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SPLENDA® Brand Sweetener

Splenda (or Sucralose) is a zero-calorie sugar substitute artificial sweetener.

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My 5-Day Experience With No Sugar-Are Artificial Sweeteners Hazardous To Your Health?

  • Aug 6, 2011
  • by
Rating:
+1
After searching for a diet I can actually follow (and afford) in order to lose a few pounds, I decided on one in which I would be limiting my carb intake and following a "no sugar" regime.  I love sweetened iced tea and have a weakness for Hershey's chocolate milk, so I knew this would be hard for me.  I had no problem watching out for the bad carbs, but banning all sugar was a scary experience for me.  I am not one who can continuously drink plain water all day, even my beloved FiGi water has it's limits, so I opted to drink artificially sweetened water.  I stay away from aspartame like the plague and decided on Propel Zero, Nestle Sparkling Water and VBlast, all sweetened with Splenda which is made from Sucralose, an FDA approved sweetener that is actually sweeter than sugar and leaves practically no nasty aftertaste.  OK -- I'm on my way to losing a few pounds and I feel a little excited though apprehensive about my new journey to health.

Day 1 -- I think to myself "Thank goodness for Propel Zero - no sugar and it actually tastes really good!"  I am not having too much problem sticking to just drinking flavored water, but at the end of the day I have a terrible headache and figure it's just sugar withdrawal.  I'm also having mild tachycardia (rapid heartbeat) which I am not liking since I have tachycardia anyhow and have been taking medication for that for years. 

Day 2 -- I wake up feeling a little "lighter" - oh my!!  I am feeling good that I am pretty energetic and am quite proud of myself for surviving no sugar for a whole day!  Now if this awful headache would go away, that would be great.  

Day 3 -- Waking up I feel a little groggy and tired even though I slept fine.  2 days with no sugar is making my confidence soar, and my belly does not feel as pouffy and mildly bloated as it usually does.  The bad thing is I am having some mild muscle aches in my legs (did I work out too hard at the gym yesterday?), my headache is still with me, and now I am feeling a very mild yeast infection coming on.  Not to be gross in the least, but we females are very aware that when our good bacteria is out of whack, this type of infection is inevitable.  I like to eat yogurt not only because it's healthy, but it also keeps the good bacteria in check, but alas, since I'm watching carbs it is forbidden for a couple of weeks.  I'm trying to figure this out since I have not had this type of infection for many years -- oh no! my good bacteria is off balance!!

Day 4 -- Last night the headache was pretty intense, I still had mild tachycardia, and I am so groggy and tired I can hardly stand it.  Not only that, but I did not go to the gym because my legs are hurting worse.  I figure that I am lacking in some vitamin or mineral, even though I take supplements, and so I eat a banana (though it's forbidden for now) just in case my potassium is low (low potassium can cause muscle aches). It doesn't help and I feel like crap, but hey, no sugar intake for 4 whole days -- yeah!!

Day 5 -- I went to the gym despite my muscle aches and cramps, my now-intense headache, and the fact I feel like I could fall asleep on my feet.  I managed a good workout on the treadmill but my legs feel horrible.  Now I'm starting to feel worried and even though I can't think clearly, I figure maybe all the Splenda I have consumed is having an effect.  My diet alone would not make me feel this bad; I am eating plenty of good things like veggies and protein, I am not being deprived of healthy food, so it's off to the internet to see if my symptoms are consistent with side effects of Sucralose. Are they?  Here is what I found out....

According to www.steviacafe.net, artificial sweeteners can have bad side effects. Aspartame can be especially harmful after long use; mild to severe symptoms including seizures and intense ab and stomach pain are just 2 of the many bad side effects.  What about Sucralose?   I found out that the symptoms I have been experiencing are common with the "more than occasional" use of this stuff.  I learned that Splenda is made with chlorine atoms, that it is not completely absorbed by the body (only about 15% is absorbed) hence making it calorie free, it is made with some sugar but is not a "natural" product, that in a short term study on rats, they developed enlarged livers and kidneys, and that NO long term study has EVER been made, even by the FDA -- but the FDA approved it.  I know, you can not always believe what a rat tells you, but I figure if the government is going to approve anything, a long term study should be made, especially if a short term study doesn't go so well!  



How about the mild infection I have been experiencing?  After reading that chlorine atoms are added to make Splenda, I can not help but wonder if my good bacteria is totally out of whack since chlorine kills all bacteria, good and bad. Yes, chlorine is added to some water supplies, but it is a safe amount.  I don't know how much is added to Splenda, but keep in mind that this additive is the reason Splenda tastes so sweet and is not absorbed completely.  The muscle cramps and headaches are consistent with too much Sucralose, as well as being overly tired. There are other symptoms, such as severe stomach pain and dizziness, associated with Sucralose that I did NOT experience thank goodness.

All in all, I believe that this sweetener can be beneficial if used occasionally and not consistently as I have been using it. I am sure it is a God-send to diabetics especially since Splenda can withstand heat and is usable in baking and other recipes, not to mention it is now available in packets that have added vitamins, antioxidants and/or fiber.  I won't say I will never touch it again -- I just will limit my use of it. 

I am sure not everyone has had any type of reaction, mild or severe, to
Splenda, but personally, I am going to limit my consumption of sugar, but not totally cut it out.  It is not because of what I read about this product, but because of the way it has made me feel.  This will no doubt make losing a few pounds harder, but I would rather deal with that, eat healthy and avoid the bad carbs, then have a constant headache, a racing heart and muscle aches that limit my activity.  

To read the complete article and see a short video (no embed code) you can go HERE

Also for an informative article on studies (or lack of) conducted and the results,
click HERE
My 5-Day Experience With No Sugar-Are Artificial Sweeteners Hazardous To Your Health? My 5-Day Experience With No Sugar-Are Artificial Sweeteners Hazardous To Your Health? My 5-Day Experience With No Sugar-Are Artificial Sweeteners Hazardous To Your Health? My 5-Day Experience With No Sugar-Are Artificial Sweeteners Hazardous To Your Health?

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August 10, 2011
I used to be very against artificial sweeteners and Splenda, but my husband used to annoy me because he only remembered to buy diet sodas in the house. Eventually, I gave up my boycott and started drinking the diet. Now, I can't stand too much real sugar! I love the fake stuff, lol! And I prefer Splenda over other types. Nice review, Brenda!
August 11, 2011
Diet soda is one thing I can not do at all; I can't stand the taste and I admire you for being able to handle it and enjoy it!! I can understand too how being off some sugar will turn you against the taste of sugar eventually. I like the taste of Splenda in some things, like the Propel and the packets I like to sprinkle on strawberries or cereal, but I won't use it too often from now on for sure!! Thanks for the read Adri!!
August 15, 2011
LOL! Yeah, I am sooo addicted to diet sodas now. Just love the stuff! I agree that being off sugar for too long turned me off it in drinks. I love the Propel waters and the crystal light packages. And, no problem! Love reading your reviews. :)
 
August 09, 2011
As soon as I read you were going to try to cut out sugar, I was a little worried. I run into this all the time with parents saying they don't let their kids have sugar, then I have to inform them that unfortunately fruit has sugar in it as part of its natural composition. Also, fake sugar isn't good for you- chemicals are for more dangerous to your body then, good ol' cane sugar.

I'm sorry you had those horrible side effects and I think cutting out the excess sugar and bad carbs will keep you feeling light and energized! Great write-up, Brenda! A lot of people don't know about this stuff, so thanks for shedding light on it!
August 09, 2011
You're right Sam--sugar is natural and better than chemicals, and you're right, fruit and fruit juice has sugar in it - when my kids were babies I of course gave them juice, but not too much in one day because I knew others at the time that their babies drank it all day and they ended up fat!! It seems you're darned if you and darned if you don't. I'm trying with the cut back on carbs and hopefully I'll notice a difference soon!! Thanks for the read and comment Samantha.
August 09, 2011
You are most welcome! Yep, damned if you do and damned if you don't :)
 
August 07, 2011
Yeah, I heard similar things and this is why I still stick to sugar or brown sugar. The only time I would take on an artificial sweetener is IF there is nothing else. But then again, coffee is fine black. Thanks for the commentary!
August 08, 2011
Yeah, I have to agree with you. But what's a person to do if they wanna lose a couple pounds and stay off sugar for a while? Geez...everything that's good is bad for you, and what's supposed to be better for your health could kill you...LOL I'm sticking with sugar myself, just cutting back! Thanks for the read!!
 
August 06, 2011
Stevia and anise are excellent natural sweeteners which are sold in most health food stores. A good stevia preparation can cost $7 or so for a large supply to add to coffee, cereal, baking etc.
August 06, 2011
I have not tried the Stevia but heard it tastes more like sugar and is supposed to be more natural than Splenda. Thank you for the advice and the read!
 
1
More Splenda reviews
Quick Tip by . September 25, 2010
posted in That's Beat
I tried this once before and it wasn't bad. I stocl with regular sugar though and not imitation sugar.
Quick Tip by . June 26, 2010
posted in That's Beat
chemicals. Chemicals processed with chemicals. Do you really thing your body needs this crap?
review by . October 15, 2009
Splenda is quite possibly the most digusting thing to ever be created. Yes, CREATED - as in, inside a lab.      I used to have Splenda occasionally in coffee drinks - I have no idea why. The first time you ever try Splenda, you can taste its weird metallic flavor. Over time you get used to it, but I remember always feeling this strange dry aftertaste in my mouth - it was almost like Splenda was removing all the moisture from my mouth and I couldn't do anything to quench my thirst. …
Quick Tip by . April 05, 2010
posted in That's Beat
Cancerous sugar made from metal? That's so beat.
review by . April 06, 2009
Every morning before work I grab a coffee at the McDonalds on the corner (I know, but it's really the only place in the 'hood that's remotely on the way to the train). The sales crew there is always perplexed when I explain (literally every morning I have to explain) that I don't want any sugar, sweetener, or "flavor" in my coffee. Once, the woman behind the register asked me "what it tasted like" without any additional ingredients. Umm, it tastes "like coffee!"  I don't understand why …
About the reviewer
Brenda ()
Ranked #70
I love to read mysteries and thrillers; I am addicted to scary psychological thrillers and horror movies; "The Exorcist" and "Silence of the Lambs" being 2 of my favorites. I love … more
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Wiki

Splenda (pronounced /ˈsplɛndə/) is the commercial name and registered trade mark of a sucralose-based artificial sweetener derived from sugar, owned by the British company Tate & Lyle. Sucralose was discovered by Tate & Lyle and researchers at Queen Elizabeth College, University of London, in 1976. Tate & Lyle subsequently developed sucralose-based Splenda products in partnership with Johnson & Johnson subsidiary McNeil Nutritionals LLC. 

Since its approval by the United States government in 1998 and introduction there in 1999, sucralose has overtaken Equal in the $1.5 billion artificial sweetener market, holding a 62% market share. According to market research firm IRI Splenda sold $212 million in 2006 in the U.S. while Equal sold $48.7 million.

In April 2009 the International Trade Commission closed a patent infringement case that will permit Chinese manufacturers to produce copycat versions of Splenda products which will be sold under different brand names.

Splenda is available in granular and tablet form.



Energy (caloric) content

Sucralose has no caloric content, and Splenda products have a lower caloric content than sugar. The actual caloric content of a single-serving (1-gram packet) of Splenda is 3.36 calories, 31% of the calories of a single-serving (2.8-gram packet) of granulated sugar (10.8 ...

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