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SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener

How SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener Can Be Calorie-Free

I have been compensated for my time by McNeil Nutritionals, LLC, the maker of SPLENDA® Sweetener Products. All statements and opinions are my own. I have pledged to Blog With Integrity, asserting that the trust of my readers and the blogging community is vitally important to me.

Do you wonder how and why SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener can be nearly free of calories and carbohydrate, even though sucralose, the sweetening ingredient in all SPLENDA® Sweetener Products, starts from sugar and offers your taste buds a sweet treat? Read on to understand how and why.

First let’s look at how the body processes sucralose, the sweetening ingredient in SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweeteners. Sucralose is created through a process that begins with sugar, also called sucrose. The changes made to sucrose to create sucralose achieve two things: 1) make sucralose about 600 times sweeter than sugar, 2) don’t allow the body to break down sucralose for energy.

Most of the sucralose you eat is not absorbed. It is excreted from the body unchanged in the stool. The small amount that is absorbed is rid from the body unchanged in the urine about 24 hours after it’s eaten. The body doesn’t recognize sucralose as a source of carbohydrate or calories. In contrast, sucrose, is broken down by the body into glucose and fructose, which are recognized as sources of calories and carbohydrate.    

To learn more, watch this short video which describes the composition of sucralose, the manufacturing process, and how the body processes it (click on the image to access the video):

Sucralose in the body - Video

Next, let’s look at the ingredients in the different forms of SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener Products. You’re likely most familiar with the packets and the granulated forms. Both forms contain the no-calorie sweetening ingredient sucralose. They also contain small amounts of a couple of food ingredients, known as bulking ingredients, which are commonly found in other retail no-calorie sweeteners and foods. They add texture and volume so you can sprinkle and pour  like sugar.  

The FDA regulations allow products which contain less than 5 calories per serving to use one of these nutrition claims: “zero calories”, “no calories”, or “calorie free.” A serving of SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener is one packet or one teaspoon of the granulated product.Nutrition Facts Panel for SPLENDA Packets

The image on the right is the Nutrition Facts panel from a box of SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener packets.

If you have diabetes or count carbohydrate grams for another reason, rest assured that SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener Products contain less than one gram of carbohydrate per serving. While sucralose contains no carbohydrate, there’s a small amount in the bulking ingredients used in the various forms of SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener. However, the amount is nearly negligible because you use such small amounts. Up to 4 packets or 8 teaspoons of the granulated form are considered a “free food” in a diet for diabetes. A “free food” is defined by the American Diabetes Association and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, as any food or beverage that has less than 20 calories and 5 grams or less of carbohydrate per serving. SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener Products can easily fit into a healthy eating plan for people with diabetes.

Hope Warshaw, MMSc, RD, CDE, BC-ADM, is a nationally recognized dietitian and diabetes educator who applies nearly 35 years of expertise as an author, freelance writer, media spokesperson, consultant and diabetes educator. Hope recognizes that healthy eating today can be one tough job and believes that simple tweaks in your food choices and how you prepare foods can often set you on a path to healthier eating.

For more information, please visit:
Understanding Food Labels: http://www.splenda.com/health-wellness/food-labels

References:

  • Academy Nutrition and Dietetics. Use of nutritive and nonnutritive sweeteners  (position paper). Jour Acad Nutr Diet. 2012; 112(5):539-757.
  • Code of Federal Regulations – Title 21. http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfCFR/CFRSearch.cfm?fr=101.60
  • Wheeler L, et al. Choose Your Foods: Exchange Lists for Diabetes, Sixth Edition, 2008: Description and Guidelines for Use. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2008; 108(5): 883-888.

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