As we’ve been discussing on this blog , sweeteners are sugar substitutes that are added to food to provide a sweeter taste but minus the calories that are inherit in sugar. Higher sugar intake leads to health problems like weight gain and diabetes, so sweeteners like sucralose, sold under the brand name Splenda, are marketed to consumers to offer a sweet taste but with less adverse health benefits. As we’ve covered in this blog, sugar substitutes must also be consumed in moderated doses lest the products that contain them be over-consumed.
Splenda has no calories and is approved by the FDA for use in diet drinks and in cooking recipes. It is often added to many food products in lieu of sugar to give foods a sweet taste but without the aforementioned caloric intake. According to NaturalHealthTechniques.com, Splenda is found in a host of products that includes everything from Lucky Leaf Apple Juice to Coffee Mate Nondairy creamers. It’s also found in vitamins, syrups and whey protein. Even sugar-free energy drinks like Red Bull and Rock Star scoop in the sucralose in place of sugar.
While the research has yet to find a definitive connection between Splenda consumption and health problems, Buzzle indicates that some studies have shown that adverse health effects are possible for those who take “regular” dosages of the sweetener. While no overt effects of sucralose ingestion can be positively identified, possible side effects may include such things as dizziness, anxiety, depression and headaches. Furthermore, Buzzle states that the available evidence suggests that although sucralose is safe for pregnant women to ingest, more studies need yet to be done to determine if it possibly can have adverse effects on fetal development.
As we’ve seen, sucralose is a common additive to numerous foods, which gives those foods a greater sweetness as well as reduces the caloric content of the foods. While there are potential side effects of ingesting sucralose—especially in large doses as the greater amount of food you eat, the more calories you ingest—the scientific literature shows that it is mostly safe, but you should keep an eye on any side effects you may experience.