OK, we know the little yellow packets are your slim-down ally. We all crave sweet treats and, ideally, would like to enjoy them without the calories (and weight gain) that comes from overindulging in the original sweet stuff.
If you were ever thinking about swearing off the Splenda habit, though, now might be the time. Controversy has surrounded the artificial sweetener for a number of years because of previous research done on the effects of its main component (sucralose) on mice, but the buzz had all but calmed down until this week. Sucralose has now been linked to blood cancers and leukemia in mice in a recent study published in the journal International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health.
Ten groups of mice, five male and five female, were given various concentrations of sucralose daily in their feed throughout their lives, starting prenatally. The researchers found that there was a correlation between increased dose of sucralose and the development of tumors in the male mice. But don’t panic quite yet.
The concentrations of sucralose tested in the mice, when translated to human consumption, are like one person drinking at least 10 cans of diet soda a day, according to Eat Clean. While that might physically be possible, especially since sucralose is also in many commercial food products in our supermarkets, it’s also important to note that the effects were tested on mice and may not hold true in humans.
If you’re worried about these findings, though, it might be worth either dialing back your intake (especially since it’s also found in many commercial food products in our supermarkets) or switching back to regular sugar--in moderation. One packet of Splenda is four calories and the equivalent sweetness of 2 teaspoons of sugar, which clocks in at 32 calories. If you sweeten your morning coffee with sugar in the yellow packet’s place, the extra calories you’re taking in can be burned off in mere minutes.
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