Individuals looking to replace natural sugar with a substitute often turn to sucralose-based products (such as Splenda®) in order to satisfy their cravings for sweets and cut down on calories.
However, new evidence suggests that sucralose may directly impact blood sugar and insulin levels, even though it’s a low-carb and almost zero calorie sweetener.
Recent studies have emerged showing that sucralose and its filler substances glucose and maltodextrin could increase the rate at which glucose enters the bloodstream.
If that’s the case, you end up with the very blood sugar and insulin highs and lows that you were probably trying to avoid.
This discovery is particularly alarming, as it can lead to conditions such as diabetes and obesity in individuals who are unaware of how sucralose consumption is impacting their insulin levels.
Keep reading to find out what the research says and what you can use instead to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Breaking Down The Findings
A recent study from Washington University School of Medicine studied the impacts of sucralose on seventeen obese individuals, classified as individuals with a BMI higher than 30. These individuals had no prior diagnosis of diabetes and reported that they did not use artificial sweeteners regularly.
The study was designed to see how sucralose impacts insulin levels in obese individuals who are not regular artificial sweetener users. Each was given either sucralose or water and tested with a glucose challenge, which is a blood test that measures your body’s response to sugar.
After the initial test, the same individuals were tested on the other option to see separately what impact sucralose and plain water had on their bodies.
The results were staggering. Each of the seventeen subjects saw a blood sugar level nearly 20 percent higher when drinking sucralose over the water. The results were repeatable and consistent with every subject.
The Dangers Of Artificial Sweeteners
The results of this new research continue to show the dangers of artificial sweeteners, particularly when it comes to sucralose.
Health advocates have long criticized sucralose, arguing that the food additive should be pulled from shelves in favor of natural sugars and sweeteners.
However, many still believe it is better than using table sugar (sucrose) or other widely-used sweeteners on the market. These researchers are showing that it may be better to switch to natural options rather than continuing the use of chemical sweeteners like sucralose, aspartame, and saccharin.
Higher blood sugar levels can be dangerous, leading to diabetes and obesity. This is due to the fact that the body raises insulin levels in order to deal with blood sugar (glucose).
As insulin levels spike, they can lead to fatigue and weight gain. Insulin is the primary hormone driving fat storage into adipose tissue, leading to slower metabolisms and more weight gain down the line.
When you consume sugar, you expect a blood sugar and insulin response. Consumers of chemical sweeteners may not be aware that they are impacting their blood sugar, which could be dangerous for people who are already facing metabolic issues.
What Natural Sweeteners Are Available?
When looking for an alternative sweetener to use in place of sugar, sucralose, or other artificial sugars, look for natural sweeteners.
Individuals can use natural sweeteners in place of sucralose, such as raw honey, stevia, sugar alcohols like erythritol, xylitol, and monk fruit.
There are pros and cons of each sweetener type. For example, honey is calorie-dense and can raise your blood sugar and impact your insulin. Stevia can have an off-putting aftertaste. Sugar alcohols are generally well-tolerated and taste neutral, but can cause stomach discomfort in some people.
One of the best alternative natural sweeteners to consider is monk fruit.
Monk fruit is generally well-tolerated, tastes neutral with a minimal aftertaste, and doesn’t come with the digestive issues that other sweeteners may bring about.
Why Choose Monk Fruit?
Those looking to avoid the negative impacts of sucralose and other artificial sweeteners should consider using monk fruit, also known as lo han guo. This fruit is incredibly sweet and contains sweetness levels between 200-400 times higher than traditional sugar sources like table sugar or agave syrup.
Monk fruit is an all-natural sweetener that provides plenty of sweetness but lacks the bitter aftertaste that many natural sweeteners carry.
Monk fruit contains no fructose, glucose, or sucrose and does not impact blood sugar levels. Recent studies have shown that it has a positive impact on weight loss when used as part of a healthy diet and regular exercise routine.
By switching to monk fruit sweetener, you can avoid the negative side effects of artificial sweeteners without giving up on your cravings.
As with any new dietary changes, it is best to consult your physician to make sure it’s a good option for you.
Sucralose and other artificial sweeteners can be very dangerous for regular use, leading to negative side effects like increased blood sugar levels. Research continues to show the dangers of artificial sweeteners, and these researchers link sucralose to increased blood sugar levels.
Natural options like monk fruit taste incredibly sweet but lack the negative side effects that artificial sweeteners can cause. By choosing a natural alternative, you can avoid many of the dangers of sucralose and other artificial sweeteners while still enjoying your favorite foods.