What is Sucralose?
Sucralose often comes up as an alternative to sugar, however before you start using Sucralose, consider its pros and cons as you clean up your diet and prioritize your health.
Sucralose as an artificial sweetener is unique because it is derived from real sugar. In a lab, sugar is taken and its chemical structure is altered and the result is 600x sweeter than table sugar.
Having first been patented in 1976, Sucralose was not approved by the FDA until the 1990's. Since it's inception, Sucralose has been extensively studied by various food researchers. What they found is that Sucralose isn't digested by the body, making it hold a 0 caloric value.
The acceptable daily intake according to the FDA for sucralose is 5 mg per kg of body weight per day. For example, a person weighing 150 lbs (68 kg) could have 340 mg (.34 grams) of sucralose per day before hitting this limit.
Sucralose is commonly used for sweetening foods such as:
- Canned fruits
- Table sweetener packets
- Coffee pods
- Protein and breakfast bars
- Chewing gum
- Frozen dairy desserts
PROS AND CONS OF SUCRALOSE
As with all sweeteners, sucralose comes with pros and cons. Examples of these include:
- Pro: It is calorie free and therefore doesn’t contribute to weight gain.
- Con: It is typically mixed with bulking agents (like dextrose) that do contain calories and sugars, so these available sweeteners are missing some of the purported benefits of pure sucralose.
- Pro: It is shelf-stable and can withstand higher temperatures (up to 119 degrees C or 246 degrees F), making it a good option for certain cooked foods and baked goods. It also easily dissolves in liquids, making it good for mixing into drinks.
- Con: It isn’t ideal for all cooking and baking, however, since it does begin to decompose at very high temperatures.
- Pro: It is deemed safe for consumption by the FDA. It is also considered safe for children, pregnant people, and diabetics.
- Con: Because pure sucralose is so sweet, sweeteners that you can purchase typically contain many different fillers and additives that could oppose your health and nutrition goals.
- Pro: It contains no sugar, so it doesn’t contribute to cavities or tooth decay.
- Con: Sucralose doesn’t attract moisture in the same way as sugar, so using it as a home substitute can lead to drier baked goods.
- Pro: Unlike many artificial sweeteners, sucralose doesn’t typically have a bitter aftertaste (since it is made from real sugar).
- Con: Since sucralose is so sweet, small amounts of it can be substituted for larger amounts of sugar, making some calculation necessary when cooking or baking.