Are Artificial Sweeteners Bad for you? (Evidence-Based)
Purpose/ Where Can We Find Them?
Let's start by looking at the common question, "What is an artificial sweetener?"
Well a few of the most popular artificial sweetener brands include: Splenda, Equal, Truvia , Sweet'nLow, Whole Earth, Sweet Leaf, etc. These sweeteners are sweetened differently than table sugar (which is sweetened due to sucrose), hence why they are able to market the products at 0 (zero) sugar, or low sugar! Artificial Sweeteners, or Non- Nutritive Sweeteners/Non-Caloric Sweeteners/Non-Caloric High Intensity Sweeteners as they are sometimes referred to in marketing, were introduced into the food industry to replace the sweetness of sugar (sucrose) with something just as sweet, if not sweeter, while reducing the caloric intake of its consumers. Artificial sweeteners were introduced into many carbonated beverages marketed as "diet beverages" to solve for the problem of consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages displaying some conclusive evidence that it may be one of the dietary causes of metabolic disorders, such as obesity. Some reasons outlining why food production corporations use artificial sweeteners in mass production include: tooth friendliness, increased quality of life for population suffering from different forms of diabetes, possibility of weight control without sacrificing 'unhealthy drinks' from current dietary intake.
Splenda- sweetened with sucralose- 600x sweeter than sucrose (Table Sugar)- Found in: Breyer's Ice Cream, Aloe Beverages, Arizona, Campbells Soup Products, Trident Gum, Mio etc.-- ZERO CALORIES
Equal- sweetened with aspartame, acesulfame potassium, dextrose and maltodextrin- ~Same level of sweetness- Found in: Equal packets for coffee, condiments such as ketchup, gums etc,- LESS THAN 1g Carbs
Truvia- naturally sweetened with Stevia- 250-300x sweeter than sucrose (table sugar)- Found in: SoBe Pepsico products, teas, candies, Coca Cola life, etc.- ZERO CALORIES
Sweet'n Low- sweetened with saccharin- 300-400x sweeter than sucrose (table sugar)- Found in: candies, drinks, cookies, and children's over-the-counter pharmaceuticals- ZERO CALORIES
Whole Earth- sweetened with Stevia Leaf & Monk Fruit Blend- combo is 200x sweeter than sucrose- Found in- blend is exclusive to sweetener- ZERO CALORIES ( My personal go-to for sweeteners as its zero calorie and has the best taste-to-cost ratio)
Monk Fruit Extract- 150-250x sweeter than sucrose- Found in: Monk Fruit- ZERO CALORIES
Where does the Literature Stand On Artificial Sweeteners and Cancer?
A Review published in the Annals of Oncology showing that artificial sweeteners such as aspartame do not possess carcinogenic characteristics despite popular belief. Additionally, according to the current literature, the possible risks of artificial sweeteners to induce cancer seems insignificant and otherwise noted as negligible. A 2010 study studied the effects artificial sweeteners have on satiety, food intake and glucose/insulin effects. This study showed that despite the caloric difference in preloads (290 kcal (artificially sweetened) vs. 493 kcal(sucrose-based)), participants did not compensate by eating more at their lunch and dinner meals when they consumed stevia and aspartame versus sucrose in preloads. When consuming stevia and aspartame preloads, the study's participants did not compensate by eating more at lunch or dinner meal and reported similar levels of satiety (level of hunger_ compared to when they consumed the higher calorie sucrose preload. Given this information, artificial sweeteners prove to be a efficacious weight management strategy! For those of you that are reading this while holding that can of Diet soda- DON'T WORRY- the science is backing that you are safe! Despite what your nonna (Grandma) might be telling all of her friends, you are not going to gain weight contrary to the 'diet'/'light' marketing, and you're DEFINITELY NOT going to get cancer from that!
All of my claims are backed by references listed below. I have attached them for your perusal!
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