The Skinny on Artificial Sweeteners

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Many feel they can benefit from artificial sweeteners for weight management, diabetic management, and dental care, as they provide zero calories and carbohydrates.

But, are they really safe to use and effective?

 

What’s on the market?

Currently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approves six artificial sweeteners as “Generally Recognized as Safe” for use as food additives. These include saccharin (Sweet’N Low©), aspartame (Equal©), acesulfame potassium (Ace-K, Sweet One), sucralose (Splenda©), neotame (Newtam ©) and advantame.

The FDA has yet to approve two additional non-nutritive sweeteners, stevia (Truvia ©) and luo han guo, also known as monk fruit. The FDA affirmed the GRAS status of portions of these artificial sweeteners, meaning they are “generally recognized as safe.” However, the verdict is still out about all forms of the plant being safe for use.

Safety of Use

Consumers should use caution and watch overall intake. Some studies have shown they can lead to additional hunger or food cravings and there is a lack of long-term evidence associated with how they impact our health. Ace-K and Splenda in particular have had mixed research regarding health.

Bottom line:

Limiting to zero to one serving per day is recommended and if you are going to use them, use stevia based options.

 

Original Article by Marissa Beck, MS, RD. Edited by Erika DeRooy RD, CD

Additional Information about High-Intensity Sweeteners Permitted for use in Food in the United States. 

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