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Thread: Splenda vs Equal

  1. #1


    does anyone have any advise on the pros and cons. I'm an Equal user, but my sister insists that Splenda has no chemicals, and better for you. She gave me some to try, and I must admit it tastes just as good, but is it really any better healthwise?
    "you gotta wanna"

  2. #2
    Alliruetwo Guest


    I don't know if it is any better 'healthwise' but I like it better than equal or sweet and low. It tastes more like real sugar, and I can use it in the same 'amount' that I would use sugar. Equal and sweet and low are much sweeter, so, I end up putting some in, taking a taste, putting some more in, take a taste, too much in add more bev etc [img]graemlins/crazy.gif[/img]

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    San Francisco, CA


    I like both Equal and Splenda, and use both... but I have noticed that if I consume a lot of Equal it will give me a headache, and I've never had this happen with Splenda.
    Ya Ya name: Duchess Green Thumb<br />Heaviest: 158<br />SW: 143.8<br />CW: 129.4<br />"Thousands of years ago cats were worshipped as gods. Cats have never forgotten this."<br />Anonymous

  4. #4


    I've switched to Splenda for home use. I prefer the taste and it works better in baking.

    When I go out I rarely see Splenda so I ask for Equal.

    3/16/02- Made WW Lifetime
    4'11"...SW 176lbs CW 154 lbs WGW 115
    Rejoining weight 11/17 154 lbs

  5. #5
    crazyeights Guest


    I've done lots of research on the subject, mainly because I was planning to start my family. As a result of that research, I decide to avoid aspartame, (aka Equal or nutra sweet), at all costs. It has been proven to be a harmful neuro-toxin and I can't belive it is still on the market. I personally never had any problems with it, but my DH would get headaches and have difficulty thinking when he ate or drank anything with it in it. I think that not everyone is affected by it, but I figure, why risk it?

    There is not as much info or research on sucralose, (aka Splenda), because it has not been around as long. However, it is made from sugar. It is sometimes called left handed sugar. It is processed using chlorine, so there have been some red flags raised about its safety, but I have not found any good arguements or research that would cause me to discontinue it's use.

    Hope that helps.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    California Central Coast


    Splenda is a sucrolose, which is a derivitive of sugar. It has no calories and does not spike your blood sugar. I love it and prefer its taste to the others.
    WW since 10/6/02 (officially 10/24/02)
    Goal 12/7/02; Lifetime 1/18/03

  7. #7
    imported_Kelly_S Guest


    "It has been proven to be a harmful neuro-toxin and I can't belive it is still on the market." - URBAN MYTH. There has been 'true' research which has found some people are allergic to it and it can cause headaches from reactions in others. It is safe. The 'harmful neuro-toxin' was put out by holistic meds.

    "There is not as much info or research on sucralose, (aka Splenda), because it has not been around as long." Splenda has been used in Europe for about 8 years and has had many studies done there.

    I use whatever I have a coupon for but I don't use it that often.

  8. Post

    When I was pregnant and nursing, I gave up aspartame and saccrin. Splenda has been part of my kitchen since and I will never go back. I find I cant stand the fake sweet taste of anything else anymore.

    wish it went on sale more!


  9. #9


    splenda all the way for me! GinaH
    Weight watchers is a tool its up to me how I use it!

  10. #10
    crazyeights Guest


    Kel -

    Respectfully, the info about aspartame is NOT just urban legend. I have done extensive research on the subject. If you search the internet you will find hundreds of articles and research papers by neurologists, MD's, and other health practitioner's that cite definitive evidence that aspartame is NOT good for you. There are also plenty of sites that support aspartame as completely safe. The problem I have with that is that many of the things that the FDA have approved as safe, later turn out to be very harmful. A prime example is the use of trants fats/partially hydrogenated oils. Money is a big issue that comes into play. Currently, thousands of products contain aspartame. If aspartame was suddenly banned, several things would happen. The first is that Monsanto, (The company that makes Nutrasweet.,)would lose billions of dollars in revenue and likely be forced out of business. The second thing that would occur is an onslaught of lawsuits. Neither of these are desirable outcomes, considering the money involved. The government would have it's own set of problems if it admitted that aspartame was dangerous. A similar scenario has occured on a smaller scale when it comes to the use of thimerisol in vaccines. The FDA ordered its removal, but over a period of time. Why? If the use of thimerisol were suddenly stopped and the occurance of neurological disorders such as autism suddenly declined, lots of people would hae egg on their face. I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but a good look at history and the facts lead me to believe that aspartame is only still around because of the money involved and the potential fall out if everyone believed what much of the research supports. Another example is flouride in our water. It is now being shown to contribute to the onset of Alzheimer's and osteoarthritis. The FDA doesn't know everything. However, believe what you want, it is your health, just be sure to research thoroughly before you make a decision. Another thing to be wary of is neotame. It has shown far greater potential as a health risk than aspartame, yet the FDA is about to unleash it on the American public.

    When I said that there has not been as much research on sucralose and that it has not been around as long, that is also true. Sucralose was actually discovered in 1976, versus 1969 for aspartame. Aspartame had the primary focus and more studies were done. It was introduced to the public in 1981. Since Splenda was not introduced to the American public until 1998, there has not been as much focus or study of its long-term effects. Only about 110 studies have been done on sucralose, compared to ten times that many on aspartame and twenty times that many for saccharine. Given that fact, I only use Splenda sparingly. I will make my final decision when there are more facts.

    There are no straight answers out there. You can find support for any opinion you want to have. I would love to be able to drink my Diet Dr. Pepper again, and use the many other products I love that contain aspartame, but I have done enough research to be convinced to stay away from aspartame. I feel like I have made a well informed decision, one based on many hours of study, not one based on urban legend. It is right for me. I am not a medical researcher, so I don't know if I will ever know the absolute truth, but I have to do the best I can with what information I've got.

    No one should take my word on this issue. Everyone should do their own research and be as informed as possible.


  11. #11
    Editht Guest


    Well I haven't done the research but I asked my doc about it while I was pregnant. He said aspartame was ok in small doses while I was pregnant, but he didn't know why anyone uses it anyway as it's an appetite enhancer! LOL! So if you are trying to lose weight this stuff might just make you hungrier! I've paid attention since he told me this and maybe it's just a placebo effect, but I definitely notice I get some major munchies whenever I eat or drink anything with aspartame. So if I have a choice I generally stick to Splenda (sucralose). I like the pourable version best. It cooks great and tastes almost identical to sugar to me. The only thing missing sometimes is the carmelization sugar gets when cooked. So that's my .02!!

  12. #12
    imported_Kelly_S Guest


    I respectfully disagree (and I am not trying to change your opinion which I respect) with you on the Nutrasweet...if you look at 'legit' research such as posted in JAMA it is safe based on research. Even the 'so called toxin' from baking is false or happens at such a high temperature you'd never get it in a normal oven, fryer, stovetop.

    I will agree there are some people who have allergic reactions and reactions because of other complications.

    I have done research also and I don't believe any site other than true research sites.

    [ October 01, 2003, 07:21 PM: Message edited by: Kelly_S ]

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    San Diego, California


    Much of the "research" done on aspartame is funded by the makers of it, so be careful.

    As for myself, I have a daughter who is now 32. When she was 16 she suffered a series of about 5 seizures that looked very much like grand mal epileptic seizures. I'm going to make a very long story very short: she is allergic to aspartame. She stopped eating anything with aspartame in it and she has been seizure-free for 16 years. If she accidentally gets a Diet Coke instead of a regular Coke, it will give her a migraine-like headache.

    Last year, shortly after restarting Weight Watchers, I, too, had a seizure. They put me on anti-seizure medication, but the side effects were intolerable. I convinced the doctor that I, too, might have the same sensitivity to aspartame. I stopped using aspartame and gave up driving, swimming, etc. for three months to prove that I could go without such meds. No problems. And I haven't felt this good in ages!

    While this is arguably only anecdotal, it works for me! Splenda Rules!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Champaign, IL


    I get migraines from aspartame, so I use Splenda. However, you can find articles that question the safety of Splenda, also.

    Stevia is another option for some, although, since it comes from a plant in the same plant family as ragweed, it's probably not a good choice for those of us with ragweed allergies. It's a natural product as opposed to a lab-made product.

    It's probably better to use any artificial sweetener (or any product, for that matter) in moderation rather than to excess.


  15. #15
    imported_Kelly_S Guest


    On every thing in the world you are going to find good and bad research.

    BTW the research I am referring to is not by the makers of is articles written by MDs and others who did independent research. And the only bad articles I have seen is on the 'HOLISTIC' pages.

  16. #16

    Thumbs up

    Personally for me... Splenda is the way to go [img]smile.gif[/img]

    *waves* Been LONG time since I posted ... dropped back in to see how everyone is doing ... I'm still OP and doing good [img]smile.gif[/img]

  17. #17


    Thanks for the interesting discussion. [img]smile.gif[/img] It's very informative for me..
    Jen..<br /><br />ACTION - He who starts a journey of a thousand miles begins with ONE STEP...

  18. #18
    imported_Kelly_S Guest



    Sugar is a pure carbohydrate. It raises blood glucose and insulin levels almost immediately upon consumption.

    Read labels carefully sugar can be "hidden" by several names such as molasses, corn syrup, fructose, dextrose, sucrose --- all are sugar by other names. If none of the sugar names are listed in the ingredients, then the number of grams listed under “Sugars” on the nutrition label refers to naturally-occuring sugar.

    Saccharin - The oldest of the artificial sweeteners (AS), saccharin is a non-caloric sweetener found in many foods and beverages. The most well-known saccharin product is Sweet ‘n Low, which is available in packets in supermarkets and most restaurants. It is also available in bulk form as Sugar Twin & Brown Sugar Twin.

    Some people do not like the taste, there have been mixed results with it in baking, and the bulk form is not available everywhere, so it’s less versatile than some other artificial sweeteners.

    Aspartame - This is widely available as EQUAL & NUTRASWEET, and used in many, many commercially-available products, including almost all soft drinks. It is available in both packets and in bulk. The manufacturer, Monsanto, has stated that all the EQUAL & NUTRASWEET they sell is the same chemically, whether in packets or bulk. Some people claim they have had success using aspartame in baking; most report disappointing results, noting a “nasty” taste in the baked product.

    More serious are the many concerns regarding aspartame’s safety. Indeed, it is perhaps the most controversial food product on the market today.

    Aspartame is composed of phenylalanine, aspartic acid and methanol. When heated or digested (above 400 degrees F), it breaks down into these three components. Phenylalanine and aspartic acid are amino acids that are found in natural proteins and under normal circumstances are beneficial for health. Methanol is wood alcohol and poisonous. The transition point for the degradation into methanol is about 86°F. There is documented proof that in the human body aspartame releases into the bloodstream one molecule of methanol for each molecule of aspartame consumed. Methanol is considered a cumulative poison due to the low rate of excretion once it is absorbed. In the body, methanol is oxidized into formaldehyde and formic acid. Both are toxic.

    Acesulfame K - Also known as Acesulfame Potassium & Ace-K, this artificial sweetener is used in quite a few food and non-food items. Available in package form as “Sweet One” (although availability seems to be limited). Also now used in the ‘new’ Diet Pepsi.

    SPLENDA - This is considered by many to be the best sugar substitute currently available. Splenda is the brand name for sucralose, which is made from sugar by a patented process that replaces three of sugar's hydrogen-oxygen groups with chlorine atoms. This makes the resulting sucralose molecule extremely sweet (about 600 times sweeter than sugar) and extremely stable.

    The manufacturer claims that unlike other artificial sweeteners, it will not break down or lose its sweetness when used in cooking or baking, or when used in beverages, like carbonated soft drinks, which typically have a high acidity. However, many people have noted a decrease in the sweetness level during the baking process. The sweetness seems to ‘fade’ a bit, which is why some people also add a little stevia to their baked goods.

    Also, sucralose cannot be metabolized (broken down) by the body's food-digesting enzymes, and therefore has no calories. More importantly, it has no effect on insulin or blood glucose levels.

    The FDA granted approval for the use of Splenda as a general sweetener several years ago, and it has been in use since 1991 in hundreds of reduced-calorie and reduced-sugar products such as carbonated soft drinks, shelf-stable fruit drinks, jams, processed fruit products (e.g. apple sauce), yogurt, and baked goods.

    Although widely available in Canada, Splenda is only available online in the USA (with a few, recent exceptions). You can purchase Splenda in packets, tablets or 'granular' form.

    Be forewarned, however, that both the packets and granular have maltodextrin as a 'filler' to increase the bulk of the sucralose, so that it can be measured the same as sugar (i.e., 1 cup granular Splenda = 1 cup sugar). And the maltodextrin filler has carbohydrates thus calories (1 carb = 4 calories): .5g per teaspoon, 24g to a cup.
    The packets of Splenda do not measure out the same as table sugar. Each packet is equivalent in sweetness to 2 tsp of sugar. The packets have 1g of dextrose per packet with a small amount of Maltodextrin. There is 1g of carbohydrates or 4 calories. This information was confirmed with the manufacturer.

    STEVIA - This is a natural sweetener derived from the stevia plant, grown primarily in South America but used all over the world for it’s powerful sweetening properties.

    There are two stevia forms of interest to us: powder (green or white --- get the white!) ‘steviosides’ (pure extract) and liquid. The powder is far preferable because it is easier to measure and control than the liquid. Because this is a powerful sweetener, a little goes a long way; you might even need to invest in smaller fractional measuring spoons (such as 1/8 tsp). It can be used in baking without any degradation of taste or intensity. Some people like to combine it with other sweeteners such as Splenda or Isomalt to produce the best facsimile of true sugar taste possible. As always, this is largely a matter of personal (subjective) taste.

    Some people think stevia has an herbal or licorice taste; others find the taste is just fine. It seems clear that quality and brand both play roles in the taste of stevia. Two brands given an A-OK rating: NOW and Wisdom of the Ancients. Stevia is available at most health food stores. Since it is only available currently as a dietary supplement, that’s the section of your health food store to look in.

    SUGAR ALCOHOL - This family of compounds, also called polyols, which contain neither sugar or alcohol, are a boon to dieters since they affect blood glucose and insulin levels much less than real sugar or not at all.

    Sugar alcohols have been used for many years in many products. They can be safely submitted to high heat. The only point of caution is that they can produce gastro-intestinal distress and a laxative effect for some people in “excessive amounts”. The working definition of “excessive amounts” varies by individual. Some have reported extreme GI distress and diarrhea after eating only a single piece of candy. The website cited above notes that symptoms seem to be affected not only by a person’s sensitivity level, but by whatever else they might have consumed around the same time as the sugar alcohol item. More importantly, the site advises: “Any gastrointestinal symptoms from consuming foods with polyols, if they occur at all, are usually mild and temporary. If a person believes they are sensitive to polyols, the amount eaten on a single occasion should be reduced. Most people will adapt to polyols after a few days, the same way they do to high fiber foods. Many people with diabetes, for example, have learned from their health professional to eat only a small amount of sugar-free products at first and then to gradually increase these foods in the diet.”

    SORBITOL - occurs naturally in many edible fruits and berries. It is absorbed as readily as sugar by the body even though the body uses it in much the same way as sugar. Sorbitol has a mildly sweet taste, about 60% as intense as cane sugar.

    MALTITOL - is a disaccharide polyol produced from maltose, occurring widely in nature as in chicory and roasted malt and can be up to 95% as sweet as table sugar. It has a pleasant sweet taste with no after taste and has less of a laxative effect than sorbitol or mannitol. Excess consumption (over 15 grams (may be listed as sugar alcohols) may have a laxative effect.)

    MANNITOL - is a monosaccharide polyol with about 70% the sweetening power of table sugar. Excess consumption (over 10 grams ) can have a laxative effect. Xylitol Xylitol is a monosaccaride polyol derived from fruits and vegetables (such as lettuce, carrots, strawberries) and from fibrous plants.

    H S H ( Hydrogenated Starch Hydrolysate ) also called ( Lycasin ) - is from corn. The corn kernels are Steeped, grounded and degerminated the hull, fiber and gluten are removed, leaving the liquid starch. This starch is then partially "hydrolyzed" into thick syrup. The Syrup is then placed in a reaction vessel and hydrogen gas is pumped in. With the aid of a catalyst, these extra hydrogen atoms are fused into new molecules that change the syrup into HSH ( Hydrogenated Starch Hydrolysate ).

    ISOMALT - is a fairly new sugar substitute, it was discovered in the early 1950's by Sudzuker AG, the processor of sugar beets in Europe. Isomalt is 50% lower in calories than table sugar and only about 50% of it is metabolized by the body.

  19. Post


    What article are you quoting? This is good info.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Massachusetts, USA

    Thumbs up

    I vote Splenda.

    I never used Equal except for the occasional cappuchino. I would put sugar on my cereal before, but now I use Splenda for everything.

    Your mileage may vary, but it works for me! (Just picked up a box of Splenda packets at BJ's Wholesale Club this evening -- 700 packets -- it should be good for a year!)


    179.2/137.2/145(WWG)/135 (PG)

    Lifetime since May 1988
    Back On Program since November 29, 2008

  21. #21


    This one always gets hot... I personally don't want to touch Aspartame, although I know it is in a lot of lower in fat products, such as my yogurt. So while I consume in moderation, I wouldn't recommend drinking alot of Diet Coke or the like. I personally think it is rat poison, but that is just my humble (very humble) opinion. In coffee, I guess I am old school, because I like Sweet n' Low, which I know makes some people nervous.

    All in all, it doesnt really matter which you choose, if you feel the same after both. They are all processed in some way (except Stevia I guess) so neither is that great for you!
    Jamie<br /><br />"The deepest personal defeat suffered by human beings is constituted by the difference between what one was capable of becoming and what one has in fact become." <br />-- Ashley Montagu

  22. #22


    I have never understood this whole debate.

    Why not eat real food instead of chemicals? If you have a sweet tooth, save your points and eat something real.

  23. #23
    imported_Kelly_S Guest


    I use both Nutrasweet and Splenda because I grew up on it because of diabetic grandmother and great grandmother.

    It is my one vice..I don't use ICBINB Spray but I use real butter. So it is sort of the same.

    I got the SUGAR BY OTHER NAMES from some class I had when I was taking nutrition classes. I have many articles about safety of Nutrasweet from those classes also.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    May 2002
    southern Virginia


    Any one know where to find LIQUID Splenda??

    ---Katie, CEO of Me, Inc & living my new-normal
    highest:375(fall '98),5'4"//11-19-08 WW restart:277//current:247//2nd 10%:225//NEXT MINI GOAL:239//goal:150
    *He leadeth me.

  25. #25
    imported_Kelly_S Guest


    I don't think so but try Splenda's website.

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