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Why You Should Never Bake With Splenda

Why You Should Never Bake With Splenda

Sucralose is a synthetic sweetener made from reacting sugar with chlorine. Marketed as “Splenda,” it was approved for sale in the United States in 1998, though it had been previously sold in Canada, Europe, and elsewhere. Since then, Splenda has become popular as a “no calorie sweetener,” according to its paper packaging. Sucralose has long been considered a safer alternative for sweetener than aspartame because it doesn’t break down at high temperatures, but now researchers have discovered a scary side effect to heating sucralose.

A study review recently published in the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health says that baking or cooking with Splenda releases cancer-causing dioxins into the food. The process of heating and cooking generates chloropropanols, a potentially toxic class of chemicals that may be linked to higher risk of cancer.

The study also found that sucralose reduces the quantity of beneficial bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract; and it does get metabolized in the GI tract, despite earlier studies claiming that sucralose passes through the body without undergoing metabolism. Both humans and rats exhibited changes in glucose and insulin levels after ingesting sucralose. The researchers stated: “These findings indicate that sucralose is not a biologically inert compound.”

This is bad news for Splenda manufacturer McNeil Nutritionals, which had promoted the earlier, above-mentioned study claiming that ingested sucralose is not metabolized. McNeil had also funded all long-term animal-feeding studies up until 2012, when an independent Italian group of researchers came along and found that sucralose increased levels of leukemia when eaten by rats.

Although the Italian study has not yet been published (it’s pending review right now), it has been influential enough to cause the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) to downgrade sucralose in its ‘Chemical Cuisine’ ranking of food additives. Sucralose has fallen from “safe” to “cautionary” status. The CSPI warns the public that artificial sweeteners are prolific and often not disclosed on front labels, so it’s important to read the list of ingredients carefully.

I think the bigger problem is that our whole society is addicted to the taste of sweetness. Rather than searching for zero-calorie sweetening options, which are merely Band-Aid solutions and still enable poor eating habits, a much healthier idea would be to wean ourselves off that addiction. There’s nothing wrong with using a small amount of real sugar while baking and cooking at home once in a while, but it should only be a rare, special treat. So I welcome this bad news about Splenda and hope it forces some people to reconsider before they reach for a paper package. Coffee, either black or with milk, is actually quite delicious, once your taste buds adjust!

 

CC BY 2.0 GoodNCrazy

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Read more: Desserts, Diet & Nutrition, Food, Health

article by Katherine Martinko

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Kara, selected from TreeHugger

Planet Green is the multi-platform media destination devoted to the environment and dedicated to helping people understand how humans impact the planet and how to live a more environmentally sustainable lifestyle. Its two robust websites, planetgreen.com and TreeHugger.com, offer original, inspiring, and entertaining content related to how we can evolve to live a better, brighter future. Planet Green is a division of Discovery Communications.

101 comments

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3:59PM PDT on Jul 5, 2014

Throughout the years, that I can remember of course, it seems that there have been so many items that are bad for us. There are different research projects from all over the world and articles being written, sometimes what used to be bad for us is now good for us, who, what or how do we believe?

4:43PM PST on Feb 10, 2014

wow, thanks

6:55AM PST on Feb 5, 2014

Wow, that's scary!

5:33AM PST on Feb 5, 2014

Why does ANYBODY want to use some manufactured chemical as a foodstuff because it tastes sweet. This way madness lies...

5:28AM PST on Feb 5, 2014

Kathy W. you are saying you believe all those institutes? Get your head out of the sand and do some research on Splenda based on independent studies that DON'T rely on donations from companies like Splenda, etc. for their financial support. I've known this for about 2 years now, based on reading MANY reports in the news, and online.

5:16AM PST on Feb 5, 2014

....and we didn't know this?

2:01AM PST on Feb 3, 2014

Thank you :)

5:35PM PST on Feb 1, 2014

These are some of the most tested ingredients in the food supply. Reliable human studies show that Splenda is safe and can be helpful to reduce calorie intake. Rat studies and studies that "suggest a link" are not proof and do not show a cause and effect. International toxicology experts who have reviewed legitimate human studies have declared all the artificial sweeteners safe. The American Cancer Society, American Medical Association, the American Diabetes Association, and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics all agree. No reason to eliminate from the diet.

12:29PM PST on Feb 1, 2014

don't use artificial sweeteners, but good to know

11:48PM PST on Jan 30, 2014

Good information. I have used Splenda for recipes in the past. But after reading this, I'll be using a safer sweetener. Thanks Kara

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