In my own personal quest for weight loss years ago, I adopted the sugar-free lifestyle with artificial sweeteners because I wanted so badly to cut calories to lose weight and didn't know how else to do it. I still wanted my desserts and I really believed eating foods made with Splenda, although packaged and processed foods as they were, was still a healthy choice to lose weight. As the years went by I realized I was heavily addicted to this so called, " natural sweetener made from pure sugar."
Splenda is found in so many "sugar-free" products today that are supposed to be healthy alternatives when trying to lose weight. You will find it in sugar-free ice creams, yogurts, muffins, cookies, canned fruit, cereal bars and candy to name just a few. I agree in cases like diabetics maybe this is the best option for them. I can not answer that, but for me, artificial sweeteners, particularly Splenda was being consumed heavily without me even realizing it. I had no idea why I was always ravenously hunger, why I craved sugary treats all the time, why I had menstrual cycle issues and headaches, to name just a few symptoms.
Of course, having Splenda in moderation is the key. No product, even natural honey, is good for you if you are consuming it in abundance. Sugar is still sugar, natural or not, even coming from a fruit. Overeating on even healthy foods is going to cause weight gain.
Once I removed Splenda made products I started noticing considerable benefits. I was no longer craving sugary treats as much. I was not as ravenously hunger as I used to be and headaches were pretty much nonexistent. Maybe you have had the same experience or maybe you haven't. Here are the Myths that many people who are dieting believe about Splenda. I know I did! It is really up to you what you do with this information, deciding whether or not Splenda is something you want to continue to consume or not. I just give you my experience in hopes you will glean something from it to lead a healthier life!
MYTH #1 : IT'S NATURAL!
Splenda is just the commercial name for sucralose. Sucrose is just the proper name for sugar. Splenda is produced by chlorinating sugar. Yes, you heard me right. It is a chlorinated artificial sweetener. While the process to make Splenda begins with sucrose, the final product is quite different from actual sugar. The difference is actual sugar is able to break down in your body as calories for energy while sucralose can not be broken down or provide any energy at all. In fact, the inventors of Splenda admit 15% of sucralose is absorbed in the body and have no idea what amount of chlorine flushes out of the body of that percentage.
MYTH #2: IT HAS NO CALORIES SO I WILL LOSE WEIGHT!
True it has no caloric content, BUT the "diet", "sugar-free" foods you are eating with Splenda still contain calories. The other concern is that sucralose activates your tastes buds and it is 600X sweeter than white refined sugar!That was shocking to me! No wonder I craved sweet things all the time! My taste buds were accustomed to always expecting that sweetness. And when I didn't get it from certain foods, I would seek it out in others. It constantly made me crave more. I was eating low- fat, sugar- free items but one pudding or popsicle was never enough. I always wanted more. Losing weight was a struggle and battle.
MYTH #3: IT'S SAFER THAN OTHER ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS!
Splenda was approved by the US government in 1999 being released with very few studies to support its safety. Some experimental studies have shown symptoms of disruption of sleep, diabetes, Lupus, increases in cancer, gut bacteria damage, weight gain and even sexual dysfunction that could be related to the overuse of Splenda consumption. Even if these problems may not be caused because of Splenda, I would prefer to not take any chances.
Whole Foods market states, " At this time the FDA considers all of these sweeteners safe for human consumption. Despite this advocacy and consumer driven studies continue to question the safety and long term effects of diets that contain these chemical sweeteners. As a result, many consumers are concerned about health effects from headaches to cancer that may or may not be caused by the consumption of artificial sweeteners." Whole Foods does not carry any products with Splenda or other artificial sweeteners.
I still occasionally eat something made with Splenda, but I find it terribly too sweet and knowing its artificial really bothers me. I've learned to adjust by using honey, sucanat and Stevia in my cooking and baking. Now my taste buds are accustomed to foods made with a lot less sweetness and I don't crave as I once did. You may not have had the experience I have had to go through and I hope you haven't.
If you'd like to read more about my sweeteners of choice read my post, "Top 3 Refined Sugar-Free Sweeteners" for more detailed information.
If nothing else, I challenge you to inspect the low calorie products you buy. I guarantee you will be shocked by how much Splenda you are really consuming daily.
Making a choice to consume less Splenda certainly can't harm you and you may even enjoy the foods you eat more without the artificial sweetness.