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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Maltodextrin in Splenda - but it's higher on the glycemic index than sugar, they cry!


Canadians enjoyed the new sweetener, Splenda Granular, 10 years before approval by the FDA in America.  Apparently the Nutrasweet company was doing everything in its power to block that approval.  Anyhow, keep in mind Splenda Granular weighs about 1/8 th as much as sugar, and this product therefore imparts very little in the way of volume and texture to baking.  Therefore, you may substitute your sweetener of choice in my sweet treats.  Right now there is an explosion of new sweeteners on the market.  I still haven't found or seen one I prefer, but I hope someday I will.  For now I like combining Splenda Granular (I use Nevella brand with potent probiotics these days) with erythritol in my baking.  Stevia has problems with making hypoglycemia worse in some people and the possible infertility problem for males worries me.  The Stevia-erythritol blends give me stomach distress as do most of the sugar alcohols and is, therefore, so not worth it to me.  Chicory root/inulin in excess damages the eyes (causing blurriness or loss of sight) - apparently that is not proven and is more like folklore, but worrying all the same that they would bring it up.  It can also cause stomach distress.  It is also not recommended for pregnant women as it can cause spontaneous abortion.  Aspartame - forget it - for many reasons besides not being heat stable.

Funny, there never was a hue and cry about Splenda until it was unleashed on the American market.  Then the sugar lobby set up a site to discredit Splenda and Dr. Mercola did a great job in scaring everyone silly.  In fact, the source of Splenda affecting gut flora is, I believe, Dr. Mercola himself.   Now we have Nevella which solves that problem, if ever it was a problem.  I always ate tons of yogurt through the years so cannot say for sure if his claims are true or not.

So, any perfect sweetener out there to use instead of sugar?  Hmm, no, personally I think not!  It is a case of choosing one's own poison, sadly.  You can choose sugar which is a known poison as well.  Safe to say, few people in the world will consume as much sucralose as what my family has already consumed.  I don't recommend anyone do what we did.  In hindsight, I don't think it is wise to consume massive quantities of any sweetener.  For now 18 years later, we're okay, but some would say my Hashimoto's Thyroiditis was triggered by Splenda.  Well, I don't believe that.  I believe my Hashi's is from a mycoplasma infection: (women most often get Hashi's and I wonder if it stems from the fact that we are usually also the cooks in the household and if we're not very careful with working with raw meat, we can get an infection.).  My Hashi's is under control, and since going on doxycycline, I've reduced my thyroid hormone treatment to 1/3 of the dose I was on.  That means the doxycycline is interrupting the reproductive cycle of the mycoplasmas deep inside the thyroid tissue.  The body can't heal the infection as it is too deep inside the tissue and so it puts out all these inflammatory antibodies (anyone with an autoimmune disease will usually show positive for CRP and sometimes it can be quite high, but doxycyline has been proven to reduce CRP by about 40% and I can attest to that) to try and attack the tissue that contains the mycoplasma infection.  Mycoplasmas are a very small bacterium that can actually get inside of the cells of the body. Because of this, the immune system cells are unable to directly attack the bacteria. In order to rid the body of the bacteria, the immune system cells will often resort to attacking the body’s own tissue, which has been infected with the organism.

"In the example of thyroid infections, in order to get at the infection, the body will produce antibodies against its own thyroid gland. This would explain why the thyroid gland becomes inflamed in autoimmune thyroid illnesses, as well as why the body would produce antibodies against a particular gland. I believe this hypothesis holds true for many autoimmune disorders."
 
I am getting way off track here!  Good for you if you got this far in reading. 

Okay, here is the thing about MALTODEXTRIN:

Maltodextrin, a carbohydrate derived from corn, is a filler used to help the product measure cup-for-cup like sugar.  The carb content in 1 cup (250 mL) Splenda Granular is 24 grams.  Liquid sucralose, on the other hand has 0 grams carbohydrate.  Sucralose is inert and remains stable at the high baking temperatures unlike some sweeteners.

Some people have raised the concern that maltodextrin features higher on the glycemic index scale than sugar!  However, it all depends on the quantity you ingest per serving (glycemic load).  If one were to eat a pound of maltodextrin, one would be in trouble, however, the way Splenda is formulated from sucralose and maltodextrin, this results in very little weight being imparted by maltodextrin.  In fact, 1 cup (250 mL) Splenda Granular weighs 26 grams (almost nothing!) and 1 cup (250 mL) of sugar weighs 226 grams.  Therefore, one serving of dessert sweetened with 1 cup (250 mL) Splenda Granular has very little maltodextrin in it, and it will have very little impact on glycemic reactions, however, the opposite is true for a sugar-sweetened dessert, which is quite high in carbohydrates and calories too.  So, relax on the maltodextrin score unless you have an allergy to corn.

6 comments:

Lisa, motyok said...

I have been low carbing so long, and I still agree there is no perfect choice out there. It seems I tend to blend all sorts of sweeteners. My insulin resistant son dislikes stevia though, and always prefers splenda. I love that you bring common sense to the sweetener debates--and comfort too!

Jennifer said...

Thank you, Lisa. :)

Jenny said...

One reason to avoid maltodextrin is that it IS made from corn, 99.9% likely to be GMO and thus heavily sprayed with toxins.

Why not try to remove sweet tastes from your taste buds, hard as that is, I know. lol

I used to make all those things, but now I avoid them because even low carb treats make me want to overeat.

Jennifer said...

Haha - remove my sweet taste buds? - hmm, don't think that will happen too easily. I don't usually want to overeat with low carb treats, but give me real sugar and watch out - plus the weight comes on scarily fast! Good for you though!

Steve Parker, M.D. said...

Thanks for this info on maltodextrin calories, Jennifer. It does come into play when I analyze recipes utilizing Splenda Granulated. The maltodextrin calories are nowhere on the bag.

-Steve

Jennifer said...

Yes, that is very true, Steve. It is untrue and misleading to call it a no calorie sweetener. The next post will cover the calories and carbs for you in detail. I think it could help others as well. Thanks for pointing that out. Have a nice day. :)