1. Splenda from Guide to Alternative Sweeteners Slideshow

Guide to Alternative Sweeteners Slideshow

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1. Splenda

Once marketed with the slogan "Made from sugar so it tastes like sugar," Splenda has really caught on in the marketplace. It trumps the rival product Equal, a sweetener made from aspartame, by a margin of four-to-one. It's now found in everything from diet sodas to chewing gum. Since the body does not recognize it as sugar, it does not raise blood sugar levels.

Splenda is also popular for baking, having given rise to myriad cookbooks. It is about 600 times sweeter than table sugar, so recipes have to be written in a way which reflects that difference.

Their old slogan is misleading, however; it implies that the product is natural or at least, naturally derived, when in fact, it is not that simple. Ellison says that Splenda is essentially a mixture of sucralose, which is a synthetic molecule, with maltodextrin. The compound has been shown to "bioaccumulate," which means it builds up in fat tissues over time, and is a potential carcinogen. As is usually the case though, the poison lies in the dosage; low dosages, whatever that means, are apparently fine.