Aspartame, commonly sold under the names NutraSweet and Equal, is a controversial, and, many would say, dangerous sugar substitute. But many people do not know the dangers of a newer and increasingly common sugar substitute that you should inform yourself about:
Sucralose, often marketed as Splenda.
Splenda, when first brought to market, was sold as a safer alternative to aspartame and saccharin because it was, essentially, slightly modified sugar.
However, like sugar and like other sugar substitutes, sucralose has it’s dangers. Nutritional site, Well and Good, writes,
“New research suggested that Splenda (which, yes, is hidden inside that bottle of Diet Pepsi) may cause serious health problems, including cancer, Eat Clean reports. A study published in the International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health found that mice who were fed sucralose (the main ingredient in Splenda) daily throughout their lives eventually developed leukemia and other blood cancers.”
“These findings do not support previous data that sucralose is biologically inert. More studies are necessary to show the safety of sucralose, including new and more adequate carcinogenic bioassay on rats. Considering that millions of people are likely exposed, follow-up studies are urgent.”
Many people crave that little bit of sweetness in their coffee or morning breakfast cereal, so giving up all sweeteners may be a challenge for them. Fortunately, alternatives that are safer do exist.
Take, for example, stevia. Mike Adams writes,
“Stevia rebaudiana is a South American shrub that grows in semi-arid areas of Brazil and Paraguay. The leaves of the plant have been used for generations as a sweetener, originally by the Guarani people and more recently throughout South America and Asia.”
Stevia has also found that stevia is high in antioxidants. Danna Norek writes about an additional benefit for diabetics,
“Stevia has no blood sugar impact, and it is virtually calorie free. The leaves of the stevia rebaudiana plant, which is the sweet variety of this plant family, are about 15 times as sweet as sugar.”
In addition to stevia, agave is becoming increasingly popular as a non-sugar sweetener. Agave, unlike stevia, does impact blood sugar levels but at a much lower level than standard sugar-based sweeteners.
The bottom line is that you may want to consider avoiding sucralose and all artificial sweeteners and, instead, use natural alternatives such as stevia and agave.