Is Splenda OK?

I am often asked if Splenda is OK.  Most people believe, incorrectly, that Splenda is natural. Splenda (Sucralose) is actually an artificial sweetener made from sugar. Most have heard it is the safest sugar substitute.  Truthfully, there is no clear cut answer on this one, but I will try to give you the best advice I can.

Splenda is made from sugar and chlorine.  When put together chemically they produce sucralose which is not absorbed in the body, thereby creating a non-calorie substance.  Advocates for Sucralose claim that chlorine is naturally found in many substances that we eat such as table salt, lettuce, and mushrooms, therefore, in small doses it will not harm us.  However, those opposed state that the chlorine used in Splenda is not a naturally occuring chlorine, but is in synthetic form and is not natural for the body to consume. 

The ADA (American Dietetic Association) supports the use of Splenda (Sucralose) stating that it’s safety has been tested hundreds of times.  However, as much as I beleive the ADA puts out a lot of very reliable and trustworthy data they get their funding from corporate sponsors including companies that sell products that use Splenda, and many other non-healthy and artificial substances. (See blog on this topic)  I have trouble trusting a source that is obviously not going to upset their funders. 

Flip side, those who oppose the use of Splenda state it is going to do all sorts of terrible things to you, which is probably not true.

So my opinion is this;  learn moderation, learn portion size.  As I see it, artificial sweeteners of any kind (including Splenda) just encourage people to maintain bad eating habits, namely overconsumption.  The 16 calories a teaspoon from sugar are not going to make you pack on the pounds unless you eat too much. 

We are human beings…products of nature…we need nourishment.  Why put unnatural things in our bodies all of the time?  Thats like putting apple juice in you car.  Makes no sense. 

About Kimberly Dawson, M.S.

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