Are Artificial Sweeteners Bad for You?

Artificial sweetener
Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash

During the past few years, sugar has become persona non grata. The sweet stuff has been banned from the party, with dozens of alternatives popping up to take its place. Many of us cut out sugar in a bid to be more healthy, but do artificial sweeteners actually do more harm than good?

While sugar is natural and derived from a plant, artificial sweeteners are created in laboratories. Sugar is also a source of energy. That said, too much of it can definitely up your calorie intake which is not ideal if you’re trying to drop a few pounds.

Artificial sweeteners tend to be super sweet, meaning just a little goes a long way. You’ve probably seen a sachet or two at a coffee shop, but sugar alternatives appear in a variety of items. Think diet sodas. The substitutes can also be found in chewing gum, ice cream, bread, bottled fruit juice, yogurt, and condiments. 

The World Health Organisation has warned that continued consumption of these artificial sweeteners could lead to an increased risk of Type 2 Diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Some people also report experiencing headaches and constipation or bloating.

Cases of serious health risks caused by sugar substitutes are extremely low, meaning you needn’t freak out. Everything in moderation, of course. But if you are trying to cut sugar out of your diet, rather opt for natural sweeteners like honey or maple syrup.