Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Splenda Does NOT Taste Like Sugar

In my ongoing quest for fitness, I have made a few concessions to my diet in the last few years.  I have started to eat more fruit and green vegetables.  I am gravitating more towards lean meats and fish (both baked and grilled). I eat fat-free when I can stand it (fat is what makes things taste good. Eating some fat-free foods is like eating paper i.e. completely tasteless; but this varies from food to food) and reduced fat in other circumstances. 

I almost completely cut out soda some years ago, which was much harder than it sounds.  Going cold turkey from soda is like going cold turkey from crack.  Somehow I managed.  It was either that or switch to diet soda which was a no-go.  Why? Because of the artificial sweeteners and their horrible taste. . . and the fact that they allegedly rot your insides like Draino.  But mostly because of the taste.

Everyone knows Splenda, right?  It's the fako sugar in the yellow packet and box.  Anyway, there was this commercial a few years ago that expounded upon the wonders of Splenda by explaining how Splenda starts with sugar, tastes like sugar but it's NOT sugar.  Then of course is your requisite scene with a couple of kids running into mom's kitchen to a tray of homemade cookies that are, supposedly, made with Splenda.

So the camera cuts to the little girl biting into a cookie and the look on her face plainly says "This cookie tastes like shit".  Now, this makes sense because practically anything made with Splenda tastes like shit.  Why? Because Splenda does NOT taste like sugar. 

Now obviously, I'm not a fan of the fako sugar.   There is absolutely nothing like the real thing.  Yes, I know it's not good for you in large quantities, but neither is sunlight.  That hasn't stopped people from going outside, though.  A good old fashioned treat made with real sugar is not gonna hurt you every once in a while unless you're a diabetic.  In which case, you're kinda stuck with whatever doesn't make you go hyperglycemic.  Otherwise, there is no need to cheapen a perfectly good baked good with Splenda, Equal or any other gross sugar substitute.  It makes baby Jesus cry.

Artificial sweeteners have a palpable aftertaste and it is not a good one.  And there isn't any appropriate way to describe it either.  It's kind of like that  just-brushed-your-teeth aftertaste except that one has hints of flavors you can describe, like mint.What's the aftertaste of Splenda? Some miscellaneous chemical that I can't spell.

And the real kicker to Splenda and other no-cal sweeteners is that they DO have calories.  The company just screws with the serving size and packing to get it under the guideline of what the FDA defines as a no-calorie food.  So if you stand there and put 10 packets of Splenda in your coffee, you may as well have just put half as many packs of sugar in. It's almost the same thing.

Splenda, in particular, is mostly made by chlorinating regular sugar. Mmm. . . . chlorine. . . .*drools*.  Why don't I just go ahead and put bleach in my cereal?

I suppose I understand the logic of fako sugar, but wouldn't it be easier to just practice moderation with sweets?  That way, when you let yourself have one, it's even better because you made yourself wait.  If you go around devouring plates of oatmeal raisins like a flesh-colored cookie monster, I think you have bigger problems than a little sugar anyway. 

Now I know that some people will swear up and down that you can make yummy treats with artificial sugar and it will be far better for you than anything made with refined white sugar.  To some people, refined sugar is like the satanic spawn of meth and heroin sprinkled with the ashes of unbaptized babies.  Granted, it's bad.  Still, if I'm going to sabotage my health, I'd rather do it with something that doesn't taste like diluted White Out.  But that's just me.

Of course, if anyone would like to prove me wrong, feel free to whip up your finest baked goods and forward them on.  I promise to let you know whether or not they ended up in the garbage.

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