I heard that Splenda, Equal, and other sugar substitutes are not good for you. Is that true?

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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.


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