Sucralose, Aspartame, Truvia (not really just Stevia)

Alrighty kids, it’s time for some more research data flooding your neural network beyond the speed of…well…this.  In today’s blog I’ll be looking at the various artificial sweeteners, including Sucralose, the artificial sweetener allowed by Ideal Protein.  So let’s go ahead and just start with Sucralose then.


Let’s start with the basics:
It is made through a patented process that starts with sugar and converts it to a no-calorie, non-carbohydrate sweetener. The result is a very stable sweetener that tastes like sugar, but without its calories. After you eat SPLENDA® Brand Sweetener, it passes through the body without being broken down for energy, so the body does not recognize it as a carbohydrate.

SPLENDA® Brand Sweetener is unique among no-calorie sweeteners, with clear benefits. It has a clean, sugar-like taste without the bitter aftertaste of some other no-calorie sweeteners, such as saccharin and acesulfame-K.12-14 And unlike aspartame, it holds up to heat, so it can be used in cooking and baking.14 The great taste and many uses of sucralose have made a wide range of lower-sugar and lower-calorie food and beverages for healthy meal planning possible.

SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener—the number one market leader among low-calorie sweeteners—is an excellent choice for those who want to reduce their added sugar intake, as well as their calorie and carbohydrate intake from sugar.

The FDA approved sucralose in 1998 for use in 15 food and beverage categories following a rigorous review process. Sixteen months later, the FDA extended its approval of sucralose to use as a general-purpose sweetener, which means that sucralose is permitted for use in foods, beverages, dietary supplements, medical foods and drugs.

Aspartame (Big no no for Ideal Protein)

Aspartame (L-alpha-aspartyl-L-phenylalanine methyl ester) is a low-calorie sweetener used to sweeten a wide variety of low calorie foods and reduced calorie foods and beverages, including low-calorie tabletop sweeteners. Aspartame is composed of two amino acids, aspartic acid and phenylalanine, as the methyl ester. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. Aspartic acid and phenylalanine are also found naturally in protein containing foods, including meats, grains and dairy products. Methyl esters are also found naturally in many foods such as fruits and vegetable and their juices.

Can aspartame be used in cooking or baking?

Yes. Several tabletop sweeteners containing aspartame as the sweetening ingredient can be used in a wide variety of recipes. However, in some recipes requiring lengthy heating or baking, a loss of sweetness may occur; this is not a safety issue — simply the product may not be as sweet as desired. Therefore, it is best to use tabletop sweeteners with aspartame in specially designed recipes available from the manufacturers of these tabletop sweeteners. Aspartame tabletop sweeteners may also be added to some recipes at the end of heating to maintain sweetness.

How is aspartame handled in the body?

Upon digestion, aspartame breaks down into three components (aspartic acid, phenylalanine and methanol), which are then absorbed into the blood and used in normal body processes. Neither aspartame nor its components accumulate in the body. These components are used in the body in the same ways as when they are derived from common foods. Further, the amounts of these components from aspartame are small compared to the amounts from other food sources. For example, a serving of nonfat milk provides about 6 times more phenylalanine and 13 times more aspartic acid compared to an equivalent amount of diet beverage sweetened 100% with aspartame. Likewise, a serving of tomato juice provides about 6 times more methanol compared to an equivalent amount of diet beverage with aspartame

Can aspartame help people lose weight?

Yes. Studies have shown that foods and beverages sweetened with aspartame can be an effective “tool” as part of a weight management program. Aspartame, however, is not a drug and does not stimulate weight loss. It does help make possible good tasting low- or reduced-calorie foods and beverages for those who wish to control or decrease their caloric intake. Researchers at Harvard Medical School have concluded that aspartame “is a valuable adjunct to a comprehensive program of balanced diet, exercise and behavior modifications for losing weight.”

Truvia (Stevia) 

Truvia is one of the “newer” marketed artificial sweeteners.  Of the three I will admit I think my preferred is Truvia for flavor, followed by Splenda.  The reason is because Truvia is not just the “Stevia” plant, it has erythritol, a sugar alcohol.

Are Truvia and Stevia the same thing?

No!! Truvia is made partly of stevia but mainly of erythritol, which contains sugar alcohols. Truvia also contains something called Rebiana, which is often referred to as the “stevia extract” in Truvia. However, Rebiana is not an ingredient in the stevia plant, nor does it exist in nature. Rebaudioside A is naturally in the stevia leaf by the action of sunlight upon the leaves. Rebiana is produced by the action of stringent alcohols and chemicals on various stevia glycosides. Rebiana is simply the trade name Cargill gave to its chemically derived product in 2008. 9/10 of 1% of Rebiana is in Truvia. The other 99.1% is the eyrthritol. Truvia is really a sugar product! 

OK so now we need to address “What is erythritol” and why is it bad?  This sugar alcohol is found in grapes and pears (and aren’t they sweet) then cultured down in a similar product to creating Yogurt. Erythritol is an all-natural, non-caloric sweetener, used as an ingredient that provides bulk for the tabletop form of Truvia® stevia leaf extract. Bulking agents are additives that increase the bulk and contribute to the texture of a food. Erythritol has been part of the human diet for thousands of years as it is present in fruits such as pears, melons and grapes, as well as foods such as mushrooms and fermentation-derived foods such as wine, soy sauce and cheese. It is added to foods and beverages to provide sweetness, as well as to enhance taste and texture.

Has the FDA approved Stevia? No, the FDA has not approved all of stevia. The FDA issued a no-objection letter affirming and supporting the safety of Truvia® stevia leaf extract, a well-characterized, 97% high-purity ingredient derived from the best-tasting part of the stevia leaf.

The recent action by FDA only applies to products meeting the specifications of Truvia® stevia leaf extract.

In conclusion:

Sucralose is an approved sweetener by Ideal Protein, as is Stevia (not to be confused with Truvia, which contains some Stevia). Truvia still has 3g of carbohydrates, all of which are derived from erythritol, while sucralose legitimately has less than 1g of carbohydrates.

So rather than use Truvia, stick with Splenda, use the coffee sweeteners and packets with +1g fiber or B vitamins to your heart’s content, all within moderation, of course.

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