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Do you consume foods or beverages that contain artificial sweeteners such as Splenda© or Nutrasweet©? Artificial or Non-Nutritive sweeteners, which contain little or no calories, were first approved by the FDA in the late 1950’s. Since then many studies have examined their safety and effect on weight maintenance. The information in this article was drawn from a recent review from the National Institute of Health that looked at several recent fake sweetener studies.
If there are no calories you can have as much as you want, right? Wrong! The USDA has set an Acceptable Daily Intake, or ADI, on each of the five FDA-approved artificial sweeteners. This means that the USDA does not guarantee that these sweeteners are safe beyond a certain daily limit. The ADI for sucralose (which is sold as Splenda©) is equivalent to about six 12 oz. cans of diet soda per day.

Why would a government agency put a limit on an artificial sweetener? Because these products are made from chemicals that humans have never eaten before. They are made from amino acids or sugars that have been modified in a lab so we can’t digest them. Because researchers aren’t sure what the long-lasting impact on health could be from eating these products every day, they set a limit for daily consumption that they believe is safe.

Do artificial sweeteners help with weight loss and maintenance? At least one study says no. The study had some participants that avoided all products containing aspartame (sold as Nutrasweet©), and others replaced all of their sugar with aspartame. All of the participants were attempting to lose weight using exercise and diet changes. Both groups lost about the same amount of weight in four months. The participants that avoided aspartame were more likely to keep the weight off after two years.

Looking for a sweet and healthy alternative? If you’re a diet soda drinker, try naturally flavored seltzers such as those manufactured by Talking Rain or La Croix. If you like sweet foods, try a ripe piece of fresh fruit. Fruit does contain calories, but those calories come with great stuff like water, fiber, and antioxidants!

For more information on artificial sweetener risks check out the Center for Science in the Public Interest’s “Chemical Cuisine” page.

This article is a repost of one that I wrote for Pinnacle Physical Therapy.

6/11/2013 02:11:18 pm

I have written a number of posts about this myself as I believe it is a very important subject. I actually included a full section about sugar substitutes in a infographic that was about America's sugar consumption overall.

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10/6/2013 02:06:53 pm

All of the members were body fat using eating plan and work out changes. Both categories missing about the same quantity of bodyweight in four several weeks. The members that prevented artificial sweeteners were more likely to keep the bodyweight off after two decades.

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