The Fallout of My Affair With Splenda

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Self DoubtLast week I gave you 14 reasons to NOT use Splenda. Well guess what? I’m not too happy about learning all of the gross details, the slimy underbelly of Splenda and how it came to be on the market – not to mention the fact that there has been no long-term testing done on humans.

Needless to say, since I started reading Sweet Deception over a week ago, I haven’t been using Splenda. I have to tell you though, that last week I was feeling the effects of the fallout of my affair with Splenda. Actually, it’s easier for me to tell you a little story about it…

Our First Meeting

I first met Splenda back in 2004. At that time I weighed 171.5 (my highest weight ever), was very uncomfortable and wanted to make a change in my lifestyle and weight.

I heard about Splenda and started using it as part of my new lifestyle plan – the 6-Week Body Makeover plan. I thought it was great because I was off of refined sugar, processed foods, all of that gunky stuff, I was losing weight, felt awesome, and at the same time I still got to have desserts.

How Processed Food Is Keeping You Fat eBook

Desserts AND Weight Loss?

That’s right – Splenda allowed me to still have the sweetness in my food. I made desserts with it per the plan, and I lost weight! I was very happy with Splenda because it didn’t give me sugar cravings unless I used too much of it. The only time this happened was when I made 6WBMO dessert dishes and put too much Splenda in them, so I didn’t do it again.

I Thought Splenda Was Good

I had a crush on Splenda because it didn’t make me feel weird like aspartame (Nutra Sweet and Equal) always had – aspartame made the top of my head feel fuzzy (if you’re familiar with chakras, my crown chakra area was where I felt this), and the only way I could get it to go away was to have more of it. This was during the days of my overuse of diet sodas (either diet Coke or Pepsi). Needless to say, when I completely stopped drinking them and didn’t use Nutra Sweet or Equal in any other food either, then I didn’t have that problem anymore.

Since Splenda didn’t give me this feeling and at that time there wasn’t any info about it being unhealthy (Sweet Deception was published in November, 2006), I kept on using it.

The Rumblings Started

Sometime after Sweet Deception was published I remember hearing bits and pieces about Splenda being not so healthy but I didn’t know the whole story. There were also counters to those rumblings because Splenda had only been on the market for a short time. Maybe you’ve done the same thing that I did then – I wanted to believe it was fine and I didn’t look into it further.

My Smart Readers of Fearless Fat Loss Got Me Moving

I started Fearless Fat Loss in March 2007, and I have posted here and there about using Splenda:

(Note: I am updating each of these posts with a link to my recent post, 14 Reasons to NOT Use Splenda.)

After publishing some of these posts I would sometimes receive comments or emails from you smart readers of Fearless Fat Loss re: the dangers of Splenda. I think now that there was a part of me that didn’t want to know about all the details of Splenda because then what would I do?

Since I have a problem with sugar addiction, I’m not going to start eating refined sugar again and at the same time I did want to have an option for a safe, non-addictive sweetener to use when cooking certain recipes. Splenda didn’t give me cravings when used sensibly and even the so-called “healthy sweeteners” are just corn sugar in disguise (crystalline fructose being one of them).

I Was In Denial About my Splenda Affair

So it’s true – I’m not a perfect person and I really didn’t want to know about Splenda but I had said before that I would research and write a post about Splenda and I had to follow through (even though it took me awhile to do it ;) ). And, like any good researcher, I had to find out what all of the ruckus was really about.

My Sadness Sets In

Here’s where my story goes south - I was sad last week about ending my affair with Splenda. Yep, it’s true, I’ve even cried about it, imagine that! You know the saying, “ignorance is bliss”? It’s true! But, when it comes to our health it just doesn’t help us to ignore ingredient labels or abstain from learning about what we’re putting into our bodies. Just because it tastes good doesn’t mean that it’s healthy for us or that it’s going to help us lose weight and get fit.

Time To Detox

After feeling sad for a couple of days, I decided to do another mono diet – you may remember me experimenting on myself with a mono diet a few months ago. This time instead of juicing I decided to go with the option of eating only fresh fruits and veggies for 3 days, which I extended to 4 days.

My detox went extremely well, so well in fact that I am going to give you a separate post about that tomorrow. If you’ve been following me on Twitter you already know about my weight loss from the detox, but even more incredible was a change I noticed in myself – I’ll save that for tomorrow. 

So on the topic of Splenda, after doing my mono diet detox I’m feeling just fine and today am back to eating as I do per the 6WBMO plan. The point of doing the mono diet detox was to get the Splenda taste out of my system. Can I say that the Splenda isn’t in my body anymore? No, I can’t, especially after what I learned in Sweet Deception about it being fat-soluble (they don’t know for certain how much of it stays in the organs) but I feel much better after doing my simple detox.

The Sadness Has Passed

I’m no longer sad about the downfall of Splenda, and if you’re a sugar addict like I am, maybe you can relate to the funk I was in over this. Like I said above, I cannot go back to using refined sugar because that will only help me gain weight, get into the cycle of sugar cravings, feel crappy, and lead to more problems.

However I do have the option of Stevia, a plant that has been used for 100′s of years by South Americans without health dangers. You can read all about Stevia here, and be sure to check out the link in that post to the statement from the former FDA investigator, which is all about why Stevia has been outlawed in the U.S. to keep the artificial sweeteners in business.

Onwards Towards Better Health

Now that my affair with Splenda has ended and I’ve finished my story here, I can only say that I have healthier days to experience. I’m not sad about it anymore and I’m no longer in my funk over my break up. I’m happy to have learned about Splenda and I recommend reading Sweet Deception so that you can learn about Splenda yourself since there’s no way I could put everything I learned into that post. You can also investigate the abundance of references in the book that Dr. Mercola (the author) gives you to back up his findings.

Sweet Deception
 

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  • http://www.genesismoments.com Sarah

    Wow – I have never read up on all the ill effects of Splenda so I love your posts BUT, what cured me on my love affair was seeing my dog chew into a bag and seeing what was left on the floor when she not only couldn’t stand it but her saliva mixed with some leaving a gluey substance that I envisioned sitting in my gut. It was like GLUE! Yuck!!

    Sarah’s last blog post..New Header – Thanks DCR Design!

  • http://www.fearlessfatloss.com JoLynn Braley

    Eeewww, Sarah, that’s really gross!! Geez, I can see how you wouldn’t want to use Splenda after that! (hey, even though it’s icky, you gave me a good laugh :) – and I hope she didn’t get sick from it)

  • http://www.fatbastard.org fat bastard

    I can tell I have a lot to learn about healthy eating. I think we all look for low sugar or substitutes when there isn’t really a proper substitute for real food. Keep on keeping on. We need sources of good information. Thanks!

    fat bastard’s last blog post..Disappointment – Week Two Weigh In

  • http://nutritionfitnesslife.com Susan

    I’m glad you’re feeling much better after ending the relationship with Splenda. I can certainly understand that sadness and slump you experienced.

    I now look at Splenda with a completely different perspective. It’s out of my house, and I won’t use it anymore.

    Susans last blog post..Cure for Sore Shoulders and Neck

  • http://www.fearlessfatloss.com JoLynn Braley

    Hi F.B.,

    You’re right – there is no substitute for real, whole foods. ;)

  • http://www.fearlessfatloss.com JoLynn Braley

    Hi Susan, thanks!

    Yeah, I’m past my slump, it all worked out better in the end. :)

    You know I’m interested to see what will happen with Splenda a few years down the road.

  • http://www.thebreak-updiet.com Annette Fix

    Have you tried Stevia? It’s made from an herb leaf, is 200-300x sweeter than sugar and it’s calorie free. 1/3 of a teaspoon is equivalent to 1 full teaspoon of sugar. It’s been used in Brazil, Mexico, and China for hundreds of years. It could be your new sugar substitution romance. =) A friend of mine is an eco-chef and swears by it.

  • http://www.fearlessfatloss.com JoLynn Braley

    Hi Annette,

    Yep, I wrote about that in my post above with a link to my article on it. ;)

    One thing I’d be interested in is some recipes from your eco-chef friend – feel free to email me any info on that, I’d check it out.

  • http://buhbyepounds.blogspot.com Nadine

    I have some in my cabinet. I don’t use it much, except when I make coffee or tea, which isn’t often. This is very interesting. I’m grimacing now as I’m thinking of throwing my box away. *sigh* Thanks for the info!

    Nadines last blog post..We Have Food

  • http://www.mizfitOnline.com MizFit

    we broke up as well but the worst part was I had no reaction or side effects to Steve :)

    just knew he wasnt good for me.

    thanks for the reminder to stay away—how sad is it that I always need it?

    MizFits last blog post..Tues Tips & Trends

  • http://www.johnfit.com JohnFit.com

    Never knew about Splenda! I’ve only had it once but will definitely steer clear away!

    Stay Fit!
    John Fit

    JohnFit.coms last blog post..Rep Range for Building Lean, & Toned Muscle

  • http://semicharmedwife.com Jen

    I’m a HUGE fan of both Stevia and Agave Nectar. I’m trying to keep all chemical sweeteners out of my diet. I’d rather eat sugar or corn syrup than Splenda or Nutrasweet at this point!

    Jens last blog post..6WBMO: Day 1

  • http://fitarella.com/blog Jacqueline Carly

    Awwwww crappers! Ok, truth be told I knew waaaaaaay down deep that this stuff was bad news, but as an ex-sugar addict i’ve been in major denial. Time to finally face the music – f@#*k!!!
    Thanks for the wake up :-)

    Jacqueline Carlys last blog post..Where’s the party at?

  • Sweet Lucee

    I am a believer in Stevia and the more people that learn about it, the better. It’s been slow to be introduced into the U.S. but “the word” seems to be spreading quickly. It’s a Sweet Leaf – fully natural – Zero chemicals, Zero Carbs, Zero Glycemic Index, Zero Calories – It’s wonderful! It is available in packets, shaker bottles, consentrate and liquid flavors. I am totally hooked on the liquid Stevia flavors because they encourage me to drink more water. It safely and purely sweetens it. My favorite flavors are English Toffee, Valencia Orange, Vanilla Creme, and Root Beer. The Chocolate Raspberry is wonderful in coffee. The flavors are derived from essential oils from various fruit and plant based sources, purified water and grapefruit seed extract as the only perservative.
    Be sure to look for SweetLeaf Stevia. There are a couple brands out there that aren’t as pure – So be sure it’s SweetLeaf. Whole Foods is a great place to find it, or just Google it.

  • http://www.thebreak-updiet.com Annette Fix

    My eco-chef friend raves about Agave Nectar too. She bought me a bottle of it, but I’ve never tried it. I’ll have to see if I can get some recipes from her to share here.

  • http://www.fearlessfatloss.com JoLynn Braley

    @Nadine, I know what you mean about throwing it away, it seems like a waste of $$ but when you consider the possibility of the danger to your health, well you can’t put a price on that. ;)

    @M, ok, now you’re talking about a real person, right?? lol

    @Jen, I’m using Stevia more often now, too. I wouldn’t recommend Agave Nectar though, because it’s just another high fructose corn syrup. :(

    @JF, glad you know now!

    @Jacqueline, so you can relate to my denial! :) So I’m not the only one…thanks for sharing that with us. :)

    @Lucee, I agree, I already wrote that extensive post about it (linked in my article above) but I do have another one in mind. I’ve also tried the Sweet Leaf brand, but not the liquid, I’ll have to check it out, thanks! :)

    @Annette, yeah, I wouldn’t recommend the Agave Nectar unfortunately, it’s just high fructose corn syrup – you can read all about it in Sugar Shock! :(

  • http://healthnutwannabeemom.blogspot.com/ heidi

    I completely agree! I gave up all artificial sweetners myself and now use all natural stevia. I gave up my diet sodas because of the aspartame and that was hard. Good for you. Love your blog.

    heidis last blog post..Bad Hair Day? Try These Foods For Healthy Hair

  • http://www.dietdrinkaddiction.com Mike

    Great information and totally agree about getting rid of the artificial sweeteners and going all natural, like Stevia. I was addicted to Diet Coke, to the tune of 7-8 cans a day for nearly 10 years and struggled with headaches, migraines, joint pain in my knees and extreme fatigue. Since I quit not one side effect has remained. It amazing what your body will do when it gets the right stuff. Keep up the good information.

    Thanks,Mike

    Mikes last blog post..Diet Coke Side Effects!

  • http://www.fearlessfatloss.com JoLynn Braley

    Hi Heidi,

    I’m with you Heidi, I’m sticking with Stevia. I even went out yesterday to buy the liquid form to try that out. I’m still getting used to it because it is different but I’ll take it any day over refined sugar or Splenda. ;)

  • http://www.fearlessfatloss.com JoLynn Braley

    Hi Mike,

    I used to be addicted to Diet Coke at one time, too! Really made the top of my head hurt from all of that aspartame, but when I stopped drinking it the “head fuzz” as I call it went away. Hmm, magic? (lol) ;)

  • http://livingthefitlife.blogspot.com Kimberly

    JoLynn,

    I fell out with splenda last year after my daughter took a nutrition class and warned me of some possible dangers. I did some research (some of the same as yours) and found out the reason for a few weird things going on with my body.

    It is nice to know that others are looking into Splenda and kicking it to the curb as well!

    Thanks for your great post on a virtually unknown danger:-)

    Kimberly

  • http://www.fearlessfatloss.com JoLynn Braley

    Hi Kimberly,

    Did the weird happenings in your body disappear after you stopped using Splenda? I’m wondering now about a symptom I’ve been having – time will tell (I’ve been off of Splenda now for almost 2 weeks). If it does prove to be true, I’ll blog about it. ;)