If you're like me, one of your
biggest obstacles to sticking with any kind of calorie
restricted diet is beverages. I have been known on
occasion to consume more calories in soda than in
food -- and then I wonder why I need to lose some
Cutting out caloried beverages is one of the simplest
and easiest ways to start losing weight immediately,
and if the caloried beverages you're cutting out are
sugar-based (Sweet Tea, sodas, etc) then you're gaining
a great health advantage as well by lowering your long
term risk of developing Diabetes or (like me) getting
a blood report showing elevated Trigylcerides -- an
early warning of future Diabetes or and insulin resistance.
Unfortunately, if you're also like me, you can't stand
most non-caloried drinks and can't stand the aftertaste
from Nutrasweet & Aspartame based diet drinks. Overconsumption
of nutrasweet and aspartame may also have long term
health consequences as well, although that subject
is still being debated.
Luckily for all of us looking to change our evil sugar
drinking ways there's a new form of Sugar called Splenda.
Most of the new low-carb products coming out use Splenda
to help naturally sweeten their products without adding
those pesky empty sugar carbohydrates.
I have personally
managed to kick my soda habits thanks to Splenda-Aid,
although I'll admit I occasionally enjoy a Dr. Pepper
occasionally when I'm out or for a reward. A thought
occured to me when consuming my Splenda-Aid that perhaps
Splenda is not a zero calorie sweetener. It is a little
known fact that food manufacturers are able to make
certain stipulations regarding 'zero' or 'less than
1g' in their nutritional labels. I emailed the makers
of Splenda to find out what the actual calorie content
of Splenda is in larger amounts and got a pretty quick
reply. Here it is:
"The caloric and carbohydrate content for SPLENDA(R)
Brand Sweetener is as follows:
1 tsp = 0.5 gm carb = 2 calories
one half cup = 12 gm carb = 48 calories
1 cup = 24 gm carb = 96 calories
*1 tsp. = 1 serving
Packet of SPLENDA(R)
1 packet = .9 gm of carb = 4 calories
*1 packet has the sweetness of 2 tsp of sugar
Note: Per U.S. labeling laws,
anything with less than 5 calories per serving, is
properly labeled as "zero" or
The caloric and carbohydrate content for sugar is
1 tsp = 4 gm of carb= 16 calories
one half cup = 96 gm of carb= 385 calories
1 cup = 192 gm of carb = 770 calories
Note: The calories and carbohydrates in SPLENDA(R)
No Calorie Sweetener come from dextrose and/or maltodextrin,
which are added for bulk. Sucralose, the sweetening
ingredient in SPLENDA(R) Brand Sweetener, has no calories
and is not a carbohydrate.
Granular - sucralose, maltodextrin (0.5 gram per serving)
Packets - sucralose, maltodextrin and dextrose (less
than 1 gram per packet)
SPLENDA(R) No Calorie Sweetener (sucralose) has no
known side effects. Sucralose can be used by everyone;
including people with diabetes, pregnant and nursing
mothers, and children. The safety of SPLENDA(R) Brand
Sweetener has been demonstrated as part of our clearance
process with the FDA as well as other regulatory agencies
around the world. There are no warning labels on the
product to exclude anyone from enjoying SPLENDA(R)
No Calorie Sweetener."
If I were to make the same Kool-Aid using normal sugar,
it would contain 2,310 calories. I can take down a
pitcher of Kool-Aid in a day. This is BAD! A pitcher
of Splend-Aid (1 gallon) contains 288 calories. This
is GOOD! It is definitely an issue to consider, especially
for women, that even though Splenda is very low in
calories, it does have some. For example if you're
trying to keep under 1500 calories per day, 288 is
a lot of those calories! I usually only drink about
a pitcher every 2 days though and I have family help
sometimes so unless you go overboard, you should be
ok with Splend-Aid.
I have not found it to cause any
excess cravings and it is definitely part of what
has helped me lose an additional 10 lbs or so solely
through diet. I can't wait to find out what my next
blood lab results are as well since I am eating a relatively
low sugar and well balanced diet these days. Thank
downside of Splenda is that it is more expensive
than sugar. Our local Wal-Marts carry large bags
which is how I recommend purchasing it as it is most
cost effective. They have a smaller box that is available
in most grocery stores in the sweetener section.
They have boxes containing packets as well, but I
do not recommend these unless you like to mix drinks
individually. I do find the packets of splenda are
GREAT for sweetening cereals. I like Grape Nuts with
2 packets of Splenda on top. The Splenda combines
with the milk in a very sweet and interesting flavor.
All in all, it's less expensive than buying sodas
or other sugar containing foods/drinks and much healthier!
Hopefully as more people begin to use Splenda the
cost will come down as well.
Now if they would only come out with
a diet Dr. Pepper that used Splenda instead of Nutrasweet.
Diet Rite and RC Cola so far are the only drink
manufacturers to adopt splenda for their sodas so far.
Let's hope more do in the future. I personally wrote
the makers of Dr. Pepper to recommend they do this
but got a form letter back. Perhaps if enough of us
contact the makers of our favorite beverages demanding
Splenda versions eventually they will respond. Until
then, I'll have my Splend-Aid and I hope it helps some
of you too! My personal favorite flavor is Cherry.
If you haven't tried Splenda as a
replacement sweetener you really should. It does not
have the aftertaste of nutrasweet/aspartame. It will
not work as a replacement in all situations, but it
will in most.
packets of non-sweetened Kool-Aid or other similar
non-sweetened drink flavoring
- 2 packets and cups of Splenda are the 'recommended'
amount, but I like mine better with 3 packets and
3 cups per gallon. It's a matter of personal preference.
the three cups of Splenda and Kool-Aid
or other sweetener into the pitcher.
pitcher half to two-thirds of the way with water,
attempting to soak the Splenda/flavoring as you
fill the pitcher.
thoroughly - some Splenda 'flakes' may remain
since the pitcher is not full -- ignore these.
filling the pitcher up to 2-3" inches below the
top of the pitcher and stir again.
a VERY LOW CALORIE beverage with no bad aftertaste
or potentially hazardous substances.
Info: Calories - 288 per gallon for 3 cups splenda,
192 per gallon for 2 cups.
comparison, a 12 oz can of soda generally contains
about 160 calories and a 20 oz bottle 250 calories.