Are Artificial Sweeteners Bad For You?

Are artificial sweeteners bad for you? Find out the different types and what you really need to know before you consume them.


Many people are looking to reduce calories in their diet so they cut out sugar, and turn to artificial sweeteners and other sugar substitutes. The question has long been, which are hazardous to your health and which are safe for regular consumption. Some of these we add ourselves to coffee and tea drinks, while others are automatically in the ingredients of soft drinks, chewing gum, jellies, baked goods, candy, fruit jiuce, ice cream, canned foods, dairy products and more. How do you know what you are really consuming and if it is good for you? Here is some information that will hopefully help clear that up.

Aspartame (Equal, Nutrasweet), Saccharin (Sweet-n-Low), Sucralose (Splenda) and others have virtually no calories. However, the question has loomed around them that they may cause medical concerns after repeated consumption, even the fear of some cancers.

Artificial sweeteners are synthetic sugar substitutes but may be derived from naturally occurring substances, including herbs or sugar. They are usually much sweeter than sugar as well. While they may help you watch your weight and will not promote tooth decay like regular sugar, some of the health concerns are pretty severe. While there has been NO concrete scientfiic studies released that these sweeteners can cause cancer, there have been numerous allegations to this point and health conscious people have tried to steer away from these products.

Sugar alcohols are carbohydrates that naturally occur in certain fruits and vegetables, but can also be manufactured. These are Stevia, Sorbitol, Xylitol and more. These ae generally found in many processed foods. They also can be found in toothpastes and mouthwashes as well. Again, they are lower in calories and do not promote cavities. However, the down side with these, when consumed often, can lead to a laxative type effect, and cause bloating, gas and diarrhea.

Natural sweeteners which are promoted as healthier are things such as honey, agave nectar, maple syrup, molasses, grape juice concentrate and some others. These can be added at home and are also found in processed foods. Nutritionally speaking, these items are very similar to that of regular table sugar. So while they sound like a better choice, the vitamin and mineral content is about the same and so are the calories.

At the end of the day, there is no health advantage to consuming added sugar of any type in your daily diet. Too much of any of these choices can contribute to tooth decay, poor nutrition, weight gain and increased triglycerides.

The more basic and all natrural you go with your diet, the healthier lifestyle you will lead and your body will thank you for it! 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Corine Mogenis October 10, 2011 at 07:15 PM
As mentioned, there is NO scientific evidence that supports that they ARE in fact bad for you, however, there are positive and negative effects that CAN be proven with both artificial and natural sweeteners. Since there is no concrete evidence, it's a matter of personal choice. The pros and cons of both are listed and that is something you need to decide for yourself.
SBHS Dad October 12, 2011 at 03:38 AM
So with all due respect, what was the point of the article? As a user of artificial sweeteners, I was anxious to read an article which posed the question, "Are Artificial Sweeteners Bad For You?" You can understand my disappointment with the answer which was "something you need to decide for yourself", especially when not a single shred of evidence was given on either side of the argument.
Corine Mogenis October 12, 2011 at 01:14 PM
With all due respect in response, I cannot report soemthing that is NOT true. Again, there IS NO SCIENTFIIC evidence that they are bad for you, just ongoing studies that are HOPING to determine that they are. There are health advocates who FEEL strongly that they are not good for you, but again with no concrete proof. SO while I, personally, stay away from them based on these ongoing studies, which I reported, I cannot tell people they ARE in fact bad. I reported EVIDENCE on both sides of pros and cons and people need to decide how they feel since there again IS NO SCIENTIFIC evidence to prove one way or the other. The point of the article was to show people that the "jury is still out" on whether or not they are in fact bad for you, but there are tons of negative feelings about artificial sweeteners and if that is enough for you to steer away, then that is your choice. I am sorry you missed that point. I hope this helped.
SBHS Dad October 13, 2011 at 01:08 AM
You're kidding, right? You emphasize in your response everything that is wrong with this article. You say there is "NO SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE", then a few sentences later you say "I reported EVIDENCE on both sides", then in the very same sentence you say again that there "IS NO SCIENTIFIC evidence to prove one way or the other." I'm not suggesting that you report something that is NOT true, but you might want to consider finding something that IS true and report on THAT.
Matthew Mcguigan November 26, 2012 at 10:08 PM
my dad put artificial sweeteners in my tea today


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