The basics

If you have diabetes, you know why it’s important to limit the amount of sugar you eat or drink. It’s generally easy to spot natural sugars in your drinks and food, though processed sugars can be a bit more challenging to pinpoint.

Keep reading to learn more about the processed sweetener sucralose and how it can affect your blood sugar levels.

What are the benefits of sucralose?

Sucralose, or Splenda, is a manmade sweetener often used in place of sugar. One of the major benefits of sucralose is that is has zero calories. You may find this helpful if you’re trying to manage your daily calorie intake for dieting.

Sucralose is a tad sweeter than sugar, leading many people to favor the substitute over the original. Because of this, you need only a small amount of sucralose to get a very sweet taste in your food or beverage.

Unlike some other sweeteners, sucralose has no effect on tooth decay.

How does sucralose affect people with diabetes?

Sucralose doesn’t have a negative impact on people with diabetes. It actually has zero effect on your blood sugar levels, so there’s no need to worry about a spike in sugar.

When you eat sucralose, most of the substance passes through your body without being absorbed into your system. Less than 20 percent of the sweetener enters your blood, and the rest is removed through excretion.

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How to add sucralose to your diet

You may not realize it, but sucralose is likely a part of your diet already. If you like to drink low-calorie soft drinks and juices, eat diet snacks, or chew gum, sucralose is likely the sweetener you taste.

If you want to make sucralose a daily part of your diet, you should first consider everything that you are currently drinking and eating and look for places where a substitute would be appropriate. For example, if you take sugar in your coffee, you may gradually replace the sugar with sucralose. You may notice that you don’t need as much sucralose as you did sugar.

Once you’ve adjusted to the taste of sucralose, consider using it in your recipes instead of sugar. This is a great way to preserve the necessary sweetness while reducing your overall caloric intake.

Risks and warnings

There aren’t any risks to using sucralose. After 40 years of research and studies, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has concluded that sucralose is safe to eat. Researchers haven’t found any short- or long-term effects from adding sucralose to your diet. It has also been determined that sucralose can’t cause any unsafe interactions with any food ingredients or drugs.

What you can do now

Before adding sucralose to your diet, check with your doctor to make sure they believe this is the right choice for you and your diabetes management. Once you have your doctor’s approval, you can begin using this sweetener on a regular basis.

You can purchase sucralose by its brand name, Splenda, at your local grocery store. It comes in packets for individual use as well as large containers, which are helpful when preparing larger recipes. Unlike some food products that expire or can spoil, sucralose has been found to have a long shelf life.

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