How Sweet Thou is?
I must confess ..this is DAY #14 for ME (two weeks CLEAN of sweeteners like Splenda and Truvia) YES, I was hooked on those zero-calorie, artificially sweeteners, to the point where I was mixing 8 packets of Splenda with 4-6 packets of Truvia in my one mega-cup of coffee every morning. This was an addiction...a 20-year-habit beginning with saccharin (Sweet-n-Low pink packets), aspartame (Equal blue packet) then in 1992 the introduction of the yellow packets of Splenda (Sucralose). Undoubtedly, the Splenda brand and other Stevia-based product offer a no-calorie sugar substitute, particularly beneficial for people with diabetes because it does not affect blood glucose levels, insulin or HbA1c. As a matter of fact, a diabetic person can safely have up to 4 packets of Splenda or up to 8 teaspoons of Splenda Granulated Sweetener in one meal plan.
But, what if you are scooping 8 tablespoons of Granulated Splenda in one cup of coffee and averaging about 10 cups of coffee per day? THAT was ME (when I wasn't dieting down for a fitness contest) So, I have been clean for two weeks, substituting one packet of Stevia in the Raw in my cup of coffee every day.. which eventually I can skip that as well. The sweet, sugar taste is gone, but within the last two weeks I have developed a new taste for coffee, with a revitalized sense of taste, boundless energy, and restful night sleeps.
There is conflicting research about non-nutritive sweeteners like Splenda touted as a safe food for weight loss and maintenance & glycemic control. In a recent meta-study (July, 2017) scientists reviewed hundreds of previous reviews and papers and found that people who drank artificially-sweetened soft drinks did not lose weight or slightly gained weight. The sweeteners included aspartame, sucralose and stevia. Contrary to these assertions, the observational studies are not supported by design - because some of the research showed that people who are overweight or obese, individuals with diabetes or metabolic health issues already tend to use low calories sweeteners frequently.
Diving deeper in the research: A Study in 2015 indicated that artificial sweeteners are inert compounds. In addition to tasting SWEET, they have side effects on the body including:
- reduced sweet taste sensitivity
- alteration of metabolic response in the brain, pancreas and gut
- alteration of gut microbiome populations, increasing populations of bacteria often seen in people with Type 2 diabetes
What I have experienced?
The void of the sweet- sugary taste (mainly in my coffee) was the first major adjustment within the first three days, followed by mood swings, lethargy, and constant craving for something sweet. By the third night, I noticed my sleeping pattern had changed - no more intermittent sleep and restless nights.. when I woke up, I was energized! And, today on DAY #14, I feel more awake during the day - no more foggy brain. Is this possible?