Helpful info for a healthier lifestyle
Chocolate Chip Cookies made with Low-Calorie Sweetener

Low-Calorie Sweeteners and Sweet Cravings

Learn How to Satisfy Your Sweet Cravings with Low Calorie Sweeteners

I have been compensated for my time by McNeil Nutritionals, LLC, the maker of SPLENDA® Sweetener Products. All statements and opinions are my own. I have pledged to Blog With Integrity, asserting that the trust of my readers and the blogging community is vitally important to me.

Have you ever wished we lived in a world where you could eat whatever you wanted and not have to worry about gaining weight or getting sick? If you have, you’re not alone. Sadly, until that distant planet is discovered we have to pay attention to what and how much we eat to stay healthy here on earth.

But that doesn’t mean we can never have the foods we crave. I know I wouldn’t want to live in a world where I couldn’t enjoy a warm chocolate chip cookie once in a while.

Please Pass the Chocolate

Anyone who has had an intense desire to eat a certain food has experienced a food craving. What separates a craving from hunger is the desire for a very specific food, while almost any food can satisfy hunger.

If this sounds familiar to you, then you can count yourself among the 97% of us who have had food cravings. Studies show women report more of them than men, and the frequency, strength and types of foods women crave are different, too. But the one food more of us crave than any other is chocolate!

Ice Cream and Boo Boos

As common as they are, the reasons behind food cravings are poorly understood. One popular theory is that we learn to associate certain foods with positive feelings early in life, such as getting an ice cream cone after we skin our knee.

Eating ice cream after a fall probably did help us forget about our boo-boos when we were children. Unfortunately, the more the connection was reinforced between special foods and feeling better, the harder it became to break. That is why so many adults still deal with all types of discomfort, both physical and emotional, by eating foods they crave.

Satisfying Our Sweet Tooth with SPLENDA® Sweetener

Other theories about what trigger food cravings include meal monotony, rigid food restrictions and nutritional imbalances. Is it any wonder why weight loss diets are so hard to stick to? They’re often boring, unpalatable and incomplete, so our food cravings get the best of us.

If your food cravings lead you to something sweet, there is a way to satisfy that desire and still keep your calories under control. Using a no cal sweetener, such as SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener, in place of sugar lets us have the sweet taste we want without all the calories.

And despite what you may have read somewhere on the Internet, there is nothing in SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener, or any other low calorie sweetener, that will increase or extend our desire for sweets. I know there have been some of contradictory studies on this topic covered in the media, which can be confusing.  However, the scientific evidence points in the opposite direction by showing that low cal sweeteners do not stimulate appetite or food intake and don’t cause weight gain.  One of their biggest advantages is how they can help reduce caloric intake and consequently body weight.

Of course, we still have to pay attention to what triggers our food cravings and how we deal with them, but we don’t have to completely avoid all the foods we crave. Sometimes we may just need to take a smaller portion and savor every bite to feel satisfied.

Making Every Day a Little Sweeter

To help keep my sweet tooth in check I start my day with a delicious breakfast parfait made by sprinkling SPLENDA® Sweetener on some high-fiber cereal and plain yogurt layered with fresh berries.  Later in the day I whirl SPLENDA® into a frothy iced latte made with fat free milk for the perfect afternoon pick-me up. And when I really want to have a chocolate chip cookie, I know I can take one from my freezer, made using a SPLENDA® recipe, and warm it up for a few seconds in the microwave oven for a sweet treat.

I am a firm believer in practicing what I preach.  That’s why I am confident in providing this sensible nutrition advice: By including foods and beverages made with low calorie sweeteners in our daily diets we can enjoy the sweet taste we love, but with fewer calories. It’s almost like living in a perfect world!

Robyn Flipse, MS, MA, RDN, “The Everyday RD,” is an author and nutrition consultant who has headed the nutrition services department in a large teaching hospital and maintained a private practice where she provided diet therapy to individuals and families. With more than 30 years of experience, Robyn is motivated by the opportunity to help people make the best eating decisions for their everyday diet. She believes that choosing what to eat should not be a daily battle and aims to separate the facts from the fiction so you can enjoy eating well.

For more information, visit:

Appetite (pdf)
Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition Metabolic Care 2012;15(6):597-604.
Calorie Control Council
International Journal of Obesity (pdf)
The Journal of Nutrition -1
The Journal of Nutrition - 2
The Journal of Nutrition - 3
The Journal of Nutrition - 4
Obesity (pdf)

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