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Stevia vs. Splenda: Which Is Healthier?

Mar 2, 2010

In recent years, sugar substitutes like stevia and artificial sweeteners like Splenda have made national news headlines because of their benefits--and their risks. Unfortunately, getting too much sugar into your body simply isn't good for you. Therefore, a lot of companies have started trying to develop substitutes for sugars that they hope are healthier options. That said, just about every sugar substitute and artificial sweetener on the market right now has its advantages and disadvantages. However, with stevia and Splenda being two of the most popular types of sugar alternatives, you should know which one of them is healthier for you overall. And while there probably hasn't been enough research done on either of them to make a definitive call, you can look at the facts surrounding each of them and make your own decision.

Stevia as a Sugar Substitute

Though its been used as a sweetener for centuries in countries like its native Brazil, stevia has only been used in the United States for a couple of years now after being approved by the Food and Drug Administration. That's because early tests on lab rats showed that stevia could actually be a carcinogen that can cause cancer. However, researchers recently have found that stevia may not cause the same results in humans. They've also found that stevia has plenty of benefits, too. For instance, it can help you to safely lower your blood pressure when used properly. It also contains zero calories, so it can help you to lose weight when used properly. Stevia is naturally grown so there are no harmful additives present. The only thing that it really has going against it is that stevia is so new that there's not much known about what could happen if you use it regularly. Over time, there will probably be new developments and findings concerning stevia.

Splenda as a Sugar Substitute

Originally introduced to the US back in the 1970s and 80s, Splenda was once one of the most popular artificial sweeteners in the country. Like stevia, it contains no calories, so you can cut calories from your diet simply by using Splenda. Splenda can also help prevent the development of diabetes, and it's safe to use if you already have diabetes. Splenda is also about 300 times sweeter than sugar, so you can get your foods and drinks sweeter without using much of it. However, over the last couple of decades, people have reported symptoms ranging from headaches to seizures as a result of using Splenda. Splenda also contains traces of chlorine that may, over time, impact your health. These are just some of the benefits and risks associated with Splenda.

Choosing Stevia or Splenda

The truth is that it's too hard to say whether stevia is healthier than Splenda at this point. The current state of your health really determines which product you should use. However, regardless of which you choose, remember that using sugar substitutes and artificial sweeteners in moderation is the only way to prevent yourself from experiencing the risks associated with using each of them. In fact, moderation is the key for using sugar or any product that acts like sugar. So whether you decide to use stevia or Splenda, you can get the health benefits without the risks if you just use a little moderation in your diet.

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