People with diabetes must follow a dietary regimen that helps to stabilize blood sugar levels. The use of artificial sweeteners in the place of traditional white sugar is a simple way to continue eating and drinking sweetened foods and beverages without a major spike in blood sugar levels. Splenda, or sucralose, is an artificial sweetener that became available in 1999.
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Splenda and Blood Sugar
Since Splenda and other sucralose-containing sweeteners or products are not recognized by the body as a carbohydrate, it has no impact on the insulin response of the body or blood sugar levels. Therefore, it may be better for people with diabetes to consume Splenda in the place of sugar in order to avoid a rise in blood sugar levels.
Safety of Splenda
Splenda is made from sugar or sucrose; however, it is chemically changed and goes unrecognized when inside the body, and thus is calorie-free. Sucralose sweeteners, including Splenda, are recognized as safe by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Although the FDA approves the safety of Splenda, it is still a relatively new product, and only time will reveal if there are any serious safety issues associated with the sweetener. More scientific research is necessary to fully understand possible hazards of Splenda.
Possible Side Effects
Some people who have used Splenda claim that it is a trigger for migraine headaches. Other reported side effects include dizziness, diarrhea, swelling and intestinal cramping. These symptoms do not result in everyone who uses sucralose, and some people may be less tolerant of artificial sweeteners than others. If you experience any negative side effects from consuming Splenda or other artificial sweeteners, discontinue use of those products immediately.
Use of Splenda for Diabetics
If you are uncertain if using Splenda to replace regular sugar is right for you, discuss your concerns with your diabetes educator, registered dietitian or doctor. Since your body may react differently to some artificial sweeteners, it might be necessary to experiment with Splenda and other similar products to find the sweetener that is best for you, your blood sugar and your health condition.