The Sugar Substitute Substitute
A new study shows that Splenda, a popular brand of the artificial sweetener sucralose, may not be as innocuous as it seems. While low-calorie sugar substitutes seem like freebies to the figure-conscious among us, researchers at the Washington University in St. Louis have found that ingesting sucralose does have a direct effect on blood sugar, and for this reason, long-term use may increase the risk of diabetes.
The study observed the effect of sucralose on overweight subjects and found that sucralose caused blood sugar spikes similar to the effect of sucrose (common table sugar) or glucose in the body. Once the subjects’ blood sugar spiked, insulin levels rose in response. Scientists worry that over time this reaction may lead to insulin resistance, the cause of type-2 diabetes.
Splenda and other artificial sweeteners are used to substitute for unhealthy amounts of sugar or sweeteners, allowing consumers that long sought guilt-free satisfaction. So what happens when the healthy alternative no longer seems to be the smarter choice?
Fortunately the world of sugar-free options has expanded to include any number of sweetening possibilities. To sweeten your cup of Joe, chemical additives like Splenda can be swapped for naturally derived products like agave nectar or Stevia, both of which are already available to customers in some savvy establishments.