Is Splenda Keto-Friendly?

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Written by Bridget Nalwoga, Certified Nutritionist and medically reviewed by Abby Courtenay

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Splenda is one of the most recognizable brands of sugar substitutes in the United States and other parts of the world. The small yellow pack is well known among those who prefer to use non-nutritive sweeteners.

It is advertised as a zero-calorie, zero-carb product. But does that automatically make it keto-safe? In this article, we answer the question, is Splenda keto?

We also discuss what exactly the sweetener is, what it is made of, how much you can use, and offer some alternatives for the product as well.


What is Splenda?

Splenda is a brand name for the artificial sweetener sucralose. The brand has expanded to include more product lines, but sucralose remains their most popular product.

Some of the other sweeteners sold by the brand include allulose, stevia, and monk fruit sweeteners.

Fun fact: sucralose was discovered by accident when a member of a team of researchers tested the compound and discovered that it was very sweet. In fact, the compound was approximated to be between 300 to 1,000 times sweeter than sugar.

The formula was quickly patented and has since been approved for use in several countries including Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

To make sucralose, sucrose (table sugar) is combined with chlorine. This way, the sucralose does not cross the intestinal wall into the bloodstream. Therefore, the body is not able to break it down for energy.

For this reason, Splenda is marketed as a zero-calorie sweetener. However, this is not entirely accurate.


Splenda nutrition facts

Sucralose does not offer much nutrition. This is to be expected as it is only a sweetener, not a complete food.

Serving size: 1 pack of Splenda. Equal to 1 g

  • Calories: 3.4 kcal
  • Fat: 0 g
  • Net carbs (total carbs - fiber): 0.9 g
  • Total carbs: 0.9 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Protein: 0 g

While the nutrition information provided by the company states that each 1 gram pack contains 0 g of carbs, it may not be not entirely accurate. The FDA permits food manufacturers to label their food as zero-calorie if it contains less than 5 kcal per serving.

Let’s take a look at the ingredient list: dextrose, maltodextrin, and sucralose.

Dextrose is just a fancy word for glucose, the simplest carbohydrate. Maltodextrin is also a simple carb with one of the highest glycemic indices.

As you can see, the sweetener contains some carbs, but luckily, the amounts are very low.



Can you use Splenda on keto?

Yes, you can.

1 serving of Splenda contains a very small amount of carbs. These carbs would not make a significant contribution to your daily intake. So, in regards to carb content, this sweetener is very keto-friendly.

However, the debate on sucralose doesn’t stop at carb content. There are still a few reasons why some may prefer to stay away from this sweetener.

First, some studies show that despite the fact that sucralose does not contain carbs, it can still cause an increase in blood sugar.

Secondly, there may be a relationship between sucralose and weight gain. This relationship is not fully understood, but it is worth taking note of.

Thirdly, sucralose may negatively affect the well-being of the gut microbiome. Studies in mice show a decline in the well-being of the microbiome after consuming sucralose.

All of these reasons to avoid sucralose have not been studied extensively. Many people use sucralose regularly with no adverse effects.


How much Splenda can you use on keto?

Since sucralose does not contain any significant calories or carbohydrates, you can theoretically consume as much as you want.

However, you may not want to do this for a number of reasons.

First, Splenda does contain a little less carbs than a gram of sugar. If you use 5 packs in a day, you are using up 5 g of your carb limit on one food. Since sucralose does not offer any nutritional value, this is not a nutritionally sound move.

Secondly, some people have reported digestive discomfort after consuming too much. This is a common side effect of artificial sweeteners, especially when eaten in excess.

So how much Splenda should you use in a day?

Ideally, you should not go above 3 packs (3 g) a day.


What kind of Splenda can you use on keto?

Most of us know it as the sweetener in the little yellow packets. However, the sweetener comes in many other forms, including:

  • Granulated. This is made to look like sugar. It comes in the small 1 g packets and bigger packaging (275 g). You can use this product in beverages and in cooking if you are on keto.
  • Sugar blend. This is a half-and-half combination of sucralose and sugar to make a product with half the calories of sugar alone. It is not keto-friendly as it contains 4 g of carbs per 1 teaspoon serving.
  • Brown sugar blend. This is similar to the sugar blend but uses brown sugar instead. It is also not good for keto with 4 g of carbs per 1 teaspoon serving as well.
  • Liquid sweetener is just liquid sucralose. It has very low calories and carbs, making it keto-approved.
  • Sweetener minis are tic-tac-like tablets that come in a small dispenser to use on the go. They are just as keto-friendly as the original product.



What can you eat Splenda with on keto?

We know that it is a sugar substitute, but can it work anywhere sugar does?

Splenda’s most common use is sweetening beverages like tea and coffee. The brand’s company website offers a wide range of recipes in which you can use their product.

Some of the recipes given include:

  • Cookies
  • Cake
  • Ice tea
  • Smoothies
  • Cocktails
  • Brownies

According to the website, you should use 1 g of the granulated sweetener for 2 teaspoons of sugar in beverages. Feel free to adjust the amounts to suit your personal tastes and preferences.


Keto-friendly Splenda alternatives

Sucralose is a keto-eater’s dream, but there are more sweeteners on the market that check all the same boxes.

Low-carb Splenda substitutes include:

  • Stevia
  • Monk fruit extract
  • Aspartame
  • Allulose


FAQs on using Splenda on keto

Have we answered all your questions about this product? If not, keep reading as we cover some of the most commonly asked questions.

No, since Splenda contains almost 0 g of carbs, it cannot take you out of ketosis. Foods with too many carbs or protein are the ones that you have to watch out for.

The FDA has declared the product safe for human consumption. Studies, so far, show no adverse effects from regular use of sucralose.

This depends on your preference. Some prefer stevia because it is natural. However, it also has a strong bitter aftertaste. Sucralose, although artificial, is closer to the taste of sugar than stevia.

When baking, the company recommends using an equal volume of the sweetener to replace sugar in recipes.

Therefore, replace 1 cup of sugar with 1 cup of Splend

Yes, you can. Drinking coffee or any beverage with this sweetener will not break your fast. This is because sucralose does not cross into the bloodstream in the gut and is therefore not metabolized.

For some, sucralose can cause digestive discomfort with symptoms like gas, bloating, and diarrhea.

When taking it for the first time, start with small quantities to gauge how your gut responds to the product.


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