A note about sweeteners

Lauren, this one’s as much for you as for anyone else – I saw you mention spoonfuls of sweetener so I thought I’d let you know what I found out while you were in Japan! 🙂 xx

I’ve been reading lots about sweetener lately, and I thought I’d share my findings, as I understand them.  DISCLAIMER – I’m not a scientist, so be sure to do your own research before following my lead! 🙂

There are many different types of sweetener – aspartame, saccharin, sucralose, sorbitol, acesulfame k, erythritol, xylitol – the list goes on.

The ones that end with “-tol” are generally what’s known as “sugar alcohols” – they’re made from a sugar base, and have the same amount of carbs in them but a lower amount of absorbable carbs (that’s my understanding, anyway.) They affect everyone differently, so some people’s bodies will get kicked out of ketosis with them.

I could go on and on about about sugar alcohols – but wikipedia says it so much better.

All of these sweeteners also react differently to heat. Most, if you put them in cooking, will break down and lose their sweetness – they have no “heat stability”.  Some are what’s known as “heat stable” – ie they are perfect for baking! The number one heat stable sweetener in my book is sucralose.  Sucralose is 600 times as sweet as sugar, twice as sweet as saccharin, and 3.3 times as sweet as aspartame. So it’s pretty hefty stuff.  You can find it in things like Splenda.

However, there’s an issue with sucralose (and a lot of other “tabletop” sweeteners) – in order to make them “spoon for spoon” as sweet as sugar, they have to bulk them out with a bulking agent.  Most of the time, they’ll use Dextrose or Maltodextrin. The problem with these bulking agents is that, according to wikipedia, they are “easily digestible, being absorbed as rapidly as glucose.”

So, ok.  You’ve got your sucralose.  It’s super sweet, so you only need a tiny bit, and it doesn’t kick you out of ketosis. But to help you measure it with a teaspoon like you’re accustomed to, they bulk it up with a bulking agent that has the same effect on your body as sugar!!!!

What the hell?

“What’s the solution?” I hear you ask.


Get yourself either some sucralose in tablet form (ie splenda tablets, but make sure it’s Sucralose) and crush it up for you cooking, or get it in liquid form – my new favorite.

I hopped on eBay the other day and ordered myself a tiny little eyedropper of liquid sucralose – all you need is one drop in your coffee.  I put it in my porridge before it goes thick for perfect mixed-ness – and because it’s heat stable, it won’t break down and lose its sweetness on the stove or in the oven.

But get rid of your spoon-for-spoon, because it’s pretty much just as bad as sugar if you’re watching your carbs.

5 responses to this post.

  1. Hmmmm, thanks for the info. I have 2 unlabelled tupperware containers of sweetener (I forgot which one is which!) One is splenda and one is some natural sweetener (they look practically the same without a box >.<)…next time I go to the supermarket I will try and recognise the label.
    At the moment the only sweetener I use is half a teaspoon with my porridge, do you think that would be ok??


    • I reckon so long as you’re still losing weight, it’s fine! 🙂 If you hit a stagnation point, it could be one of the things you could consider changing, maybe? But that’s for months away, you’re gonna fly through for now!

      I’m a total sweet tooth – I need it in my fromage frais, in my coffee and in my porridge, so switching to liquid sucralose and away from maltodextrin will probably make a bit of a difference for me. 🙂



  2. Thank you for this information!! That is an eye opener. I not really a sweet tooth, but I have used sweetners for a few things on Dukan. This info helps big time. Thanks Charlotte!! YOu’re awesome, as always! 🙂


  3. […] taste. I had to put in a fair whack – it was pretty TART! But bear in mind what I said about sweeteners – the spoon for spoon ones are not really very good, as they bulk the artificial sweetener out […]


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