Splenda Sucks; Stevia Succeeds…& my attempt to stay away from sweeteners!

If you’ve seen my recipes, you know that I am super huge on using Stevia rather than Splenda…and that’s because I hate Splenda with a burning passion.

Of course, I don’t want to be a hypocrite because I used to use Splenda with everything…it was like my best friend because I said, oh wow sweet…zero calorie sugar…can’t get better than that…but then a while ago I learned more about Stevia and it is completely banned from my house. My mom will even tell you how much I despise the stuff.

I do understand that this sweetener was created for those with diabetes but in my opinion it does way more harm then help. Splenda is straight chemicals. We consume chemicals everyday because a lot of the food we eat contains preservatives, additives, and whatever else they put in there that’s not healthy for our bodies. Splenda has more than just cancer-causing effects. It can mess with the way our bodies produce insulin, the way our body breaks down sugar, and how it reacts to REAL sugar. In some cases Splenda actually caused weight gain. Of course I’m not going to sit here and tell you that if you eat Splenda you will surely see some added pounds on the scale, but this weight gain is probably caused because when we consumer fake sugar, our bodies don’t see it as a sweetener. It sees it as empty calories and says, “Wait a second, where’s the real stuff?” which may result in rapid sweet tooth attacks, causing us to over eat at dessert time. If this isn’t really changing your mind about Splenda yet…check this out. Studies have shown that Splenda caused leukemia in mice. And worse? During the study they noticed that the mice developed these cancer cells from sucralose exposure even before birth…Oh and that’s not all. Did you know that originally Splenda was actually discovered by researchers looking to create a new insecticide? So gross! So think about that before you go to the grocery store to buy a new box of Splenda packets.

But if you haven’t noticed yet, SOOO many things that are labeled as “sugar free” or “diet” have Splenda in them! While they are supposed to be “better” for you, they’re actually still not as much “better” as you thought! It’s like you can’t trust anyone now’a days. 😦

Even I am a victim of this trickery. Even after discovering the true colors behind Splenda, I didn’t realize when I bought sugar free products, Splenda was still hiding inside there, behind the label! One of my favorite syrups was a calorie free, sugar free blueberry syrup that I used on my pancakes. One day I was happily enjoying my pancakes and had the my newly bought syrup bottle in front of me, so I thought “What’s really in this stuff?” So I turned to the ingredients and the first thing I saw was “Splenda”…I told my mom and even though she told me I should have noticed this a while ago, she allowed me to throw it out. I had no shame or bad feelings about this what so ever. From there I knew that I had to be extra careful when I put sugar free products on my grocery list…this was when I realized that I was done buying Sugar Free things all together. I started replacing my “syrups” with homemade frosting and taught myself to like this more than those stupid sugar free syrups…I surely wasn’t wasting my money on that crap anymore.

Now I never used to like coffee but I do like lattes. It still has coffee in it though, and important commands of my Grandpa says not to have coffee. And he bought me a car, how could I not respect his rules? (He knows I have some on occasion which he is okay with, I’m not allowed to have them everyday.) So when I do make trips to Starbucks, I am completely oblivious to when I would order Skinny Vanilla lattes or Skinny Cinnamon Dolce lattes…and I always emphasized I wanted 2 pumps of sugar-free syrup. Of course, when you enjoy something you can’t have whenever you please, you enjoy it more! So I was so in love with my lattes, I didn’t even think about the fact that Splenda was probably used in the stuff! One day I tried Panera Bread’s Skinny Vanilla Latte and OH MY GOSH WAS THAT STUFF SA-WEET. Again, I emphasized sugar free, and I let my mom try it to tell me if she thinks its a regular vanilla latte, which is when she hit me with it, “It probably has Splenda.” And I knew she was right. Splenda is a cheep sweetener, why wouldn’t coffee shops use it to sweeten their coffees?! From that day on I decided that I need to start getting used to regular lattes, without flavoring. But it really doesn’t need to be unflavored. Wanna know why?! Because I use Stevia! So from now on, I decided I’m just going to order regular lattes and bring my own sweetener–Stevia!

Stevia is accepted by me simply because it is from a leaf. Now don’t get me wrong, different types of Stevia (liquid, solid, bleached, unbleached) are processed differently. Obviously white Stevia is processed more than unbleached, but unfortunately unbleached Stevia is super expensive. And yes another sweetener I could use is Agave, because that too is table-sugar and Splenda free, because it is nectar produced from a plant. The nectar made from the plant is known in Mexico as aguamiel, or “honey water.” But still, with that, I decided I don’t need sweeteners!

Right now, I try to stay from added sweeteners as much as I can. If I really need something sweet, I will add it…moderation people; it works…but for the most part, I won’t add it if I don’t need it. Especially if I am already using fruits. I need to get used to just eating the unprocessed type of sugar–regular fruit; nature’s candy! 🙂

Sometimes when you change your lifestyle, it’s not always going to be the best tasting thing ever. If you are so used to processed foods and their flavor, your taste buds may be completely foreign to real food. Therefore, even though it may not always be your next favorite food, the important thing is that you realize what your body truly wants: REAL FOOD. And even if there is something you don’t like, try to experiment with it in different ways to fix it to taste what YOU enjoy. For example, I can’t eat raw asparagus. It’s absolutely disgusting in my eyes, but I know if I grill it, it’s like the next best thing. But there are things like bell peppers that I don’t always like raw, but if I mix it into a salad then I love them! But there are going to be times that you just need to get used to new food. Just like I need to get used to eating the better sugar (from fruits) instead of from other sweeteners, or regular lattes instead of flavored.

And it is possible to change your taste buds like this! For lent I went paleo, and for some reason I thought this meant staying away from salt. So I didn’t add salt to my food and I stayed away from high sodium products, and now I do not need salt as much as I used to. This has done me better because I can actually taste food more than I used to! It’s truly amazing what our bodies can do and accomplish.

I hope all this information helps, and gives you a new out look on things and how to live a more enjoyable, healthy lifestyle. Have a good day everyone! And don’t forget about Splenda! Check ingredients before you want to buy a “diet” or “sugar free” product. (Just a heads up, don’t be fooled; Splenda likes to hide itself as “sucralose” —but don’t get this mixed up with “sucrose” which is table sugar.)  And the next time you want to add a sweetener to your food ask yourself, “Am I really craving something super sweet? Do I really need this?”  You can change your taste buds! Have a wonderful weekend everyone!



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