I heard that Splenda, Equal, and other sugar substitutes are not good for you. Is that true?
Q: I heard that Splenda, Equal, and other sugar substitutes are not good for you. Is that true?
Artificial sweeteners are a controversial topic. The most common types include sucralose (Splenda), aspartame (Equal, Nutrasweet), and saccharin (Sweet 'n Low, Sugar Twin). Although some studies in animals suggested an increased cancer risk following exposure to aspartame and saccharin, the dosages given were unrealistically high. In addition, the increased cancer risk from saccharin was found to apply only to rats. Results from aspartame studies were inconsistent.
The National Cancer Institute and other health agencies advise that artificial sweeteners are safe when used in moderation.
It's also worth noting that unlike white and brown sugar, honey and other forms of sugar, artificial sweeteners do not raise blood sugar levels and contain no calories. However, individual sensitivities may cause symptoms, such as headaches, to occur with any type of artificial sweetener or natural sugar-free sweeteners like stevia. If you find that a certain sweetener causes unpleasant side effects, stop using it. Some people have also reported that sugar-free sweeteners cause carbohydrate cravings, although this doesn't seem to occur in most individuals.
Answered by Franziska Spritzler, RD, CDE
Answered By dLife Expert: Franziska Spritzler, RD, CDE
Certified diabetes educator and registered dietitian living in Southern California.
The content of this website, such as text, graphics, images, and other material on the site (collectively, “Content”) are for informational purposes only. The Content is not intended to be a substitute for, and dLife does not provide, professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. dLife does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on this site. Reliance on any information provided by dLife, its employees and other contributors or visitors to this site is done solely at your own risk. Any information you submit to dLife or this site may be published on this site and in other dLife products. dLife retains all rights to all contributions including submitted questions and expert answers.