How to Quit Sugar, Splenda, and Other Sweeteners

A week ago, I quit consuming any sugar, Splenda, or any other sweetener. Most of the sweet in my life came from Splenda. I drink a ridiculous amount of coffee a day, and I put a ridiculous number of packets of Splenda in each coffee. I’m not proud of this, but that’s what it was.

I was (still am) very attached to coffee and the coffee being extremely sweet. Is this an addiction? I suppose part of the definition of an “addiction” is that it has to have a harmful effect on your life. So in that sense, no, it is not an addiction. That’s the tricky thing with Splenda. For me, it had no clear side effects, and there really is no solid science on Splenda being bad for you on a biochemical level. So, there was seemingly no reason to quit it. Still, it was clear that I was consuming a lot more than a couple of packets a day, so over years, it would be tens of thousands of Splenda packets. Science hasn’t shown any negative effects of Splenda. Hundreds of studies were done as part of the FDA approval process and the only negative effects (DNA damage) were seen in mice with extreme doses of sucralose equivalent to 11,450 packets (136 g) per day in a person to DNA damage in mice. I asked a question about it on StackExchange. So science says: Splenda is good to go, even in large amounts. But my instinct says: anything that tastes f’ing great should be consumed in moderation.

By the way, if you look online, you’ll hear a lot of people saying Spelnda is terrible for you. I have looked very carefully, and am yet to find a single case where any kind of science backs up their claims.

man-the-fuck-upThe idea to quit was sparked by a friend who made me tea (without sugar) a few times. Just that little thing is all it took to ask myself: “why not quit?” So, I quit by following the same steps I always follow in these situations, whether it’s a serious physical addiction or a mild psychological one:

  1. Cut it out completely, no exceptions.
  2. As the picture shows: man the fuck up.

The science on Splenda being good or bad is sparse and inconclusive. Here are some things I’m aware of. Leave sources in the comments if you know of more studies.

My diet at this time is: oatmeal in the morning and chicken and veggies throughout the day. If I’m too busy with work, I’ll eat a bag of almonds, and when travelling will usually go for fruit and the occasional chicken sub from Subway. I eat clean, and eat a lot.

4 thoughts on “How to Quit Sugar, Splenda, and Other Sweeteners

  1. David

    I myself am a big coffee fiend. The issue that I raised with myself and have questioned with it though was not sugar related, as I like mine strong and black, but it was more…how detrimental is the high amount of caffeine I was consuming each day? Now I cut back to two cups a day, not because of any scientific research, but purely because it seems that any more than that is excessive…but who ultimately knows what’s good or bad for you?

    1. Lex Post author

      Yes, caffeine is another funny one. A lot of science is on the side of caffeine now. It seems to have a lot of positives, and no serious negatives, except for making for lots of ups and downs in energy levels. I still drink a ton of coffee, but I’ll eventually cut down as you did, simply because (as you suggested) nothing in excess is a good idea.

    1. Lex Post author

      Yes, moderation is a skill, even an art. For me, it’s often easier to cut things out completely, but moderation is the ultimately goal, but it’s also the hardest thing to live comfortably with (at least at first).

  2. Ruben

    I have thought about this for some time as well. I have decided that although there is nothing that can quantitate the negative effects of sugar (be it regular sugar, organic brown sugar, agave, splenda, or stevia), I no longer want to consume anything that is synthetic in any way. In this case I consider sugar synthetic since it doesn’t just naturally occur in nature in the form that is used for cooking.

    I am replacing all of that with locally grown organic honey and only when a sweetener is absolutely necessary (like my post bjj lemonade for example).

    My theory: if it doesn’t naturally occur in nature, I rather not have it in or ON my body.

    1. Lex Post author

      That’s a good theory to go by, but as with anything don’t be religious about it. It’s all chemicals, and science can do make some pretty cool chemicals that help more than they hurt.

  3. sid

    FDA approves lots of stuff which turns out not to be good for you.
    remember Olestra?
    heck, look at what goes into milk and beef…it all FDA approved.

    FDA like many regulating bodies (meat industries are scary) are politically loaded organization ripe with conflicts of interest. The Margaret Miller cade is best known one. She was a senior biologist fr Monsanto that worked on Bovine Growth Hormone and then went to work at FDA where she was part of the approval process for BGH.

    and having th FDA tell us that sucralose is safe because it cant be completely diigested in your body scares the crap out of me because thatvwas Olestra selling point “you can pig out on junk and not worry because it doesnt stay in you body”

    One teaspoon of table sugar contains 15 calories, id stick with that and do a few mins on the bike. and brush your teeth. or use a natural source.

    if youve worked in the food industry you learn quickly that profit is viewed as more important than health.

    and your line in comments about its all chemicals to justify artificial chemical over natural products or put them on par is just misguided.


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