Friday, May 28, 2010

The Splenda Experiment

Wow...has it really been that long since I've posted anything? I hadn't realized it had been quite so long, though I definitely knew I have been neglecting my blogs!

I have embarked on an interesting experiment, and I thought it might actually be something worth detailing on my blog. A couple of nights ago, I was hanging out with a dear friend of mine while he was repairing my badly-virus-infected computer. He didn't have any bottled water, but did have some bottles of G2. As he opened one, he remarked that he was not happy because he had forgotten to check the label, and there was Splenda in the drink.

I asked why that mattered, and a discussion ensued about the problems that have been linked to Splenda and other artificial sweeteners. Of course, I knew about the "has been known to cause cancer in laboratory rats" that is found on many sweeteners, but I had never really given it that much thought. Mark, however, is one to research issues, and he always does a very thorough job of learning both good and bad points.

After he explained the known side effects, and told me his own personal experiences, I became curious. I have Splenda in my coffee every morning, drink only diet soda, and enjoy many products that contain Aspertame. I have never noticed any ill effects of this eating style, but got to wondering if I really WAS having any effects. Mark told me that it doesn't effect everyone, but that some people just didn't realize they were having side effects, and that if you stopped ingesting the products, there was usually a difference within a matter of a few days.

So yesterday morning, I was making my coffee and I paused. I really do wonder if I am having any "side effects" from my regular consumption of sugar substitutes. I decided to take a few days and completely eliminate it from my diet. It's just an experiment for my own knowledge and curiousity, but I'm really intrigued to see what happens.

All day yesterday, I checked labels and carefully made choices. It wasn't too difficult, but I was sad to learn that Fiber One Yogurt is sweetened with Aspartame. That's off limits for at least a few days, but I will survive. At least my beloved VitaTops are naturally sweetened, as are most of the snack bars in my cabinets. It isn't taking much time at all to read food labels, as I do it frequently anyway.

I'm not ready to draw any definite conclusions yet, but just yesterday I did notice a few things. I didn't have my usual mid-afternoon crash where I have to lie down for 10-20 minutes in order to function. This is rare for me. Also, I didn't snack as much as I normally do. That one really interested me, as I am generally very "munchy" in afternoon. After lunch, I wasn't even hungry at all until around 3, when I had a light snack. Then I was fine again until dinner. Weird, but in a good way!

So now I'm on day 2, and so far, so good. I will post again with results of my little experiment. It's actually fun, and I'm glad I'm giving it a try.


Beth said...

Welcome back! I'm interested in finding out what your results from this experiment are. I keep hearing about all the "bad" assoicated with drinking Diet Cokes and eating other foods made with artificial sweeteners.

Annie Jones said...

Except for the very occasional Sweet -n- Low in restaurant tea, I've managed to avoid almost all artificial sweeteners. I never got started on them because I don't like the way any of them taste.

I'm also wary of the potential health issues related to them. I'm curious to read what you experience with your experiment.