose is not suitable in terms of baking and cooking. Sucralose, then, is much more ideally used as a sweetener that is low in carbs to make food and beverages sweeter such as yogurt and oatmeal.
In addition, while sucralose does not contain any sugars, Splenda has some added dextrose and maltodextrin, two (2) types of carbs that can provide around three (3) additional calories and a gram of carbs per serving. It must also be noted that while sucralose can be used in recipes as a sugar substitute using a ratio that is 1:1, sucralose that is pure can be a couple of hundred times sweeter than white sugar which means that only a small amount is needed to make one’s beverages and food items sweet.
Other Possible Keto Sugar Alternatives
Listed below are some of the other possible sugar alternatives for those who want to observe a low-carb diet such as the keto diet:
This sweetener is a natural one and can be obtained from the plant known as Stevia Rebaudiana. It is also classified as a sweetener that is non nutritive which means that stevia does not or has significantly reduced levels of carbs or calories. Compared to regular table sugar, studies conducted on human beings and animals have shown that the said natural sweetener may aid the body in having blood levels reduced and lowered. Stevia can also be acquired in powdered and liquid form and can be utilized to make desserts and drinks sweeter. Stevia, though, is also significantly sweeter compared to table sugar so reduced amounts of stevia are required to get the same sweet taste per serving of regular sugar. In fact, one only needs four (4) grams of stevia to equal the sweetness of 200 grams of sugar.
This sweetener is a form of sugar alcohol which is a class of compounds that are naturally occurring which can lead to the stimulation of the receptors on the tongue to imitate how sugar tastes like. It is around 80% sweet just like table sugar but it only contains 0.2 calories per gram which are just 5% of total calories present in sugar. In addition, while erythritol contains carbs in the amount of 4 grams per tsp (teaspoon), there is evidence to suggest that it can lead to reduced levels of blood sugar. It also does not cause any issues or problems with the digestive system like other sugar alcohols due to a molecular weight that is smaller. This sweetener is ideal for many different recipes as a sugar substitute and can be utilized for cooking and baking. It must be noted though that this sweetener can provide a mouthfeel that can be quite cooling and unlike sugar, does not dissolve that easily. This can result in certain food items having a texture that is a bit gritty.
Similar to erythritol, Xylitol is another form of sugar alcohol and is commonly used for certain products like mints, candies, and gums that are sugar-free. Its sweetness is comparable to that of sugar but it only contains 4 grams of carbs and 3 grams of calories per 4 grams of serving (Teaspoon). However, just like other sugar alcohols, xylitol carbs are not counted as net carbs as these do not increase the levels of sugar in the blood as well as the levels of insulin compared to regular sugar.