Sucralose is actually made from sugar. In its “pure” form, sucralose can be up to 1000 times sweeter than sugar. Two teaspoons of sugar have 46 calories and 12 grams carbohydrates. The equivalent sweetening amount of sucralose has zero calories and 1 gram carbohydrates.
Sucralose goes through your digestive tract with very little being absorbed, the small amount that is absorbed is passed out of the body through your urine.
Sucralose is stable under high heat conditions and has a long shelf life. With its zero calorie, almost zero carbohydrate footprint, AND sugar-like taste, it is not surprising that sucralose is now being used in thousands of diet products.
One of the most prevalent uses of this sweetener is in diet sodas, and as a sugar substitute for coffee, tea and other drinks.
You most often see sucralose sold as Splenda in the little yellow packets. Splenda is also sold with fillers that enable you to measure out spoon-for-spoon or cup-for-cup quantities similar to sugar.
Sucralose was approved by the FDA for use in beverages and foods over 20 years ago. It was approved for use by everyone including pregnant women and children of all ages.
You will see sucralose sold under brand names including: Splenda, Sukrana, SucraPlus, Candys, Cukren and Nevella. Over the past two years big box stores such as Costco and grocery chains such as Safeway have developed their own sucralose product lines.
The “intensity” of the sweetener depends on the brand name, so don’t assume that the Safeway brand will be the same level of sweetness as Splenda. If you regularly bake or cook using the Splenda brand and then switch to the Costco brand, be cautious and test by stating with slightly smaller amounts and then adding more if necessary.
For the most part I have not noticed much of a difference, but it is best to not “assume.”
NOTE: Pretty well all the brands seem to offer little “two teaspoon sugar equivalent” packets.
As with almost everything these days, there is a lot of controversy around the use of sucralose and sucralose laced products.
Some studies indicate that sucralose is AS addictive as sugar. Other studies claim that it causes higher blood sugar readings in diabetics and yet other studies give unspecified health warnings.
One study was done on rats, the researchers fed the rats mega doses of sucralose every day. Excuse me, but how much does a rat weigh? How much does your average overweight American weigh? Turns out the researchers were feeding the rats the “human” equivalent of 11,000+ packets of sucralose a day! Let’s get real!
I know that some readers may get annoyed or even mad at me for dismissing these studies. I am not dismissing them, but will state flat out that as a diabetic, sugar can kill me very quickly. Sucralose may kill me too, but it will probably add a few years to my life vs sugar.
I actually agree that sucralose is addictive. I noticed that if I start off with an 8 oz. glass of diet soda on day one, by day 10 I am drinking 3 – 5 glasses. I can quickly stop the cycle by drinking water for a few days — no more craving.
As with everything, moderation is the key. I’ll offer some suggestions later in the book for reducing your use of sucralose by mixing it with natural sugar substitutes.