Splenda

August 31st, 2011 by Helen Scholz

If you have gone to a restaurant with pancakes, coffee, or tea then you have seen Splenda. The little tan or yellow packets that contain sweet stuff you can put into your drink or food. So, what are inside those little splenda packets? Where did it come from? Is it safe to use?

Splenda is just one of the many artificial sugar alternatives, like Aspartame or Stevia. However the stevia side effects have only been proven on animals, there has not been as much testing with stevia as there has been with splenda.

Splenda is based on sucralose, an artificial substance and is also made of glucose and maltodextrin. Splenda was discovered in part by accident because a student thought he hear his advisor tell him to taste an experiment they were working on. They discovered the sweetness of Sucralose which was about 600 times sweeter than sugar. They worked with a sugar company to develop the sugar substitute splenda and in 1991 it was approved for consumption in Canada. It was in 1998 that it was approved in the United States. It quickly became very popular in the artificial sweetener market.

Splenda contains sucralose, so what are some of the benefits of eating that? Sucralose does not influence the blood sugar level which means that diabetics can use splenda to sweeten their food and drinks without worrying about their blood sugar. Sucralose can also sweeten foods and drinks but does not give calories.

Splenda does have good side effects like the fact that diabetics do not have to worry about their blood sugar and the fact that it contains no calories. The FDA has said that sucralose does not harm the human body as long as they do not exceed the amount of 9 mg/kg (of the body weight) a day. There have been tons of studies done that show harmful and negative side effects in animals, however those studies were done using more than the recommended amount of sucralose.

Sucralose is FDA approved and it does have good things associated with it; however, splenda does have a few negative side effects.

One of the negative side effects that come with splenda is that because it is an artificial sweetener, when you eat it your body thinks it is sugar and produces insulin to absorb the non-existing sugar. You then have too much insulin in your blood because there is no sugar to absorb. Having more insulin in your blood will raise your appetite; however this is common for artificial sweeteners.