Recent Blog Articles
Monkeypox: An unfamiliar virus spreading fast — sound familiar?
Diabetes: Does a long-term study reinforce or change approaches to prevention?
War anxiety: How to cope
Can we prevent depression in older adults by treating insomnia?
Want to try veganism? Here's how to get started
Vitamin B6 flies under the radar: Are you getting enough?
The formula shortage is hurting families: What parents should know and do
Gyn Care 101: What to know about seeing a gynecologist
Swimming lessons save lives: What parents should know
Strong legs help power summer activities: Hiking, biking, swimming, and more
Harvard Health Blog
Are artificial sweeteners a healthy substitute for sugar?
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles.
No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.
I concur with your conclusions.The point that the data stated are all first hand on actual experiences even help more.
Anything artificial always comes with a catch,be it artificial sugar or some sort of weightloss pills.
Diet is and always has been quite overrated …why not go for a walk or spend 30 mins a day working out instead of eating and drinking food that isnt natural ?
I did not know royal sweeteners may cause weight gain, I Mstst them for a long time and a number of reasons among them diabetes, and obesity, I’ll try to get a dose.
I think artificial is fine it is just the cool thing to do now to be 100% natural. Of course natural is better but using artificial sweetner isn’t going to kill you haha. But seriously good read. I’m finding this whole blog really useful. Is it fan by actual professors by chance?
There’s always a new study concerning artificial sweeteners. In the EU recently there was – again- a study about possible cancer and aspartame. Again aspartame is believed to be “no risk to the common health”. I also read the article about weight gain caused by sweeteners. We have a weight loss company in belgium. Because of the lack of calories we use acesulfame and aspartame in our products. We regularly receive questions about the artificial sweeteners, also about Stevia lately. If these kind of sweeteners are bad why does our, and your government allow these? Now somebody tells us sweeteners are a possible source of weight gain…. Does somebody else knows something bad about artificial sweeteners? Please send your clinical trial request to Dr. David Ludwig and start a new mass hysteria. It’s always something…..
I had the knowledge that the artificial sweeteners were only made for the diabetic patients instead today through media it has been identified that through a sweetener one can even loose weight. But frankly speaking I am not in favor of using a sweetener neither for cutting wait nor for lessening sugar. If one is seriously looking for losing some wait then there is nothing better than exercise and fir diabetes the same formula can be applied. What say?
Isn’t aspartame supposed to be dangerous though?
A long term Harvard study found that the use of aspartame helped people lose weight and keep it off. Research has also found that those who use low calorie sweeteners have better quality diets than those who don’t, i.e., consume less calories, fat, and added sugar, while getting higher levels of vitamins and minerals and eating more dark green and yellow vegetables. I am not aware of any scientific evidence to support your suggestion that people who habitually use low calorie sweeteners may become desensitized to sweetness. High intensity sweeteners are much sweeter than sugar, so extremely small amounts are used to achieve the same level of sweetness.
Theresa Hedrick, MS, RD, LD
Calorie Control Council
Sweetening agents were always a better choice for me, but I don’t use them much, I try to cut the taste as much as possible from my diet. It was tough to swallow black coffee without any sweet taste in it. Now I’m used to it. I try to avoid both real & artificial sweetener.
If you’re trying to reduce the sugar and calories in your diet, you may be turning to artificial sweeteners or other sugar substitutes. You aren’t alone. The popularity of artificial sweeteners and other sugar substitutes is on the rise as manufacturers and consumers seek lower calorie alternatives to regular white sugar without sacrificing sweetness.
Many artificial sweeteners are not healthy for diabetics. Some of them can raise insulin rather than blood sugar levels. Insulin levels are not checked as often. Xylitol is safe for diabetics.
Artificial sweeteners are made for diabetic persons and not for loosing weight. If somebody wants to loose weight, he should eat healthy and do some sports and should not try to loose it with the usement of artificial sweeteners.
Artificial sweetness is always artificial, we should try to avoid any type of artificial su1ar. A diabetes man should use limited sugar instead of artificial sweetness.
Not much of a distinction here between the NASSTYness of aspartame, saccharine and the like, when compared with the vastly (from what I can tell)less harmful properties of stevia.
Not much of a distinction here between the NASSTYness of aspartame, saccharine and the like, when compared with the vastly (from what I can tell)less harmful properties of stevia. Useful stuff about the sweetness receptors though.
Sweetner use may cause weight gain.I Want to know whether it raise the blood sugar level if consumed in excess by a diabetic person?
Ah I have always been skeptical of sugar fraud!
This is a health blog written by a doctor? And you’re blogging about flavor? Your not Emeril, that’s not your job. How about getting people off the processed sugars to begin with, instead of turning them on to chemical laden substitutes? Shame on you. Harvard sure just went down a few notches. Good grief!
ah the confusing world of sugar
Commenting has been closed for this post.
You might also be interested in…
Harvard Health Letter
Want to reduce pain in your knees and be more active? Eat smarter and reduce your risk for a heart attack? Improve your flexibility and balance so you don’t fall? Sleep the entire night so you have more energy during the day? Take control of your health right now! In Harvard Health Letter, you’ll find easy remedies and solutions to these common challenges and more.
Free Healthbeat Signup
Get the latest in health news delivered to your inbox!