According to government officials, obesity is at an all time high and is one of the biggest threats to the health of adults and children. Sucralose, a no-calorie sweetener used in thousands of low-calorie and sugar-free products, is an important tool for those looking to control their caloric intake.
Specifically, the naewly updated 2005 Dietary Guidelines from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Department of U.S. Health & Human Services (HHS) advise people to balance their calories and incorporate physical activity as two key strategies for weight control. The new guidelines note, “When it comes to body weight control, it is calories that count – not the proportions of fat, carbohydrates and protein in the diet. Successful and sustainable weight loss and weight maintenance strategies require attention to both sides of the energy balance equation (i.e., caloric intake and energy expenditure).” (http://www.healthierus.gov/dietaryguidelines/)
“Low-calorie sweeteners such as sucralose and the products that contain them offer people a way to manage calories without sacrificing taste. Using reduced-calorie, sugar-free foods and beverages are directly in line with the recommendations of the Dietary Guidelines,” notes Lyn Nabors, Executive Vice President of the Calorie Control Council.
Additionally, the American Dietetic Association (a professional organization of more 70,000 dietitians) noted in its 2004 updated position statement on sweeteners, “Thus, it is the position of The American Dietetic Association that consumers can safely enjoy a range of nutritive and nonnutritive sweeteners when consumed in a diet that is guided by current federal nutrition recommendations …” The American Diabetes Association has also stated, “They [low-calorie sweeteners] make food taste sweet, and have no calories and do not raise blood glucose levels. … The American Diabetes Association accepts the FDA’s conclusion that these sweeteners are safe and can be part of a healthy diet.”
“Sucralose is not only a beneficial sweetener but its safety record is undeniable. As noted by the American Dietetic Association and other leading health groups, low-calorie sweeteners can play a role in an overall healthy diet,” added Ms. Nabors.
Sucralose is a non-caloric sweetener, which provides excellent taste. The safety of sucralose is documented by one of the most extensive and thorough safety testing programs ever conducted on a new food additive. More than 100 studies conducted and evaluated over a 20-year period clearly demonstrate the safety of sucralose.
Sucralose is not utilized for energy in the body because it is not broken down by the body but passes rapidly through the body virtually unchanged. It is a safe and inert ingredient. It can be used by all populations, including pregnant women, nursing mothers, and children of all ages. Sucralose is beneficial for individuals with diabetes because research demonstrates that sucralose has no effect on carbohydrate metabolism, short- or long-term blood glucose control, or insulin secretion.
Sucralose was granted approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on April 1, 1998, for use in 15 food and beverage categories. The FDA expanded the uses for sucralose in 1999, approving it as a “general purpose” sweetener. In addition to the FDA, the Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) of the World Health Organization and Food and Agriculture Organization has reviewed sucralose and deemed it safe for use.