Splenda with fewer carbs

Dr. Richard Bernstein, author of Diabetes Solution; prescribes a very low-carb diet to get his diabetic patients off medications or to reduce their dosage to the lowest possible level. He calls it “the law of small numbers” because the smaller the dose you need, the smaller the mistake you can make and the less severe the consequences. One reviewer dubbed him the “Taliban of low-carb gurus” because his regimen is so strict: no fruit, no tomato sauce, no beans, no xylitol, no sorbitol, no Splenda. The only sweeteners he allows are saccharin and aspartame in tablet form and stevia. Sucrolose is not a problem, but even the small amount of sugar used as a bulking agent in granular and packets of Splenda can be too much for those who are diabetic.

The good news: Splenda is now available in two additional forms. Quick Packs contain the equivalent of one cup of sugar but with SPLENDA® QUICK PAC 13 calories and 3.3 grams of carbohydrate. A cup of granular Splenda has 24 net carbs, so it is a huge improvement when you need that amount. You can divide it if your recipe calls for fractions of a cup, but it would be difficult to measure it accurately below about a quarter cup. (It is meant to be used with powdered drink mixes and is usually displayed with the Kool-Aid rather than the sweeteners.)

The new Splenda Mini Tabs list the carb count as a generic “less than one gram,” which is the same as that given for a teaspoon of the granular or ½ of a standard individual packet. I contacted Mc Neil Nutritionals to find out what they really contain. Here’s their answer: Each tab contains 0.2 calories and 0.04 carbs, so just a trace. The bulking agent is lactose, but only a tiny amount.

You can crush the tablets between two spoons and use them in recipes. One mini tab equals the sweetness of one teaspoon of sugar. I think even the “low-carb Taliban” would approve.

(C) 2008, Judy Barnes Baker

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