At first glance, artificial sweeteners seem like harmless and attractive alternatives to standard sugar. Sugar substitutes provide a sweet taste without the calories or carbohydrates that accompany sugar and other sweeteners. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the use of acesulfame-K (Sunnett®), aspartame (Equal®), neotame, saccharin (Sweet’N Low®), sucralose (Splenda®) and stevia.
Despite this approval, some health experts discourage the use of sugar substitutes. Keep the following tips in mind to ensure that you’re safely consuming them:
- Always read the nutritional facts on foods and drinks to know what and how much of a substitute is being used.
- Review the acceptable daily intake guidelines for each approved sugar substitute on the FDA’s website.
- Remember, just because a product contains a sugar substitute does not necessarily mean it is calorie-free or even healthy.
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