I confess: when I tried Splenda the first time, I was excited. It was sweet! Not slippery and weird like saccharin, not weirdly after-tasty like aspartame. In fact, to me it tasted even sweeter than real sugar. I was set!
I hooked up my bowls of Special K and my Starbucks iced teas with the stuff, feeling like I was doing good things for my body and was avoiding a jacked-up insulin response and potential sugar crashes. Awesome.
And then I started hearing things: that it was one molecule away from being powdered bleach and that maybe it wasn't really "made from sugar" like the box suggested. My friend Mopie started joking that she was going to grow a second head out of her stomach (which she named Splenda Head and gave hilarious Audrey II monologues). I realized that the 16 calories from a teaspoon of ultrafine vanilla sugar on my cereal in the morning wasn't going to kill me and I actually preferred the taste of unsweetened iced tea, so I walked away from Splenda like a one-night stand and have never looked back.
We've got actual healthy food substitutions that scratch that itch
Recently, researchers at Duke University announced that Splenda did all kinds of yuckiness to you: messes with the absorption of prescription drugs, screws with the "good" bacterial in your gut, and also contributes to obesity. Well, why not, because every frickin' thing on the planet is said to contribute to obesity these days! Ah, but the Splenda people countered back that the study was actually paid for by the Sugar Association, who are incidentally the biggest Splenda haters on the planet. J'Accuse! Meanwhile, the corn people are all excited, yelling "Fight! Fight! Fight!" and hoping that everyone forgets the whole HFCS thing.
Do you use Splenda? Does this new study concern you? Have we not learned enough from the saccharin scares of the late '70s (am I the only person old enough to remember drinking real TAB back in the day?) Tell your sweet, sweet secrets to the comments!
Related: The revolution of food sanity
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