Are artificial sweeteners all they are made out to be? With the health-conscious trend on the rise and food manufacturers turning towards natural alternatives, it is important for us to understand what we put in our bodies.
In this blog post, we'll look at the benefits of artificial sweeteners as well as their potential risks; so if you're looking for more insight into whether or not artificial sweeteners are safe, keep reading! We'll dive into understanding food additives like sugar alcohols and saccharin, what research has revealed about their safety within different diets as well as an overview of impact on heart health and cancer rates. By gathering together a comprehensive source of information from reliable researchers worldwide, we will gain a better perspective on how fat replacements can effect our overall wellbeing.
What are Artificial Sweeteners & How do they Work
Artificial sweeteners are sugar substitutes used as a sugar alternative. The most popular artificial sweetener is sucralose. Sucralose is able to provide a sweet flavor without carrying any of the extra calories in sugar and has been found to be safe for human consumption by the US Food and Drug Administration. It can also help prevent tooth decay and have a positive effect on blood glucose levels, which makes it particularly appealing to those with diabetes. For these reasons, sucralose is becoming increasingly more popular as an alternative to regular table sugar.
Is sucralose the same thing as Splenda? No. While they’re both calorie-free, there are a few key differences between the two that make them distinct from one another. Firstly, sucralose is just pure sucralose with nothing added to it, while Splenda contains ingredients like maltodextrin or dextrose which can make it less healthy than sucralose.
The Benefits of Artificial Sweeteners
Artificial sweeteners offer a low-calorie, diabetes-friendly sweetness option. Consuming these artificial sweeteners rather than sugar can be beneficial in controlling diabetes and metabolic health. Studies have shown that replacing added sugar with artificial sweeteners can help people control carbs and calories while still fulfilling their craving for something sweet. Additionally, the American Heart Association has determined that it is safe to consume an appropriate amount of many non-nutritive sweeteners instead of sugar. Lovers of sweets can rest assured knowing that there are healthier alternatives available to them without sacrificing taste or satisfaction.
Potential Risks Associated with Artificial Sweeteners
Recent studies have been looking into the potential risks associated with too much artificial sweetener consumption. While sugar substitutes are a popular choice of many individuals trying to remain healthy, too much intake of artificial sweeteners can cause side effects such as headaches, dizziness, and nausea. The areas of diet and nutrition are constantly changing, so it's wise to stay up to date with the latest health advice.
Additionally, while sucralose may have been linked to headaches and stomach issues in some people, these symptoms are much less common than with Splenda-brand sweeteners which contain added fillers such as maltodextrin or dextrose — making them less healthy options overall. For this reason, it’s best to opt for sucralose-based products whenever possible for a better tasting and healthier option.
Tips on Moderation when Consuming Artificial Sweeteners
Moderation is the key when consuming artificial sweeteners. Consuming too much artificial sweetener can lead to unwanted health effects. Therefore, it is important to follow the suggested serving size that is written on a package and to pay attention to the number of servings consumed daily, as excessive consumption of artificial sweeteners has been linked to headaches, gastrointestinal discomfort, and other symptoms. Notably, moderation should be practiced when substituting artificial sweeteners for higher calorie sugar-sweetened beverages and snacks; moderation may help you reduce overall calorie intake while still allowing you to enjoy low or zero calorie treats.
Final Thoughts and Takeaways on the Safety of Artificial Sweeteners
When looking at the safety of artificial sweeteners, it's important to remember that table sugar isn't without risk either. There is some evidence to suggest that table sugar can increase risk for obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay. Recent studies have linked table sugar consumption to an increased risk of cancer and other health conditions as well. Whether choosing table sugar or artificial sweeteners, moderation should be the goal. Current research indicates that all five previously mentioned artificial sweeteners are considered safe when consumed in reasonable amounts. However, in my opinion, sucralose is probably the best bet out there in moderation. Ultimately, it's important to talk to your doctor if you're considering adding any kind of artificial sweetener - table sugar included - into your diet.
Ultimately, no single food or beverage is completely healthy or completely unhealthy; how we use it matters too. By understanding the pros and cons of our choices, we can make informed decisions about what works for us when indulging our sweet tooth cravings.
Read the studies on sucralose and artificial sweeteners below!