We all want to find ways to sweeten our coffee without the use of sugar, and there are plenty of products available, but not many of them are vegan.
But is Splenda vegan? The answer is that many of their products could be considered vegan in some circles, but for a lot of people, they are not vegan.
We’re going to take a closer look to see if it is fine for a plant-based diet.
Why Is Splenda Not Vegan?
We always like to see a brand that is open about its products being vegan or not, but even though they are open about it, why does Splenda’s faq section get a thumbs down from us?
On their company faq section, Splenda answered the following question about the vegan status of their products:
“Most Splenda Brand products are made without animal or animal by-products – there are three exceptions, including Splenda Coffee Creamers, Splenda Brown Sugar Blend, and Splenda Diabetes Care Shakes.”
But why is this misleading? Well, Splenda has been tested on thousands of animals, raising questions of ethics. A report in the year 2,000 found that sucralose, which is produced for inclusion in Splenda, was tested on over 12,000 animals that included dogs, rabbits, monkeys, rats, and mice.
The tests involved examining the effects of huge doses of sucralose on the animals’ nervous systems. There are many shocking details of the tests to find out whether the world’s first no-calorie sweetener could be safe for consumption.
Is Sucralose Vegan?
It is developed in a lab, and not made from animal-derived ingredients, but the question of ethics cannot be ignored.
For many people, this makes it non-vegan.
Is Splenda Bad For You?
Some studies show that it can increase blood glucose levels. The fact that it is 600 times sweeter than sugar does not come into the question when because it may increase insulin levels.
Some studies show it may affect gut health (again these are conducted on animals) and others that show it could increase sugar cravings. This, in turn, may lead to weight gain.
In one study, a group of rats was given sucralose from the day they were born until they died. Many rats were found to have blood cancer when examined.
Another study on rats that were given sucralose found that they had a 50% reduction in beneficial gut bacteria. This means they are not as capable of absorbing nutrients.
How Is Splenda Made?
Sucralose is made from sugar, but a chemical process that replaces three hydrogen-oxygen groups with chlorine atoms results in it being stripped of calories and being 600 times sweeter.
If you are looking for a plant-based sweetener alternative to refined sugar, and of course, Splenda, then consider the following options to give your warm beverage a little pick me up:
A healthy alternative that is a go-to sweetener for many vegans. It is sourced by tapping maple trees for their sap. This is then heated and concentrated before being bottled and sent around the world.
Popular when poured over a stack of pancakes, it is also high in calcium and iron.
We recommend the following brand of maple syrup:
Butternut Farm Organic Maple Syrup
As with any reputable brand, the only ingredient is maple syrup, a dark grade A syrup that has more flavor, it is 100% pure Vermont maple syrup and a vegan alternative to sugar or Splenda.
Another sweet alternative, agave nectar is made from the juice of the plant of the same name. It is filtered and heated to turn it into the syrup that has become popular in baking and vegan recipes. Many people squeeze a little into their morning coffee to sweeten it without having to use sugar.
The following agave syrup is worth considering:
Agave In The Raw
Certified organic and vegan and kosher certified, this is 25% sweeter than traditional sugar meaning you don’t need to use as much of it.
Brown Rice Syrup
A sweetener that is derived from brown rice, it is a thick sugary syrup that is made by combining enzymes to break down starches in brown rice which turns them into smaller sugars. The impurities are then removed leaving you with a vegan syrup.
Here is a brand we recommend:
Lundberg Family Farms
It can be used in place of honey, sugar, or any other sweetener and is both vegan and non-GMO. Another alternative that can be used to make baked goodies, or just stirred in a hot drink.
Of course any plant based diet can be enriched and made sweeter with nature’s own sugar: fruit. Some of the best fruits to use in deserts include bananas, apples, figs, papaya, and dates as they provide a similar sweetness to sugar, and can even enhance the taste.
Splenda serves as a stark warning that not all non-animal-derived foods are suitable for a vegan.
The treatment of 12,000 animals is abhorrent, and although it is plant-based, there are far better alternatives from a vegan and ethical viewpoint.