Quantcast

Why You Should Avoid Splenda

Food

There are many of us who indulge in artificial sweeteners once in a while—a can of diet soda now and then, perhaps a "guiltless" binge of sugar-free pudding packs—even though we know they may not be so great for us. But, hey, neither is sugar, so how bad can Splenda be?

Recent research has caused some of the scientific community to officially turn their backs on Splenda.

The scientific community has been in favor of or officially "inconclusive," on sucralose, aka Splenda, for years, even amid the growing anti-artificial chatter. The American Heart Association even stated in 2011 that, with moderate use, artificial sweeteners could assist with weight loss and have a positive effect on the metabolism. However, recent research has caused some of the scientific community to officially turn their backs on Splenda. Specifically, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) has formally recommended that consumers avoid sucralose altogether.

What caused the CSPI to downgrade Splenda from "caution" to "avoid?" A study published in January in the International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health proved the final nail in Splenda’s coffin. Swiss mice who were fed significant amounts of sucralose throughout their lives developed malignant blood cancers like leukemia. Those not fed sucralose didn’t.

While the quantities of sucralose studied were comparable to drinking a whopping 10 cans of diet soda every day, small quantities of carcinogens can do damage over the long term as well. According to CSPI scientist Lisa Lefferts, “When something causes cancer at high doses, it generally causes cancer at lower doses, the risk is just smaller.”

While this study dealt with mice, not humans, it shows that Splenda is not as "biologically inert" as previously thought. Along with other damning data—increased obesity risk, increased insulin resistance and with numerous nasty side effects—the science is now clearly showing that Splenda is something unlikely to be fit for human consumption. The Center for Science in the Public Interest rated sucralose as "safe" until as recently as 2013. This is the first time they have urged consumers to avoid the sweetener altogether.

If your health isn’t reason enough to ditch the yellow packets, consider the consequences Splenda has on the environment. Due to its unique structure, the artificial sweetener is not broken down in wastewater treatment plants, meaning it is slowly accumulating in our surface and groundwater. While sucralose is resistant to degradation, meaning it is unlikely that it will start releasing the toxic by-products often formed by pollutants, no one knows for sure what impact its accumulation while have on our environment over time. The best case scenario for the environment is that it just sits there, but do we really want sucralose sitting, perpetually intact, in our water supply?

Does the idea of zero calorie sweeteners ever entice you? If you’re a regular consumer of Splenda, perhaps stevia or cinnamon could do the trick. As the evidence piles up, it is becoming clear that it’s better to indulge in real, whole foods treat than risk the harms of artificial sweeteners.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

What Is the Ketogenic Diet?

Read This if You Love Eating Fish But Worry Your Getting Too Much Mercury Exposure

9 Steps to Detox Your Body and How it Can Help You Lose Weight

Big Food Found Guilty in Multimillion Dollar Cover Up in GMO Labeling Fight

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Elva Etienne / Moment / Getty Images

By Ketura Persellin

Gift-giving is filled with minefields, but the Environmental Working Group's (EWG) got your back, so you don't need to worry about inadvertently giving family members presents laden with toxic chemicals. With that in mind, here are our suggestions for gifts to give your family this season.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Cheri Bantilan MS, RD, CD

Garlic is an ingredient that provides great flavor to dishes and can be found in most kitchens across the globe.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Pexels

By Claire O'Connor

Agriculture is on the front lines of climate change. Whether it's the a seven-year drought drying up fields in California, the devastating Midwest flooding in 2019, or hurricane after hurricane hitting the Eastern Shore, agriculture and rural communities are already feeling the effects of a changing climate. Scientists expect climate change to make these extreme weather events both more frequent and more intense in coming years.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Rachael Link, MS, RD

Echinacea is a group of flowering plants that belong to the daisy family, along with plants like sunflowers, chicory, chamomile, and chrysanthemums.

Read More Show Less
One of the 25 new Long Beach Transit hybrid gasoline-electric buses on April 23, 2009. Jeff Gritchen / Digital First Media / Orange County Register / Getty Images

In Long Beach, California, some electric buses can charge along their route without cords or wires.

When a bus reaches the Pine Avenue station, it parks over a special charging pad. While passengers get on and off, the charger transfers energy to a receiver on the bottom of the bus.

Read More Show Less