Pros and Cons of Using Artificial Sweeteners

Many people reach for colorful packets of artificial sweeteners instead of sugar. In fact, so many people have come to rely on them to replace the sugar in their lives that the high-intensity sweetener market has become a multi-billion-dollar industry, raking in close to $2 billion in revenue in 2017 alone.

If you’re contemplating exchanging white sugar for artificial sweeteners, you’re not alone. There are tons of people right now who are trying to figure out which choice is right for their lives. To make your decision easier, we’ve come up with some pros and cons of using artificial sweeteners. Read on so you can make an informed dietary decision.

What are Artificial Sweeteners?

In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved several different artificial sweeteners for use in food. They are: aspartame, sucralose, neotame, acesulfame potassium, saccharin, and advantame.

There are several other artificial sweeteners being produced around the world that have not been approved for consumption in the United States. These artificial sweeteners, for the most part, are chemical compounds that were created specifically to mimic the sweetness of real sugar.

Some other artificial sweeteners, like stevia, sorbitol, and xylitol, are actually found naturally in different fruits and vegetables, and have been extracted and used as sugar substitutes.

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Pro: They Don’t Contain Calories

One of the major reasons that people reach for artificial sweeteners over regular white or brown sugar is because they don’t contain calories. Or at least that’s how they’re advertised. They actually contain a tiny number of calories, but the amount is so negligible that the manufacturers are allowed to claim that each packet contains zero calories on the label.

People who are trying to lose weight often reach for products that contain artificial sweeteners, like diet soda, and drinks and snacks labelled “light” or “calorie-free.” Diet soda is where most people consume the most artificial sweeteners. People don’t want to give up their tasty soda, so they replace their regular with the brand’s diet alternative.

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