14 April 2008 00:00 [Source: ICB]
I remember as a child chewing Carefree gum incessantly. It was sugarless, therefore, according to my mother's standards, okay for me to chew because it wouldn't rot my teeth.
Gum with sugar wasn't even allowed in our house. But then, just as quickly as the Carefree gum came into the house, it was banned from our home and my mouth, permanently.
The reason: NutraSweet/aspartame. A quick Google search on aspartame brings up sites like www.aspartamekills.com and www.sweetpoison.com, which list a variety of terrifying illnesses as being caused by aspartame.
I can't speak to the validity of the infor-mation, but I do know that I can't blame my mother for banning it from our home.
Well, I'm all grown up now and have to decide what to eat, drink and chew all on my own. So when a product called Splenda came on the market in September 2000, it seemed my prayers for a no-calorie sweetener were answered!
You can bake with Splenda, use it in your coffee and replace sugar with it in kids' Kool-Aid! The benefits seem never-ending.
But as with everything that seems too good to be true, the skeptics began looking for a loophole. Splenda is the trade name for sucralose.
According to Dr. Janet Starr Hull, author of Splenda: Is It Safe Or Not? and creator of the website www.issplendasafe.com, Splenda is potentially harmful because it contains chlorine.
Hull explains the process in an online post, stating that it forces chlorine into an unnatural chemical bond with a sugar molecule. She details how it could be a carcinogen.
OK, so if Splenda is so bad, why hasn't the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned it?
The official Splenda website says the safety data on sucralose has been reviewed by the FDA and other national regulatory agencies, as well as by international health authorities, and was found to be safe for use by all consumers.
Essentially, it seems like we're in the "he said, she said" stages of the Splenda argument. I'm sure there's research being done at both ends to prove their cases, but in the meantime, consumers are left to make decisions on their own.
And I won't lie. With a wedding right around the corner, and a few pounds to shed, I won't be boycotting Splenda any time soon. But check back with me after the wedding.
It seems like we're in the "he said, she said" stages of the Splenda argument
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