Celebrating Women...for the Real World
Sunday, June 05, 2005 Splenda-Is It All That?

A few years back, we found out that my husband is a diabetic. We have had to make a lot of changes in our eating habits and diets in order to try and control his diabetes. He completely understood the importance of changing his eating habits, but, the one thing he was the most concerned about was what he would use to sweeten his coffee. My husband used to drink 6 - 8 cups of coffee a day with two teaspoons of sugar in each cup! Obviously this wasn't going to work considering the circumstances. We tried Sweet N' Low, Sugar Twin, and just about anything else that was on the market. You coffee lovers will understand that, once you're used to your coffee tasting a certain way, its hard to find an alternative that satisfies the pallet. About this time Splenda was introduced. We asked his doctor about using Splenda. She said Splenda would be a great choice. So we tried it originally in coffee, then in a few recipes, and now it would not be uncommon for us to be out of regular sugar and have several bags of Splenda in the cabinet!

More and more companies are using Splenda in their products, Diet Coke being the most recently advertised. This made me wonder if these same companies are using Splenda because they are really concerned about our health and well being, or if they are jumping on the marketing band wagon taking advantage of Splenda's popularity. I remember this same thing happening when Equal was introduced. Everyone including McDonald's was using Equal as a marketing tool. Low and behold, after a few good years, research revealed that Equal (or NutraSweet) may not be as good for us as originally thought. Out of curiosity, I have done a little research to settle my mind on this issue. Here is some of the information that I found to be interesting and helpful.

Kelly Alexander did a great review on Slate.com wherein she not only researched Splenda, but other artificial sweeteners as well. Her research helps us understand a little bit of history behind each product as well as health concerns associated with them. She didn't stop there; she also did extensive testing of each product including taste tests, cooking & baking tests, and ease of use. This article is definitely worth checking out.

A site that I found to be interesting with information that would make me think twice about using Splenda was this site dealing with holistic medicine. It gave more of a scientific insight to Splenda.

Finally, the site that seemed to address some of my questions regarding long term affects of Splenda on humans was The Truth About Splenda site. This was very interesting information that was presented in terms that were easy to understand and follow. Although interesting and somewhat convincing, it wasn't enough to make me switch from using Splenda based solely on the information presented.

In summary, will I continue to use Splenda for my sweetening needs? My answer is yes. I am not convinced that it is the best choice, but it will be my choice of sugar substitutes. However, in the back of my mind, I am wondering if regular old sugar might be our best choice when used in moderation. After all, moderation is probably the key to solving most of our problems!

Posted by Sheri & SuZan :: 6:01 PM :: 0 comments

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