health nutrition

What is the deal with sucralose?

Friday, 27 January 2017

As of this week, I walk past 23 of these ads on my way to work:

Twenty three in a row is a lot so after I got over my initial reaction of “bleugh – another ad for low fat yogurt”, I read the small text.

In case it’s not very readable, it says “0% added sugar** / **Contains naturally occurring sugars.”

Naturally occurring sugars – I needed to see what those are.

Turns out they are acesulfame K and sucralose:

I’m not sure how Danone missed the memo but neither of these is actually a naturally occurring sugar – both sucralose and acesulfame K are artificial sweeteners.

The ads are therefore totally wrong (!) but if Danone would say that the yogurt is sweetened with sucralose – a calorie free sweetener – would people have a problem with it?

Sucralose party

Sucralose seems to be having a total party right now. Ever since sugar became evil (although it actually IS a naturally occurring sugar) and aspartame was proven to cause cancer, sucralose is all over the place – and I think just because not enough studies have been conducted yet on its safety.

Sucralose is especially abundant in ‘health’ foods. For example, most of Myprotein’s sweet products are sweetened with sucralose and Protein Haus shakes that I quite like use protein powder that is sweetened with sucralose.

Even though officially the jury is still out on the safety of sucralose, a Duke university study showed that it messed up the gut microbes in mice AND made them gain weight despite the fact that it has no calories.

I know mice are not humans, but if we’re striving to eat real, natural food then does sucralose belong in our diets?

Do we know enough about it?

Doesn’t the fact that it’s been made in a lab set off a few alarm bells?

I do like those shakes Protein Haus makes but for the most part I try to make sure I do not consume a lot of sucralose.

If you want to avoid artificial sweeteners, here are my tips:

  • Buy unsweetened protein powder (I buy egg white powder from Myprotein and vegan protein powder from Sunwarrior).
  • Sweeten you shakes with bananas, dates, honey or xylitol (stevia’s good too but I find its aftertaste weird).
  • Buy plain Greek yoghurt instead of this Light&Free type of &^$%£ and sweeten with honey or fruit.

Thoughts?  Do you check the ingredients of your protein powder and/or health food (bars, snacks, etc.)?  Are you bothered by sucralose?


References:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sucralose
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acesulfame_potassium
https://authoritynutrition.com/sucralose-good-or-bad/
https://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2008/09/splenda_study.html

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  • Emily Monday, 6 February 2017 at 14:28

    I agree, every time a new sugar or fat alternative comes on the market like this I’m definitely sceptic. Just because it hasn’t yet proved to have any negative effects, shouldn’t mean we should laden our food with it. However I wouldn’t rule it out, I just wont be eating it on the daily.

    • MrsB Friday, 10 February 2017 at 14:14

      I’m the same. I’m all for new inventions and innovation but when it comes to food, no new food that’s been ‘invented’ has ever turned out to be that great for us (e.g. margarine).

  • Raine Friday, 27 January 2017 at 23:55

    I do check what’s written (and actually, everything not is written on labels,yet) and then I calculate how many spoons of sugar there actually are inside (it just makes more sense :D ) But I already have an habit of *not* buying products, where the ingredient list is never ending – I find it easier that way. No temptations and no worries what/which is bad/worse for me and my family. (We still don’t have the full spectrum of what different kinds of preservatives, colorants, sweeteners, ecc do to our bodies, therefore, I simply skip the stuff with long ingredients list while doing groceries) In fact, many of those products I learned how to prepare from scratch, that helps a lot.

    My local friends here in North-Italy (and in Estonia for that fact) often don’t even bother even to read what’s on the other side of the product. They simply go by taste and plain commodity. And sadly, if somehow you don’t *get* interested (curiosity, illness, ecc), you’ll never know what those words on the list actually mean and how do they effect your body.

    • MrsB Monday, 30 January 2017 at 09:13

      I am the same, if the ingredients list is really long, I tend to skip it. Sadly that is the case with most protein bars and I really need to experiment more and make my own.