Here we go – Ready to Learn the Benefits of Splenda?
All Splenda products are available at CarbSmart here.
Splenda Sweetener with Fiber is available here.
Splenda, Splenda, Splenda. This word was drilled into my head like a mantra when I started this way of eating. Every low carb email list I belong to extolled its virtues. Almost every low carb recipe designed for the sweet tooth included packets of Splenda. I’d never heard of the stuff. Politely I asked, “What the @#$% is Splenda?” I was desperate to know.
You see, I am a Type II diabetic. I started using aspartame (AKA: Equal/NutraSweet) back in the 80’s when it first came out. I was thrilled because I absolutely loathed the taste of saccharine. Oh, I ate the saccharine, I just wasn’t happy about it. I had to have coffee, tea and soft drinks. I couldn’t have sugar. I was pretty much stuck with saccharine. The one bright spot I remember of my saccharine consuming days was an oft-repeated exchange with well-meaning naysayers:
Them: “I see you’re drinking a Tab.”
Me: “You have astounding powers of observation. Have you ever considered joining up with the FBI?”
Them: “It has saccharine in it.”
Me: “There you go again. You’re really good at this investigative research stuff, aren’t you?”
Them: “Saccharine causes cancer.”
Me: “Oh, you’re talking about that study on Canadian lab rats, right?”
Them: “Yes, I am.”
Me: “Do I look like a Canadian lab rat to you?”
This usually left my partner in conversation making unintelligible sounds like “wuhwuhwuh,” and looking like nothing so much as a beached carp trying to suck air. I loved that part of the saccharine story, but little else. When aspartame came on the market, I jumped on it. I noticed it still had an icky aftertaste, but nowhere near the aftertaste of saccharine. I consumed aspartame with abandon for about 15 years.
I began to notice changes in my memory capacity about 10 years.
When I was young, I had what is known as an eidetic memory. If I saw something, I had a photograph of it in my mind to call upon at will. When I took tests in school on a subject that I had actually taken the time to read about, it was like taking an open book test. It was almost like cheating. I would finish my exam at warp speed and then be free to distract the class for the rest of the allotted class time. I loved this. Aspartame took this away from me. It happened gradually over the years, so I didn’t make a connection between the aspartame and the memory loss.
Then, I read an article about aspartame being responsible for memory loss, and I stopped consuming aspartame immediately. It has now been two years since I’ve had any aspartame, and my memory is functioning more like it did when I was a kid. Not exactly as well, but then again I am older now.
So, what did I use for sweetener during that time? Sugar. And the naysayers out of the woodwork like cockroaches:
Them: “You’re diabetic and you’re drinking a soda with sugar in it.”
Me: “Didn’t I have a conversation about saccharine with you back in the 70’s?”
So I found out about this Splenda stuff and went to my local grocer and bought a box of packets. I put a packet into my cup of coffee and smelled it. (I don’t know why I have to smell everything before I put it in my mouth. I strongly suspect that I was some sort of canine in a past life.) Then I sat looking at the cup of coffee for five minutes.
Husband: “It’s not gonna bite, you know.”
Me: “You don’t know that.”
Husband: “Just try it. You don’t wanna waste it. This stuff is expensive.”
We proceeded to do a remake of the Mikey commercial with, “You try it!” and, “I’m not gonna try it! You try it!” I was scared of this stuff. I had gone back to sugar because I had vowed I would eat all the bark off a black locust tree before I would ever eat saccharine again. I finally succeeded in making my husband try it and carefully watched him for signs of gagging and/or retching.
He said, “Not bad.” No gagging and/or retching, so I took the plunge and sipped some of the now lukewarm coffee.
“Hmmmm,” I said, “this stuff is really good.” I was jubilant! I did the Dance of Joy.
I had been eating and loving Splenda for several weeks when the bottom dropped out of my world. I was sitting at the computer one day, minding my own business and playing with the empty Splenda packet. I read the packet:
“Ingredients: sucralose, dextrose, and maltodextrin.”
I put the packet down and went back to work.
Five minutes later: What? Dextrose AND maltodextrin? How did they get in there? Those are sugars! What the @#$% is sugar doing in my sugar substitute? I felt so betrayed! I thought this was safe to eat on this way of eating.
I did some research on Splenda.
It seems that Splenda, as well as most other artificial sweeteners, are several hundred times sweeter than sugar. The amount of sucralose (Splenda) that it would take to sweeten a cup of coffee would have to be observed by the human eye with the aid of a powerful magnifying glass. In my case, it would take an electron microscope. Imagine how frustrating this would be if you got packets of sweetener with a microscopic grain of sweetener in it.
You tear open the packet and shake it over your coffee. Did it go in there? You look into the seemingly empty packet. Of course, you can’t see anything. Why did you even bother to look? Did it go in the coffee, or is it still in the packet? Maybe it’s in the little strip you tore off to open the packet. Or maybe the draft carried it away before it reached the cup at all! Maybe you should just toss the whole packet into the cup and hope the sweetener will leech out, somehow. You see my point.
Artificial sweeteners in granular form contain fillers.
That’s what the dextrose and maltodextrin are doing in your Splenda packet. They are taking up space. (Not entirely unlike my teenager.) But, they also have that evil and wicked added sugar syndrome. It is a tiny bit of sugar, less than a gram of carbs. For many people, this won’t make a bit of difference. You either don’t eat enough of the stuff to make a significant difference, or that small amount of sugar won’t cause you to stall. You just count the carbs and go on with your life. However, there are some, like me, who will stall on this minuscule amount of sugar, or who eat so much of the artificial sweetener that the amount of sugar they consume in this way is no longer minuscule.
What’s the answer?
I found liquid sucralose (Splenda). It has no carbs. Zero. There is no added sugar in any form.
Once again, I do the Dance of Joy!
Splenda is available at CarbSmart here.
EZ-Sweetz Liquid Sucralose is available here.