Is Splenda healthy to use as a sugar substitute? This is something that I have been curious about for quite a while now. Because I have been eating healthy for over a year and a half, I have been staying away from sugar and using Splenda instead. I occasionally hear on the news that artificial sweeteners are linked to weight gain, but I find that hard to believe because they have no calories, so I did a little research to get to the bottom of this.
What exactly is Splenda? For those who believe Splenda is “natural,” I hate to tell you that it is actually chemically altered. It starts out as natural sugar, but the three hydroxyl groups are removed and substituted with three atoms of chlorine. The chlorine atoms make it hard to absorb, which is the reason why there are barely any calories. The problem lies during digestion, when the molecule is transformed into chlorocarbon, which is known to be toxic to the human body. (This information found HERE)
There have also been some studies done on the short term effects of artificial sweeteners such as Splenda. What did they find? You have to remember, too, that these studies were done on rats and not humans. Apparantly, they found that very high doses of sucralose (Splenda) caused enlarged livers, kidney disorders and shrunken thymus glands. However, the FDA determined the results to be non conclusive because the tests were done on rats and not humans. There is also some evidence of side effects from Splenda found in humans. Sucralose has been found to cause migraines, dizziness, rashes, diarrhea, muscle aches, intestinal cramping, bladder issues, and stomach pain. However, these side effects were mainly linked to people with an allergy or sensitivity to sucralose molecule. (This information found HERE)
Even though it seems that it’s unhealthy to use Splenda from what I’ve talked about so far, according to Wikipedia you can use Splenda moderately without any adverse effects. When I mean moderately, I mean less than 1 gram per day for a 150 lbs person. 1 g is equivalent to about 75 packets, and if you’re using 75 packets a day you might want to seek help!
So what am I going to do? I will continue to use artificial sweeteners because I believe they still are much healthier than regular sugar, which spikes insulin levels, promoting fat storage. And that’s not mentioning the amount of calories that are in foods with high sugar content, like cookies, cake, and candy bars! I will continue to use Stevia as much as I can as it is 100% natural, but I feel that if you choose to use Splenda in moderation and don’t go crazy, you should be fine.