Does Sucralose Break A Fast?

Sucralose is a popular sugar substitute that is sometimes used as a replacement for table sugar by people desiring a healthier lifestyle. You might recognize it by the brand name Splenda, one of the most popular sugar alternatives available on the market. Those interested in its consumption during a fast will be glad to know that it does not break a fast; at least in the short term.

Read on to find out if sucralose can help you achieve your fasting goals or if you should steer clear of this sugar alternative.

Does Sucralose Contain Calories?

Sucralose is a non-nutritive sweetener, which means it doesn’t provide any calories or nutrients. It’s made from sugar, but the manufacturing process alters the sugar molecules so that they’re unable to be metabolized by the body. 

Splenda nutritional info

That’s why sucralose is considered a zero-calorie sweetener. When used in food and beverage products, sucralose is usually combined with other types of sweeteners, like maltodextrin or dextrose, which do contain calories.

That’s why it’s important to check the ingredient list on food labels to know exactly what’s in a product before you purchase or consume it.

Will Sucralose Raise Blood Glucose Or Insulin Levels?

Looking at the numbers, Sucralose should not affect blood glucose or insulin levels. At least, in the short term, it reliably does not demonstrate any effect on either of the two.

Interestingly, sucralose has been shown to have little to no effect on blood glucose levels in both healthy individuals and those with diabetes. 

So if you’re worried about how sucralose may affect your blood sugar levels, rest assured that it likely won’t have any significant impact. 

There is, however, a negative impact on microbiota; otherwise known as the probiotic colony size. Long-term consumption of sucralose can reduce their numbers, which is associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes and obesity.

This means that you shouldn’t rely on this sweetener as a long-term solution if you’re looking to maintain healthy blood sugar levels and ideal weight. Instead, focus on making dietary and lifestyle changes that will have a more lasting impact.

Will Sucralose Affect Autophagy?

There is currently no research that suggests that sucralose shuts down autophagy while fasting.

However, given that autophagy is a crucial process for cellular health, it is important to be cautious about using artificial sweeteners like sucralose while fasting.

More research is needed in this area to make a definitive statement about whether or not sucralose inhibits autophagy, but based on the zero-calorie yield of the sweetener, an educated guess would lean in the direction of it not slowing down the rate of autophagy while fasting.

Can I Use Sucralose on Fasting Days?

Since sucralose doesn’t have any immediate impact on your short-term fasting goals, you can actually use it while fasting.

However, as mentioned before, autophagy is an important part of the fasting process and more research is needed to determine if sucralose has an impact on this.

But since there is no evidence on the same to date, it’s up to you if you want to use it or not. If you’re feeling doubtful, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and avoid using artificial sweeteners like sucralose while fasting.

It can be taken during the actual fast or outside your fasting window without much difference, however, it is important not to overuse it, owing to the long-term negative effects on the microbiome as outlined previously.

Final Words

Sucralose falls in a technical sort of grey area while fasting since it doesn’t appear to have an acute impact on blood glucose or insulin levels or autophagy for that matter.

However, more research is needed to understand its impact on autophagy, and the long-term effects of consuming sucralose are not favorable.

If you’re unsure about whether or not to use it while fasting, the best answer would be to use it only sparingly – when the urge for sweetness is there and you need a forgiving option.

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Michael Jessimy, BSc(Pharmacy)

Michael is a qualified Pharmacist with over 10 years experience dealing with a range of both prescription and alternative remedies. He is also an amateur heavyweight bodybuilder and loves spending his spare time hitting the gym. He strives to help others build the best body possible through fitness, health and nutrition consultation and has several published books under his name.

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