Sugar vs Splenda

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.

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2 Comments

Filed under Nutrition Tips

2 responses to “Sugar vs Splenda

  1. Lindsay

    Is Truvia really bad for you?

    • sarahkalamchi

      It’s ok but if you want a stevia-based sweetener, just use pure stevia (either powder or liquid form). Truvia is made with a blend of ingredients (stevia, rebaina and erythritol) which under most studies, have shown to be safe in moderate amounts.
      Truvia is owned by Cargill and Coca-Cola so they have much better marketing than plain stevia (which you can find in Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s) which is why it has become so popular. With most things, I tend to feel safer choosing the least processed, most pure form and in my opinion, Truvia isn’t that option.

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