Liquid Sucralose: A Zero Calorie Sweetener
By: Todd Gamel, RN
Like many diabetics I have been using Splenda low-calorie sweetener (the Great Value version at Walmart) for about four years. The problem is that like many people, I never really payed much attention to the carbohydrate count of this low-calorie sweetener. Until I decided to go low carbohydrate high fat (LCHF) I never thought much about counting carbohydrates. This week I decided to take my LCHF regimen to the next level by replacing the powdered Splenda which I have been using with liquid sucrolose.
Why you may ask? Well, the granulated or powdered Splenda is made of sucrolose, but it has maltdextrin added to it for bulk, therefore, 1 cup of Splenda contains 24 carbohydrates. This means that the coffee, sweet tea, kool-aid, and homemade Gatorade that I have been drinking each day contained many unwanted carbohydrates. In fact, the two cups coffee (2 carbohydrates) I have in the morning, 16 ounces of sweet tea (3 carbohydrates) at lunch, and 24 ounces of kool-aid (4.5 carbohydrates) with my dinner on the way home contained a total of 9.5 carbohydrates. That’s one-third to one-half of my total carbohydrate intake goal for the day. That’s a lot of carbs if you are trying to keep your total carbohydrate intake in the 20 – 25 per day range. So I started looking for alternatives.
That’s when I discovered liquid sucrolose which contains zero carbohydrates, but tastes just like sugar.
I am not sure when the maker’s of Splenda decided to finally make a liquid version, but it is quite expensive. If you search the internet, you will find a wide variety of manufacturers that sell liquid sucralose. Prices for liquid sucralose can vary quite a bit, with some being quite expensive, still they can be purchased on the internet for quite or a lot less than you will find on your local supermarket shelves. With the exception of the EZSweetz brand, most of the liquid forms of sucralose are sold in a 25% concentration. EZSweetz Travel version is 50% concentrate, and their family size is 25% concentrate.
What Is Liquid Sucralose?
Because they do a better job of explaining what exactly sucralose is than I would, the following information comes from the International Food Information Council Foundation (IFIC) website.
“Sucralose adds sweetness to foods and beverages without adding calories or carbohydrates. As an alternative to sugar and other calorie-containing sweeteners, it can play a role in weight management programs that combine sensible nutrition and physical activity. While the process to make sucralose begins with sucrose, or table sugar, the final product is different from sugar. Sucralose is made by replacing three select hydrogen-oxygen groups on the sugar molecule with three chlorine atoms, resulting in an intensely sweet, no-calorie sweetener.
Unlike sugar, the body does not break down sucralose into calories for energy. Yet, both sugar and sucralose activate the same taste buds on your tongue. Most of the sucralose people consume is not absorbed and passes through the body. The little that is absorbed is excreted in the urine, and doesn’t accumulate in the body…Sucralose is 600 times sweeter than sugar, and it can be used in place of or combined with sugar in cooking and baking. Sucralose has been studied extensively and has been found to be safe by experts and researchers around the world. Government agencies worldwide, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), have also reviewed the science on sucralose and found it to be safe for human consumption.”
That pretty much about sums it up. Despite what you may have read, according to the FDA, sucralose is safe. In addition, the Mayo clinic has also endorsed the use of sucralose as a safe sweetening alternative to sugar. Ultimately, the decision to use sucralose as a sweetener is up to you. I encourage you to do your own research so that you can make an informed decision regarding the use of sucralose. Personally, I have found liquid sucralose to be an amazing sugar substitute that does not affect my blood glucose levels. As a diabetic, I have found liquid sucralose to be quite amazing.
How To Use Liquid Sweeteners
Liquid sucralose can be used in both hot an cold beverages as well as baking and cookign sauces. I have used liquid sucralose in my ‘Sweety Q’ Kansas City style barbecue sauce with great results. Having said that, the hardest part of using liquid sucralose is getting the right amount of sweetness. Because liquid sucralose is so concentrated (25%) you have to be careful when adding it to recipes. For example 1 drop of sucralose has the sweetening power of 1 teaspoon of sugar. So if you are heavy handed with the bottle, you can easily add to many drops to your recipe or beverage of choice. I recommend buying a seperate bottle with a good dropper to help you control the drops as I have read that some varieties and containers do not seem to have good ways to measure drops.
Because many of the liquid sucralose containers you may purchase do not have instructions printed on the bottles, I have included the most common measurements for 25% concentrated liquid sucralose. For a printer friendly version of how to use liquid sucralose see the end of this article.
Where To Buy Sucralose
I purchased my sucralose from a vendor on Amazon, but there are a number of products and vendors on ebay and other web sites as well. Even Splenda has jumped into market by offering their own version of liquid sucralose. Most of the liquid sucralose available on the internet come in the standard 25% concentration, and prices for such vary depending on the seller. I purchased a 16 ounce bottle of ‘JD Liquid Sucralose’ for $27.49 ($1.71 per ounce) on Amazon and shipping was free because I am a Prime member. Compare than with the liquid sucralose sold under the Splenda name that is sold at Walmart for $4.19 for a 1.68 ounce bottle ($2.49 per ounce), that’s a 32% savings by buying it off Amazon. Even though we have adopted an LCHF diet, we still maintain a pretty rigorous food budget, and anything we can do to stretch our food dollars we do, so buying the liquid sucralose from Amazon was a no brainier for us.
The ingredient list for liquid sucralose is pretty straightforward. It is made of sucralose, water, and the food preservatives potassium sorbate and citric acid. The amount of water in the liquid sucralose determines it’s concentration (sweetening power). There should be no other ingredients listed on the label. As mentioned, most of the liquid sucralose that you can buy on the internet is listed as 25% concentration.
The bottom line, every gram of carbohydrate you consume can raise your blood sugar by 3 to 5 points. For the average person this may not be a problem, but if you are a diabetic or someone on a LCHF diet, each gram of carbohydrate you consume matters. So those 9.5 grams of carbohydrates that I have been drinking using the granulated Great Value Low Calorie Sweetener (Splenda clone) has the potential to raise my blood sugar by 28.5 to 47.5 points over the course of the day. Granted these carbs are divided up over a 12 to 16 hour period, for a diabetic, any reduction in your blood glucose levels is positive thing especially if it keeps you off or at a lower dose of insulin.
For several years after I was first diagnosed with diabetes we used the granulated Great Value Low Calorie Sweetener (Splenda clone) and it worked well, but the liquid sucralose works even better and it does not have any additional additives that contain hidden carbs to raise your blood sugar. Another great thing is that it tastes just like sugar with not bitterness or aftertaste than some sweeteners have.
At the end of this article I have included a text version of the graphic that contained the conversion measurements for liquid sucralose to make it easy for you to copy and print for your home use. I hope you have found this article to be informative and helpful and if so we ask that you share it with your friends. Stay keto strong my friends.
Printer Friendly Conversion Information
Liquid Sucralose 25% Concentration
1 teaspoon sugar = 1 drop liquid sucralose
1/4 cup Sugar = 12 drops of liquid sucralose
1/3 cup sugar = 16 drops of liquid sucralose
1/2 cup sugar = 1/4 teaspoon liquid sucralose
3/4 cup sugar = 1/4 teaspoon + 1/8 teaspoon liquid sucralose
1 cup sugar = 1/2 teaspoon liquid sucralose
2 cups sugar = 1 teaspoon liquid sucralose