Sucralose is becoming very popular among healthy food lovers and can now be found in many restaurants and shops. However, is this sweetener suitable for healthy ketosis? Is sucralose keto?
Yes, in general, sucralose is keto. Although it is an artificial sweetener, it is not harmful to your health in moderate amounts. However, there are a few details to consider when consuming sucralose on a keto diet.
I have already told you about the seven best sweeteners for the keto diet, and you know that sucralose is one of them. How does sucralose affect your insulin levels? How to choose and use it correctly? What do you need to know about sucralose to stay in healthy ketosis? I’ll give you all the details about sucralose on keto. Keep reading to find out more!
What is Sucralose?
While sucralose is often associated with Splenda, this is not entirely true. Splenda has a wide variety of sweeteners, including sucralose, monk fruit, stevia, etc. Therefore, calling sucralose Splenda is not the best option.
So what exactly is sucralose? Sucralose is made by processing sugar, so they taste very similar. This sweetener is obtained by chlorination of sucrose, replacing hydroxyl groups with chlorine atoms. Thanks to this modification, the properties of the substance are very much changed. However, at the same time, the taste is identical to sugar, without any unpleasant smell or aftertaste.
The sucralose molecule interacts more actively with the tongue’s taste buds so that its sweetness is perceived 600 times more intensely than that of sugar. The sugar-like taste, lack of calories, and biological inertness have made sucralose popular. Sucralose is found commercially in powder, concentrate, syrup, and drop form. In addition, this substance is often included in various sugar replacement mixtures.
Is Sucralose Keto?
Sucralose contains zero calories and tastes like sugar, making it one of the best choices for people looking to avoid carbs. However, if you are on a keto diet, then it is not the calories that matter to you but the carbohydrates and the ability of the sweetener to raise blood insulin levels. And in the case of sucralose during keto, it’s not all that simple. Is sucralose keto-friendly?
There are two main forms of sucralose – powder and liquid. Powdered sucralose is a great choice for a wide variety of dishes. You can add it to coffee, baked goods, ice cream, smoothies, cereals, and yogurts. However, powdered sucralose is not suitable for keto because it can raise blood sugar levels. Therefore, you should avoid sucralose powder during your keto diet. When choosing a sucralose brand, be sure to read labels and pay attention to its composition. Sucralose is often mixed with lactose, which is a milk sugar that makes it even sweeter but increases insulin, so you should avoid it.
However, the liquid form of sucralose has different properties. It also contains zero calories and zero net carbs and does not raise blood sugar levels. Sucralose drops are suitable for any cold keto desserts – you can add them to smoothies, yogurts and make various keto drinks. However, drops of sucralose are not suitable for baking because they can release toxic elements when exposed to high temperatures .
Can Sucralose Harm You?
Sucralose is one of the most controversial sweeteners. Many sources talk about its safety for your health, and some deny it. So let’s try to understand the effects of sucralose on your health.
Diabetes and Insulin Resistance
Sucralose has long been considered a completely safe sweetener that does not affect your blood sugar levels or impair healthy insulin resistance. However, recent studies show that regular consumption of sucralose can yet alter insulin levels and influence insulin resistance.
As research shows, sucralose has a metabolic effect on your body , so you shouldn’t overuse it while on a keto diet or any other type of nutrition.
Regular consumption of sucralose can have a dangerous effect on the health of your gut microbiome, making your gut health worse. And while the elements of sucralose can eliminate harmful bacteria in your mouth, large amounts of sucralose can degrade your gut microbiome.
Thus, regular consumption of sucralose upsets the balance of gut bacteria and may even cause weight gain. Also, among other sweeteners, sucralose can provoke intestinal inflammation, dysbiosis, and liver inflammation, as well as increase the risk of Crohn’s disease .
Sweeteners seem to help you avoid the harmful effects of sugar and weight gain. However, artificial sweeteners can provoke weight gain due to the fact that they can increase sugar cravings and high appetite in general. When people eat sugar and other fast carbs, they fill up faster and feel more satisfied with the food. When you replace sugar with sweeteners and eat them every day, your brain does not feel satisfied and tries to achieve it by overeating or eating fast carbs.
Nonnutritive sweeteners trick your brain with a sweet taste, after which it expects energy but does not receive it. So your brain subsequently tries to get it in excess of the norm. Therefore, when consumed regularly, sucralose, like other sweeteners, provokes sugar cravings and overeating .
So, as you can see, the information is controversial. On the one hand, sucralose drops are keto because they do not contain carbohydrates and do not raise blood sugar levels. However, is this a healthy choice for a keto diet? Indeed, during low-carb diets, we try to get rid of all processed food, cleanse our body and help it work fully. The answer is ambiguous.
You can, of course, use sucralose drops while on a keto diet. However, I recommend that you not make it a habit or skip sweeteners altogether if your goal is to lose weight on keto. You should also avoid sucralose if you are on a keto diet to fight insulin resistance and the risk of diabetes. To avoid the potential side effects of sucralose, you can opt for a more natural keto sweetener like stevia or erythritol. Finally, remember that sugar cravings usually go away after two weeks when starting a keto diet, so it may not be a good option to prolong this period with sweeteners.
- A. Eisenreich, R. Gürtler and B. Schäfer. Heating of food containing sucralose might result in the generation of potentially toxic chlorinated compounds. Food Chemistry, Volume 321, 15 August 2020. (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2020.126700)
- A. Romo-Romo, C. A Aguilar-Salinas, G. X Brito-Córdova, R. A Gómez-Díaz, P. Almeda-Valdes. Sucralose decreases insulin sensitivity in healthy subjects: a randomized controlled trial. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 108, Issue 3, Pages 485–491, September 2018. (https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/nqy152)
- A. Rodriguez-Palacios, DVM, PhD, A. Harding, MD, P. Menghini, PhD, C. Himmelman et al. The Artificial Sweetener Splenda Promotes Gut Proteobacteria, Dysbiosis, and Myeloperoxidase Reactivity in Crohn’s Disease–Like Ileitis, Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, Volume 24, Issue 5, Pages 1005–1020, May 2018. (https://doi.org/10.1093/ibd/izy060)
- Yang Q. Gain weight by “going diet?” Artificial sweeteners and the neurobiology of sugar cravings: Neuroscience 2010. Yale J Biol Med. 2010 Jun;83(2):101-8. (PMID: 20589192; PMCID: PMC2892765)