Stevia vs. Splenda: Which is Better on Keto?

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Written by Brenda Peralta, Registered Dietitian and medically reviewed by Abby Courtenay

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Finding a suitable sweetener during the ketogenic diet might be a little challenging. Depending on which one you choose, it could help or break your goals. The two most common sweeteners used are Splenda (sucralose) and stevia. They seem to offer no calories and no carbs.

Is there a difference between them when it comes to keto? Are these noncaloric sweeteners ok to have when doing a ketogenic plan? What are the nutritional differences between them? Are there other differences to consider? When should you use each one?

 

Splenda vs. stevia nutrition facts

We must first check what Splenda and stevia’s nutrition facts are. The following information is based on one package of each food (1 g each).

Nutrients Splenda (1 packet) Stevia (1 packet)
Energy 3 kcal 0 kcal
Fat 0 g 0 g
Protein 0 g 0 g
Net carbs 0.9 g 1 g
Total carbs 0.9 g 1 g
Fiber 0 g 0 g

 

How many carbs are in a Splenda packet vs. stevia?

As you can see from the previous table, both options are very low in carbs. 

How many calories are in a packet of Splenda and stevia?

You can find 3 kcal in one package of Splenda. Food that is this low in calories is considered to be noncaloric. The same goes with stevia; there are no calories found in 1 package of this artificial sweetener.

Nutritionally speaking, they offer very little carbs and no fats, or protein. This makes both of them ok to add when doing keto.

In both products, there is no significant nutritional value. They don’t offer any vitamins or minerals. Remember to add other foods, like veggies, to increase your nutrient intake.

 

Differences between stevia and Splenda

Even though they are very similar in their nutritional content, they have some differences when it comes to origin, sweetness, flavor, and uses.

One of the first differences between Splenda and stevia is their origin. Splenda is the brand name of sucralose, an artificial sweetener created in a lab, while the other comes from a plant.

Another difference is its sweetness. It is said that Splenda is 600-700 sweeter than sugar, while stevia is 200-300 sweeter than sugar. This means that you need less Splenda to give a food sweetness than stevia.

Stevia has a bitter aftertaste that Splenda usually doesn’t. The latter has a milder residual aftertaste. However, some people don’t like the flavor of either one.

Finally, one of the biggest differences between them is their uses. Stevia is more heat resistant than Splenda. This means that it can withstand heat without affecting the molecule and breaking it down. There are now choices made from Splenda that can be used in cooking.

 

When to use Splenda or stevia

If you are into a more natural approach while doing keto, you might want to use stevia.

It is best to use stevia for baking, cooking, beverages, or anything that requires heat. 

Some studies have shown that sucralose may create possible negative health effects and alter the flavor of the end product. Thus, it is best to use it in foods that don’t require any heat. For example, beverages and desserts that don’t require cooking.

 

Is stevia better than Splenda on keto?

Both are acceptable noncaloric, zero-carb sweeteners that you can use when doing a low-carb diet.

However, in some cases, to add more volume to the sucralose package, maltodextrin is added. This is a type of carb molecule. Although this might not affect the ketosis state for some people, if you are a frequent user who uses a lot of packages during the day (5-10), it could affect ketosis.

There is some controversy as to whether or not sucralose poses a health risk. The FDA has declared the product safe for human consumption. Studies, so far, show no adverse effects from regular use of sucralose.

If you are thinking of baking keto desserts, you might want to choose stevia over Splenda, or even go with a third option: erythritol. It has no aftertaste and can be used in the same amounts to replace sugar. However, it has 4 grams of carbs per teaspoon.

 

Summary

Both are great noncaloric and low-carb options while doing keto. They help you add sweetness to your favorite drinks and dishes without having to worry about adding any carbs to your diet.

Since stevia is a more natural approach, it’s typically recommended more. However, you can choose either one without affecting your keto state.

There is not much evidence on the long-term effect of using either one. Make sure to always consume them in moderation. Even if they don’t offer any calories, try not to depend on them to get the flavor from your foods.