Artificial sweeteners can cause adverse health effects?
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
The use of artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, sucralose and saccharin have been found to cause adverse health effects such as headaches, seizures, changes in mood, cognition and behavior, certain cancers and allergic reactions.
WHAT WE KNOW
Artificial sweeteners are used to help with the management of diabetes, weight and blood sugar levels; a trend that has developed over the past couple of decades. Several studies have been done on the positive and negative side effects of using artificial sweeteners in place of natural sugar. As a result, Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) recommendations have been placed on the five nonnutritive sweeteners (aspartame, saccharin, sucralose, acesulfame K, and neotame) that were approved by the FDA. The ADI stands for the limit that has been shown to not produce any adverse health effects.
(mg/kg body weight)
(Sweet ‘N Low, Sugar Twin)
|Acesulfame K (Sunett)
Comparisons to Sugar
Aspartame: 160 to 220 times sweeter than table sugar.
Saccharin: 200 to 700 times sweeter than table sugar. This sweetener has been around for over 100 years and has been claimed to be the most researched sweetener.
Sucralose: 600 times sweeter than table sugar. This is the newest nonnutritive sweetener.
Acesulfame K: 200 times sweeter than table sugar.
Neotame: 7,000 to 13,000 times sweeter than table sugar.
HOW DO WE KNOW THIS?
Currently, there is no reasonable evidence of possible public health harm. Numerous studies have been done on the side effects of these five artificial sweeteners but findings on whether they cause headaches, seizures, changes in mood, cognition and behavior, certain cancers or allergic reactions are not conclusive. The FDA still classifies all five of the nonnutritive sweeteners as safe to consume until further research and testing is done.
Moderation is never a bad idea when it comes to any kind of added sweetener [low-calorie or not] but given the empty calories that sugar or high-fructose corn syrup provide, these low-calorie sweeteners may be the better option.
Alternatively, remember that adding fruit is a healthy, natural way to sweeten your foods as well; try doing this in place of some of your artificial sweeteners. Fruits and vegetables are vitamin- and mineral-rich, low-calorie foods that can aid in weight management or loss! They are one of the best tools for your diet regimen.
If it’s the sweetness you crave, 100% juice is a sweet, nutritious way to satisfy your sweet tooth, and it counts towards your fruit servings each day (remember to consume juice in moderation)! Check out our Frosty Orangeliciousness Smoothie to satisfy your sweet cravings!
In general, eat as many whole foods (like fruits and vegetables) as possible! This will provide your best defense for a healthy and happy lifestyle now and in the future!