Artificial sweeteners are a regular occurrence in our society. We pour packets of them into our sugar, bake them into our food, and drink them from a can. We're told too much sugar can cause weight gain, and so we ward off that problem by indulging in our favorite treats another way ... with chemicals. And though we've been told time and time again that keeping it natural is key, and indulging in the sugary stuff should be done in moderation, we choose to opt for the other version — to taste what we want, when we want without the crime of calorie consumption. And though they've continued to get a bad rap for being linked to headaches, cancer and weight gain, we still seem to use them.
So what's the deal? Are they good, or are they bad?
Currently, there are six FDA-approved artificial sweeteners on the market, which include: acesulfame potassium (acesulfame K), aspartame, saccharin, sucralose, neotame, and advantame. Many of you may also use stevia, but it has not been approved by the FDA just yet.
The biggest scare linked to artificial sweeteners is cancer, which scientists have confirmed through rats who obtained the deadly disease from ingesting extremely high dosages of the chemical-ridden sugar replacer. But it's difficult to say that cancer is caused from ingesting them in humans, since the findings have only been directly found in rats and in unrealistic amounts for typical human intake.
Headaches and migraines have also been linked to artificial sweeteners, but as there are a variety of specific foods that can irritate people on an individual basis, the outcome from this is simply to be mindful of whether or not your head begins to hurt after ingesting these chemicals.
And as for weight gain ... which is the complete opposite outcome manufacturers market for artificial sweeteners, there seems to be a total lack of scientific backup for this case. However, some do argue that consuming them may cause you to overeat, since you assume ingesting zero calorie artificial sweeteners means eating whatever amount you want. This outlook can result in weight gain.
So, is it safe to say we can continue on with our love for products consisting of less sugar, reduced calories, or zero calories due to artificial sweeteners? With anything that causes this much controversy to our overall wellbeing, it's safe to say the verdict is still out. It's also important to remember that eating from the earth and in moderation are always surefire ways to live out a healthy lifestyle.
Are you an artificial sweetener consumer? And have you experienced any side effects from them?