Are artificial sweeteners bad for your health? By Hamza Anwar

Diet drinks and food products are a popular alternative to their higher calorie counterparts. However, there has always been a large population of people that believe diet food or drink items are bad because of the artificial sweeteners in them. Some of the claimed negative side effects of artificial sweeteners are increased risk of cancer, diabetes and weight gain. Today I'll be examining each of these claims and see what the research has to say.

 

The first claim I'll be examining is the most claimed one which is the increased risk of cancer. There have been over 30 studies examining cancer risk with artificial sweetener usage by humans and none of them have shown a link between cancer and using artificial sweeteners when other factors are taken into account. 

 

The second claim is that artificial sweeteners increase the risk of diabetes. There have been some studies that show artificial sweeteners increase the risk of diabetes, but these studies were observational so a causal link could not be established. When it comes to controlled studies, the majority have shown that artificial sweetners have no negative effect on insulin levels and blood sugar.

 

Lastly, many people claim that artificial sweeteners cause weight gain. This claim literally makes no sense. Studies have shown that replacing regular soft drinks with the diet versions leads to weight loss. Wow, such a surprise. No! It makes sense. You replace 300 calories with something that has 0 calories and you lose weight because now that person might be in a calorie deficit. It's not the sugar, it's the calories that have been subtracted. So, no you can't drink diet sodas and think you'll lose weight by eating whatever you want, but you can use diet sodas and desserts as a tool to help satisfy your sweet tooth during a calorie deficit.

 

In conclusion, as you can see all of these silly claims by these "health gurus" or health hippies which is what I like to call them, have been debunked once again by science. Just because something isn't natural and is made in a lab doesn't mean it's bad for you. I wish more people understood that, but hey that's why I like making these articles for you. So, if you like soda or certain desserts and are in a calorically restrictive phase of your diet, feel free to use products with artificial sweeteners. They'll make your life so much easier and I promise they won't kill or harm you.

 

1) https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1541-4337.2006.tb00081.x

 

2) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17043096

 

3) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19661082

 

4) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19221011

 

5) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21245879

 

6) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24944060

 

7) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25532596

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