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Is Splenda Healthy?

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? 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 feel that if you use Splenda in moderation and don’t go crazy, you should be fine.

11 comments

  1. Great blog. I struggle with the splenda too and recently decided to cut out diet soda. I switched to non caff tea but have yet to add splenda as I’m researching how it affects insulin. Bottom line is that it may not be the best but its good enough and can help make a diet more sustainable if you like what your drinking.

  2. Thank you!

  3. Hi Josh!

    Let me first tell you that your blog is incredibly inspiring and well documented. I’m trying to get the P90X as soon as I can and make you my coach in order to get a fabulous body.

    Now that you touch this sweeteners topic, I have some info to share:
    There’s a natural sweetener which is non caloric, will not raise your blood sugar and you can use it in cooking and baking. This is STEVIA. It can be even used by diabetic people!

    Stevia is actually a South-american plant which has amazing sweetener properties in it’s leaves. There are plenty of stevia extracts and powders on the market, there’s even an Optimum Nutrition Stevia.

    For more info you can check this sites:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stevia

    http://www.stevia-sweetener.com/

    http://www.stevia.com/SteviaArticle.asp?Id=2269

    I hope you find this tip useful and is of use to you.

  4. I actually just found out about this product as soon as I made that post. Thanks for the info!

  5. Great research!

    Just one correction: 1 packet of Splenda does contain 1g of the sweetener, but it is sucralose that we shouldn’t consume more then 1g a day. And, according to Wiki, 75 Splenda packets contain that much of sucralose.

  6. Thanks for the information. Sometimes I either read things wrong or write them down incorrectly.

  7. rene ruelas /

    There is a diet coke that has splenda in it. Do you think having one of these along with 3 cups of popcorn for a movie weekend would affect results any?

  8. Popcorn is usually very high in fat because of the butter, but there is light popcorn that you can purchase. Also, diet pop is OK, but I don’t recommend drinking them too often.

  9. rene ruelas /

    Thanks for the response, I’ll keep that in mind. I saw your pic in a p90x infomercial yesterday, i think it’s awsome. Thanks for your help again.

  10. westamptonjoe /

    so josh did you follow the fat shredder diet exact and thats how the results showed or did you use fat burners .

  11. @Joe. No, I didn’t use fat burners and I don’t recommend them either. I followed the Fat Shredder diet.

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