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Excessive amounts of sugar not only affect your ketosis levels, but also damages your overall health.
That is why many people turn to artificial sweeteners like Splenda.
Despite its controversy, some continue to use it for their coffee and smoothies hoping that it will help keep their ketone levels under control.
Does Splenda kick you out of ketosis?
Find out how keto-friendly Splenda is. What is the best keto sweetener you can use?
We also discuss if sucralose is safe and its health effects.
What is Splenda?
Splenda is a well-known sugar substitute brand that is known for having reduced calories.
The signature yellow sachet is common in supermarkets, coffee shops, local diners, and even at home.
It is also famous for its original formulation that has sucralose, a chemical made in the laboratory that is supposed to be a zero-calorie sweetener.
Sucralose is different from sucrose, which is the chemical name for table sugar. Sucralose is about 400 times sweeter than sucrose.
The chemical interacts with sensors in your mouth to create a sweet taste.
Splenda also contains maltodextrin and dextrose, which results in it having 3.75 calories per packet.
Splenda is manufactured by the British company Tate & Lyle, and discovered by researchers at Queen Elizabeth College, University of London.
Splenda is sold in powder form for easy use in coffee, smoothies, and other beverages.
Is Sucralose Safe?
The US Food and Drug Administration considers sucralose generally regarded as safe, or GRAS.
It is common in diet soda and sugar-free packaged products like protein bars. Most cafes also offer Splenda as healthy alternatives to table sugar for customers’ drinks.
According to the FDA, the acceptable daily intake for sucralose is at 5 milligrams per kilogram body weight.
However, as with other artificial sweeteners, sucralose is controversial mainly because of its effects on metabolism.
Sucralose can raise blood sugar levels and insulin levels while also damaging the good bacteria in your gut, which we will discuss later on.
Others suggest that you should avoid cooking or baking with sucralose because they question its safety at high temperatures.
This video provides more information on the safety of sucralose.
Is Splenda Keto-Friendly?
The short answer is no.
Splenda has no nutritional benefits, but people on keto use it because sucralose is very low in carbs.
As mentioned, it is 600x sweeter without the calories. It is also much cheaper.
Splenda has no bitter aftertaste and measures like sugar with a 1:1 ratio.
Sounds good, right — but why is it not keto-friendly?
Splenda Raises Blood Sugar and Insulin
Splenda is known to pass through your body unabsorbed. But studies show that it alters blood levels of glucose, insulin, and a compound called glucagon-like-peptide.
As mentioned, the product also contains maltodextrin and dextrose which may be the culprit here.
Splenda Increases Sugar Cravings
While Splenda contains less than a gram of carbs and won’t knock you out of ketosis directly, it increases your sugar cravings, which can result in weight gain.
Remember that you’re using Splenda for your smoothies, protein bars, and other healthy treats. But knowing that it is low carb can cause you to eat more than recommended.
If you trust yourself enough to pay attention to how much Splenda you put in your food and drink and how much of it you will consume, then it can be keto-friendly.
Aside from compensatory eating, sugar substitutes can also increase your appetite.
Keep your intake in moderation to avoid increased appetite, sugar cravings, and blood sugar levels.
Splenda Affects Your Gut Bacteria
With a balance of good and bad bacteria in your gut, your digestion and immune function are improved.
However, Splenda may disrupt this and promote pathogenic species to invade your gut instead.
Other Artificial Sweeteners
Aside from sucralose, there are many other artificial sweeteners available.
Some of these include saccharin, aspartame, and acesulfame potassium.
These products may also have the same negative effects as sucralose, although they are FDA-approved.
These artificial sweeteners are also not keto-friendly.
They can cause dizziness, headaches, and digestive problems.
The Best Keto Sweetener
Because the keto diet is supposed to be low-carb, sugar intake is one of your biggest concerns. So, what options do you have for a keto-friendly sweetener?
Stevia is a plant-based sweetener that is both yummy and keto-friendly.
Derived from the Stevia rebaudiana plant, it is claimed to lower both blood sugar levels and insulin levels.
Stevia can be powdered, granulated, or liquid.
If you have a problem with that stevia aftertaste, monk fruit might be the better option for you.
This keto-friendly sweetener has been used for centuries in China because it is much sweeter than table sugar.
It also has zero calories and is non-glycemic.
Monk fruit, a powerful antioxidant, has no side effects.
What is Ketosis?
We have a comprehensive guide on ketosis here, but in short, ketosis is a natural metabolic state that your body goes through as a result of drastically reducing your carb intake when on the keto diet.
Stored fats are converted into ketones that the body uses as an energy source instead of using the glucose from carbs.
Is Brown Sugar Keto-Friendly?
No. Brown sugar is not keto-friendly despite its potential health benefits.
Instead of using brown sugar, opt for keto sweeteners like stevia and monk fruit.
Find out more about brown sugar on the keto diet in our article on keto substitutes for brown sugar.
Can I Have Dessert on Keto?
If keto sweeteners exist, then you can definitely have desserts on keto.
Make sure to exercise moderation and choose keto-friendly options.
One common ingredient in keto desserts is heavy whipping cream. Here are some dessert recipes with heavy whipping cream you can try to satisfy your sweet cravings.
So, Does Splenda Kick You Out of Ketosis?
Splenda itself won’t kick you out of ketosis, but its ability to increase your cravings, especially for sweets, may.
Many people on keto have a misconception that just because Splenda has no sugar means they can indulge in desserts and drinks using it as a sweetener.
Splenda offers no nutritional benefit and can even increase your blood sugar levels because of its other ingredients.
It can also affect your gut health.
Instead, opt for keto-friendly sweeteners such as monk fruit and stevia.