Answer: It depends. Most products of Splenda are made without any animal-derived ingredients, but there are a few that have animal by-products in them.
Have you tried Splenda before in cooking, baking, or coffee? If so, you’re not alone. But here’s the take.
Although most of its products are derived from natural sources, Splenda is not animal-friendly. This is because the production of Splenda involves animal testing, which puts many animals’ lives at risk. Its key ingredients are sucralose, maltodextrin, and dextrose.
If you’re curious about Splenda, let’s go find out more about it!
What Is Splenda?
Splenda is an artificial sweetener with its original formulation made with a high-intensity sweetener called sucralose. It’s known as a sugar substitute with reduced calories.
The other two key ingredients are maltodextrin and dextrose, which are all considered safe for human consumption.
As an ingredient, sucralose is also an artificial sweetener made from real sugar and is way sweeter than sugar but low in calories.
Splenda also produces natural sweeteners such as allulose, monk fruit, and stevia.
American manufacturer Heartland Food Products Group owns Splenda, which was introduced to the market in 1999.
Tate & Lyle discovered sucralose in 1976 and developed Splenda Original Sweeteners in partnership with McNeil Nutritionals, an umbrella of Johnson & Johnson.
Heartland purchased the brand in 2015.
In cooking, Splenda Original is known to be heat stable and can survive up to 450°F. This is why the product became popular in both baking and cooking in place of table sugar.
Unlike table sugar, Splenda Original doesn’t caramelize and lacks artificial flavors.
Since Splenda’s introduction to the market in 1999, the brand has surpassed another American artificial sweetener, Equal.
In 2006, Splenda’s U.S. sales spiked to $212 million, which is way higher than Equal’s $48.7 million sales.
Because of this, Splenda was hailed as the leading brand in table-top sweeteners in America.
According to Splenda, most of their products don’t include any animal-derived or by-product ingredients except for the other four variants.
However, the only major drawback of the brand is that the products are all tested on animals, which is unethical to most vegans.
Ethical vegans go vegan because of animal welfare, and products that have to go through animal testing are unacceptable.
Thousands of animals suffer from this act, and most are even killed if not hurt.
So if you were to use any of Splenda’s vegan products, it’s worth noting that they are not animal-friendly.
Use Splenda with caution, especially when you go vegan for the animals.
Nonetheless, here are the vegan-friendly products of Splenda.
- Sucralose-based Splenda Original Sweeteners
- Splenda Stevia
- Splenda Monk Fruit
- Splenda Allulose
- Liquid Sweeteners
- Splenda Premium Sweet Teas
Here are the non-vegan Splenda products.
- Coffee Creamers
- Brown Sugar Blend
- Diabetes Care Shakes
- Splenda Minis
Also, Splenda Original contains dextrose and maltodextrin, which are thankfully derived from corn starch, and are confirmed vegan-friendly.
It’s the same with sucralose, although it has to go through many manufacturing processes to make it 600 times sweeter than real table sugar but with very low calories.
In the U.S., Splenda Original also referred to as Sucralose, is considered zero calories, which the FDA allows.
The FDA regulations say that if the calorie content of a food is less than 5%. it can be labeled legally as zero calories.
A single packet of Splenda, equivalent to 1 g, contains 3.36 kcal, less than 5% of the FDA’s standard nutritional value.
How Healthy Is Splenda?
For those who seek weight loss but love sweet treats, Splenda is their go-to substitute for table sugar. But how good or bad is it to humans?
In 1999, the FDA approved Splenda as safe to use after extensive reviews of its toxicology reports, clinical trials, and studies.
Splenda is immensely popular due to its low-calorie content, which makes people use it instead of table sugar, giving huge amounts of calories or added sugar.
But just like many other foods, excessive consumption of Splenda can put your health at risk over time. However, this would also depend on how healthy you are in your lifestyle.
Marketed as a great help for weight loss and a good substitute for table sugar because of its low-calorie content, Splenda may not be the case.
Its complexity in human health has been a subject of debate between health experts and the like.
According to some observational studies, artificial sweeteners and body weight are not connected.
However, some reported that artificial sweeteners reduce body weight by only 0.8 kg on average.
Overall, Splenda and other artificial sweeteners show zero to very little effect on body weight.
Moreover, it is said that Splenda has almost no effects on insulin and blood sugar, although this depends on your health.
For instance, if you’re used to using artificial sweeteners and are relatively healthy, Splenda consumption won’t greatly affect your blood sugar and insulin.
On the other hand, one study of severely obese people who are not used to artificial sweeteners found that sucralose increased their insulin and blood sugar levels by up to 20%.
Additionally, since Splenda is heat resistant, it may not be safe for baking, according to a study.
When Splenda is heated with glycerol, it may start to create harmful substances.
Some of these substances, such as chloropropanols are known for increasing cancer risk.
However, more research is needed for this. But some health experts suggest using other sweeteners in baking or cooking that require temperatures above 350°F.
Although further human studies and research are needed to prove that Splenda or sucralose isn’t safe for general use, many health experts have advised using other sweeteners other than Splenda.
In fact, a Sugar Association filed a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission, asserting that Splenda isn’t a natural product nor cultivated or naturally grown in nature.
Best Substitutes for Splenda
Splenda is made with sucralose, which is derived from real sugar. It’s also said that the sugar used in making sucralose doesn’t go through animal bone char filtration.
This makes sucralose used in Splenda vegan-friendly, although the product has been tested on more than 12,000 animals.
So what’s the best bet for vegans when using sweeteners outside Splenda products? It’s easy and simple!
These are both vegan and animal-friendly, especially since they are derived from plants.
Most vegan chefs, bakers, and the like use these alternatives that are not only vegan but also offer delicious flavors.
Consider these vegan sweeteners next time. They help a lot.
- Maple Syrup
- Agave Nectar
- Brown Rice Syrup
- Coconut Sugar
- Date Syrup
- Yacon Root Syrup
- Raw Cane Sugar
- Corn Syrup
- Monk Fruit
If you can’t find anything naturally processed, meaning it didn’t go through any patented and multi-step processes, check these brands too.
These are vegan-friendly and are not heavily processed like Splenda.
- Just Date 100% Organic Syrup
- 365 Whole Foods Organic Dark Maple Syrup
- Natural Mate Stevia All-Purpose Natural Sweetener
- Big Tree Organic Brown Coconut Sugar
- Erythritol 100% Natural Sweetener
- Blenditup Vegan Honey
Ingredients to Look Out for in Artificial Sweeteners
As vegans, we don’t just go for delicious flavors. We also go for healthy and delicious food agreeable to all vegans.
This is why artificial sweeteners, despite the fact that they’re vegan-friendly, are not always healthy alternatives.
This is because they must go through multiple processes that mostly remove necessary nutrients from the ingredients.
When this happens, the product becomes useless and is only there for decoration and not really for health benefits.
So if you were to use artificial sweeteners, there are harmful ingredients that you need to pay attention to.
These ingredients weren’t processed lightly and already gave zero to very few nutrients when consumed or used in food.
- Sucralose. This is found in Splenda.
- Aspartame. It’s found in NutraSweet and Equal Sweeteners.
- Saccharin. This is found in Sweet ‘N Low.
These three ingredients are reportedly famous for causing many health issues, such as headaches and migraines, weight gain, depression, irritable bowel syndrome, and many more.
The Bottom Line
Most of Splenda’s products don’t have animal-derived ingredients but go through animal testing.
Sucralose, which is Splenda’s key ingredient, is also known for its bad health effect that many health experts recommend not to use it.
These are among the major reasons why Splenda isn’t positively accepted by many vegans, especially the ethical ones.
However, many vegan-friendly substitutes are organic and naturally made.
Avoid using natural sweeteners like honey or any kind of honey, such as Wildflower Honey, because it’s not vegan after all. I have a separate article written here if you wanna learn more about it.
Nonetheless, always use any artificial sweeteners with caution because some of them may have been tested on animals and involves harmful ingredients.
After all, veganism aims to totally abstain from any animal products.