There are many reasons why people choose artificial sweeteners. It may be to help them with achieving
their weight loss goals after having a lap band surgeon complete a procedure. For others it may be due
to diabetes. Whatever the reason is for considering artificial sweeteners, it is important to understand
the health risks and benefits behind this product.
The first thing you want to look at are the main artificial sweeteners on the market. Though the first one
to be released was saccharin there are many others on the market, including aspartame and alitame.
Most people do not know them by these names, but rather by the brand name, such as saccharin being
in Sweet-n-Low or Equal which has aspartame.
The truth is that these artificial sweeteners are in many different products that people buy every day.
Some of these include diet sodas and drinks as well as foods on diets. They are designed to create a
lower calorie and no sugar substitute for people. However, there are some drawbacks that people
should be aware of.
In years past you would see warning labels on artificial sweeteners claiming that they can cause cancer,
such as bladder cancer in rats. This can make one think that these products are unsafe. On top of
this there are some studies and claims that say that aspartame can lead to many different problems
including autism, cancer and even ADD. However, according to the American Council on Science
and Health, artificial sweeteners are safe for consumption among the general populace. There is a
rare condition though where some people are not able to handle the phenylalanine, though this is a
condition that is tested for at birth. There is also a chance of the aspartame causing headaches that are
similar to caffeine headaches, though they are only temporary and mild.
Even if you take away the thought of the safety of artificial sweeteners, there are still other risks that
you will want to keep in mind. A study done in 2011 shows those artificial sweeteners can actually lead
to obesity problems. Part of the way they say this is done is by drinking beverages or eating foods with
these sweeteners while consuming a meal. They say that the artificial sweeteners block the signal to the
brain that tells it you are full, meaning that people tend to overeat. On top of this, they state that using
these sweeteners can create a desire for sweeter foods which can make healthy foods not as appealing
to the person.
One of the things you will want to keep in mind though when looking at how healthy artificial
sweeteners are is the content of the sweeteners. Though there are 6 different artificial sweeteners
approved by the FDA that are calorie free, it does not mean that they are carbohydrate free. This means
that you are still getting carbohydrates into your diet and in large quantities this can work against you
with your weight loss goals.
These are just some of the factors that you will want to think about when you are deciding whether
or not artificial sweeteners are right for you. With the FDA stating they are safe, you should be fine to
consume as long as you are aware of the potential side effects in regards to sweeteners you choose.
If you are a diabetic, then this may be the only option you have available. Remember that moderation
is also key here as large quantities of just about anything, even healthy items, even water, can cause
negative side effects that you will not want to deal with.
About the author: Melissa Doran is currently working as a health adviser for patients who have undergone surgeries in a bariatric clinic. She also does Bikram yoga during her spare time.