The Contenders: Stevia Sweetener vs. Sucralose (Splenda)
- Splenda contains chlorine.
- Sucralose is now formally FDA approved and has zero calories.
- Research on animals has shown that it has effects on liver and kidneys.
- Supposedly, artificial sweeteners can stimulate appetite.
- There has been no independent long-term research of sucralose performed on humans.
- Sucralose has been available in international markets for more than 13 years.
- Sucralose is actually derived from sugar.
- How it’s made: The process replaces the 3 hydrogen-oxygen groups present in the sugar molecule with 3 chlorine atoms. There is chlorine in many foods that we routinely eat so this is not considered toxic. Chlorine is present in all sorts of products including table salt, mushrooms and lettuce. When chlorine is added to sucrose, sucralose is created. Sucralose passes through the body undetected and is not converted into energy, nor is it considered a carbohydrate. Splenda is considered to taste like sugar with none of the calories.
- It is found in many soda drinks and sugar-free products.
- Stevia is an all-natural powdered sweetener.
- Unlike sucralose, it is deemed to actually have beneficial health factors such as not effecting blood sugar levels unlike sugar, prevents cavities, recommended for diabetics, and non-toxic extensively tested in animals and extensively used by humans with no adverse effects.
- The powdered form is up to 30 times sweeter than sugar, while it's extracts can be up to 300 times sweeter than sugar.
- It has been used since pre-Columbian times with no reported side effects such as toxicity.
- Stevia is quite popular in Japan where it has been used for over 35 years as a sweetener.
- In 2007, The Coca-Cola Company announced plans to obtain approval for rebiana for use as a food additive within the United States by 2009, as well as plans to market rebiana-sweetened products in 12 countries that allow stevia's use as a food additive.
It really comes down to personal preference. Of course sucralose no doubt gets more rap then stevia, and of course stevia is natural, although sucralose is derived from sugar. The way they are processed also varies greatly—one is more chemical, the other is pretty natural. As far as taste goes, I have tried both, and although I consume Splenda a lot through the granulated powder and because it’s found in a lot of foods I eat. I recently tried stevia in the from of Pure Via and am considering switching over as much as possible because there was no real taste difference. It is more expensive than the Wal-Mart off-brand Splenda I buy, but I think it would be a worthwhile investment.
What’s your stand between the two?
Here’s a new recipe I came up with using the stevia sweetener!
Stevia and Maple Glazed Baby Carrots
- 1 Tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1 packet of Pure Via or other stevia sweetener
- 1 1/2 c small baby carrots
- Microwave Steam Bag
- Open steam bag and place all ingredients in.
- Microwave for 5-6 min, depending on how soft you like your carrots to be.
- Open steam bag carefully, pour onto plate—eat!
This was inspired by numerous steamed carrots at restaurants—easy, quick, and healthy.