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Splenda’s New Sham

You may have seen the television ads for the ‘new and improved’ Splenda:  Splenda with Fiber.  Call me cynical, but this idea just seems silly. From the makers of Splenda, this seems like a great idea.  They argue that the average adult needs 25 grams of fiber every day true, but only gets 13.  This very well may be true, but does this mean that individuals should turn to this product to rack up the fiber?  I don’t think so…and here’s why:

  1. Big Bad Sucralose: Splenda is made with sucralose which is not so great for you.  Sure, the FDA has approved it as a safe artificial sweetener (yes folks, it is manufactured in a laboratory), but believe me, the FDA has its own motives.  This past September, Duke University published a study that concludes Splenda DOES, indeed, have side effects.  It “contributes to obesity, destroys “good” intestinal bacteria and prevents prescription drugs from being absorbed.”  So, regardless of the fiber, why ingest this product?
  2. Putting Lipstick on the Pig: Now that we have established that Splenda really isn’t so great for you, masking it as being healthy because of the additional fiber seems like a really cheap way to make a buck.  Not to mention it borders on misleading the consumer.
  3. Miniscule Benefits: Splenda may give you a fiber boost, but it is only one gram per packet.  Unless you are planning on ingesting 13 packets, you aren’t really making a big dent in your fiber intake.   Meanwhile, if you eat one small apple, you’ll get 4 grams of fiber.
  4. Feeding the Processed Food Frenzy: Maybe I’m too simple minded, but fiber should come from the foods you eat that naturally have fiber.  A lot of fiber-filled foods are tasty and health and aren’t artificial: fruits, vegetables, whole grain breads, grains and cereals.  If people ate healthy diets, as opposed to diets filled with processed foods, they would get the 25 grams they need.  Splenda just contributes more to the processed food frenzy.


So, have you tried Splenda with Fiber?  Do you buy into the idea that Splenda is better with fiber or do you think that it is a sham?

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Posted in Brett's Blog, Nutrition Tagged with: , , ,
  • I don’t trust any of these artificial sweeteners. I try to keep it at fruit or nothin’, but if I need something sweet that badly, I prefer to stick with sugar because I at least know what the heck it is.

  • Ward

    Did you know the Splenda is made of chlorine gas? I don’t use ANY artificial sweetner. I either use sugar or aguava nectar which is all natural.

  • helen

    what about if you are diabetic? use no drugs just watch sugar intake

  • Selim Attala

    What with sweeterners for Diebeties?
    what can replace splenda or aspartame

    • Brett

      Selim. I recommend trying Stevia. I have other articles on this site that discuss stevia and its safety.

  • Neil Brown

    Ohh man, I wish I seen this tomorrow. I wanted to finish my fat free ice cream that has splenda

  • Alexandria

    —-Splenda may give you a fiber boost, but it is only one gram per packet. Unless you are planning on ingesting 13 packets, you aren’t really making a big dent in your fiber intake. Meanwhile, if you eat one small apple, you’ll get 4 grams of fiber.—-

    This is a horrible comparison. If you need 13 Splenda packets to make a dent in your fiber intake, an apple (the equivalent of only 4 Splenda packets) can’t be making a dent either, by your own logic. Everything helps if you’re trying to increase your fiber intake. Someone puts two packets into their morning coffee? Congrats, you’ve just gotten the fiber of half a small apple while remaining calorically well below the what the apple would have cost you (I know most people think of fruit as healthy food, but that doesn’t stop the calories from adding up).

  • Megan

    Ward- Splenda is not made with chlorine gas. I work at Tate & Lyle, where Splenda was developed and is produced. I do not eat Splenda. The goal of adding the fiber was not to persuade consumers to eat more Splenda to get more fiber. The idea was since you are already eating Splenda, why not eat Splenda with fiber? One packet has 1 gram, that is true. But many people do not use just one packet. I have a friend that puts three or four in their coffee each morning. Now, is that a good habit, no. But neither is putting three or four sugars in your coffee. Splenda does have “side effects” but so does sugar. If you eat either in moderation, you are not at risk for nearly any of these side effects or diseases. The studies trying to find a correlation between Splenda and diabetes are studies on individuals that do not know what moderation is.

  • Mitch

    In answer to Helen’s response above. If someone is Diabetic, watching your sugar intake is not all that is required. Even if you eat nothing but veggies you still must take insulin or other medications to keep the blood sugar under control depending if one is type 1 or type 2 diabetic. So having something to increase the taste of some drinks or food and not have calories is still a good thing.

  • saleem mavani


  • Rodney

    @Ward: Splenda does contain chlorine. But then so does table salt. At root, all foods are made from chemicals.

  • Rodney

    If you read the study, it says the rats had food available ad libitum, which means they could eat whenever they want. It has already been shown in humans that artificial sweeteners cause some people to eat more in some sort of “compensation” effect. My guess, and it’s just a guess, is that rats experience the same thing, leading to weight gain. In any case, the free feeding is an uncontrolled variable that should be addressed in future research. Would rats fed a specific amount each day gain weight when being administered Splenda?

  • Catherine

    Interesting. I’ve wondered about this ‘new’ no calorie sweeteners. I and my Daughter were using Splenda trying to cut down on our caloric intake and carbs. We found that the both of us, while using regular Splenda got constipated. I wonder if Splenda found this was one of the side effects and why they added fiber to this product?

  • Rufus McPherson

    Did you even read the splenda article you link to? For one thing it was done on rats and for second thing that Duke study was financed by a sugar producer someone who very much had a reason for splenda to come out as bad.

    • Brett

      There are tons of studies out there Rufus. Many of them…almost ALL of them are subsidized by food companies and government. So, in short, they are all biased. The reality is that if something NEEDS questioning, I question the health of it. We don’t question the health of apples and oranges. There is probably a reason for that. Whole foods…naturally made are safe and healthy. Yes, not everything made in nature is safe, but many things made by man warrant testing. That is the issue.

  • Bill Friedman

    I trust the Gov’t., especially those departments staffed with professionals like physicians, more than (pardon the expression) ‘health food nuts’. Did you miss the news last year that a huge Gov’t. study found that organic foods were NO more nutritious than others? As for ‘natural’, one ‘healthy’ dose of VERY natural S. American indian arrow poison will cure all that ails you, prevent any new problems, and has NO side effects.
    I have diabetes type 2, and chronic diahrea from the artificial sweeteners I use as a result, according to my doctor. My endocrinologist says Splenda is the ONLY artificial sweetener that won’t cause or worsen this. He alse disagrees with the idea, pushed by manufacturers, that only ‘effective’ carbs need be counted. Several years ago, the medical profession (including the diabetes Orgs.), decided that total carbs, NOT just sugars, are what need to be limited.
    Did you miss the news last year that a huge Gov’t. study showed that organic foods were NO more nutritious than others? As for ‘natural’, one ‘healthy’ dose of very natural, S. American indian arrow poison will cure all that ails you (with NO side effects), and prevent any future problems.

  • Phoenix

    OK, now I KNOW that “aspartame” (“Equal”) IS either made up of, or breaks down into, three toxic things: (1) is “methanol”, or “methyl alcohol”, (the stuff that made people go blind, or killed them outright, during Prohibition); It’s simply poisonous, period.
    Don’t eat it, don’t even get it on your skin. It’s really that bad.
    (My Uncle was in the FDA just before all of these new “sweetners” came out, and if he was alive when this stuff crossed HIS desk, he’d have used the BIG rubber-stamp that says “Hazardous to Humans & Other Living Organisms; Do NOT Release For Public Consumption For ANY Reason”)…
    …(But, he’s been gone for quite some time now, so he can’t step in like he used to, when he knew something “wasn’t right”, and he wasn’t afraid to answer to “the powers that be” about it, having been a Chemist with the FDA for decades, before “getting the wheels on his chair”);

    As for “Splenda”, I don’t know much about it, other than it’s NOT toxic in that sense;
    I WOULD like to know more about it, as well as how “Stevia”, (which is simply the same thing as “Splenda”, only made from “turbinado sugar”, rather than “standard sugar”);
    Simply put, “Turbinado Sugar” is made from only the “first pressing” of the sugar cane, and isn’t bleached, “calendared” (“sized”), etc., which is why I prefer it;
    As far as I’ve known up to this point, “turbinado sugar” is as close to just dipping the sugar-cane in whatever you’re going to sweeten, as much as it takes to get it to the desired sweetness, as it gets, and so I’m confused as to how “Stevia” can be THAT much different than “Splenda”?, when they’re supposed to be made the same way, only one uses “unrefined, unprocessed” sugar, and the other uses “refined”, or at least “semi-refined” sugar as its base ingredient…?
    …Or does it?, and if not, then WHY not?

    I’d also like to know, just what is and is NOT in “Splenda”, and any similar “artificial” sweetners (including “Stevia”).

    (Once I’d learned about “aspartame”, which I’d been avoiding anyway, since it had too many precautionary statements on it for my “taste”, as well as I already suffered from migraine headaches, & then my MD told me that it would or could make my headaches more frequent, & since the meds for migraines are NOT cheap, I found it easier to just avoid anything with “aspartame” in it;

    Once I looked at the chemical formula for “aspartame”, {and I’m NOT a Chemist, but I DO know a few things about hydrocarbons, which methanol is one of), I almost wet my pants! Then I called everyone I knew, and I told them what was IN that stuff, and that I’d immediately stopped going NEAR it. (As far as I know, they all did likewise, since we all used to “go racing” together, hence our knowledge of hydrocarbons, especially the ones that are in the range of “fuels”, like “methanol”).

    My other chemist-friend looked at the “diagram” of “aspartame”, and their eyes got very big; Then, they went to the cupboard & grabbed a big box of “The Blue Stuff”, put it through a “dying” shredder, then put the resulting powder down the toilet while wearing surgical gloves, and “hosed off” the shredder so that any residual powder also ran into the drain, and was diluted & carried off…
    …Which made me wonder why they had suddenly treated it like it was akin to Dioxin or something, when they’d just had it in their coffee, not an hour before…

    That’s when they explained that when I thought it looked like part of it was some kind of methanol-based compound, I’d been correct, & they’d then said: “Yup, just like we used to put in the fuel-tanks of our race cars, before it became too hard to get the stuff in quality-controlled batches to make it worthwhile”, (so we’d all switched to a “chemical cocktail” of other hydrocarbons, which kept the fuel’s “knock-point” up, without using any methanol “in the mix”).

    Can someone tell me exatcly what “Splenda” IS, and what are the steps in it’s manufacture? Or just what the end-result is & what it “looks like” when diagrammed out?
    …I don’t mean I want “trade secrets” or anything like that, I just want to know what goes into the stuff, and what it comes OUT as;
    …I was told it was sugar, “with some part removed”, but I’m only familiar with the parts of “Organic Chemistry” that directly involve hydrocarbon-based fuels, like from crude-oil: Propane, Butane, Octane, Pentane, and like that;

    It always amazes people when I tell them that there was NEVER any “Octane” in gasoline; It’s called that, but that “octane number” is just a “knock-point number”, which is determined at the Motor-Fuel Testing Lab in Jessup, MD, {among other places, I’m sure}, where a large V-8 engine on a stand & dynomometer, is “fed” different fuels, with the loads and temperatures changed per a pre-determined testing cycle, to determine what the “knock-point” of a given blend & additives-package is;
    The chemical called “octane” isn’t, and never has been, used in the blending of gasoline, because there isn’t enough of it in a barrel of crude oil to make more than about 8 fluid ounces, if that much;

    On a brief “aside”, How’s this:
    We’ve been paying a “Road-Use Tax” of about half the cost of every gallon of “motor-fuel” we buy at the “gas pump”, but not one penny of that money has EVER gone to what it was MEANT for: Road construction & upkeep!
    (That “Road-Use Tax” on “Motor-Fuels” includes “diesel fuel”, but Rudolf Diesel’s invention was never intended to run on any petroleum distillates; He ran his prototype on peanut oil!).
    Oh, how much we don’t know about the things around us that are killing us.

    But back to my original question(s), regarding “Splenda” and “Stevia”: what’s the difference, if a “Splenda”-like substance, (technically known as “sucralose”), is made from refined or semi-refined sugar, (which seems like it’d be a waste of pre-processing, IMHO), or made from “turbinado sugar”, (unrefined, “1st-press” sugar-cane extract, dried & packed “as-is”, without any bleaching, or sizing, etc.)?

    Or do I have to go back to saccharin again?

    (Short verion of why saccharin didn’t get the “carcinogenic” label that everything else was getting in the 1970’s):
    My Uncle had one of his colleagues come in to his office, and said “Max, you and I have both been using saccharin since it came out, that’s about forty-some years ago now, and we’re both in good health, so we KNOW it’s not “carcinogenic”, but if we test it the way we’ve been told to test ALL “suspected carcinogens”, you KNOW it’ll come up as “positive”, and then what’ll we all do? There’s nothing left for people who are diabetic!”
    Then he said “I’ve got an idea, and I’ll need you to ‘sign off’ on my using 2 weeks, and twenty albino lab mice, & I’ll donate the roll of dimes myself”…
    My Uncle said quietly “roll of dimes”? “Well, OK, just make sure you write it up & all the usual stuff, and I’ll sign off on it”, so the other Chemist got twenty healthy albino lab mice, put them in the cage that is divided into two sections, so that they’re breathing the same air, drinking from the same water bottle, eating the same food from the same dish, etc., and started the “standard procedure”, which was to triple-sterilize the samples of a suspected substance, and subcutaneously implant it, (put it under a small flap cut in the skin, then sewn up & bandaged with appropriate antiseptics to avoid infection), of ten of the mice, picked at random from the total of twenty;
    He had stopped at the local bank at lunch-time & bought a roll of dimes, and had ten dimes he’d taken from the roll at random triple-sterilized per the “standard procedures”;
    Then he implanted the dimes just under the skin of the ten mice that were picked to be the “Test Subjects”, while the other ten were the “Control Subjects”…
    In only a few days, all ten of the “Test Subjects” showed lesions, and those were removed & biopsied, & all ten were malignant (carcinogenic);
    You can see what was wrong with the test procedure, can’t you?
    But that’s what they were supposed to do, so that’s how he did it;

    After the results were in, he wrote up his results, and stated in his Findings, that “Based on the Results obtained, there can be no doubt that the 10-cent coin, known as the United States “Dime”, is 100% carcinogenic, and therefore MUST be removed from ALL potential contact with the public IMMEDIATELY, per the standing instructions of the FDA”.

    All further testing on everything else “on the list” was immediately stopped, and although saccharin DID get tested, it WASN’T tested in the way that everything that had failed up to that point had been, (which was everything that had been tested using those obviously-flawed methods).

    I know it sounds like a “story”, but I can’t make stuff like this up! It’s TRUE!

    The “Test Procedures” were revamped completely, and suddenly only the things that were obviously “harmful”, came up as “potentially carcinogenic” after that.

    That’s one reason I’m wondering “just what IS ‘sucralose’, how is it made, and what makes it any different from the same thing made from unprocessed sugar, as opposed to refined or semi-refined sugar?”,

    …Or, why would “Stevia” be any different than “Splenda”, if they’re made the same way, since they’re supposed to be the same thing, only one’s made from “Turbinado Sugar”, and the other is from “standard”, semi-refined sugar…?

    …Or have I missed something here?

    Thanks for putting up with my obvious lack of 100% of the facts;

    As I already know, “A little bit of knowledge can be a very bad thing”…

    Phoenix NightOwl, Technical Engineer (ret’d)

  • Maria Hoffman

    We the consumers will end up just drinking water. We don’t even know if that is safe anymore. We no longer know whom to believe, every scientist has different opinions.

  • lookoutsandi

    I agree that sugar, artificial or not, is a culprit. I am diabetic and happen to like sweets so I do not have much alternative. I prefer Splenda which of all of them is the lesser evil.

  • Megan

    ~10% of aspartame is broken down into methanol in the small intestine. Most of the methanol is absorbed and quickly converted into formaldehyde and then to formic acid. The metabolism of aspartame does not damage the body because: (1) the quantity of methanol produced is too small to disrupt normal physiological processes (2) methanol and formaldehyde are natural by-products of human metabolism and are safely processed by various enzymes (3) there is more methanol in some natural fruit juices and alcoholic beverages than is derived from aspartame ingestion.

    Had you taken any college organic chemistry class, you would already know the above information. Methanol is produced in the body naturally, and as a result, we have mechanisms to break it down. A basic anatomy and physiology class with teach you that, although many people will not listen. People here methanol and think oh no bad!

    As for what is in Splenda… Most of it (around 95-96%) is dextrose and maltodextrin. Sucralose is added, which is an indigestible sugar that is manufactured. All three ingredients have been approved as safe by the FDA, as well as other QC committees in the UK (where Tate & Lyle is based). Studies thus far show that a moderate intake of sucralose is not detrimental to human health. It does tend to flush out natural fecal flora, which can easily be remedied by pro-biotic yogurt, or acidophilus supplements it causes you any discomfort. However, complaints of discomfort (constipation mostly) are very small, and based on lifestyle factors and other genetic factors. Just like side effects of Tylenol.. not everyone will experience them.

    I do not know the composition of Stevia. They presumably have a website, which I am sure explains how the product is made.

  • Debra

    My husband and I tried substituting Splenda for sugar in iced tea and coffee a few years ago, and within a few days we both had serious side effects, such as splitting headaches, diarrhea, incredible fatigue, personality changes (including short temper and inability to concentrate), and several other nasty side effects. We didn’t link it to Splenda until one day when I Googled “Splenda side effects” and saw the endless list of scary comments. I immediately stopped using Splenda in our drinks and within a few days to a week we were almost back to feeling normal again. Splenda, or sucralose, is in just about EVERYTHING these days, from spaghetti sauce to baby food, and it is in almost ALL of those zero-calorie “water/vitamin” drinks. I complained to the FDA and got a phone call from one of their representatives, telling me that they had approved the substance and weren’t concerned. I’m not impressed with that, considering that they had once approved saccharin and phenylpropanolamine (PPA), substances which are now banned and now known to cause serious health problems. For those of you using products with Splenda/sucralose in them, especially those of you with babies or young children, please check out the side effects and use your own judgment as to whether you want your family ingesting this garbage. As for myself and my husband, we religiously check labels now and avoid any product listing Splenda or sucralose as one of its ingredients.

  • Great late add-on to this discussion. I didn’t even know Splenda with fiber existed until 2 weeks ago! Got it by mistake (I have never had an issue with the regular Splenda.) The Splenda with fiber has an awful aftertaste and tastes maybe half as sweet as the one without fiber… The good news? I have to use twice as much, so I guess I get twice the fiber! I won’t be buying this again. Just have a cup of coffee and an apple or two.