The classic Splenda Original blend is not considered keto-friendly due to the use of sucralose, a sweetener made with artificial ingredients. However, the company is now offering several health-conscious sugar substitutes using plant-based ingredients for people trying to cut carbs that may be worth a look.
The use of artificial sweeteners like Equal and Sweet N Low works for some people who want to steer clear of sugar, but due to their ingredients, they are not suitable for a keto-friendly lifestyle. Luckily, there are some plant-derived, natural sweeteners that can be incorporated into your keto diet, such as stevia, erythritol, monk fruit, and allulose.
Now, Splenda offers more sugar-to-carb replacements so you can have a sweet keto experience. To better understand Splenda's keto sweeteners, let's examine the original product and whether it's a feasible option on a low-carb, high-fat diet-as well as the new products' advantages.
What is Splenda?
The Splenda name is synonymous with its flagship granular sugar alternative. Splenda Original was introduced by American-owned Heartland Food Products Group in 1999, manufactured by British-based Tate & Lyle.
Since its launch, it has surpassed the success of similar products like Equal in the artificial sweetener niche, receiving endorsements from the health community, especially for those with diabetes and seeking to limit refined sugar and carb intake to recalibrate glucose levels and regulate insulin sensitivity.
Sucralose, dextrose, and maltodextrin are the three key ingredients in Splenda––with the latter two traditionally considered safe, although not keto.
Sucralose and some other sweeteners reveal mixed findings, with some suggesting neutral health effects and others asserting issues like digestive upset or endocrine disruptions with their consumption. In addition, other studies have demonstrated a potential for toxic compounds to form from the ingredient when heated to high temperatures, which is something to consider if you decide to use the Splenda Original product.
Although this sweetener tends to find itself in the crosshairs of controversy with health buffs and advocates for sugar alike––having slammed the brand for misleading the public with their original slogan, "made from sugar, so it tastes like sugar," noting that Splenda is an artificial creation and not the derivative of natural cane sugar at all.
Furthermore, animal studies suggest that Splenda can affect your gut microbiome and cause GI issues, so be advised and include gut-healthy keto options like sugar-free yogurt or sauerkraut in your plan to repopulate healthy flora in the gut to counteract any effects of the sweetener.
Plus, Splenda can also lead to high blood sugar levels when consumed in excess, definitely not a goal for anyone on a low-carb, high-fat diet and why it’s probably best to pass on Splenda Original if you’re following a low-carb, high-fat diet to lose weight.
But if you are looking for a plant-based sugar alternative, there are options like stevia, monk fruit, and allulose that work wonderfully in beverages, sauces, and baked goods with zero sugar or carbs to consider and Tate & Lyle have rolled out such a selection of offerings catering to the keto dieter.
Let's look at the plant-derived sugar alternatives in the Splenda line. Each is tailored to promote the dietary goals of anyone following a keto diet.
Splenda Stevia Sweetener
Stevia is a sugar substitute derived from the stevia rebaudiana plant. The substance is as much as 300 times sweeter than table sugar, though it contains no carbohydrates.
It's the sweetest part of the stevia plant's leaves infused into Splenda Stevia Sweetener Packets. The brand uses one of the sweetest Stevia leaf extracts, Reb D, to unlock the naturally pleasant sweetness of the stevia leaf without any bitter aftertaste.
In addition, this stevia and erythritol blend tastes like sugar without calories and contains no artificial sweeteners or GMOs.
Splenda Monk Fruit Sweetener
Like the line’s stevia option, the monk fruit variety is blended with erythritol to produce a sweetener that measures 1:1 in recipes and tastes like sugar. Plus, the Splenda Naturals monk fruit blend is free of artificial sweeteners and has zero carbs and calories––ideal for anyone following a ketogenic diet for weight loss.
Plant-based monk fruit is derived from Luo Han Guo, a herbaceous perennial member of the gourd family. As a sugar replacement, monk fruit tastes 250 times sweeter than sucrose and is native to northern Thailand and southern China.
Many of our decadent desserts featured on the site are excellent opportunities to test these options out and see which you prefer. Try the monk fruit and erythritol-blend selection in our Keto German Chocolate Cake recipe for a comparable alternative to strictly using erythritol as the original recipe calls for; it’s an excellent 1:1 swap.
Additionally, this sugar alternative is the perfect substitute for erythritol in our Keto Apple Spice Donut, a delicious sweet snack idea that’s ideal for fall.
Splenda Allulose Sweetener
Natural sweetener allulose appears to be a perfect substitute for sugar in food and beverage products. As opposed to stevia, monk fruit, and erythritol, allulose is chemically similar to table sugar. Likewise, it has a similar taste and texture and a similar browning ability.
Moreover, the fine mill makes this sweetener a wonderful choice when whisking together an easy homemade dressing for a colorful and crisp keto salad—it dissolves in liquid seamlessly.
Allulose is the sweetener of choice in our heart-healthy Keto Cheesecake Fat Bomb recipe, which presents the perfect opportunity to try this keto-friendly option. With only 1g net carbs per serving and a light and creamy texture similar to traditional cheesecake, you can meal prep these sweet treats and pull them out during the week as a sweet and satiating treat that promotes metabolic ketosis.
Whether you prefer stevia, monk fruit, erythritol, any of these choices work well for anyone following a ketogenic diet as their absence of carbs and calories while offering supreme sweetness is ideal to allow you to enjoy the sweeter side of life while curbing carbs.
Is Sucralose Safe?
Some may still feel uncertain about whether sucralose is safe and whether to consume it on a keto diet due to decades of the ingredient being painted in a negative light. Fortunately, there are keto-friendly alternatives to Splenda Original within the brand’s line to forego any uncertainty altogether––as we’ve shared above.
A Word About Sugar Alcohols
Sugar alcohols are found in everything from toothpaste and mouthwash to sugar-free candies and sauces. Ingredients like xylitol, erythritol, and sorbitol are often used in place of sugar, but consuming some of these selections in excess may lead to digestive upset and other adverse symptoms—so beware.
We dedicated an article to the various sugar alcohols and their common effects. It’s a good read to become familiar with available options, their potential symptoms, and best uses.
There is a growing demand for sugar alternatives and carb-conscious products. Many companies have taken notice, and the creators of Splenda have clearly thrown their hat in the ring, now offering a selection of sweeteners targeted toward those following a ketogenic diet.
Incorporating Splenda Original is not recommended on a keto diet. However, the Tate & Lyle keto-friendly line of options like allulose, stevia, and monk fruit, are all healthy and carb-conscious choices to support your low-carb lifestyle––without refined sugars, carbs, or fast-acting sugars.
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