"Just what's good. Splenda. It's made from sugar. It tastes like sugar. But it's not sugar."
The bright yellow website explains that this artificial sweetener is 600 times as sweet as sugar, but doesn't add the extra calories or affect diabetics because the body can't digest it.Tweet
Still, it seems a bit contradictory that it's simultaneously "made from sugar" and "not sugar."
So I decided to investigate.
What exactly is Splenda? It's an artificial sweetener that contains sucralose. The Splenda manufacturers know how to market to their consumers: sucrose is regular table sugar, so adding "al" in the middle makes sucralose seem like a natural ingredient.
Splenda is a chemically-altered chlorocarbon; every molecule contains one sucrose atom and three chlorine atoms. Yes, chlorine. There are some natural foods, like lettuce, mushrooms, and table salt, which also contain chlorine. But Splenda is not a natural food. The FDA apparently determined that the body can absorb as much as 27% of sucralose. That can add up to a significant amount of chlorine filtering into your system. The FDA also admits that there are a few possible side effects, including enlarged liver and kidneys, reduced growth rates, and decreased fetal body weight.
Here's another scary fact: there has never been a long-term human study on the effects of Splenda. All tests have been relatively short term, and most of them were done on animals like rats and rabbits. And who were the ones conducting these experiments? You guess it- the manufacturers themselves. The FDA approved sucralose without thoroughly investigating the product.
After doing this research, I'm a bit wary of this artificial sweetener. This isn't to say I'm going to completely avoid all Splenda products, but the next time I cook a dish, I think I'll leave out the "al" from my sucrose and use some good, old fashioned sugar instead.