A popular brand name for the artificial sweetener sucralose, Splenda is used in a lot of foods. It is present in those that are specifically prepared for those who are cutting their calories intake. As compared to sugar, Splenda contains sucralose which provides sweet taste sans the calories. Based on those who have tried the artificial sweetener, Splenda’s sweetness is 600 times more than sugar. Splenda is safe to be eaten and is one of the only sugar alternatives that have been approved to be available in the American market.
With the increasing interest of Americans to live a healthy life, a lot of baked goods, desserts, candies and beverages use Splenda to add the sweetness that consumers are looking for. Aside from having less calories than sugar, sucralose or Splenda can tolerate temperatures up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. This is one of the reasons why it is commonly used in baking. Let’s continue exploring the important facts about Splenda starting with a quick overview of its background.
Background of Splenda
Splenda is developed through the collaboration of Johnson & Johnson as well as Tate & Lyle. It is manufactured using a multi-step process wherein the three groups of hydrogen and oxygen found in sugar are removed and substituted by chlorine atoms. This process was innovated and tested by 1976. The product was first launched in the U.S. as a most demanded sweetener in 1999.
In addition to sucralose, maltodextrin ass well as glucose or carbs dextrose are also present in Splenda. The addition of these substances make the per gram calorie of Splenda reach 3.36.
Is Splenda Good for You?
With the facts mentioned above, it appears that Splenda offers health benefits to us especially to those who are losing weight and are focused on cutting their calorie intake. However, it is still good to know its other effects on our body.
Is Splenda good for you? This is one of the questions that people ask to a person who is using this product. To answer this question, it is important to start discussing how this item affects our insulin levels and blood sugar as it is promoted to be an alternative sweetener.
A clinical study of 17 obese subjects who are not used to consuming Splenda found their blood sugar levels to be increased by 14 percent after the study. The same trend applies to their insulin levels which also spiked by 20 percent.
On the other hand, other clinical studies found that sucralose has zero impact on both insulin and blood sugar levels of people who have normal weight. From the research results, we can say that how frequently we use splenda affects its impact on our blood sugar and insulin.
Using Splenda in Baked Goods
Splenda is used in a lot of baked goods. Now, let’s have a look at this aspect. Is Splenda good for you? How about if it is used as an ingredient in a baked dish or dessert? Will it still be beneficial to your health.
Due to the high heat tolerance of Splenda, it is very popular to bakers and chefs. However, we should not be confident when it is used for baking and cooking. A recently conducted study found that adding it to baked items can be dangerous to our health.
According to a recent study, when heated, the sucralose in Splenda can raise a person’s risk especially if it is cooked or baked along with glycerol. However, further investigations are needed to strengthen this claim. This result might only apply to foods baked or cooked more than 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Splenda’s Impact on Our Gut Health
Is Splenda good for you? Is it good for our gut health? To answer these questions, a study was conducted on rats to see how the artificial sweetener affects their gut health and to prove the claims of many researchers that Splenda could boost our immune and digestive function.
According to researchers, subjects that were given sucralose for 12 weeks found to have 80 percent at the most less anaerobes than the subjects without sucralose intake. However, further research was called by in relation to this aspect. It seems that what has been affected in the study were lactic acid and the other beneficial bacteria and not the harmful ones.
How Does Splenda Affect our Weight?
Because of the fact that Splenda has less calorie content than sugar, let’s take a look at how the product affects our weight. Most of the time, beverages and foods that are advertised to have zero calories are perceived to promote weight loss. But if we carefully assess this perception, we will find that using Splenda or other zero calorie ingredients do not have a great impact on our weight.
Many clinical studies have reported zero link or relations between fat mass or body weight with the use or intake of artificial sweeteners like Splenda. However, looking at how the sweeteners affect the body mass index, many of these studies found a slight rise in the BMI of those who had taken the sugar substitute.
My Personal Take on Splenda
So, is Splenda good for you? My personal take on this is that artificial sweeteners such as Splenda are okay to take as long as we do it in moderation. It’s also okay if you are like its taste, as there are no clear cut research results about whether or not it is harmful. But, just to be on the safe side, I recommend that we limit its use in high-heat food preparations. Further studies are needed to confirm that Splenda won’t put at risk for developing cancer. Above all, if you are limiting your sugar intake and you are still unsure about the answer to the question, then the best move is to try other natural sweeteners that are also low in calories such as stevia, eryhtritol and xylitol.