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This Sweetener Isn’t So Splenda

The artificial sweetener Splenda is all over the place. It’s in soft drinks, foods, and in small paper packets for you to add to whatever doesn’t already have it. It’s become so popular that its annual sales are now more than Equal and Sweet N’Low combined. But is Splenda really that splendid?

While Splenda (also known as sucralose) is made from sugar cane, it’s not even close to a natural product. It’s a synthetic chemical that takes a five-step laboratory process to develop.

During the process, three chlorine molecules are added to it. And the final product, chemically called a fructo-galactose molecule, is so foreign to your body that you can’t properly metabolize it. That’s why its manufacturer can advertise the product as “zero calorie” — if you can’t metabolize or digest it, then it can’t have any caloric value.

However, research is now showing that most people actually digest about 15% of the sucralose, which means there is some caloric value to the product after all. For most people, that’s probably not a big deal. God made your liver and kidneys to handle many of these kinds of by-products and expel them from your body. But we’re all made differently — and some people may not be able to handle this chemical.

In fact, many people are very sensitive to Splenda and have had reactions to it that range from mild to life threatening. That’s definitely not splendid!

Some people have simply broken out in a rash. Others have had stroke-like symptoms. And still others have had severe asthma-type attacks that almost shut down their airways. These reactions can be very dangerous.

If you use Splenda and want to continue using it, you may never have trouble with it. Just know that the jury is still out on this product. Researchers haven’t done any long-term safety studies, so it’s possible you could develop a reaction over time. If you start to have any health problems, immediately stop using it for a few weeks and see if the trouble disappears. If it does, definitely avoid Splenda.

Instead consider using honey or Stevia, which is a natural herbal sweetener that does not affect your blood sugar (it’s available in most health food stores). While you won’t find many affordable bottled drinks with these products in them, they’re great to add to fresh-squeezed lemonade, iced or hot tea, and coffee. And you won’t have to worry about dangerous reactions!

Steve Kroening writes for Success magazine and also publishes Wisdom’s Edge. You can get Biblical tips on health, finance, relationships, parenting, and success, delivered to your email inbox every week. Simply visit and sign up for this free e-zine.