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How Does Splenda Affect Triglycerides?

by
author image Kathryn Gilhuly
Kathryn Gilhuly is a wellness coach based in San Diego. She helps doctors, nurses and other professionals implement lifestyle changes that focus on a healthy diet and exercise. Gilhuly holds a Master of Science in health, nutrition and exercise from North Dakota State University.
How Does Splenda Affect Triglycerides?
Pink packets of artificial sweetener. Photo Credit BigRedCurlyGuy/iStock/Getty Images

What you eat affects the amount of triglycerides, a type of fat, in your bloodstream. Some foods, such as meat, contain triglycerides naturally. Your body also converts some substances -- sugar and alcohol in particular -- to triglycerides. If using Splenda, an artificial sweetener, helps you reduce the amount of sugar in your diet, you could enjoy lower levels of triglycerides.

Healthy Triglyceride Levels

A blood cholesterol test measures three types of lipids: low-density lipoprotein, high-density lipoprotein and triglycerides. LDL, or “bad” cholesterol, and triglycerides can clog your arteries and put you at higher risk for developing cardiovascular disease. HDL, or “good” cholesterol, helps pull LDL and triglycerides out of your system. Aim to keep LDL cholesterol and triglycerides low and HDL high. Healthy triglycerides measure 150 mg/dl or less, although in April 2011 the American Heart Association lowered its recommendation for ideal triglyceride levels to 100 mg/dl -- milligrams per deciliter of blood -- or less. Triglyceride levels above 200 mg/dl put you at high risk for heart attacks and strokes, and levels that top 500 mg/dl put you at very high risk.

Diet to Lower Triglycerides

You can reduce triglycerides by 50 percent through diet and exercise, according to a scientific statement released by the American Heart Association, based on a review of more than 500 studies. The recommended diet includes limiting calories from foods with added sugar to 5 percent to 10 percent of your daily total -- about 100 to 200 calories, based on a diet of 2,000 calories a day. A regular can of cola contains about 136 calories, virtually all of it from sugar. Using Splenda doesn’t automatically reduce your triglycerides, but it may help you avoid sugary foods and drinks that elevate your triglyceride levels.

Splenda

Splenda, the brand name for the artificial sweetener sucralose, contains no calories. It is derived from sucrose -- sugar -- but it is formulated to keep your body from treating it as a carbohydrate. Splenda, unlike regular sugar, does not elevate your blood glucose levels the way sugar does, and it does not get converted to carbohydrates in your body. Splenda comes in granulated form and, unlike some sweeteners, tolerates high temperatures, which makes it suitable for baking.

Considerations

If you enjoy sweets such as muffins, cakes and cookies, you can easily consume more than 100 calories a day in sugar. If you bake sweet treats with Splenda, you can reduce some or all of the sugar called for in a recipe. Keep in mind, however, that baked goods may contain other ingredients harmful to your triglycerides. Saturated fat and trans fat, for instance, can elevate your triglyceride levels. A single tablespoon of margarine contains more trans fat than the American Heart Association recommends you consume in a day.

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