Substituting Splenda for Sugar Not Such a Good Idea

November 15, 2012 | By | 1 Comment

Splenda is a popular alternative to sugar due to its lack of calories. But does eating artificially flavored foods cause more harm than good?

The fact that Splenda (i.e. sucralose) is non-caloric has made it a popular alternative to sugar. And why not? After all, it’s the perfect example of having your cake and eating too. You get the sweet taste of sugar without worrying about its fattening effects.

But sadly, we can’t fool nature – no matter how hard we try. The truth is, substituting Splenda for sugar can actually cause you to gain weight – even though the former has no calories. Here’s why…

When you eat something sweet, your taste buds send signals to your brain letting it know that a reward is on the way. Now, both sugar and Splenda will do this. The difference, however, is that in the case of the latter, that reward is never realized. It’s the ultimate jip.

Your brain is expecting calories to follow, and with Splenda, they never do. The end result is that you start craving. And those cravings don’t disappear until you consume the calories you promised your brain.

Now, here’s why artificial sweeteners such as Splenda could be creating the perfect storm as far as weight gain is concerned:

  1. Because they are non-caloric (and hence, marketed as non-fattening) people choose foods containing them over those with sugar.
  2. Thinking that they’re less fattening, those same people will tend to eat more of these artificially sweetened foods.
  3. Higher Splenda consumption creates a higher caloric imbalance that must be remedied (remember, you can fool your taste buds but you can’t fool your brain).
  4. The above leads to constant cravings until those calories are consumed.
  5. Weight gain naturally follows.

It’s important to note that, the weight gain is likely to be higher than if you were to consume foods with sugar. And studies have gone on to prove this.

So, here’s the bottom line: there’s no free lunch and you can’t cheat nature. With this in mind, don’t fall for the trap of thinking you get a free pass by using non-caloric sweeteners. It’s going to catch up with you, sooner rather than later. And if you must have your sweet or soda, pick the one with sugar and enjoy it in moderation.

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Filed in: Dieting Myths & Mistakes

Comments (1)

  1. Debbie Palmer

    So what are your takes on using honey or agave nectar

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