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Health & Wellness

Why Splenda Is Bad For You And A Healthy Recipe, Too

About 10 days ago I started the “Health and Wellness” section of the blog, telling you Why Sugar Is Bad For You. However, I couldn’t leave you hanging without an alternative. But, it might not be what you think. Read further, please. The information below is provided by Dr. Rodger Murphree from Birmingham, AL.

Splenda: Not as good as they make you think it is. (Photo: web)

A study done at Duke University and published in the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health has some interesting news about the sugar substitute known as Splenda (sucralose). Splenda is an artificial sweetener that creates the sugar sucralose from raffinose- a starch derived from sugar beets. The chemical sucralose, which contains chlorine, is marketed as a natural sugar. However, Splenda it isn’t natural at all. According to the study, the use of Splenda:

1.Reduces the amount of good bacteria in the intestines by fifty percent.
The bacteria in your bowels, some 100 trillion bacteria or about three pounds worth, outnumber the cells in your body by a factor of 10 to one. These bacteria, or gut flora, which line your intestinal tract are your first line of defense against potential pathogens (viruses, bacteria, and yeast). They play a crucial role in establishing an overall healthy immune system. When bad bacteria and or yeast become overgrown in your intestinal tract, you have a condition called dysbiosis. Dysbiosis has been linked with disorders like yeast infections, irritable bowel syndrome and autoimmune disorders, including rheumatoid arthritis.

2.Increases the pH level in the intestines.
The stomach needs an acidic environment in order to digest food and destroy potentially harmful pathogens including unwanted bacteria and yeast. Low stomach acid triggers a chain reaction of digestive disorders, including malabsorption. Foods may be incompletely digested and subsequently absorbed into the bloodstream, where they can lead to food allergies, triggering pain and inflammation throughout the body.

3.Contributes to increases in body weight.

Aspartame: Killing you sweetly. (Photo: web)

Aspartame, on the other hand, is not a better alternative. It has been associated with a multitude of health risks and has largely lost favor around the world.

Aspartame, commonly known as NutraSweet or Equal, is an artificial sweetener.  The body breaks it down into methanol and formaldehyde to metabolize it. Formaldehyde is grouped into the same class of drugs as cyanide and arsenic. When the temperature of aspartame exceeds 86 degrees F, the wood alcohol in Aspartame is turned into formaldehyde and then into formic acid. Formic acid is the poison contained in the sting of a fire ant. It has been shown that methanol toxicity causes depression, brain fog, mood changes, insomnia, seizures and similar symptoms associated with multiple sclerosis. There are over 92 symptoms documented from using aspartame.

How about brown sugar? It is often said that it is a healthier option than white sugar. But you can chalk that up to clever marketing. In reality, brown sugar is most often ordinary table sugar that is turned brown by the reintroduction of molasses. Normally, molasses is separated and removed when sugar is created from sugarcane plants. Because of its molasses content, brown sugar does contain certain minerals, most notably calcium, potassium, iron and magnesium (white sugar contains none of these). But since these minerals are present in only minuscule amounts, there is no real health benefit to using brown sugar.

Stevia: The Natural alternative. (Photo: web)

The answer? The natural sweetener Stevia. Stevia is a South American herb that has been used as a sweetener by the Guarani Indians of Paraguay for hundreds of years. The leaves of the small, green Stevia rebaudiana plant have a delicious and refreshing taste that can be 30 times sweeter than sugar (a little goes a long way). You can find Stevia at any health food store. And while it may take time to get used to its taste, it won’t deplete your good bacteria (Splenda), increase your risk of cancer (Sweet’N Low), or cause neurotoxicity (NutraSweet).

Last, but not least, there is always honey and maple syrup. How about some Maple Nut Orbs? The recipe comes from my very good friend, Jenny Conner, a mother of two beautiful girls and a health food advocate. Here is what you need:

1 cup nut butter (we typically use peanut my kids favorite but you
could use almond, sunflower, cashew or whatever you like). If you use
peanut butter, I would highly recommend using organic. Peanuts are
highly sprayed with pesticides. Target has the organic Smucker’s brand
for a fairly reasonable price.

1/3 cup pure maple syrup

1 cup oat bran or rolled oats
1/3 cup wheat germ

1 cup sesame seeds

1/2 cup coconut (L and F in Washington has bagged natural coconut)

In a food processor, blend together the nut butter and maple syrup.
Add the oat bran, wheat germ and sesame seeds and blend until it has a
stiff, dough-like consistency. You can either roll the dough into 14
individual orbs and then roll them in coconut (or leave the coconut
out) and chill, or spread the dough onto a square pan and sprinkle
with coconut, chill, and cut into squares. Makes 14 orbs.

Quick, easy, and healthy, the Maple Nut Orbs make for a great afternoon snack.

I would like to thank Brandy Foss for providing us with the information above, and my friend Jenny Conner for sharing this healthy recipe with us.  Brandy is a RN and a Juice Plus Representative. You can reach her at 1-800-942-1151 or bfossjp@charter.net. Jenny is a mom of two adorable girls, a vegetarian, and a health food advocate. You can stumble upon her on the Riverfront Trail, or at yoga class at the Washington Healing Arts Center. Want to contribute to “Health and Wellness”? Get in touch with me and share your ideas: slavabowman@yahoo.com

About Slava

I am a twenty-something Bulgarian girl in the USA, re-discovering the world through the lens.


10 Responses to “Why Splenda Is Bad For You And A Healthy Recipe, Too”

  1. Fantastic article!! Thanks for educationg me on all of the side effects. I thought Splenda was not good for the body. I just drink water, but even that makes me nervous as to what is in it. Especially when you hear that water still has traces of high blood pressure medicine, antidepressants and so on. Our kids are drinking this water. Try and try again to keep them healthy.

    Posted by Kath | January 19, 2012, 11:40 pm
    • Thank you, Kath! It is sad that we don’t now what we consume, and so many food products have been tainted. There is a wonderful Russian movie called “The Great Secret Of Water” that talks about the amazing benefits pure water has, and how they all get taken away through the different processes it undergoes while being bottled. The best advice I can give is grow your own veggies if you can and buy foods with a short ingredient list. If it is artificial, it is not good. If it is natural, it probably won’t hurt you in moderation (except poisonous mushrooms, that is 😉 Good luck in your quest for health!

      Posted by Slava | January 20, 2012, 12:55 am
  2. When you suggest Stevia, I wonder whether products like Truvia are included in that.

    Posted by Sue | January 12, 2013, 1:59 am
  3. very enlightening.
    are there any studies establishing level of consumption needed in order to cause detectable damage?

    Posted by Ricardo | March 7, 2013, 12:20 pm
  4. Great information…clear and easy to understand…not too high techie! I have been researching this for my Dad…who has insisted for over a year that I make him cookies using Splenda. Ugghh. I have procrastinated as long as I could. After his constant persistance, last night I surrendered and did make for him some buttermilk sugar cookies. The texture, admittedly was pretty cool…but there was that weird sweety after taste…that screamed artificial sweetener. My father is hypoglycemic, so I would admit that this might be a good option for him. A nice little ‘once in a while’ treat. I am going to do a blog post about this on my own blog; Butter Girl Goes Organic, would you mind if I share some of your info on my blog?

    Posted by Connie | March 20, 2013, 9:03 am
  5. I think a lot of the information you have provided is correct because I have read similar studies posted on nih.gov. However, I really question if stevia is really an ok alternative to spenda, aspartame, etc. I think the best advice people can go off of is to just use natural forms of sweeteners like cane sugar or honey in moderation and eventually get to the point of not using sugar/honey at all.

    Posted by Alexis | March 6, 2014, 4:54 pm
    • I have to agree with you, Alexis! The more natural, the better!

      Posted by Slava | March 6, 2014, 4:55 pm
    • Alexis:
      Stevia is natural, its a plant. By itself it is safe. Usually they use leaf extract although I have heard of stevia root. It has an odd taste / aftertaste, I think it compliments Tea but its not very good in coffee- in my opinion!
      Stevia in the raw is mixed with maltodexterin, some people are sensitive to it, but its in most processed foods so most people consume it anyway (its filler).
      Truvia is not just Stevia and maltodexterin, it has other ingredients that you would have to look up before deciding if you should use it. Since stevia in the raw is available I would choose it over truvia (if those were the only 2 choices!)

      Posted by Shel | June 6, 2014, 7:39 pm
  6. I have started a petition to get the FDA to require warning labels for artificial sweeteners.
    Sucralose (aka Splenda) is showing up in non-diet non-low sugar foods. They are making the foods sweeter without changing calories! Its in baked goods, dairy products, condiments, medicines, children’s and infant products even!

    I personally have a reaction to sucralose and its getting harder to avoid.

    If anyone reading agrees that warning labels for products with artificial sweeteners is a good idea please read my petition and consider signing and sharing it with others! I’m going to post the link below. I’m trying to get as many people to see this as possible!! Thanks for reading!!


    Posted by Michele | June 6, 2014, 7:46 pm

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