You’ve sworn off most processed foods, prefer kale over cake, and have even dabbled with ditching dairy. You’re the super healthy one in your girl group, and your family knows that the weekend can’t truly start until you’ve logged a sufficient sweat session.
But you’re still a sucker for a can of soda every now and then, and you like your morning latte with a sprinkle of Splenda.
These little habits may seem harmless enough—especially in moderation—but it may be time to tweak your occasional love for artificial sweetener.
New research suggested that Splenda (which, yes, is hidden inside that bottle of Diet Pepsi) may cause serious health problems, including cancer, Eat Clean reports. A study published in the International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health found that mice who were fed sucralose (the main ingredient in Splenda) daily throughout their lives eventually developed leukemia and other blood cancers.
The results of the study prompted the Center for Science in the Public Interest to formally recommend that consumers avoid the artificial sweetener. (Up until 2013, it still deemed Splenda safe.)
Worried you’ll have to start drinking your coffee black? Fear not: Try these natural sweeteners in lieu of the chemical-laden artificial stuff. And consider this yet another reminder to stick with whole foods whenever possible, and to keep checking those food labels when you can’t.
Pass the agave, please.