The Truth about Artificial Sweeteners & Sugar Alcohols- Caloric free? Safe? How do these products affect blood glucose levels? Let’s do a little diving into the facts and debunk the fiction.
I have a YouTube video on this AND an amazing podcast with Danny Lennon from Sigma Nutrition -Key notes:
Fact 1: The high intensity sweeteners used in food products such as diet food, diet drinks, and sugar free syrups/products- are CALORIC FREE. Sucralose itself, Ace-K, Stevia- 0 calories, BUT that leads up to #2–
Fact 2: The packets of sweetener such as Splenda, Equal, Truvia/Purevia- these are very low calorie BUT have calories because they contain fillers such as maltodextrin (aka sugar) in them. 1 packet of equal= 4 calories. 1 packet of Splenda= 4 calories. Trivia contains mostly erythritol, not stevia actually and is around 0.6 cals (aka nothing). Don’t gotta track these, that would be cray, but if you use things like baking Splenda- you need to.
Fact 3: Safety of artificial sweeteners are based on the ADI- acceptable daily intake- if you are within this, don’t fret about issues! Past it- you may want to be aware of their effects on your body & potential changes in gut bacteria (ADIs linked in my podcast description)
Fact 4: Sugar alcohols- amazing low caloric values, but some have really bad laxative effects so you want to watch their intake. Mannitol and Sorbitol are 2 that can cause problems (around 2.4kcal) Erythritol has 0.2 kcal and is the least caloric- still can cause digestive upset though! These sugar alcohols can be why your macros don’t always match your macros in MyFitnessPal!
Fact 5: Sugar alcohols can affect your blood glucose! So diabetics still have to watch.
Fact 6: Sugar is not the devil. Fructose is not the devil. Focus on AMOUNTS. Fill your foods with quality nutrients then go to fun foods! There IS difference between sugar and HFCS & agave nectar metabolism.
I have 6ish packets of equal a day. I’m not gonna die ????Note if you have IBD OR IBS- artificial sweeteners or sugar alcohols may want to be avoided. (Also if you have an autoimmune disease- can go more into the science later as this is related to immune response and inflammation)
Want to learn more? Head over to my podcast episode with Danny Lennon from Sigma Nutrition available at: View in iTunes
- https://www.strongerbyscience.com/an-unbiased-look-at-artificial-sweeteners/ -https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=revisiting+the+safety+of+aspartame –
2. https://www.fda.gov/food/ingredientspackaginglabeling/foodadditivesingredients/ucm397725.htm –
3. https://www.nature.com/articles/nature13793 -http://suppversity.blogspot.com/2015/04/sweetener-update-chronic-aspartame.html#aspartame