People ask me all of the time why I don’t use artificial sweeteners and what the deal is with Splenda. I usually like to reiterate that I am not an expert (not a doctor or a dietitian) but I have done some research and I do know this:
The main motivation behind artificial sweeteners is to cut calories from the diet. However, there is evidence showing that artificial sweeteners may not trigger the same brain reaction for satiety and could potentially increase appetite for sweets and other carbohydrates. Artificial sweeteners do not exist in nature and so the body is unable to process them, resulting in no calorie intake . It is still unknown what, if any, the long term effects are from some of these sweeteners will be on our bodies.
Artificial Sweeteners: These sweeteners are chemically manufactured and do not exist in nature.
Acesulfame K – approximately 200 time sweeter than sugar, it is not metabolized by the body. Brand names are Sunett, Sweet One, and Sweet & Safe
Aspartame – approximately 200 times sweeter than sugar. Brand names are NutraSweet, Equal and Sugar Twin brand
Saccharin – ranges from 200 to 700 times sweeter than sugar. Brand names are Sweet ‘N Low, Sweet Twin and Necta Sweet.
Sucralose – 600 times sweeter than sugar. It is made from sucrose through chemical process that replaces hydrogen and oxygen atoms with chlorine atoms. Brand name is Splenda.
It is my personal belief that it is better to consume a few calories of a natural product (raw sugar, agave, whatever) than to use a chemical. We all eat way too much sugar anyway so if we start eating the real stuff maybe we’ll be more conscious of the amount we are actually eating and try to cut back a little.
So, when it comes to your am coffee, go for the real stuff.