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.
www.mercola.com, "The Potential Dangers of Sucralose"
I have been using splenda daily for yeasrs and using about 8 to 10 packets of it a day! For months I have been seeing my doctor trying to find out why I have had chronic headaches, head pressure, swelling/bloating, gut & back pain, blurry eye, weird woosy feelings, and generally feeling like I am going to die.
I gave up dairy, that wasn't it
I gave up caffeine, that wasn't it
I went to a low carb diet, that wasn't it
I gave up splenda, BINGO!!!!
Every horrible miserable symptom I had was gone in a day! After about 2 weeks I had a cup of coffee with 2 splenda packets in it, and with in 1 hour, I again had a horrible headache and was miserably bloated!
My favorite part of the article is where you pass off opinion as fact
Stacia K. Snyder
So I dislike the taste of Stevia. Is there any replacement I might be able to use?
Do you use powdered stevia in coffee?
I don't, I like flavored liquid stevia. My favorite is vanilla creme. http://amzn.to/2fV7A0E
I drink a lot of sweet tea. What would you recommend to use for sweetener? I love tea with splenda.
I love using lemon liquid stevia in tea. I buy from iherb.com and my discount code is YAJ035.
By buying Splenda, this is what you are supporting:
"32 beagle dogs were locked in metal cages for 52 weeks. They were given Sucralose (Splenda) mixed in with their normal feed, and blood and urine samples were collected. At the end of the study they were killed by means of exsanguination - they had their throats slit open and bled to death. They were then cut open and their organs - by now drained of blood so easier to dissect - were examined to test the product's toxicity levels.
Four beagle puppies were starved before being force-fed the super-sweet sugar powder. HLS employees then took blood samples from the jugulars of the infant dogs."
There is a reason for why splenda is tested on animals, because it must be really toxic and bad for you. Sugar is real and the way to go and its natural. Your mindset should not revolve around losing weight. And with the name Sugar Free Mom, i hope you don't give splenda to your kids. And please re-think your decision about using splenda.
I don't use Splenda in any of my recipes.
No offense but this sounds really hoaky... There is nothing wrong with Splenda. You were craving sweet stuff all the time because you were consuming NO CALORIES. Which you cannot live on. Splenda is good for replacing sugar from time to time but not in everything you eat. I use a little in my coffee or ice tea instead of sugar. Nothing bad has EVER happened to me from it and I have not gained weight from it.
Now,aspertame on the hand,is another story. But there are absolutely NO STUDIES that show that Splenda is harmful. Do the research.
You are wrong. SPlenda hurts my bladder terribly. I couldn't understand why I had to "go" 8 times a night until I quit drinking anything with Splenda in it. Also, it does hurt short term memory.
I was having short term memory problems in my late thirties. I gave up splenda and they went away. It was the ONLY change in my diet or lifestyle. Since then, I know of five other people who have given up splenda and they noticed that their short term memory problems went away.
Not sure you can claim the 600x sweetness was an issue if you are still using stevia which is just as sweet although the flavor of stevia may prevent someone from overdoing it. Also did you try liquid sucralose vs the packets which contain all those maltodextrin carbs? It seems some of your same symptoms mentioned have also been experienced by people eating to many processed foods so I'm curious...when you cut back on the splenda you also cut back on packaged/processed foods at the same time yes? Could that have been part of the solution?
Yes I also removed all processed/packaged products when eliminating splenda.
Orb, "Aspartame is one of the most ... tested food additives" may be true, but if the tests were done by Monsanto, and half the samples were discarded as "anomalous," because of negative effects, we cannot accept them at face value.
Aspartame breaks down at 86 deg. F into aspartic acid, a neural hyper toxin that does not occur alone in nature, another molecule that is a known cancer risk, and a methyl ester, read wood alcohol, that produces formaldehyde in the body, including the brain.
In the Gulf War, a company of soldiers drank Diet Coke that had travelled across the desert. 24 were very sick, and 4 died.
I can't use aspritame because im allergic to it and it makes me sick and sevia is hard to find where I live so I use some Splenda in my tea and flavored water and anywhere else I used too use sugar with no ill effects. I LOST weight after switching to Splenda because I'm southern and lots of sugar is in everything. ive had some headaches occasionally when I used a ton BUT using a lot of plain old table sugar can give anyone a headache. So I don't think that's what I would call a side effect. There have also been many studies with people and kids on the effectiveness of Splenda. I don't care that its how many molecules close to this or that or even the whole pesticide thing. The fact is those molecules are different and one molecule difference can make two totally different things. Your body doesn't store sucralose. it just passes it because it has zero calories and does nothing to the body. I love Splenda and just like regular sugar or anything else you have to watch your intake. Anyone can make a habit of eating any food or sweetener too much, even natural ones. Also sometimes it just varys from person to person.
Ridiculous post. You cannot be addicted to a substance because it "activated" your taste buds. It is non-addictive because it doesn't release or cause to release any chemicals into the body that are addictive.
Most sugar-free foods are less substantial than sugary ones, and don't have the same tendency to upset the stomach, meaning you can eat more of them before experiencing consequences such as feeling full or having an upset stomach.
Furthermore, though I can't speak to the drawbacks of sucralose, aspartame and saccharin are some of the most frequently and stringently tested food additives of the last 25 years. Despite the many attempts to discredit these sweeteners by, well, people that feel the need to take a stance against everything, there is not so much as a remote modicum of evidence that they harm the body, short term or long.
Thank you for all of the great information! I am newly allergic, intolerant and learning! Ugh...my list of 'can't have' foods is growing like weeds!
Here is a link to some outstanding information about sugar, thought you might enjoy it, as well. Great info!
Britta Conner (@YogaBritta)
Sucanat is my all time favorite sweetener. Do you have a good source for it? I used to live where I had access to it in stores and that is no more...
I did a blog long time ago on another site about Splenda. I did some research and found it was created as an ant pesticide. I was shocked and stopped using it but I still had some left. One day I had an ant invasion back of my stove. I read if I sprinkled it around and left it, within 4-5 days the ants would be gone. I watched and waited.....first two days lots of ants.....then the amt. slowed down and finally stopped. It took almost 2yrs before I saw another ant. Now I warn everyone about this junk........if it kills ants, what is it doing to you?
I had the same experience. After trying method after method of getting rid of ants on my counter, I mixed a packet of Splenda into a tablespoon of milk and put it in a bowl on my counter. Within 3 hours I had a bowl of dead ants. Fun fact: Splenda contains aspartame which has been revealed as a neuro-toxin - in other words, highly toxic for the brain. Human brains included!
Nice to know Im not the only one out there who eschews Splenda. When it first came out, I thought it was great & Im also friends with the American distributor of the liquid version Fiber Fit. I used it pretty exclusively about a year, maybe a little more, before I kept getting a niggling feeling about Splenda. About that time is when Sweet Deception by Joseph Mercola, M.D came out. http://www.amazon.com/Sweet-Deception-Splenda-NutraSweet-Hazardous/dp/B000WPMC40/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1325984533&sr=1-3
I had been reading how they create Splenda by combining sugar & chlorine molecules together & knew from my fathers work with chemical companies in the 60s & 70s that chlorine is a major part of of chemicals like DDT & Paraquat which are plant defoliators.. in other words, it KILLS plants.
That bothered me. I believe we should eat as close to alive food as we can to get the best nutrition from them, which is why many people go to the raw diet & do so well on it. Im not on a raw diet but I do try to eat as close to raw when I can.
Anyways, one day, I had about 1/3 cup of coffee left in my cup at the end of my work day. At the time I used Splenda & creamer in my coffee and before I'd used Splenda, I had poured my leftover coffee with regular sugar & creamer in my plants many times. I think they liked it to be honest... 🙂
I decided I would do a theoretical test. If my plants started looking bad, then I wouldnt use Splenda anymore. If they continued to do wonderful, I would continue to use it.
I had one of those lovely dish gardens with 5 or 6 different plants in it and all were beautifully healthy. I poured the leftovers in it & left for the day.
When I came in the next morning, Almost every plant looked completely dead. I could not believe the severity of the situation. I never ever envisioned the effect to this degree.. Every plant was completely wilted & had fallen over, though they were still basically green in color, some were starting to brown.
I was HORRIFIED! I grabbed my dish and ran to our breakroom where I sat the dish under running water for about 20 minutes hoping & praying that it would be enough to keep my poor plants from dying.
2 or 3 of the plants died anyways and I had 3 that survived.. I couldnt believe it.. but it was enough to convince me that Splenda was nothing more than poison.
I use water filters in my house to filter chlorine out of my drinking water, why on earth would I deliberately put it in my mouth to sweeten my food. Insanity.
Anyways, thought I'd share my Splenda story with you...
WOW! Incredible story! Thanks so much for sharing!
WOW, that is quite a story. I had read that the chlorine in Splenda was similar to what is naturally found in lettuce...but I've always felt in the back of my mind that it was propaganda!
I still enjoy an occasional Diet Coke (the Splenda version NEVER the aspartame version), but I have switched to Splenda for sweetening my coffee and general baking. Now I'm thinking I just need to give up Coke completely...and my favorite yogurt. 🙁
Brenda, you said Splenda effected your hormones...I think when consuming too much I've had a similar experience.
Oops, meant Stevia for my coffee...etc.
So do you not eat salt as well? Sodium Chloride (salt), also contains chlorine, is naturally occurring, considered essential to animal life, is a basic human taste, yet also has apparently been "chlorinated" as well. I guess that must mean it is bad for you too.
Sucralose is made by replacing three select hydrogen-oxygen groups on sucrose (table sugar) molecules with three chlorine atoms. This is the "chlorinating". Sodium chloride (salt) is a 1:1 ratio of sodium and chlorine atoms. Source: Wikipedia and general chemistry knowledge.
We use Celtic sea salt actually which has a lower amount of sodium and higher amount of calcium and magnesium.
Thanks for sharing. People's stories are the most powerful forms of persuasion
Thank you so much for all your info. I just found your site about 2 weeks ago. I'm looking for a healthy way to lose weight and a healthier lifestyle altogether. I've also been really noticing and convicted by how much sugar my family as a whole consumes. All this is really helpful and motivating for me. I'm still trying to find my motivation (from your earlier post), but I'm really interested to hear more about why you chose to use the sweeteners you use and how often you feel you do consume sugar now. Thanks for your blog and recipes! I really love it!
You're welcome! I think your questions are great! I will be doing a Q &A post all about my life today. Thanks!
As always thanks for the extremely helpful info! I have been ingesting a great deal of splenda for quite some time now and after reading this I'm beginning to wonder if it could possibly be the culprit to my acne/hormone issues. I'm going to get rid of all my splenda and see what happens. Never knew about the chlorine. That's got to be terrible for our bodies!
Glad you liked the article Jennifer! I was shocked about the chlorine myself. I have seen such great benefits from getting rid of splenda and hope you will as well.