How Bad Are Artificial Sweeteners?

nutrition Oct 30, 2018

Are artificial sweeteners going to kill you? The thing with artificial sweeteners- do they have any health benefits? No. But there isn’t really a case yet that they’re detrimental to your health. The two most common artificial sweeteners are Aspartame and Sucralose. Aspartame in particular has gotten a bad rap. Is it warranted?

Ehhh.. no well done studies have shown any negative effect from aspartame or sucralose, unless consumed in absolutely absurd amounts. Now, studies have shown that artificial sweeteners have been alter gut flora. But it’s not known if the effect they have on the gut is negative.

Know what else wreaks havoc on the gut flora? Highly processed foods. If you’re consuming tons of processed foods, your gut flora is going to be wrecked, artificial sweetener or no.

If swapping a higher calorie food/drink for a lower calorie food/drink containing artificial sweeteners helps you get healthier, it’s probably worth the “not yet established, but maybe there- risk” of eating artificial sweeteners. If Splenda + black coffee allows you to quit drinking 400+ calorie frappes, it’s probably the healthier choice, right? 

Like most everything else, it’s probably wise to consume artificial sweeteners in moderation. We’re not really sure the long-term effects they’ll have. Realistically, could long-term studies 30 years from now prove that artificial sweeteners are a potential health risk? Sure.

But, how many people will already be dead in 30 years due to never getting healthy in the first place? So many people never get healthy. Usually because they get caught up in minutiae, like eliminating artificial sweeteners, and neglect the stuff that really makes a difference for your health: energy balance, resistance training, sleep, daily movement.

Point is: if you’re worried about artificial sweeteners, but don’t know how many calories you’re eating in a day, your priorities are backwards. Artificial sweeteners aren’t the biggest thing when it comes to your health. If it’s something that allows you to break an unhealthy habit; consuming artificial sweeteners is probably gonna be a lot less unhealthy/less likely to kill you than being overweight.

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