Updated: Jan 19
Intermittent Fasting can seem so deceptively simple: just... don't eat for a bit. And although the basis of Intermittent Fasting IS essentially that, once you start diving into the daily routine, you may notice tons of questions pop up. Including today's question of the day: what about SPLENDA?? Does spend break a fast?
Today, I'm diving into the details of Splenda, what's in Splenda and whether or not Splenda breaks your fast!
What Is Splenda?
Splenda is a very common brand that uses a calorie-free sweetener called "sucralose" as its base. Sucralose is made from regular sugar that has had some of it's hydrogen-oxygen bonds replaced by chlorine, rendering it "calorie-free". But sucralose is not the only ingredient in Splenda. It also contains dextrose and maltodextrin.
Dextrose is chemically made and identical to regular glucose (blood sugar). Maltodextrin is a unique compound because technically it's not considered a sugar due to the fact that it's a starch that has been broken down into smaller pieces and not all the way down into simple sugars. However, maltodextrin actually has a higher glycemic index than table sugar, which means that it more quickly raises blood glucose levels than table sugar.(1)
Splenda is often used to replace regular sugar in a variety of products such as baked goods and pastries. Splenda is also often used as a sweetener for coffee and tea.
So does Splenda break your fast?
Does Splenda Break a Fast?
This question always traces back to what your goal with fasting IS. If you are using fasting or Intermittent Fasting for religious or therapeutic purposes, then ANY food or drink (other than water, for the most part) will break a fast.
However, if your goal is weight loss or gut healing, then some items can still be consumed while working toward your wellness goal. In the Complete Intermittent Fasting Bundle protocols, one of the main goals is to reduce the insulin response and provide the GI tract rest in order to heal the gut and tap into fat burning mechanisms.
This is why foods and drinks such as Keto Coffee or Keto Matcha Latte are great during your fasted period.
Insulin is our storing hormone that's largely released in response to sugar and starches (and to a much lesser degree protein as well). With one of the main goals of your fasting period as keeping your insulin response low in order to tap into fat burning mechanisms, anything that has an insulin response will break your fast.
Let's take a look back at the ingredients in Splenda:
Sucralose itself is non-caloric and won't have an insulin response. But the dextrose and maltodextrin on the other hand are completely different stories. It's already been stated that maltodextrin has a higher glycemic index than table sugar, which means that it raises blood glucose faster than table sugar. Increased blood glucose levels lead to a release in insulin that will break your fast. This means that Sucralose WILL break your fast.
Pssst - wondering what type of fasting is best for your goals? Click below for my free Intermittent Fasting Schedule quiz to find out!