Hey I just wanted to say that I have been reading your blog for a while now and want to thank you for all the tremendous insight on diet etc. I guess you can say diet and nutrition is a hobby of mine and I am always looking to learn more. Now to my question…It is almost impossible to find decent products that do not contain Splenda, sucralose, whatever. I have Jonny Bowdens cookbook 150 healthiest meals on earth and he talks about artificial sweeteners being bad (except xylitol) for you. Obviously I knew this but I refuse to use real syrup due to the high sugar content and its hard to find a good protein powder that does not contain splenda…..what is the deal with splenda and am I cutting years off my life by eating products containing it?
Thanks and sorry for the essay question!
First off, thank you for the kind words, much appreciated. Like with most nutrition questions, the answer is context dependent. Are you cutting years off your life by consuming Splenda once in a while? No, probably not. If you consume a significant amount on a daily basis, this could pose problems. I wrote an entire blog about why I don’t like Splenda.
Besides the GI problems I discuss in that above blog, artificial sweeteners in general also stimulate an insulin response, elevate HbA1c which is a measure of your blood sugar over a long period of time and a marker for diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and associations with many other anecdotal problems.
Now I am not someone who thinks that you have to eliminate all artificial sweeteners forever and you can never consume them or they will kill you. I think clearly that has proven not to be the case since they are everywhere. For example if you consume 1 scoop of whey protein powder per day with some sucralose (Splenda) in it, that is probably not an issue. If you are consuming half of your diet from “low-sugar” products loaded with artificial sweeteners, then that is a problem.
I think acceptable substitutions would be natural sweeteners like stevia (I like Sun Crystals), turbinado sugar (unprocessed sugar, contains roughly 2/3 the calorie content of processed sugar) or maybe xylitol or erythritol.
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