Stevia Vs. Splenda: Which Is The Healthier Sugar Alternative?

If you or someone in your household has diabetes or simply wants to reduce sugar intake, you probably know about several different sweetening alternatives to sugar. Two such sweeteners are stevia and Splenda. Both are calorie-free, but they have several distinctive differences, according to a Fitday report. 

Splenda is the brand name for the artificial sweetener sucralose, and it's about 600 times sweeter than sugar. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved substance is actually made from sugar. Still, it doesn't contain calories or raise blood sugar levels like its caloric counterpart, making it ideal for use as a substitute in baking or diet drinks (via Healthline). As for stevia, it's made from a plant and sold under the brand names Truvia, PureVia, and Enliten. It's a bit less sweet-tasting than Splenda, ranging from 200 to 400 times as sweet as sugar, and it's often used to sweeten beverages. 

While both serve the purpose of providing a sweet taste without the calories, one of them does tend to have the advantage when it comes to safety.

Here's the slightly safer sugar alternative

According to Healthline, stevia has a slight edge over Splenda when it comes to potential health concerns. However, both products are considered safe to use as alternatives to sugar that don't add any calories to your diet when you use them in moderation.

You should consider a few things, though. Sometimes stevia contains sugar alcohols, which can cause digestive issues if you use it heavily. Also, you shouldn't use either substitute with abandon, especially if you're hoping to lose weight. A study published in 2013 in Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism (posted at the National Library of Medicine) found that using artificial sweeteners like stevia and sucralose, among others, could lead to weight gain, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. Researchers continue to examine the potential long-term effects of both sweeteners (via Fitday). If you have any questions or concerns about using either or both, you should talk to your doctor about which one might be right for you.