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Are Artificial Sweeteners Safe?

July 10, 2012  by: rekhas  Points: 12   Category: Food & Drinks  Earning $0.40   Views: 532

Is it safe to use artificial sweeteners? Diabetics and people concerned with weight gain often use them. Studies reflect both pros and cons but there is no strong evidence as yet that show these to be harmful. However, as with other foods, it is best to use artificial sweeteners in moderation.


Switching to artificial sweeteners may help weight loss, right? This is what the ads on television claim. Well, in reality, it can do much more. Some studies show that artificial sweeteners are safe when consumed in moderation. Other studies say that artificial sweeteners cause weight gain, increase risks of obesity and cancers. So, should you be consuming artificial sweeteners like Splenda, sweet'n'low, and saccharin and so on?

Weight Gain from Artificial Sweeteners

Many people who use artificial sweeteners, want to keep a tab on their calories. These sweeteners allow people to consume sweets and beverages with lower calories. However, they are still prone to weight gain. Is it possible? Well, if you drink a zero calorie cola, you are still high on carbohydrates. The only thing missing is the sugar. Hence, you eliminate the calories from sugar or salt but can do nothing about the carbohydrates and fats. Thus, there is a weight gain.

Cons of Artificial Sweeteners

If you browse online, you will see that aspartame and acesulfame K have a long list of cons and side effects. Studies show that these can cause headaches, mood swins, fluctuate blood sugar levels, hallucinations, dizziness, panic attacks and even seizures. Well, it can also happen if there is an overdose. This is why, physicians recommend a moderate use of such artificial sweeteners.

Is Saccharin a Safe Sweetener?

Earlier, saccharin was not safe but after 2001, the FDA removed this ban and said that saccharin no longer caused cancer. However, it is best to keep it away from children and pregnant women. Yet, consuming too many chemical sweeteners is not good. These days, some companies have come up with sweetener blends. They mix two or three types of artificial sweeteners to create one sweetener. Some say this means more chemical sweeteners are contained in one product and claim it to be more harmful. However, there is no solid proof that only artificial sweeteners contribute to health issues. A combined effect of too much coffee, beverages or foods can cause the health risk.
Some artificial sweeteners are unstable when used to cook or on hot foods. However, the new product called Splenda, is a stable one. It does not lose its sweetness when you cook or when you add it to hot foods.

Overall, there is no strong evidence that artificial sweeteners are harmful. However, medical experts suggest that people use these in moderation. Just because it is safe does not mean that you use a 100 packets of artificial sweeteners in a day! Avoid it when possible and cut down on chemical sugars. Instead, use fresh fruit or equivalent substitutes.


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