By Robin Wulffson MD for EmaxHealth.com
Artificial sweeteners are popular among individuals who want to lose weight and/or reduce their sugar consumption. However, much controversy surrounds their use as well as whether they actually aid one in controlling caloric intake.
On July 9, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and the American Heart Association (AHA) issued a joint statement on artificial sweeteners. The statement was published online in both the journals Circulation and Diabetes Care. The ADA and AHA gave cautious approval of six artificial sweeteners.
The six artificial sweeteners evaluated in the report were: Acesulfame-K (Sweet One); Aspartame (Equal, NutraSweet); Neotame (Neotame); Saccharin (Sweet/M Low); Sucralose (Splenda); and Plant-based sweeteners such as Stevia (Truvia, PureVia, Sweet Leaf). The researchers gave a cautious recommendation for the use of the foregoing nonnutritive sweeteners to help people maintain a healthy body weight and for diabetics to aid glucose control. They issued a caveat, however, that sweeteners will be beneficial only as long as individuals do not consume additional calories later as compensation. Furthermore, the statement cautioned that scientific evidence is limited and inconclusive about whether this strategy is effective in the long term for reducing calorie and added-sugars consumption.